Occasionally it comes up when I meet with a couple to plan their wedding ceremony: “We want to have our dog up front with us when we say our vows.” It’s a nice thought, although until I actually officiated at a service in which a golden retriever served as the best man, I would have thought it a little too risky. I feel the same way about having two year olds serve as flower girls or ring bearers. You just can’t count on them to follow through. I mean, it’s all well and good that Rover received straight A’s in doggie school. What happens, though, if during the exchange of rings, Rover spots a squirrel?
But there we were, at Veritas vineyard one glorious fall day in October—the guests sitting in the requisite white folding chairs, and yours truly standing under a flower and ribbon-laden pergola; the Blue Ridge mountains providing the backdrop. With square jawed seriousness, or so it seemed to me, Goldie led the groom down the center aisle.
Goldie sat quietly by his master’s side throughout the service—with nary a bark, pant, tail wag or drool. He had no speaking role, but that does not mean that he wasn’t a welcome addition to the proceedings. He may have provided the groom the emotional support he needed to say those weighty “I do’s.” And of course, the message was clear to everyone witnessing the vows. The bride was not just marrying the groom, but his dog was well —it was a package deal. I found out later, in fact, that Goldie even accompanied the couple on their honeymoon!
After the final charge to the couple, the new Mr. and Mrs. turned and walked back down the aisle—this time led by a less grave Goldie, who actually wagged his tail in rhythm to the recessional. Several guests reported that they witnessed Goldie giving high fives to the bride groom during the after-wedding picture taking! Looking now at those after-wedding photos, it is obvious that Goldie is grinning broadly.
Presently I am in conversation with a couple who wants their Boston Terrior to serve as ring bearer…..so it goes.
Gay Lee,Wedding Preacher for Hire