Luna the goldendoodle was the star of the show at her family’s 2016 wedding.

Luna the goldendoodle was the star of the show at her family’s 2016 wedding.

Photo provided by Stephanie Casola, Prologue


Couples include pets in their walk down the aisle

By: Tiffany Esshaki | C&G Newspapers | Published February 20, 2019

 Pups Rocky and Aurora were a perfect ring bearer and flower girl at the wedding of Debbie and Ray Cooke, of Mount Clemens.

Pups Rocky and Aurora were a perfect ring bearer and flower girl at the wedding of Debbie and Ray Cooke, of Mount Clemens.

Photo provided by Ray Cooke

 Jamin Fochtman and Amanda Zipser, of West Bloomfield, made sure their pup, Luna, could be a part of their wedding at the Planterra Conservatory in West Bloomfield.

Jamin Fochtman and Amanda Zipser, of West Bloomfield, made sure their pup, Luna, could be a part of their wedding at the Planterra Conservatory in West Bloomfield.

Photo provided by Stephanie Casola, Prologue

METRO DETROIT — Something old, something new, something borrowed — and a good boy, too.

That’s not quite how the old adage goes, but it certainly applies to the brides and grooms of 2019. Couples are creating new traditions for their nuptials, and including their furry child in the ceremony is non-negotiable.

When Debbie and Ray Cooke, of Mount Clemens, tied the knot at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial in 2014, their pups had their own roles in the celebration.

“Rocky, our 3-year-old bichon, was our ring bearer, and Aurora, our 6-month-old Harlequin Great Dane, was our flower girl,” Ray Cooke said.

Tina and Jason Catron, of Troy, were married at the historic Gem Theatre in Detroit in 2010. The groom was honored to be escorted down the aisle by their dog, Daisy.

“She even had a little tutu,” Tina Catron said. “We chose the Gem because it was one of the few venues that allowed our dog in the ceremony. My husband walked down the aisle with her. She sat and watched (during the ceremony), and after, the three (of us) walked out together.”

For their fall 2016 wedding, Amanda Zipser and Jamin Fochtman, of West Bloomfield, chose the Planterra Conservatory for their big day. A major factor in selecting the West Bloomfield venue, she said, was its ability to accommodate their goldendoodle, Luna.

“(It was) extremely important,” Zipser said. “Nowadays, they say people buy homes for their pets. I also think they plan weddings so their pets can be included. Not having Luna in our pictures or part of our day didn’t feel right. When people think of us, it wasn’t just the two of us. It’s always Jamin, Amanda and Luna.”

Planterra fittingly also did the flowers for Zipser’s event and created a custom necklace of lush greenery for Luna so she could match her fellow bridesmaids.

David DiVincenzo, the event director at Planterra, said many couples who visit the venue are so concerned with incorporating their pet into their wedding day that they bring it up during their first consultation. That’s no problem, he said, as long as there’s a plan in place to keep Fido comfortable.

“A couple should assign somebody from the wedding party to attend to their pet. It’s wonderful to have them here for photos and to participate in the ceremony, but it can be a challenge to give the pet all the attention they need when a couple has so many things swirling around them on their day,” DiVincenzo said in an email.

He added that larger-breed doggy guests should probably head home after the I do’s or maybe to a little playtime at a doggy day care. Someone from the wedding party or a family member will probably be happy to make a quick run with the pooch.

“After photos and ceremony, our couples who bring smaller breeds of dog often have a crate or bed set up in our special VIP room. Then their attendant can go in there to check on them, take them for walks and give them treats.”