Bunny Expo will celebrate leporine love and all things rabbit

Winnie the Poop and Miss Sugar Buns like each other. You can tell by the way they don’t brawl. Rabbits, as Winnie and Sugar are, are picky about their associates. But this is the real thing.

Now they’re taking their relationship to the next level. Winnie and Sugar are getting married.

The pair will be joined in holy matri-bunny on Sunday at the Bunny Bunch rabbit rescue and adoption center in Fountain Valley as the highlight of the annual Bunny Expo, the organization’s signature fundraising and appreciation event. Afterward, human guests will celebrate with a vegan cake (no, not carrot) and the hoppy couple will nibble on their own treats (yes, carrots).

Winnie and Sugar are the rescue’s ambassadors for educational tours and events like the OC Pet Expo, so Bunny Bunch founder Caroline Charland is marrying them “so they can live together and go to the events together,” she said.

Winnie, the groom, will wear a custom-made top hat. Sugar will wear a veil. They will be wheeled down the aisle, under a canopy, in a stroller. Charland’s husband, Tim, will be the officiant.

Charland promises lots of punny-rabbit wordplay in Tim’s sermon — enough to make your hare stand on end.

“After the wedding, they will be known as Mr. and Mrs. Poop,” she said.

It’s hard not to be whimsical when it comes to bunnies. But Charland also is serious about them. Winnie and Sugar are diplomats representing what she says are misunderstood creatures.

Bunny Bunch started about 30 years ago and cares for about 200 to 300 rabbits between its two adoption centers — it has another in Montclair — and network of foster homes. It also cares for a few guinea pigs and chinchillas.

Not everybody is cut out to keep rabbits, Charland said. Inexperienced owners often buy them from pet stores or swap meets and keep them in cages or outdoor hutches. A conscientious owner allows a rabbit to roam about the house like a cat and does not leave its care to a child, Charland said.

Bunnies, as prey animals, feel vulnerable when picked up and will flail and scratch. If dropped, they can break their backs. They will hide when ill, and they need an observant owner to keep up on their health, Charland said.

And while they do eat carrots, they’re only meant to be treats, as the sugar content can be too much. Leafy greens are better, she said.

Rabbits are gentle with humans, live in groups in the wild and can bond with mates and friends for life. They do best with companions.

But they also are fiercely territorial and tend to fight. So Charland carefully moderates meetings between rabbits — including her wards and their potential housemates — as they get to know each other. The chaperoned “bunny dates” enable rabbits to bond and coexist peacefully, even affectionately.

Rabbits that like each other will lie near each other or groom each other.

Some even get married.

In addition to Winnie and Sugar’s nuptials, the Bunny Expo will include an agility course, a Halloween-themed photo shoot, vet health checks, grooming and a silent auction and raffle. The grand prize is a Dyson vacuum cleaner — cordless, of course; bunnies are chewers.

Donations will be accepted for the bunny-moon.

The event kicks off at 11:30 a.m. with the wedding, which will be streamed on Facebook Live at The expo runs until 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Bunny Bunch is at 10534 Bechler River Ave.

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