Besides possibly the rings, the only truly important thing shining bright and golden for their parent’s wedding day was Shae and Cooper.
These two beautiful retrievers brought smiles to everyone’s face as we explored the grounds of The Sirata Beach Resort.
Before it was time for the ceremony, Shae and Cooper stopped in to visit with, and say hello to mom and dad. They took this opportunity to help calm any anxiety or nerves of the bride and groom, and gave them both all the love.
After a couple of potty breaks and greeting some hotel patrons, it was time for the first look in the courtyard. Almost unable to contain all their excitement, the two gushed as they sat next to Liz and Dave to pose for some pictures.
They took their roles as Best Dog & Dog Of Honor very seriously!
Before long, all the wedding guests were in their seats and ready for the nuptials to begin! The ocean danced lightly in the background, and it wasn’t long before dad made his way down with both Shae and Cooper by his side. Of course they couldn’t help but sneak in some sniffs and kisses for the friends and family members they passed on their way to the altar. They watched in eagerness as their parents became official, and were happy to accept wedding gifts in the form of pets and scratches soon thereafter.
After a long day, the goldens were delighted to get back for dinner and a nap while their family danced the night away. It’s a ruff job having such a crucial part on such a special occasion! Especially when it’s for the ones you love unconditionally! We were so glad we could help Shae and Cooper join in on the fun and bring so much light and laughter to Liz and Dave’s wedding day!
We asked Shea & Cooper’s parents to share a little more about why they included their pets in their special day:
1. Why did you include your dogs in your wedding?
Our dogs are involved in every aspect of our lives. So we thought, how could they not be included in our big day?
We take them out to dinner with us, to the stores with us (if they are pet friendly), downtown to the
breweries, etc. We plan vacations around them and all of our families and friends know them as being a huge part of our life.
Our wedding pictures and our wedding day would have felt empty without them.
2. What is the story of how your dogs became a part of the family?
Dave and I got Shae when I was a junior and he was a senior in college at
UCF ( GO KNIGHTS!). Thinking back, we don't know what we were thinking
being that young getting a dog, but we wouldn't change anything now!
My college roommate actually got Shae from a random store in Ocoee, Fl and the very first night she had her, I ended up "babysitting" her while they all went out to the bars. After about day 2 or 3 my friend realized there was just no way she was ready for a dog, especially one that would get quite big in a college apartment.
Dave lived in a townhouse at the time and since we both LOVED dogs and LOVED Shae, we decided we would buy her from my friend. Shae's name was something different for the first few days, but I can't even remember what it was.
Cooper came along 5 years later. We were about to buy our first home together in St. Pete with a backyard, we were already engaged, and planning our wedding. We love golden retrievers and got really lucky with Shae being (relatively) well behaved. We started looking online for dogs and put our name on a breeders list. We were number 16 or something and thinking there was no shot with that litter so we would keep looking around. The breeder called us when the puppies were born and said we were next on the list
after other families backed out.
We went to "look" at the puppies to see which one got along best with Shae or if she bonded with any of them. Cooper was the only puppy following her around and not phased by her kind of pushing him around, so that was it! We picked out "green collar" and named him Cooper.
3. Did you incorporate your dogs into any other details on your wedding day?
Throughout the weekend we had pictures of special moments displayed, which obviously had a lot of their faces involved, but other than pictures and them walking down during the ceremony, that was it.
4. All dogs are the best dogs, but tell us something that makes your dogs
We love that our dogs have 2 very different personalities for being the same breed. Cooper is very independent and happy go-lucky. Whereas Shae is reserved, anxious, and needy/our cuddler. Even though their personalities are different and they are different dogs, the 4 of us are a very tight knit group.
As much as we take care of them, we like to say they take care of us more. They keep us healthy by going for walks, they make us laugh by being their curious selves, and they pick up on our moods to comfort us when we need them.
5. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about your dogs?
I really can't stress enough how much it meant to have them in our wedding and have pictures with them and a video from their perspective. Leaving your dog with anyone unfamiliar can be stressful in itself, let alone on your wedding day.
Knowing they had their very own handlers who had met them and loved dogs, and they had their very own video, like it was their day and time to show off, made us stress free and so happy.