Mojo and Jocomo leading the Pack, witnesses to Beautiful Dogs being included in Beautiful Weddings!

Vow-wow-wow is very pleased to introduce the newest addition to our roster of amazing Wedding Pro’s. Lois Heckman is a Celebrant, based in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennslyvania, and we very pleased to have her with us!  

 From Lois’s website:  

Becoming a celebrant has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I honor all philosophies, beliefs and traditions – secular, spiritual, religious and interfaith. I will create a wonderful and unique ceremony that respects and reflects your values, your style, and your life.”


1. My fiance and I can’t wait to have our wedding and include Sparky and Rocco. How can you help us? 

I will work with you to find the perfect fit for your pups! The most popular idea is having the dogs as ring bearers and/or flower-dogs, and I’ve done this successfully many times. But we might come up with other ideas based on your interests, ideas and personalities. Perhaps you’d like to give them a treat during the ceremony to show your marriage will not diminish your support and love of them, but only increase it! Maybe they have a trick that could be featured. The possibilities are endless! Let’s talk.

2. Tell us about your business. 

I have been a very active celebrant, and a graduate of the Celebrant Foundation, since 2005, and have officiated hundreds of unique weddings for today’s diverse couples here in the Pocono Mountains of PA. In 2010 my husband built me a gorgeous ceremony site on our large property in Saylorsburg, PA that we call Harmony Gardens. Since we love dogs there was never any doubt – it would of course be a dog-friendly wedding site.

3. How do you accommodate dogs and their owners?

You’re welcome to bring your dogs for your ceremony whether they are involved or not in the actual ceremony. We don’t offer any special accommodations, but our property is set back from any roads and is quite safe. Our own dogs are dog friendly, too!

4. Do you have a great dog/wedding story?

I loved the interracial couple who had one black and one white dog, had them dressed in contrasting tuxedos for their ceremony, and featured them so beautifully. They played up the black and white theme with love and good humor!  It was fun and a great photo op!

5. Tell us about YOUR dogs!

We have two English Springer Spaniels, Mojo and Jocomo. Mojo is an active guy, he’s so smart and tuned into everything. Jocomo would rather lay in a bed all day, he’s just a big old love dog. They are not only our best friends, but best friends to one another.

Great Picture of Mojo & Jocomo!!

Lois Heckman Celebrant

Saylorsburg, PA

in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains – 1 ½ hours from New York City and 1 ½ hours from Philadelphia, 45 minutes from Allentown and Scranton





P.S. Lois and her husband have created a beautiful, intimate outdoor ceremony site, Harmony Gardens, at their home. Check it out, this could be just perfect for you!  Read about this here:

Carolyn Scott Photography “Vow-wow-wow’s” your Wedding and your Pups, in brilliant fashion!

Vow-wow-wow is very pleased to present, the work of Raleigh, NC Photographer Carolyn Scott. Carolyn has a wonderful eye for capturing the spontaneity of the moment, in your Wedding, and with your Dog! Please click through and visit Carolyn’s Website and Blog, and see some truly exceptional photography!  Enjoy! It’s a Dog’s Life! – Gary


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1. “My fiance and I can’t wait to have our wedding and include Sparky and Rocco.  How can you help us?”

I’m a wedding and pet photographer full time, so we’ve got all your bases covered for a pet-inclusive wedding! I typically encourage couples to bring their dogs with them on engagement shoots, especially if the pups are involved in the wedding. This helps by not only keeping the couple relaxed, but it helps the photographer get to know the couple and build rapport with the dogs. By the time the wedding rolls around, everyone feels comfortable – including Sparky and Rocco. 🙂 I am a very plan-oriented person and help my couples develop a photography time line for their wedding day. If dogs are involved, we need to know who will have the dogs when, and when the dogs will be in what specific photograph. This keeps the stress off the couple and the focus on the wedding

2. Tell us about your business. 
Carolyn Scott Photography was founded in 2008 and went full time in the beginning of 2010. I’m Carolyn, the main photographer, and my husband Geoff handles our website, second shoots, and assists when necessary. We’re located in Raleigh, North Carolina but travel frequently (this year we’re headed to Texas, Chicago, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and coast-to-coast in NC for weddings!). We love what we do and really feel like we’ve found a niche for ourselves photographing fun, offbeat weddings. I’ve always loved photographing pets as much as weddings and have really made it a point recently to market myself towards the pet community. I’ve received an overwhelming response of support and love and am now booking a ton of pet portraits. Pets are just as important as any other family member, and the sessions always make me smile seeing those little spoiled dogs and cats!
3. How do you accommodate dogs and their owners?
The furry children of the couple are always welcome in the wedding and in all portrait sessions. Pets are part of the family and I treat them as such. I always hold pre-event and pre-session consultations to make sure that there is a plan for the dogs (sometimes the couple wants the dogs in all pictures, some only a few, so we need to find out where the dogs will be during the time spent without them). I also encourage clients to keep plenty of treats and the dogs’ favorite toys on hand to create a happy, relaxed atmosphere.   
4. Do you have a great dog/wedding story?
I’ve photographed a wedding where there were two young flower girls who walked the couple’s two dogs down the aisle. The flower girls were wearing angel wings, and so were the dogs. 🙂 It made everyone smile!
5. Tell us about YOUR dogs!
I’m going to go against the grain here and announce that I have two cats! 🙂 Although they’re kind of like dogs as they frequently chase their tails in a circle and drink out of the toilet. 😦 Their names are Buckles and Dolfy. They’re both rescues from a shelter.



Carolyn and Geoff

Raleigh, NC Area and Destination Weddings.
Phone: (919) 807-1763.




Daylight Savings Time at last! More sunlight and warmth to have your Dog at your Wedding Ceremony, your way !!

Reposted from
Pets At Weddings – Tips For Getting Your Dog, Cat or Even Horse Involved!

Date: July 14, 2006   Author: Emily

It’s all very well having butterflies or doves released at your wedding to symbolize the love, fidelity and union of your relationship, but is it really wise to include your own pets in your wedding day? Are you just asking for trouble by choosing to include your pet in such a momentous occasion?

The Popular Trend

Dogs in particular are becoming the new untraditional participants in wedding ceremonies. They are either being entrusted with roles such as ring bearers, bridesmaids, and groomsmen or are simply present during the ceremony to bear witness to their owner’s nuptials. This is probably because dogs are the most socially acceptable pet to be seen out and about with in public and also because they can be trained quite easily to perform at your wedding.

When Jane McBride walks down the aisle in Chicago this September she has handed the role of ring bearer to her Mufasa, an 85-pound Akita-shepherd mix. She has already chosen Mufasa’s wedding attire – a multicolored bow tie that will hold the wedding rings. Jane admitted to the Chicago Tribune that she would never consider leaving Mufasa at home on her wedding day.

One of the family!

According to  Mindy Weiss, a wedding planner based in Los Angeles, who has coordinated the happy occasion for numerous celebrities, says that “I find that about 30 percent of my weddings involve pets.” Many couples consider their pets to be part of their family or their best friends so it is only right that their pet should be given a starring role in their wedding day.

For their Californian wedding Myra and John Pugh had their 75-pound Akita-German shepherd mix dog Joy accompany a groomsman down the aisle sporting a collar of red roses and greenery. reports that Joy wagged her tail in approval as the couple made their wedding vows. Myra said “She is a huge part of our life. During the wedding, she didn’t bark once. I think she knew that this was serious stuff.” If you are an animal lover then including your pet in your wedding day is no different to inviting your family and friends.

Alice Moon-Fanelli, a certified applied animal behaviorist and assistant professor at Tufts University in North Grafton, Mass. says “Including pets is a statement of solidarity by the couple who mutually agree that the pet plays a major role in both of their lives.”

An increasing number of modern couples are treating their pets as children. Sheila Spitza, co-owner of Wet Nose Pet Spa in Geneva, Illinois says “Couples don’t have children, but they do have a dog, so it only makes sense that they would stand up in their wedding”.

According to Laura and Bob Mutsko who tied the knot at St. Bede’s Catholic Church in Mentor in 1999, had a traditional wedding ceremony but had their “only child” their 4 year old dog Murphy walk up the aisle with them and present their rings and sat amongst the congregation. “Several of the guests came just to see Murphy” Laura says.

Personally, I wanted to have photos taken with my dog on my wedding day and to spend some time with him on the morning of the wedding. This worked out perfectly and he looked very dapper in his tartan bow! Whilst everyone else rushed aroun d me in a mad panic on the morning of my wedding I chilled out in the sunshine outside with my dog – he totally kept me calm. It was the perfect way to start my wedding day!

You’re in good company!

Although it is not the norm for couples to include their dogs in their weddings, be assured that it is not just wacky dog lovers who are doing it. Celebrities are indulging in this new trend too!

♥ When Premiership footballer Ashley Cole and singer Cheryl Tweedy get married tomorrow at Highclere Castle in Berkshire their pet chihuahua Buster will be playing a part in their wedding. Cheryl’s Girls Aloud bridesmaids have bought Buster a wedding outfit with “Cheryl & Ashley” written on it in diamante.

♥ For her London wedding to Gavin Rossdale, singer Gwen Stefani was escorted down the aisle by her sheepdog Winston, who was decked out in a rose-covered collar and lead.

♥ Tori Spelling wanted her beloved pug Mimi Larue to look her best as she served as flower girl and ring bearer at Tori’s wedding, so she hired a special fashion designer to create her wedding outfit.

♥ Comedian and Hollywood star Adam Sandler had his dogs Matzoball (pulled down the aisle in a wagon) and Meatball at his Malibu wedding. Meatball was his “best dog” and was dressed in a tux with a yarmulke on his head.

Advantages of having your pet participate in your wedding day:

♥ I think it’s a lovely way to personalize your wedding day and to bring a smile to everyone’s faces. You don’t have to dress your pet in a tuxedo to raise a smile from your guests – the novelty of a pet being present at your wedding will be enough to make them smile.

♥  It makes your wedding less of a formal occasion and can lighten up the mood which is always a good thing. Weddings are not supposed to be somber affairs!

♥ If you do not have nieces, nephews or little ones to act as flower girls or page boys then a pet is a perfect alternative! In the same way they love to see a cute flower girl or page boy walking up the aisle, on the whole wedding guests do enjoy seeing a dog walk down the aisle – it brings a fun element to the wedding.

Get permission!

♥ The first thing to do if you plan to include your dog in your wedding party is to check with the officiant. Make it clear to them what your dog’s role in the wedding will be. Ensure that they are comfortable with this idea.

♥ You should also check with your ceremony and/or reception venue whether dogs are allowed. This is really important and you should not leave something like this to chance on the day – refusal to allow your dog entry to the venue because you have not received permission prior to the wedding would cause unnecessary upset on your special day. Ask in advance so that you can either plan to include your dog in the wedding or make alternative arrangements for his care on your wedding day.

Are they up to the job?

You must ask yourself if your dog is well-behaved enough to participate in your wedding. Be honest with yourself. Just as a cute dog will always be remembered on your wedding day, so too will a naughty unruly dog. You don’t want your wedding day to be spoiled by a ‘doggie disaster!’

Here are some points to consider:

♥ First and foremost think of your dog’s comfort. Will he be comfortable attending your wedding? Will he have to travel a long distance to get there? If the answer is he would be more comfortable at home, and if this is an option, then you should do what is best for your dog.

♥ You should assess how your dog reacts to large crowds and to noisy situations. Does it bother your dog? Do you think he would rather not be there? You know your dog so use your own judgment on this one.

♥ Does your dog have unpredictable behavior? Of course, like children, you cannot predict exactly how they are going to behave on the day of the wedding but if you have any doubts that the dog might get over-excited or aggressive it is best not to include them in your wedding ceremony.

♥ Is your dog well-trained? What is his obedience level? Does he respond to commands? A dog that has yet to master simple commands such as “sit” and “stay” might not be suitable to be included in your wedding. This is very important if you intend on giving them a role in the wedding where they are expected to follow orders (e.g. walk down aisle and wait patiently whilst you untie the rings from around his neck). Unless you are absolutely certain that your pet can be counted on to behave during your wedding ceremony then it might be better to have them participate in the wedding photos and leave it at that.

Wedding roles for your pet:

You should choose a role for your pet in your wedding which is appropriate to their temperament and behavior. A dog who is highly energetic will need to be kept on a leash throughout the wedding ceremony whereas a lapdog might be quite happy to be held by one of the wedding attendants/guests during the ceremony.

Here are some ideas for roles in your wedding for your pet:

♥ The popular choice is to have your dog bring the rings down the aisle on a satin pillow or in a small bag tied to his collar. have a really cute ring pillow which attaches to the collar with 2 Velcro fasteners. The pillow shown here is suitable for medium and large breed dogs but there are lots of smaller pillows available on the dog clothing stores listed below or on eBay. You could even make a pillow yourself.

♥ If your dog is really well trained he could carry the rings down the aisle in a pouch using his mouth – this is guaranteed to get gasps of delight from your wedding guests!

♥ How about having your pet accompany you to the altar. This might be a popular choice if the alternative for you or your partner is walking down the aisle alone.

♥ You could have your dog act as flower dog and carry flowers in his mouth or a basket of flowers if at all possible. Do make sure beforehand that they are not toxic to your dog and will not present a choking hazard to him.

♥ It is becoming popular nowadays for dogs to stand as maid-of-honor and best man. Have one of the other wedding attendants walk your dog down the aisle so that they can stand proudly next to you during the ceremony.

♥ Rather than carring a bouquet of flowers you could carry your dog (if he is small enough) down the aisle. Make sure that someone is willing to hold your dog during the ceremony though – you can’t exchange rings holding your pup!

♥ If your venue does not allow your pet to participate in your wedding then why not just have them included in your wedding photos. That is what I did as our wedding venue did not allow dogs. I had the best of both worlds as my dog got to have some fun meeting and greeting all the wedding guests in the gardens of the venue whilst the photos were being taken and then my bridesmaid’s mother kindly collected him and took care of him for the rest of the day, so I was able to relax knowing that he was being well taken care of!

♥ Do you own a pet which is small and quite patient? Would it be willing to sit in the arms of one of your wedding guests? If you think it would be safer and the pet would be more comfortable then keep them secured in their carrier during the ceremony.

♥ As mentioned, dogs are the traditional choice of pets at weddings but if you have a smaller, less social pets such as a hamster, lizard, guinea pig or even snake which you desperately want to bear witness to your nuptials perhaps you could place its cage nearby as you exchange vows or have one of the (willing) wedding guests hold it during the ceremony!

Tips for getting the best out of your pet on your wedding day:

♥ If it is paramount to you that your dog plays a key role in your wedding then, for his comfort, perhaps you could choose a dog-friendly venue for the ceremony and/or reception. The ideal venue would be outdoor such as a park, arboretum, beach or somebody’s garden in their backyard!

♥ A lot of dogs can’t handle the heat so if it is a hot day either reconsider having your dog in your wedding party or ensure that they are able to sit in the shade or (even better) an air-conditioned room during the ceremony or reception until the sun has gone down. Do make sure that your dog has access to fresh water if it is a hot day.♥

♥ Sometimes it is best to draft in professional help to look after your dog. After all which member of your bridal party is going to want to scoop your dog’s mess of the lawn during your wedding reception! Delegating the pet-handling task to a professional will alleviate unnecessary stress on you, your partner and your wedding guests. You should definitely consider hiring a pet coordinator or pet-sitter who will be responsible for dressing your dog on the morning of the wedding, transporting him to and from the reception, ensuring he gets fed, watered and takes toilet breaks and deals with any antisocial doggie behavior. The hire cost depends on how long you need the dog handler for.

♥ If possible make sure your dog is familiar with the ceremony and reception spaces so that they know how to sit comfortably there. It is a good idea to include your dog in the rehearsal so that your dog can get to know strangers he will encounter during the wedding as well as his new surroundings. This is also a great way of checking out, from your dog’s point of view, what possible hazards there could be for your dog on the wedding day, including toxic plants, swimming pools or other animals which might distract him during the wedding ceremony.

♥ If you intend on having your dog sit in the receiving line then practice beforehand so that he gets used this. The earlier you start this sort of training the better.

♥ If you are getting married out of town remember to make sure that you book accommodation for your dog at a pet-welcoming hotel.

♥ It is important that whoever is handling your dog on the day of the wedding (whether it is a professional or one of your bridal party) is aware of the timings of key events in the wedding ceremony and reception. They need to have time to walk your dog and make sure that he is well exercised and has used up some of his energy so that he can walk calmly down the aisle or sit patiently during the ceremony.

♥ Avoid giving your dog too much food or water immediately prior to and during the ceremony. This will help to prevent unwanted toileting accidents!

♥ It is important to ensure that whoever is walking the dog down the aisle is strong enough to control the dog. The last thing you want is your bridesmaid being dragged down the aisle on the end of a dog leash Indiana Jones-style!

♥ Make sure that your dog is not permitted to run around unsupervised, especially if there are children present at your wedding that your dog is unused to. Your dog might behave like an angel usually but if he is provoked by a child wielding a stick up his bottom you don’t know how he might react!

♥ Have a plan in place that if your dog becomes tired or antisocial he can be discreetly taken away from the wedding ceremony or reception and cared for – this is a good reason to employ a professional dog-sitter as your attendance is not going to want to miss out on the wedding because of your dog!

♥ You must be flexible if you are including your dog in your wedding ceremony. Anything can happen and you have to be prepared for that, to have measures put in place to deal with dog emergencies and be able to laugh it off!

♥ Never cause your dog any unnecessary stress. If you feel it is necessary bring their cage with them so that they can be locked up safely and comfortably if your wedding proves to be a bit too much for them.

♥ If you have a totally unpredictable dog but you really want them to participate in your wedding, have a parent or friend lead to the alter to deliver your wedding rings during the ceremony and then they can lead the dog away immediately before he has a chance to do anything mischievous!

Wedding attire for your pet:

To help your dog look the part for your wedding, outfit them for the occasion. Some ideas for doggie wedding attire are:

♥ A simple bow tie, bandana or ribbon around your pet’s neck to match the color theme of your wedding (my dog wore a tartan ribbon for my wedding photos – very simple but incredibly cute!).

♥ A new collar and leash that match your wedding colors.

♥ A dog tuxedo, formal dress or t-shirt with printed words on it. According to the owner of a dog wedding apparel store the bridesmaid’s gowns and ring-bearer tuxes are increasingly the best-selling items.

Personally I think that just the fact that your pet is attending your wedding will be cute enough for your guests so there is really nor a great need to dress them up in formal wedding attire. It is you decision though – do what you think is best for you and your beloved pet!

Unless you are absolutely certain that your pet can be counted on to behave during your wedding then it might be better to have them participate in the wedding photos and leave it at that.

Of course some dogs at weddings probably turn out to be better behaved than the human wedding guests! My opinion is that if your pet is important to you and your fiancé,  and you don’t mind sharing your spotlight with a four legged friend, then embrace the new trend and include them in your wedding – it is your special day and you don’t want to have any regrets!

Woof! How to include your dog in your Wedding Ceremony!

Posted by Kelly from  From Tucson Bride and Groom ….

Originally posted Feb. 3, 2011

Many topics divide people when it comes to weddings…assigned or open seating, buffet or plated dinner, open or cash bar, in a place of worship or outside, you get the idea, but one topic that really seems to get under people’s skin is dogs at weddings.

Some think a wedding is no place for an animal (unless it’s the best man dancing up a storm) and some feel that dogs are family members who shouldn’t have to miss out on the fun.

Now that I have dogs and see how unruly they can be, I personally would not have dogs at my wedding, but only because they are just another piece of the wedding puzzle that needs to be coordinated. (Editor’s Note: Kelly’s objection, while certainly understandable, is exactly why we started Vow-wow-wow – to provide the information and Wedding Pro’s to make inviting Sparky a walk in the pun intended) 

Regardless, many couples are increasingly incorporating their furry babies into their special day, and that’s OK (hear my group therapy style acceptance?).

Dog lover and animal expert Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow and Home Buddies by Camp Bow Wow, offers some insight for those of you planning to include your pooches on your wedding day. Camp Bow Wow® is a premier doggy daycare and overnight camp that has grown to include over 100 Camps across North America so I am thinking she knows her stuff!

 Heidi weighs the pros and cons: The image of Fido walking down the aisle as a ring bearer is a memorable occasion for pet lovers. Before proceeding, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of having your pet at your wedding. Unfortunately, very few religious and indoor venues will allow dogs on location other than service animals. If you are open to an outdoor wedding, including your pet is more realistic.

Additionally, it is important to consider your pet’s personality. If you have a free-spirited animal, he may not abide to walk down the aisle on his own. Also, be cautious of guests with pet allergies; warn them in advance that your dog will be attending. However, the benefits are endless. Since proud pet owners consider their dog as part of the family, Fido’s attendance will add a special touch to your day.

How to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding Ceremony:

1. Training Day: Weeks, then days, before the wedding, take your pup to the location so that he is well acquainted with the area. Have him practice walking down the aisle and reward him with a treat.

 2. A Doggy Makeover: A fresh bath and a trip to the groomer is necessary the day before the wedding.

3. Dress Up Your Pup: Everyone in your wedding party will be dressed up and so should Fido! Consider buying a dog collar and leash that matches your bridesmaid dresses or a cute little bowtie to go with the groomsmen. This will make your wedding party more uniform.

4. Energizer Puppy: To avoid having an overly hyper dog at the wedding, take them to Camp Bow Wow to run, play and gets lots of energy out the days leading up to the wedding, or take your pet for a long walk or run before the ceremony, or hire Home Buddies by Camp BowWow to walk the dog and care for them before and after the wedding so you don’t have to stress about it.

5. Stage Fright: If your pet is nervous around strangers, limit his role and have him leave after the ceremony. If you have a friendly dog, then let him stay for the reception.

 6. Doggy Chaperone: Don’t leave your pet unattended. Designate someone as the dog’s sitter to make sure that he is taken out for bathroom breaks, or hire Home Buddies by Camp Bow Wow to take the responsibility on.

from Elle's Barkery

7. Doggy Buffet: Make sure your pet doesn’t sample human food and have dog food handy at the reception to ensure that he is well fed. Don’t forgot to have a bowl with fresh water!

8. Let Them Eat Cake: Since the wedding cake is strictly off limits, consider investing in a special cake from a dog bakery.

Brides, if you are going to include your dog in your wedding, just follow Heidi’s advice… for everyone’s sake!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

Puppy love: More pets partake in even formal Weddings!

reprinted from:

    By Sharon L. Peters   Special for USA TODAY Updated 6/26/2009

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 ($70 and up) and couture dresses ($170 to $500).

The shop has outfitted canines for scores of  weddings in the last couple of years. Not all have been done up in full-dress regalia; some have merely donned accessories for a little special-day
elegance. Bojorquez has sold dog-besotted soon-to-weds silk ties and bow ties for their four-legged pals, satin bandanas, crystal leads and collars, and, in one case, a gold harness and leash to match the bride’s gold dress.

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.

Increased numbers not withstanding, not everyone is completely enchanted with the notion of animals in the aisles or at the altar. Many locales prohibit them; many families and wedding planners discourage their participation.

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.”

Her concerns range from potty issues to a dog acting up because it’s not used to being in a room with 300 people to the fact that “the bride and the room and others in the wedding party have
enough to tend to that day.” Also, “if a dog isn’t used to wearing a top hat, there may be issues.”

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.”

He’s a loved one, too

“The family was a little skeptical,” Kaycee English says with a chuckle about the moment last year
when she announced that Bowser, the Australian shepherd pup she and John English had fallen for on, would be part of her fancy wedding. “Bowser had instantly become a family member.” They adopted him from Purrs and Pups Animal Rescue in Riverdale, N.J., weeks before their wedding day.

“The people I loved would be there, and there was no way Bowser wouldn’t be,” says English, of Freehold, N.J., who works for the Make-A-Wish  Foundation. So she bought Bowser a canine ring-bearer outfit, and he pulled off his wedding-day role without incident (dissolving a worried dad’s concern about crazy-dog potential and lost rings).

No pets? ‘Unimaginable’

Los Gatos, Calif., psychotherapist Beth Anstandig was something of a trendsetter when, five years ago, she informed her stunned parents that her beloved border collies, Levi, 11, and blue-eyed Frank, 9, would be attending her very fancy, very formal wedding.

The dogs had joined her on road trips, seen her through grad school, accompanied her to classes
when she was a teacher and “helped me grow up,” she says. It would have been “unimaginable” to have such an important day without them.

Her fiancé, Eric Killough, had grown to love the dogs, too. He joked that he intended to have an
“adoption ceremony” to formalize his relationship with them.

On the wedding day, a groomsman walked Levi and Frank down the aisle to the altar, and there they remained quietly throughout the vows. “They weren’t there because it was cute to have them there,” Anstandig says. “They were there because they belonged there. It would have felt incomplete without them.”

Speak now or forever hold your pooch

Jessica Sempek of Skokie, Ill., encountered some “naysayers who thought it was strange” when the topic of Emmie and Lady Bug being part of the ceremony arose during the planning of her elegant wedding to Scott Stewart last summer. But those voices were quickly silenced.

“We have two of the most amazing girls,” Sempek says. The couple adopted the two mixed-breed Kentucky-born rescues months apart from Heavenly Hearts Rescue of Southeastern Wisconsin.

When the couple — she works for the American Medical Association, he’s a hospice nurse —
exchanged vows, the two dogs were at the altar.  They were walked down the aisle on rhinestone leashes by the groom’s nephew.

Jason Crader Photography shares a story about a very special Wedding, of course with dogs too!

Vow-wow-wow is very pleased to present Jason Crader Photography from Little Rock, Arkansas. Our dog friendly colleague, Lisa Shoemake, an Arkansas Wedding Officiant, let us know about Jason, who photographed Misty and David’s Wedding.

Please take a few moments to read Jason’s post about this special Wedding. We think you will agree that THIS is what Weddings are all about, to be inclusive of all those you love and want to share your special day with. Misty and David went to extreme lengths to give that gift to their loved ones, and to themselves. We want to congratulate Misty and David, and wish them nothing but happiness in their life together.

Thank you for sharing Jason’s photography, and by extension, this emotional story with us, Lisa! We are happy to share Jason’s story of that special day with you. – Gary, Vow-wow-wow

From Jason Crader:

Last Sunday, I had the privilege of photographing Misty & David’s wedding at the Old Gin in Conway, AR. This is a very special couple who live in New York. Their original plans were to be married later this year in Puerto Rico where David’s family resides, but those plans had to change. Misty’s father, who lives in Arkansas, recently had a stroke which left him hospitalized. Misty and David decided to move the date up and bring the wedding to her father who cannot travel.

As many of you know, last Sunday was when Arkansas was hit by a big snow storm. Misty’s brothers had made arrangements to check their father out of the Little Rock hospital that he was in, so he could attend the ceremony. The only problem was that the doctors at the hospital didn’t want to release him due to the weather and his condition.

Misty’s family was at the hospital early Sunday morning to begin the procedures for checking him out. They were to have a nurse travel with them to the Old Gin in Conway to help make sure he was OK for the day. As they were waiting for the nurse to arrive, the snow began to fall. It snowed and snowed and snowed and the nurse was unable to make it to the hospital. Misty’s family was not going to let their father miss the ceremony and they were able to finally check him out of the hospital but then they had the snow to deal with.

The snow wasn’t a problem but the traffic between Little Rock and Conway was. The ceremony was originally to start at 3PM. Misty and David didn’t get married until after 7PM. Misty’s family got stuck on the interstate for close to 4 hours. They persevered though and made it.

It was the most emotional event I’ve ever witnessed at a wedding to see Misty’s father’s face and reaction when he saw her after having to wait all day to make it to her wedding. The stroke left her father wheelchair bound and mute but hopefully you’ll be able to tell by the images below how happy he was to see his daughter and soon to be son-in-law.

This was a very special wedding. If this is any indication of how great the 2011 wedding season is going to be for me then I am in for a wonderful ride this year. I was so honored to be part of this. Just seeing her dad’s reaction was worth all the trials that everyone had to endure that day. This is why I love being a wedding photographer. At the end of the night, her father motioned for me to come to him and he took my hand and pressed his face next to it to let me know how thankful he was. It was a great night that I will never forget.

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All of the vendors were AMAZING at this wedding. They all stayed well past their scheduled times to make sure Misty and David’s day was special and none of them complained. Many of them were in tears when Misty’s father finally entered the building.

  • Lisa Shoemake, Officiant  
  • Robinwood Bed and Breakfast – The couple and their families stayed at the Robinwood B&B in Little Rock, AR. This is where they also got ready for the wedding. Karen Ford, the innkeeper, was wonderful the whole time I was there. The couple had nothing but wondeful things to say about their stay at this bed and breakfast. Karen informed me that they also are able to accomodate smaller weddings inside the B&B. I was very impressed by everything from the interior decorations to the hospitatlity of Karen and Miriam.
  • Katy Wade of Salon Avatar in Little Rock did Misty’s hair and makeup. She was wonderful and very professional. She also made a house call on a Sunday which many stylists don’t do.
  • The Old Gin in Conway, was the venue site of the ceremony and reception. The staff onsite were all very helpful and understanding. It’s a nice small space for a wedding & reception.
  • Little Rock Entertainment Agency were the DJ’s for the event. I’ve worked with them in the past and they did another amazing job!

 Contact Us

Jason Crader Photography

Little Rock, Arkansas

Phone: 501.940.1370




Celia Milton to officiate at a “A Valentines Wedding”, along with the Stars of the new Reality Show “Doggie Moms”!

Please help support a very worthy ‘Canine Cause’. Celia will be there to marry ‘Lady B & Giorgio’ on February 12th, in a ceremony that is sure to bring howls (from all the other dogs, and maybe a few Doggie Moms). Please click on the link for Canine Celebrations to donate or for more information, and please come join us for a special afternoon in support of Dogs.

Thanks so much …..

Celia, Michael, Gary, Sophie, and Sparky – Vow-wow-wow

It would only make sense that the stars of the new much anticipated reality show Doggie Moms would be attending Canine Celebrations Valentines Day Wedding between Lady B & Giorgio!Doggie Moms follows a group of New York City women whose lives revolve entirely around their dogs – doggie dates, birthday parties, weddings, meet-ups, pageants, fashion shows, costume contests, fundraisers, you name it. These doggie moms are tenacious about ensuring the best for their babies, pinning all of their hopes and dreams on their four-legged, furry “children” Please join all of us for an afternoon that is sure to keep your tails wagging!!!

God willing there won’t be any Fur a flying!!

Feb 12, 2011



1280 Lexington Avenue, NY NY 10028

Ceremony at 2PM performed by Celia Milton

Followed by reception

Wedding Cake & treats for both 2 & 4 legged guests

MC Mike hosting the Post Wedding Raffle Party!

All proceeds from raffles purchased will be donated to Mighty Mutts & Ollie’s Place

Visit Canine Celebration for more info

*Canine Celebration is partnering with NYC Media, the official television, radio and online network of the City of New York for many reasons but the most important ones to me are that the series will also serve as a resource for pet owners in the City, sharing details about the guidelines behind licenses, transporting dogs, microchipping, spaying and neutering and more. Episodes will examine the importance of grooming and nutrition, adopting shelter pets, pet first aid, how to volunteer to help animals and more. The moms have a lot of heart too, working tirelessly to give back to the community, raising money for local animal shelters and other charities. Some have even prepared their pets to be therapy dogs who comfort the sick and elderly.

“No Limits” to including your dog on your Wedding Day, as you share your joy with ALL your loved ones!

“I had the absolute pleasure of officiating at Gabriela and Justin’s  New Jersey wedding (No Limits Events LLC), and it is so exciting for me to watch their business bloom and thrive!  They offer total event coordination in the New Jersey and New York area, and I can tell you that their attention to detail is unmatched….should you need more proof, ask them about the “thousand cranes” wedding.”
– Celia Milton 
1. My fiance and I can’t wait to have our wedding and include “Sparky and Rocco”.  How can you help  us?

Oh gosh, there are so many fun and creative possibilities when it comes to incorporating your dog(s)! For many people, their pets are a part of their family…and we totally get that.  Just like how you’d want to involve your sister, brother or best friend in your wedding/commitment ceremony, those wanting to have their dog(s) involved is no different.  When we meet, we can talk about how your pups can be involved as little or as much as you’d like them to be!  Here’s just some of our ideas:

  • As long as they aren’t too fidgety or anxious, Sparky and Rocco can act as a “flower girl” and/or “ring bearer” with a cute dog outfit/costume attached to one and a pillow gently strapped to the other. 
  • If they aren’t a fan of doggy attire, they can simply be a part of your bridal party with a little collar bow tie or floral accessory clipped to their hair! 
  • Another way they can take part in your celebration is to be at the very end of your receiving line, should you choose to have one!
  • Sparky and Rocco can even just lay at your officiant’s feet and look simply adorable throughout your nuptials, too.   
2. Tell us about your business.

We’re a wedding/special event planning and coordinating firm based out of North Jersey. Our motto: “No limits. Just high standards.” should speak for itself — so of course we would happily incorporate dogs into a wedding, birthday or other special event!  As a wedding and special event company, we’re committed to making you happy and stress-free by providing outstanding, luxurious, personal planning and advising services for weddings and various social events.

What makes us unique is that you actually get more than just a wedding/special event planner, coordinator and staff.  Our clients (and yes, even your pups) really receive a high-class personal and luxurious experience.  We love the relationships we build with our clients, and it doesn’t just stop at your event. We’re a fresh firm, offering both traditional and modern takes on wedding/special event planning. Whatever it is, we’ll do our best to make it happen.  You and your pups will have the best team supporting you all!

3. How do you accommodate dogs and their owners?

Well first of all, we LOVE dogs so we do our absolute best to accommodate them and their engaged owners as much as possible right from the very beginning.  Our complimentary consultation (and even future client meetings) can take place at the comfort of their own home or their local dog park!  It’s really wherever you and your dogs are most comfortable.

We also provide a bunch of perks and benefits when working with us that both you and your pups can take advantage of.  For example, here’s a taste of what we offer:  

  • Clients receive a customized website where you can keep track of all your planning/vendor docs, inspiration, finances and more.  We can customize this to include engagement pictures or any special pictures of you and your pup(s)!
  • While our human clients are really the focus of our Lifetime VIP circle, we never forget about your pups!  Your pooch will also receive a gift at the wedding along with some extra special belly rubs and scratches behind the ears!  There will also be annual check ins (letters, gifts, discounts, invitations to exclusive events, etc) that may be available to you and your dogs, too!
  • On the day of your wedding, we may designate one team member to provide extra special and close attention to your pups to ensure they’re having a fun and relaxing day too
  • While you and your other half take part in your cake cutting ceremony, your pups will enjoy a little treat for themselves! (Great photo opportunity) 
4. Do you have any tips/suggestions for couples seeking to incorporate their pups?
We’d first recommend (if you haven’t done so already) you seek dog-friendly venues. This should be one of the first things to take care of to ensure everything else can follow smoothly. There are some real cute places that extend their hospitality to our four-legged family members and they do it oh, so lovingly. Second, while you’re considering other vendors for your wedding, be sure to let them know that you have dogs in case of allergies, fear, etc.  Third, don’t force your pups into anything they wouldn’t feel comfortable with. Even though the idea might be super adorable to have Jojo in a faux tux and bowtie, if he isn’t having it when he’s trying it on, chances are he’s not having it the day of your wedding. Go with what feels right so it’s fun and perfect for everyone! 


Gabriela and Justin
All Rights Reserved. 2010
Mailing Address:
 phone: 1 (800) 670-3671
PO Box 4124
South Hackensack, NJ 07606

 fax:      1 (800) 870-1093


From Vow-wow-wow – To Gabriela and Justin of No Limits Events

Thank you so much!  

Celia, Michael, Gary, Sophie and Sparky


Happy New Year from Vow-wow-wow!

2011 looks to be an exciting year for all of us ‘rescue dogs’ at Vow-wow-wow. We thought we would take this opportunity to wish you, and all of your loved ones, a very happy New Year.

If this is the year that you are going to get married, Congratulations! (  Mazel Tov! (Hebrew)  ¡Enhorabuena! (Spanish)  Onnittelut! (Finnish)  Congratulazioni! (Italian)  Félicitations! (French) and Pongezi! (Swahili).

Pink Poodle courtesy of Deeva Beauty

We invite you come spend some time with us and learn how to include your best friend (canine variety) in your Wedding Ceremony, in your Wedding Celebration, or both. We plan on having all sorts of extremely valuable information about Dogs & Weddings!

Along the way, we hope to introduce you to some of the finest vendors in the Wedding Business – Dog Friendly Wedding Venues, Dog Friendly Destination Venues, and Photographers, Florists, Make Up Artists, Dog Groomers, Dog Trainers, Dog Handlers, and Veterinarians – All Dog Friendly! Of course!


We have some very exciting plans for this next year, and when the time is right, we promise you that you will be the first to know about them!


Featured image

Michael is on the right, with Sophie!

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of our overall blog health ..we’re alive and kicking! !!

Healthy blog!


The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on FIRE!

Crunchy numbers

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2010. That’s about 3 full 747s.

Is this the cutest puppy yet? I so want one!

In 2010, there were 11 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 318 pictures uploaded, taking up a total

of 59mb. That’s about 6 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was December 2nd with 206 views. The most popular post that day was About Us.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for, vow wow wow, vowwowwow,, and vowwowwow wordpress.

Attractions in 2010


These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


About Us September 2010
1 comment


A ‘Tail’ of Romance: Your Dog, Your Wedding, Your Way! December 2010



September 2010



Our Vendors September 2010


Slideshow November 2010


Thank you for helping to launch Vow-wow-wow in 2010, just wait to see what we have in store for you in our dog house for 2011!

Please come join us in making Vow-wow-wow the premier online destination for all things Dogs & Weddings! Arf!






A New Boston Tea Party? Nah, just a Great Dog-Friendly Wedding Venue in Boston!

From  Celia Milton:

Every wedding party needs a venue, and if you’re going to invite “Spot or Princess”, you need a venue that will welcome your dogs as warmly as it welcomes your guests.  

The Hilton Boston Logan couldn’t be a better choice.  A dog lover herself, Senior Catering Manager Beth Rolfe (which sounds remarkably like “woof”, doesn’t it!) makes sure that the four- legged honored guests are as pampered as everyone else.   And the obvious bonus is that in addition to being a gracious party site, your out of town guests will have the convenience of simply walking downstairs to the celebration (and bringing their own dogs if they wish!).

1. Tell us about your business

I am the Senior Catering Sales Manager to the social market (weddings!) at the Hilton Boston Logan.

 2. How do you accommodate dogs and their owners?

We are a Pet-Friendly Venue! We provide dog treats at check in, dog beds & water bowls, and have a walking trail on the property.


3. Do you have a great dog/wedding story?  My dogs were in my own wedding!  (See picture right)  They were also the inspiration for our wine bottle labels. 

Our placecards were dog shaped people  cookies.  I also provided labeled milk bones for the dog of every guest.



 4.  Tell us about YOUR dogs! 

I have two golden retriever mixes,  Pumpkin Pie and Cannoli.  I also work  with the Golden Retriever Rescue Lifeline of Maine and foster dogs until they go to their forever homes.

Beth Rolfe * Senior Catering Sales Manager

phone: 617-568-6716

Hilton Boston Logan | One Hotel Drive, Boston, MA 02128

617 568 6700 hotel | 617 568 6856 fax

Blogs I Follow

Puppies Behind Bars!

Please click to visit PBB and donate!


"The Straight Poop about including your Dog in your Wedding!"

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