A dog-loving couple have come up with a barking mad idea for their wedding.
Rachael Stevenson and John Purvis were brought together through their love of dogs, so decided their precious pooches should play a big part on their special day.
Four of the couple’s seven dogs will have important parts in the ceremony and they are even inviting guests to bring along their furry family members to see them tie the knot at St Andrew’s Church, in Dalton-le-Dale, and then to the reception at the Pemberton Arms pub, in Cold Hesledon, Seaham.
The whole wedding, from the invitations down to Rachael’s bridal shoes, will take on a dog theme.
Rachael, 30, who runs her own mobile dog grooming business, was working at the Pemberton Arms pub almost seven years ago when John, 35, a self-employed landscaper, came in for a drink.
She said: “He came in with his two dogs, so we got talking about our dogs and that was it.”
When the couple, of Parkside Crescent, Seaham, started planning their wedding, they both knew it would have to incorporate their love of dogs.
Rachael said: “A dog- friendly venue was the vital thing because we knew we would have our dogs there and our invitations are dog-themed and say ‘dogs welcome with their well-behaved owners’.”
The couple’s dogs, standard poodle Noodle, one, lhasa apso, Mishka, three, and collie cross, Keira, six, will all be bridesmaids, with fancy gem-studded collars and leads and flowers, and their nine-year-old lurcher, Diesel, will be a ring bearer wearing a bow tie and tuxedo.
Rachael and John, will also be having human attendants at their wedding on September 26, which will have 50 guests on the day and 150 on the evening.
They are also planning a honeymoon in Scotland – with their dogs, of course.
Having grown up with dogs, as well as other pets, Rachael said the wedding might be a bit noisy, but she hopes everyone, including the pooches, will have a good time.
She said: “Some people think we are mad, and they could be right, but the dogs are who we are.
“It should be a lot of fun and I’m sure guests won’t bring their dogs if they don’t think they will behave.”