More than 3.5 trillion photos have been taken in the 186 years since the first photograph, but nothing compares to adorable puppies and weddings. What do you get when you mix the two? Pictures that are sure to tug on your heart strings.
Kelly O’Connell and her black lab mix Charlie Bear have been inseparable for the past 15 years. Wherever O’Connell went, Charlie would follow and they were often referred to as two little kids, just happy in each other’s company.
So when Charlie Bear was diagnosed with a brain tumor earlier this year, O’Connell was crushed. With his condition rapidly deteriorating, O’Connell and her fiance James Garvin were planning to put him down a week before their wedding.
The pair, who are both veterinarians, wanted Charlie to attend their special day but were setting up plans to put him to sleep due to consistent, rapid seizures that weren’t going away. But then things changed.
“We were just like ‘this is too much, I don’t want to do this for him anymore,’” O’Connell explains to The Washington Post. “Eventually, it was almost as if he was like ‘no I want to see this.’ He got better.”
Charlie mustered up strength to attend the outdoor wedding, and calmly sat at his mother’s feet for the entire ceremony with a smile on his face. When he couldn’t make it back up the aisle, O’Connell’s sister, the maid of honor, picked him up and carried the massive black lab to the exit.
Jen Dziuvenis, the wedding photographer, had no idea Charlie Bear would be included in the special day until she showed up to shoot it. She was moved to tears, explaining “This is what love looks like…It was just the most touching display of that that I’ve seen, and it was spur of the moment, it just happened, because that’s how these people are.”
As a veterinarian, O’Connell understood that her “soul dog” had to be put to rest as he was unable to enjoy activities he used to love. After Charlie Bear enjoyed himself at the wedding, he was put to sleep a few days later.
Dziuvenis believes Charlie made it through the ceremony in order to make his mom feel better. She believes the black lab’s presence gave the bride peace of mind on a stressful day, and that above all Charlie wanted to make sure his mom was going to be taken care of after he passed.
Charlie’s story is not the only wedding to recently involve four legged friends.
Flowers, like engagements rings are typical inclusions in a wedding. The majority of brides — 75% — have engagement rings made of gold and diamonds, and any guest will most likely see their bling sparkling while wrapped around a gorgeous bouquet of flowers.
However, Sarah Crain had a different idea.
Instead of blossoming flowers, Crain and her bridal parties used puppies as accessories for their wedding photos. It is safe to say that the five coonhound-boxer puppies stole the show.
These little four-legged divas all were named after the original First Ladies, Martha, Abigail, Dolley, Elizabeth, Louisa, and the bride carried a pitbull named Biggie Smalls.
The bride helped to establish Pitties Love Peace, a pitbull rescue and rehabilitation center in their Elizabeth Town Pennsylvania community. She explains that animals were always a big part of her life, and that even though her husband didn’t grow up with animals, she turned him into a dog person.
Each of the pups have been living with foster families, but were all able to make it to the wedding for their special debut. And there weren’t any accidents to speak of!
The photographer, Caroline Logan tells Inside Edition that these puppies made the big day that much more special
After all, “Who needs bouquets when you have puppies?”