Entrepreneurial Friends Launch Dog Wedding Planning Service for Stress-Free Pet Nuptials

Bow Wow Weddings offers couples looking to make their dogs a part of their nuptials assistance with getting pets ready for photos, ceremonies, and more

Bow Wow Weddings wants your dog to see you say “I do.”

The pet care company is the creation of Philadelphia-based Myles Ragin and Pittsburgh-based Don Valentine, accountants and friends who met at Robert Morris University. With Bow Wow Weddings, the pair offers customizable wedding services for dog owners who want to include their canine on their big day.

Ragin and Valentine first thought of the idea after Valentine spotted a surprising post in a wedding forum.

“Everyone on the forum just kept asking like, ‘What are we going to do with our dog on our wedding day? Does anyone do this?'” Valentine tells PEOPLE. “And then somebody said they tried to coerce their Uber driver into caring for their dog on their wedding day.”

After reading about this desperate wedding dog situation, Ragin and Valentine saw an opportunity to help stressed pet owners.

“Let’s fill a need. We love dogs. This’ll get us out accounting all the time, just crunching numbers, and it’ll be something fun to do,” Ragin says of how Bow Wow Weddings started to form.

The company launched in December 2021 and has quickly gained popularity among pet owners in the greater Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas.

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“We went to the Philadelphia Convention Center, and somebody cried in front of us because they were so happy that they could take their dog to their wedding,” Ragin says of the effect the duo’s business has on dog parents.

Bow Wow Weddings offers a range of services that allow a pup to be part of the nuptials — like wardrobe and grooming for the big day and ceremony assistance for getting your dog down the aisle — and provides canines with care while their owners are busy celebrating.

Almost all the services Bow Wow Weddings offer start with a meet-and-greet between the dog and either Valentine or Ragin, to make sure the canine is comfortable with their new wedding day plus one.

From there, Bow Wow Weddings customizes a dog care package that fits a couples need, leaving the pet parents time to focus on the endless other details that go in a wedding.

“I would say the most popular services for us have been ceremony assistance and photo assistance. Mainly people want their dogs in their wedding photos, whether that be before the ceremony or during cocktail hour. And then we’ve also done quite a few weddings where either we walked the dog down the aisle as a flower girl, ring bearer, or we passed the dog off to a groomsman or bridesmaid and then handled them afterward,” Valentine says of what the company can offer.

Valentine and Ragin can also care for a couple’s dog during their wedding day and the days after, when newlyweds might be away from home and busy with logistics.

“There’s quite a need for taking care of the dogs before or after, because the wedding day’s a busy day, the bride’s getting ready all day long, and you got the reception afterward — And the couple’s family and friends are all at the wedding, so everyone you’d ask to dog sit is at the wedding having fun and a few drinks,” Valentine adds.

While Bow Wow Weddings plans to keep growing, right now the pet care company serves the greater Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas. For engaged pet owners unable to use Bow Wow Weddings services, Ragin suggests planning your dog’s involvement in your wedding early.

“Sometimes it’s a week out, and they’re like, ‘Oh, I totally forgot,'” Ragin says about how wedding day dog care can slip through the cracks.

Ragin also recommends, if your a looking to dress you dog in a festive outfit or collar for the big day, to test the celebratory wardrobe ahead of the event.

“Definitely get their suit and stuff checked out ahead of time,” Ragin says adding that he recently worked a wedding with samoyed who didn’t try on their floral wedding collar before the wedding, and the dog’s fur ended up completely covering the accessory.

Ragin and Valentine work to make sure the everyone leaves the wedding happy, because smiling face are their favorite part of the job.

“The most rewarding part about starting this business and doing these weddings is just seeing the bride and groom with a smile on their face and how happy we’re able to make them, how happy we’re able to make the dogs. And it’s led to a lot of pretty cool moments.” Valentine says.

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