How to Raise Rescue Funds with a Dog Wedding

How to Raise Rescue Funds with a Dog Wedding

Those of you who know me, know that I am planning my dog’s wedding. For those who do not know me, indeed: Together with the mother of the bride and a family member, we are planning a fun fundraiser in the name of dog.

Why are two dogs getting “married?”

To raise money and awareness of Cocker Spaniels in need of their forever homes, my dog blog’s Puppy Relations (PR) Manager, Dexter, formally "paw-proposed" to his girlfriend, Zoe, a Cocker Spaniel who was rescued by Life’s Little Paws the day she was scheduled to be euthanized.

What is planned?

The Wigglebutt Wedding is formal and we are planning a wonderful time, complete with media coverage, dinner, drinks, dancing, DJ, silent auction, sponsor tent, raffles, surprises, and more.  All proceeds raised go to Life’s Little Paws.

Why should Pet360 readers care?

I am heavily involved in the pet industry and I volunteer my time to a few Cocker Spaniel rescue groups. Fun fundraisers have trended into mainstream as a unique way to raise awareness and cash for dogs in need. Outside my regular working hours, I have devoted myself to the many tasks at hand involved in bringing this “Wigglebutt Wedding” together. With my two hard-working “staff” members, we are committed to this event as much as we would be a human wedding. In fact, some of the tasks involved mirror a human wedding so closely, we even have copies of Brides magazine!

How hard can it really be?

It is truly a labor of love for us, but some of the things that we have done are worth sharing. Perhaps if you are involved in a rescue/foster group or want to do something unique to raise awareness and funds to your cause, these ideas might stir some creative juices for you, too.

Some of the things we have done thus far:

Secured a venue: Indeed, we found a hall that will allow us to bring a few dozen dogs. We are capping the human guest list at 100 so as to celebrate an intimate, fun, but manageable event. However, anyone is free to donate (and we have the 501(c)3’s PayPal link in place) - you can even do a cyber wedding for a fun fundraiser, and I have seen a few of these.

Canine couture designer: Famed pet fashion couturier, Anthony Rubio, is custom designing the bride and groom’s apparel for the evening. However, you can check Pet360 for costumes that are of a bride and groom theme.

We have a variety of rescue dogs and others serving as maid of honor, best man, as well as bridesmaids, groomsmen, and ushers/attendants. Get friends and family involved and make it fun, but ensure the dogs are well behaved and tolerate others

We have secured artist, Missy Johnson of Dogs for the Paws, for our official logo, and Lucy Maloney of Designer Dog Miniatures, for the cake topper. These are things you can do with a little creative ingenuity, Photoshop, and some craft making skills.

Caterer: If you are doing a fundraiser, especially one involving a group and/or with dogs, catering is the way to go. Kiss the Chef Personal Chef/Catering Service will be our official caterer. If it is a small get-together, consider having folks bake and cook for cost savings, too.

Invite out-of-town friends and family and see if any local hotels would be willing to provide a discount on a block of rooms. Since our event is a fun fundraiser, we’ve secured the Homewood Suites by Hilton Stratford nearby the venue that is pet friendly. Ask ahead and explain your event; you’d be surprised how many businesses will roll the red carpet out to help with your fundraiser.

Media Coverage: Let local newspapers and television stations know about your plans. Our “Wigglebutt Wedding” will be televised on News 12 Connecticut’s 13-years-and-running-strong television show, Pet Talk, with hostess Lauren Collier.

On June 28, 2013, two little dogs will be united in a ceremony that will long be remembered. I’ll be traveling to Connecticut a few times to plan over these next  months, and as I test each appetizer, decide on colors, and determine what font looks best on the official program, warm fuzzies and a sense of pride will fill my heart.

From time to time, I will provide updates here on the Pet360 blog so that you, too, can garner some ideas for things that do and do not work in terms of a fundraiser in the name of dog.

Have you ever been to a dog “wedding” or a wedding where dogs were involved? Bark at me below.

About Carol Bryant

Artwork courtesy Missy Johnson. All rights reserved. May not be printed without permission.