Bride in tears after groom surprises her with dogs at wedding ceremony

A groom managed to surprise his bride with an appearance by her dogs at their ceremony after the couple were told pets would not be allowed to attend.

When dog friendly wedding venues became fully booked or proved too expensive due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Gemma Hughes was initially heartbroken.

She was desperate for her Jack Russell and Pug crossbreed, Louie, along with her sister’s dog Breeze, a Shih Tzu and Pug crossbreed, to be part of the big day.

Left with no other choices, she booked her wedding at The Oriel Hotel in St. Asaph in north Wales, disappointed as the venue was not advertised to be dog friendly.

However, her groom Michael had other ideas.

Gemma said: “He asked our wedding planner if the dogs could make an appearance in the venue’s outdoor space in the beautiful gardens, and she agreed.

Gemma and Matthew Hughes with Gemma’s sister and dogs Louie and Breeze

“They arrived in their little ‘Best Dog’ and ‘Dog of Honour’ outfits after the ceremony while we were having our photos done.

“I cried when I saw them.

“It was the final missing piece to our amazing day and they were more than happy to pose for more pictures.”

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Co-founder of The Wedding Travel Company , Luke Nathan said: “Years ago the idea of having dogs as wedding guests, or part of the wedding party, would have been considered a little mad, but now it’s a not-so-strange phenomenon.

“In fact, some couples would rather have their pooches present over some of their extended family.”

Top tips for bringing your dog to a wedding

Veterinary specialist Dr. Joanna Woodnutt has offered advice to owners considering having dogs at their ceremony.

She said: “It’s best to use a lead, but a Kong or long-lasting chew may also be sensible.

“If you have any doubt that your dog might be stressed, escape, eat things they shouldn’t, snap at guests, or get under people’s feet and cause an accident, it’s best to keep them on the lead.”

Louie, left, and Breeze, right, in their 'Best Dog' and 'Dog of Honour' outfits

Louie, left, and Breeze, right, in their ‘Best Dog’ and ‘Dog of Honour’ outfits

“Some flowers commonly used in wedding bouquets are toxic to dogs.

“Ask your florist for a list of flowers so that you know what’s in your bouquet if you have to call the vet.

“Lilies are a big concern, even when the stamens have been removed, so it might be safest not to have these in your bouquet at all.

“You may also be able to work with your florist to create a pet-safe bouquet.”

She added it’s a good idea to have somewhere they can go and hide during the evening entertainment, which could be loud and overwhelming for dogs.

Also, be mindful of flash photography if your dog is prone to seizures.

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