A barking bride. A panting groom. An intimate backyard ceremony. I now pronounce you…dog and dog?
Nobody knows for sure when the first dog wedding took place, though if my old family photos are anything to go by, they’ve been around for generations. Dogs and weddings are a perfect union: What could be cuter than canine bride and groom?
While dog weddings of the past may have been quiet family affairs, these days, the popularity of social sites like Pinterest and YouTube make it easy for dog people to share their canine love connections with the world.
Dog weddings, whether sincere expressions of inter-canine affection, arranged marriages of show dogs, or publicity stunts for animal rescue, are fun, funny—and okay, sometimes downright weird.
Some dog marriages are arranged by breeders to celebrate the fruitful pairing of purebred dogs. Take Reggie and Sabrina, two Yorkshire terriers brought together for their good looks and playful companionship.
Their wedding ceremony was a tasteful backyard affair complete with puppy bridesmaids and a flower dog. In the ceremony, they vow (with the help of a human translator): “I promise, from this day forward, to sniff and to dig with thoughts of only you.”
Other doggy I-do’s spring from already united pairs. In Connecticut, a wedding photographer named Kathryn Yeaton decided to “marry” her rescue dogs, Lucy and Teddy, because they looked so good snuggling up to one another.
In an interview with Today.com, Yeaton said, “It was only a matter of time before I realized I had a white dog and black-and-white dog, and they looked too perfect as a bride and groom.”
What started as a simple photo shoot to promote her business grew into a full-blown wedding with save-the-date postcards, flowers, and dog-friendly cakes. You can see a slideshow (and get inspiration for your own small, casual dog wedding) on Today.com.
In New York, an extravagant dog wedding made headlines for being the most expensive pet wedding ever. The $270,000 ceremony was conducted by celebrity officiant Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and took place at New York’s swanky Jumeirah Essex House Hotel.
Chilly the poodle and Baby Hope Diamond the Coton de Tulear were decked out in a designer tux and gown, and a seven-piece human orchestra played them down the aisle. While such extravagance may seem over-the-top for a wedding that could be interrupted at any moment by a lifted leg, it turns out the trappings were all donated, from costumes to cake.
According to the Huffington Post, the promotional event raised $50,000 and international attention for the Humane Society of New York.
Meanwhile, in Wilmington, Delaware, a 16-year-old Chow mix named Taffy and an 11-year-old Shepard mix named Bear were married in honor of the Senior Dog Haven and Hospice, an organization dedicated to helping abandoned and displaced older dogs live out their golden years in loving homes.
This was the second-annual “celebration of second chances,” and the rescue group vows to continue conducting annual dog weddings to show the world how special senior dogs can be.
Of course, not all dog marriages are made in heaven. This clip from a 1956 film about championship Pekingese breeder Alexandra Williams takes the wedding cake for weirdest puptials we’ve ever seen. From the somewhat creepy narration to the stunned looks on the faces of the bride and groom (perhaps it was an arranged marriage), this ceremony is a creepy, campy delight.
You don’t have to be rich, famous, or even overly-eccentric to hold a dog wedding of your own. All you need are some homemade decorations, pet-friendly wedding favors (dog biscuits and canned food ought to do the trick), and a willing and ready pair of dogs.
There are resources online to help you plan the ceremony itself, including this template from professional officiant Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway.
Not every butt sniff leads to marriage, but if your dog is in puppy love, why not celebrate with a wedding ceremony? It’s a fun party in honor of your best friend, and a great photo op, to boot.
Top image via Petsadviser.com