Ziggy the pig loves being the center of attention, and his owners wouldn’t have it any other way! Kristin Hartness and Jay Yontz were recently engaged, and their “precious baby boy” was a special part of one of the most memorable days of their lives.
Hartness fell in love with Ziggy five and a half years ago. She had a pug named Marley, “so it only made sense to have a pig named Ziggy,” she explains, referencing music icon, Bob Marley’s son.
Hartness met Yontz three and a half years ago in St. John, an island in the Caribbean sea, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands. She was living there, and he visited the island on a business trip. Although the beginning of their love story may appear to be not so out of the ordinary, the adventures to come would prove this couple has a flair for the nontraditional. They travel the globe with Ziggy by their sides and share their journeys with the world.
The now-famous pig, coined Ziggy the Traveling Piggy on social media, is enjoying traveling the world with his human parents. His proud mom is excited to share their unique story; Hartness is opening up to The Knot about their one-of-a-kind engagement photos and the family’s plans for the future.
“Jay proposed this winter and dressed up like Santa and popped the question in the snow,” Hartness tells The Knot. “Of course our baby boy was right in the middle!”
“We took our pictures on the Jordan River Parkway Trail in Salt Lake City,” she explains. “It’s a fun dirt trail we love walking Ziggy on.”
And although the couple had an idea of how their engagement photo shoot would play out, Ziggy had plans of his own. “Our plan was to have Ziggy in a few pics, but he insisted on being in as many as he could,” Hartness shares with The Knot. “It makes sense, because he is glued to our hips! We wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“The day was great,” she recalls. “We did the exact same thing we do with Ziggy every day, but this day we had our friend/professional photographer, Brian, and his wife, Amy, come along to take pictures along our hike. The most memorable part was Ziggy throwing tantrums whenever Jay and I tried to take pictures by ourselves[because he wanted to be in them,” she laughs. “Living life on the road with our 250lb baby, we have tons of memorable moments.”
Because Ziggy helped to create such extraordinary engagement photos, we can only imagine what’s in store for Hartness and Yontz’s wedding. “We’ve discussed wedding plans,” Hartness tells us. “We’re not too sure how they’ll evolve. Our dream is to own an animal sanctuary and save as many animals as we possibly can.”
“I’ve always dreamed of a huge beautiful wedding,” she explains, “but I’m actually negotiating wedding costs with my parents, and instead of it going towards our big day, have it go towards a deposit down on a farm. It’s such a tough decision.”
“We have friends from all over the world waiting to hear about our wedding plans, and I would love to have everyone in the same place while Jay and I take the next step together,” Hartness continues. “But then again, that money can go into saving a whole lot of lives, which is our passion. Our story is catching on quickly around the U.S., and we have people we don’t even know reaching out wanting to help with our wedding.”
“Ziggy’s fan base is huge, and we get questions every day about what’s going on,” she tells The Knot. “It’s such a big event in our lives, and I want whatever we decide to benefit animals first and also capitalize on the love of our family. I can talk about this forever! I have so many things going through my mind; I don’t know what to do,” she says with a laugh.
Despite not having a clear vision of what their wedding day will entail, Hartness is certain of one thing: “Ziggy will be a HUGE part!”