Man’s best friend doesn’t usually come to mind when most people think about weddings. However, including pets in the big ceremony is becoming more common. Some couples are choosing to have their dog be a member of the wedding party, while others just want their canine companion present for photo ops. Author Katie Preston Toepfer documents this growing trend in her new book entitled Wedding Dogs: A Celebration of Holy Muttrimony. The book, set to be released on April 16, celebrates the human-animal bond on the big day.
Here’s our interview with Katie:
Who is Katie Preston Toepfer?
I am an animal-loving writer and photographer living in Sydney, Australia. I love being creative and when I’m not working on a project I enjoy spending time with my husband, our two dogs, and family and friends.
How did you get into your career as a photographer and writer?
I’ve always loved being creative. Ever since I was little I loved writing and I developed a passion for photography when I gained a scholarship to study analogue photography at the National Art School in Sydney, Australia.
Tell us about your first pet:
My parents already had Katie and Ben for a few years before I was born. Katie was a beautiful Dalmatian that had the best doggie smile I’ve ever seen, and Ben was a black Labrador with a kind, gentle spirit.
How did you become so passionate about animals?
Growing up in a family of animal lovers certainly had an influence. Apart from that, I’ve always had an affinity with animals and over the years have had many friends of the furry and feathered variety.
What made you decide to begin this project and how did it take shape?
I started simply with the idea. The concept came from looking through my parents wedding album and seeing their two dogs included in their wedding. And then I began doing research. The book started to take shape when I was able to source so many images of people with their dogs on their wedding day.
Why do you think the inclusion of pets in holy matrimony has become such a big trend?
Pets become our family members. It’s only natural that we want everyone we care about to be a part of such a special day in our lives, and that includes VIPs of the four-legged kind as well. As more people have included their animals, more wedding vendors have picked up on this, making it easier for couples to do so.
How long have you had your dogs, Violet and Mr. Darcy, and can you tell us about them? Were they included in your wedding?
We’ve had Violet for 7 years and Mr. Darcy for 6. They are two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels who are completely spoiled (but deservedly so). They constantly make us laugh with their shenanigans and love simply being with Clinton and myself (and having their tummies rubbed). While we were unable to have them in our wedding, I did make sure I had a bridal shoot done at my parents’ home (where I got ready) with our family dog Mango, a handsome Kelpie X.
Is there anything else you want to tell the people about your book?
The love within the pages of Wedding Dogs is incredible. You can’t help but smile the minute you pick it up. It’s filled with some very special moments; it’s a very special book.
You can purchase your copy of Wedding Dogs: A Celebration of Holy Muttrimony here, available April 16th, 2013.