What exactly does one wear to a dog wedding?
We arrived at the Jumeirah Essex House on Central Park South last Thursday (after deciding on a purple cocktail dress) and we found out the answer was sequins and peacock feathers — if you’re a dog, that is.
While their owners were clad in traditional wedding-going attire, Shih Tzus and Labradoodles alike wore sparkled costumes of every variety. As a pair of tiny Chihuahuas in top hats passed by in the arms of their owners, Caroline Lieberman told us that her dog, named Maharaja Mumbai, was wearing a costume that was specially made for him in India. “I go there a lot, and this is a copy of a little boy’s outfit,” she told The Observer, before she adjusted his sparkly turban and strode off.
Wendy Diamond, founder and editor of Animal Fair magazine, originally intended the wedding to be her dog Lucky’s last hurrah, as the pup was suffering from terminal cancer. Lucky, a rescue dog, often appeared with Ms. Diamond at philanthropy events to raise awareness for pet rescue. Ms. Diamond’s new dog Hope, also a rescue, took Lucky’s place as bride for the affair, with the money raised from the event being donated to the Humane Society.The wedding party was led down the aisle on leashes by handlers, with the exception of those who sat down or were distracted along the way and had to be carried. After the last tuxedoed dachshund made its way down the aisle, Ms. Diamond and Hope came forward, each wearing a wedding dress. Triumph the Insult Comic Dog officiated the ordeal, and in lieu of the traditional I do’s, suggested the happy couple “sweat from their tongue” as a sign of consent.It was a Jewish affair, complete with a huppah and breaking of the glass (by the bridegroom’s owner).
Hope’s lucky groom, Chilly, was selected through an online contest. His owner, Jake Pasternak, who runs an animal clinic in Virginia that offers affordable surgeries to discourage people from euthanizing their pets, told us that Chilly was also a rescue.
“My wife saw him on the street, fell in love with him, and decided to keep him. A year later he was married in the most expensive dog wedding,” Mr. Pasternak told The Observer. “That’s the best rags to riches story I can think of, at least of a canine variety.”
The event, which was coordinated by celebrity event planner Harriette Rose Katz, set the Guinness World Record for the most expensive dog wedding. Ms. Katz told The Observer that in order to organize the event she called on wedding experts including a “lighting guru” and her “sushi man,” and that the lengthy preparations were well worth it.
“There are people who are very rude and who think its stupid,” she told us. “Well, you know what? They [the organizers] are going to make a lot of money off of this. And they can laugh all the way to the bank.”
Just outside of the reception, in front of a memorial sculpture of Lucky made out of roses, Sandra De Feo of the Humane Society told The Observer, “It’s an extravagant event, but it’s for a good cause. The animals otherwise might not get the attention they need.”
Toward the end of the evening, a cake was brought out designed by Buddy Valestro of the TLC show Cake Boss. After the crowd had finished oohing and ahhing, Ms. Diamond took the stage, chiffon wedding dress and all, to announce that $50,000 dollars had been raised that night.
The crowd, who had been chattering at a dull buzz under her remarks stopped to meet the number with applause.
They were joined by a chorus of barks.