24 June 2009

Puppy Love!

Wedding attendants are going to the dogs. Pet-loving couples are increasingly including their dogs (and other pets, to a much lesser degree) in the wedding parties of some very formal weddings — decking them out in silk and satin and including them in the receiving line, on the program and in the portraits.

"Many people think of their pets as family members, and they wouldn't think of having a special day like this without that member," says Celina Bojorquez, co-owner of Beverly Hills Mutt Club, purveyor of upscale accessories like doggie tuxedos & couture dresses.

Though pets have long been part of casual weddings in meadows, on mountaintops and at the seashore, their participation in chichi affairs at the most ornate churches and refined locales is a more recent phenomenon.

Lynda Barness of I Do Wedding Consulting in Philadelphia always warns couples of the potential perils — "animals are animals, and they can do animal things," she says — and so far all her clients have concluded that including pets in the wedding party isn't necessary. "But as part of the portraits, that's just fine."

Beth Anstandig of Los Gatos, Calif., acknowledges there may be matters to work out but says having her own two border collies involved made her wedding day even more special. "The guests loved it," she says. And she and her husband cherish the photos featuring the dogs — especially because both have since died.

"We are so happy to be able to look back and remember them as they were on that day."

To read the full story, USAtoday.com