You know you’re a crazy dog lady when you’re willing to break out the old wedding dress and let a dog lay on it for the sake of a photo!

dog laying on a wedding dress, dog photography by grumpy pups pet photography

For the May/June issue of Dogs Unleashed Magazine, the feature story focused on brides and grooms who incorporate their canine companions into their wedding festivities…whether as part of the photos, the bridal party, or as the cutest ring bearers on four feet. However, the cover shot was tricky because 1) this was early March and 2) we weren’t invited to any upcoming weddings that included dogs.

So we staged a wedding scene, pulling together some great contacts in the dog and photography communities. Ebby’s Pet Bakery whipped up a beautiful wedding cake, Clever Creations Photography graciously allowed us to use their studio and furniture (even when I explained that a dog would be eating the cake by the end of the day!), Stems Flower Market helped me put together a little bouquet, and we pulled in a wonderfully trained dog, Henrick, companion to Rose Erwin.

It only took me about a second or two to offer up my wedding dress as a prop. For 17 years, my dress has been in one of those sealed boxes, moving from apartment to apartment in our early life together until finally taking up a permanent place in the basement of our house, forgotten and taking up a fair amount of space. I had done my duty and gotten it cleaned after the wedding, so it was all sealed up and completely hidden from view. I remember hearing about a dry cleaning scam where brides pay hundreds of dollars to clean their dresses, only to find that the well-sealed box is full of old shirts and rags—and completely irreplaceable because opening the box voids the warranty. So I was a little nervous about what I would find, but if it was still in the box I was perfectly happy letting Henrick the dog lay on it!

Needless to say, the dress was in the box, and it was beautifully clean. For now. Before letting Henrick dig into the cake, we tried out a few poses with the dress.

dog laying on a wedding dress, grumpy pups pet photography dog laying on a wedding dress, grumpy pups pet photography dog laying on a wedding dress, grumpy pups pet photography

Then we opened up the cake and prepared for a free-for-all. I had my shutter on high speed and I was ready for whatever happened when you bring a dog and a cake into close proximity!

Only, that’s not what happened. Henrick is SO AMAZINGLY trained that we were able to get all these poses of him near the cake…even TOUCHING the cake with his face….without him taking even a single lick!

dog with wedding cake, grumpy pups pet photography dog with wedding cake, grumpy pups pet photography dog with wedding cake, grumpy pups pet photography

Finally, it was time to give Henrick his reward. Even then, he was restrained and needed some encouraging….

dog about to lick wedding cake, grumpy pups pet photography

dog licking wedding cake, grumpy pups pet photography dog licking wedding cake, grumpy pups pet photography dog licking wedding cake, grumpy pups pet photography dog licking wedding cake, grumpy pups pet photography

Here is the final shot we went with for the Dogs Unleashed Magazine cover. What do you think? Did we pick the right one, or would you have chosen another? Feel free to leave a comment!

dog licking wedding cake, grumpy pups pet photography

For the record, my wedding dress—now adorned with dog hair—went back in the box and is once again sitting on a basement shelf. I doubt that I’ll get it cleaned again. I think it might now have more value as a prop! Perhaps we’ll see it again in a future shoot.

Make sure to pick up your copy of the May/June issue of Dogs Unleashed at Pet Supplies Plus and check out the rest of the great wedding images inside!

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Springer spaniels in a field of Michigan wildflowers

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