A “bird-fearing” best man was attacked by a ring-bearing barn owl and sent sprawling to the floor in front of hysterical guests during a wedding ceremony in Cheshire.

Mark Wood and Jeni Arrowsmith were holding their wedding at Peckforton Castle and hired an owl and bird handler so the rings could be flown down the aisle as the centrepiece of their ceremony.

After swooping across the room and delivering its cargo to the groom, the unburdened owl then turned on the congregation and flew at the unnamed second best man, sending him crashing off his chair and onto the floor.

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Bride and groom Jeni Arrowsmith and Mark Wood await their owl (Stacey Oliver Photography)
The owl on groom Mark Wood's arm, moments before it launched its attack (Stacey Oliver Photography)

The audience did not attempt to hide their mirth at the scene. Loud laughter can be heard in a video of the incident, reaching a crescendo as the man hits the ground with his legs in the air.

The incident did not mar the occasion, with the bride describing it as “absolutely hilarious”.

“The best man’s reaction, when he fell off the seat and the crowd erupting into laughing was just great,” wedding photographer, Stacey Oliver said, according to The Guardian.

“For some reason, the owl just decided he wanted to go for him and he was just terrified. He’s absolutely petrified of anything that flies.”

The man tumbles from his chair as the audience roars with laughter (Stacey Oliver Photography)

She added: “It was one of the best moments I’ve ever seen.

"One of my friends had an owl ring-bearer at her wedding and it all went to plan, it flew in, dropped them off and went back so when this happened it was just so funny.”

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