Considering that I ride horses for a living, it is pretty much a given that I am a shameless lover of all things cute and furry. Kurt and I have two dogs, Clyde and Wilson, and a kitty named Willemina—though she came before Kurt, and they both know it. Our blended family of pets has really come together nicely, and I am convinced they are preparing us for actual parenthood one day. Given my affinity toward all creatures, I naturally assumed (which I’m finding is NEVER a good thing to do, especially while planning a wedding), that Clyde and Wilson would have a prominent role in our big day. Ring bearers, maybe? Ushers, perhaps? If I began their training now, why couldn’t they direct our guests to their seats? Visions of custom doggy tuxedoes and Swarvoski-crusted leashes began to swim through my head. Of course, I assumed that Kurt would support my brilliant plans and be on the same page as me. It turns out that not only were we on different pages, we weren’t even in the same book. Kurt was appalled that I would even consider having our beloved pets anywhere near us as we said “I do.” As adorable as Clyde and Wilson are, Kurt reminded me of some of their behavioral shortcomings. I think it is fair to say that they are actually very naughty dogs, but I guess my love for them has blinded me to their misgivings. For instance, Clyde once escaped from my previous barn—which was part of a country club—and was found in the buffet line at the Club House. He also enjoys marking his territory on just about everything—mobile or stationary, alive or not . . . he doesn’t discriminate. And Wilson has a tendency to produce massive amounts of slobber followed by a Beethoven-style shake of the head. [caption id="attachment_1562" align="alignnone" width="225" caption=""What do you mean I'm not allowed on the couch?""]
[/caption] After Kurt refreshed my memory with these examples (plus several more) I knew he was right. I don’t think our guests would appreciate a shower of boxer spit, or being rudely cut off in line at the dessert bar by an obese daschund (and possibly peed on). It looked like Clyde and Wilson would be spending the weekend at Camp Bow Bow, rather than joining the wedding festivities. [caption id="attachment_1558" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Though Clyde wears many different hats, "Ring Bearer" will not be one of them"]
[/caption] While I knew my original plan of having actual pet participation was off, I still wanted to discreetly incorporate animals into our big day. They have been such an important part in my life that I would feel something was missing if they weren’t present in some way. I began tinkering around with adding an equestrian symbol, like a horseshoe, to our invitation, or having Clyde and Wilson on our save the date, but neither of these ideas agreed with the overall feel and theme we were trying to create. And then one day it dawned on me. I work at a beautiful barn. The beautiful barn has an even more beautiful event space, which would be perfect for the rehearsal dinner! Skyrock Farm is conveniently located less than five miles from the church we will be married in, and even has state-of-the-art kitchen for hosting large events. Why hadn’t I thought of this before? Not only is the property itself stunning, it also houses one of the largest private collections of antique carousel horses. While our guests mingle and admire the collection, I will be comforted by the sweet scent of horses around me. Right now, I’m envisioning “barn chic” for the décor, with a menu of comfort foods and local favorites. We are currently in the initial planning stages and I look forward to sharing many more pictures and details as they come! And while I’ll miss having Clyde and Wilson with us, I know I’ll sleep better these next months knowing that their endearing shenanigans will be happening a safe distance away from my dress.