For a dog loving officiant like me, Saturday was a happy day indeed! The day was book-ended by two weddings…. both featuring man’s (and woman’s) best friend!
My morning ceremony was a causal affair in Central Park. Sammy the Pomerania was clearly the center of attention. The beloved doggy of the groom is a bit of a celebrity around town. In fact his Facebook page—“Everybody Loves Sammy”—boasts an impressive 43,000 followers. When you check it out, you will see that Sammy is not only an unbelievably adorable dog, but he is willing to travel the Big Apple being happily dressed up and posed by his human Scott Smith. In fact, it was Sammy who actually brought the bride and groom together. For anyone who has had a dog, you know that perfect strangers will talk over their dogs like long lost friends. And so it was for Scott and his Puerto Rican beauty Vanessa. So Sammy invited all of his friends to Central Park for an informal ceremony. He was dressed to the nines with a perfect bow tie in place! So popular is Sammy that his adoring fans lined up before the ceremony to have their picture taken with a dog who really does smile.
The ceremony of Lauren and James could not have been more different. Yet to my surprise, the beloved pet of the bride and groom stood with us as we held the ceremony! With 200 or more guests and a bridal party well exceeding 20 people, this very sophisticated affair featured Killian, the very cute French bulldog, doing cute tricks during the ceremony. I was never so happy to NOT be the center of attention. Killian not only looked cool, with a bow-tie and bib matching the purple dresses of the bridesmaids, but he was an integral part of the bride and groom’s ceremony, having delivered the bride’s engagement ring during the proposal of marriage a couple of February’s ago.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with many devoted dog lovers, a few of whom included their pooches in the wedding. I do hope these weddings signal a trend in this direction. In preparing my ceremony for the morning event, I called upon my esteemed Seattle colleague Annemarie Juhlian for some script writing advice. There is no more superb celebrant or lover of dogs than Anne Marie. In fact, She and her husband routinely save pups from kill shelters. I knew if anyone would have a word of wisdom about such a service, it would be Annemarie. Never to disappoint, she turned me on to the poem below….which shows how love really is like a dog! Enjoy.
Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog by Taylor Mali
First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time?
No! No! Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you’re all wound up and can’t move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.