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Dogs, God and Wedding Fairs

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

I went to my first wedding fair as an Interfaith Minister. Fresh from the simplicity of a wedding in a re-wilded venue, I guess it was initially a bit of a jolt to be back into a more traditional wedding scene. There were stalls offering to make your ‘big day’ wonderful in a range of luxurious ways– from beautiful hand-made stationery to resplendent Rolls-Royces from evocative harp music to fairy tale banquet settings, that use a stunning selection of cloths and drapes to transform the most basic dining room chair, into a seat at a fairytale feast. I half expected all of the above, and the photographers too, with their shots, one more stunning than the next. What caught me most by surprise was the company that had one of the prime slots at the fair, right beside the Wedding Car hire. They offered a service to collect, pamper, supervise and present the bride and/or groom’s dog for whatever part of the day they were required for, and then mind them until they were able to go back home. My initial reaction, to be honest, was ‘Mother of God, has it come to this?’. Yet, as someone who has had a dog in the family for last year, I get the desire some people could have to include them as part of their big day. And as someone who has started offering services to couples myself, I admire the ingenuity and chutzpah of the business owners. And their marketing techniques. The dog they had with them to advertise the service, did look very cute in his bridal halter if that’s your thing.

As someone there to facilitate God/faith/ spirituality being part of the wedding ceremony, I found myself envying their cuddly mutt. How do I get God to seem equally instantly winning, and where do I get the video footage to go with it? What cuddly prop could I use to reach those who are wondering how do we get a bit of God at our wedding, given we don’t want to go to a Church? Is there an authentic way to offer ceremonies that have something special about them, in midst of the glitz, glamour and pizzazz? Answers on a postcard please… (with or without cute dogs on front!)… or just pop your thoughts in the comments below....

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