First off, Happy Valentines Day! I'm writing this as of 11:00pm on the 13th February. There's nothing quite like a last minute blog to rattle your nerves eh? So I can finally reveal the big secret that we've been keeping from everyone...Poppy & Charlie got married yesterday! Well not really, but Adele, Jamie and I met at Llanyrafon Manor for a shoot that has been a long time coming. It may seem stupid to do a big shoot like this just 2 days before the big reveal...and you'd be right, it was stupid! But we pulled it off and I've decided to incorporate them into a blog post relating to Dog Friendly Weddings. Carry on reading for some tips, shameless self promotion, and cute as hell doggy wedding photos!
Dog Friendly Weddings
More love than a sack full of bleeding hearts!
Why wouldn't you involve your best friends in your wedding day?
If you're anything like me then you can't imagine going through your wedding day without your fuzzy best friend/s by your side. Despite my wife's initial rejections of the idea (shock horror, what was she thinking?!); it didn't take too long to persuade her that having Poppy with us would be a wonderful idea.
Now I wouldn't say that we had a total DIY wedding, but we did spend a lot of time talking with vendors and garnishing them with our own creative ideas for the flowers and cake. Gemma created all of the table decorations including paper confetti, name cards, table numbers, favour packages etc; along with some pretty sick bunting to hang around the room! It was a joint effort when it came to making the invitations, table plans and the order of the day; with my job mainly being typography and printing onto Gemma's selected paper stock...but I digress!
If Poppy was going to be at our wedding (which she most certainly was); then she was going to be IN the wedding and would have to look the part! I later came to realise that my awesome idea of creating a floral collar (inspired by floral crowns) wasn't as original as I'd hoped, but at least I knew I was on the right track! I coupled this with a new leather lead and gave my mother in law the enviable duty of walking Poppy down the aisle ahead of the bridesmaid. We had denied access to everyone else's children, figured that Poppy would make a beautiful little flower girl, and gosh dammit we were right! The look on our guests faces as she glided down the aisle was priceless and she provided plenty of wooferly entertainment for the rest of the day!
So you've made the decision, your dog WILL be at your wedding!
What do you do now?
Find a dog friendly venue!
The most obvious first task is to ensure that your chosen venue will allow dogs. But what if they don't? Well that's easy, get married somewhere else! I'm serious, this is your big day and it shouldn't be dictated by a venue that doesn't understand how important it is that your fuzzy face is present. Once you find a venue that IS dog friendly, make sure to ask if there are any areas that they aren't allowed. You may want your pup to be the ring bearer during your ceremony and it's no good to anyone if they aren't allowed in the ceremony room during your vows so it's always best to ask up front. If you're really stuck for ideas then check out Dog Furiendly for a whole host of venues specifically chosen for their Dog Furiendliness!
Dress To Impress
Now you don't have to go all out and dress your pups in full costume, but it's always nice to make an effort to help them blend in with the celebration. Our handsome groom, Charlie, is wearing a custom made suit harness with ring bearer attachment by Tuna & Bear. This small business is owned and operated by Jenny and her rescue pup Archie. Jenny came up with the idea whilst planning her own wedding. She found that there was nothing available for pets to carry rings whilst looking smart and attached to a lead and with this in mind, decided to create Archie a stylish, high quality, secure and safe harness which included the ability for him to carry the rings. Having seen and tested this harness on Charlie, I can safely say that these are by far the best looking and best quality suit harnesses I have come across. The detailing is simply exquisite, right down to the strong webbing straps and silver quick release clasp. They really need to be seen and touched to be appreciated fully! There is less choice for the female pups out there which is why I opted for a flower collar on Poppy at my own wedding. Thankfully, Tuna & Bear also custom make these using fake flowers and we got to try one out on Poppy during our doggy wedding. The same quality fabric and quick release buckles are also used on these so you can be sure that your pup will be safe at all times when paired with a matching lead!
Poppy's amazing mini bouquet was made by the incredibly talented and all around fantastic, Kristy, at Dear Valentina Florist.
The venue is sorted and you have an idea about how your want your pup to blend into the celebrations. Now you're going to want a super awesome, friendly, easy going, funny and talented dog friendly photographer to capture your big day! I might know a guy...
Shameless self promotion I know, but it's my blog and I'll write what I want, mwahaha! Let me put it this way; If I can style, organise, and photograph a Dog Wedding, I can do anything....right? Well as of this blog post going live, I'll be offering 25% OFF my full day photography packages for the next 3 dog friendly weddings to book with me!
Now I could continue writing but most of you are probably here for one thing only; cute photos of a doggy wedding, and I don't blame you!
I'm shattered and I'm going to bed (it's now 2am on V.day), so I'll leave you with the full gallery of photos from Poppy & Charlie's wedding at Llanyrafon Manor (which is dog friendly by the way!).
Adele (Dog Furiendly) - For bringing the groom and wrangling pups.
Website - https://dogfuriendly.com/
Facebook - @DogFuriendly
Charlie - @CharlieBigEars
Jamie - For baking an AMAZING dog friendly miniature wedding cake (I ate most of it and it was delicious!)
Instagram - @AdventuresOfAtlasAndMoose
Jenny (Tuna & Bear) - For making and sending me a suit harness and matching lead, and the flower collar and matching lead.
Website - https://www.tunaandbear.co.uk/
Facebook - @TunaAndBear
Instagram - @TunaAndBear
Kristy (Dear Valentina Florist) - For making me a beautiful mini bouquet for Poppy.
Facebook - @DearValentinaFlorist
Instagram - @DearValentinaFlorist
Poppy - For being our beautiful bride
Instagram - @Shih_Tzu_Poppy
Pawty Pooch - For their cute doggy themed cards.
Facebook - @PawtyPooch
Instagram - @PawtyPooch
Llanyrafon Manor - For letting us hold our shoot around the manor house.
Website - http://www.llanyrafonmanor.org
Facebook - @LlanyrafonManor