In a new wedding trend, more and more couples are opting to use their ceremonies as a way of honoring close family members – including those who’ve been lost.
While Michelle Dodds and Mike Singler from Orlando, Florida planned their wedding, Michelle thought a lot about her brother Jeffrey “Jay” Dodds who passed away in 2017. She mulled over different ways that she could include his memory into the ceremony. And that is when she got inspired by the interest that the two had always shared: pugs!
Both Michelle and her late brother Jay always adored pugs. Since Jay often traveled for work, he would give Michelle his pug Knockers to babysit. Then when he passed away, Knockers was taken in by Michelle, and he now lives with her and her two other dogs. One of Michelle’s seven bridesmaids then made the suggestion that Michelle have pugs be a part of the ceremony. Thinking it was a great idea, Michelle reached out to the Pug Rescue of Florida, inquiring if they had any dogs available to assist in the ceremony.
Bobie Polite, Michelle’s friend, said, “There are a lot of agencies out there that are struggling and can use the help. Michelle’s got one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever known. … I’m glad she chose pugs because of her brother.”
Michelle surprised her wedding party with the pugs the day of the ceremony, and each bridesmaid escorted a sweet little rescue pug down the aisle. The dogs all were wearing a bow tie and matching leash. Michelle’s bridesmaid Leah Grissom said the pugs were a wonderful way of paying tribute to the close bond between Michelle and Jay.
“She and Jay were inseparable — she still talks to him daily,” Leah said. “I think it’s beautiful and matches Michelle perfectly. She’s unconventional, sassy, lively and loves her pugs!”
Michelle also hoped that by including the pugs, she would be increasing their visibility, which would hopefully mean more chances of getting adopted by loving families. And with the adorable photos of the pugs in their bow ties making the rounds on social media, people are beginning to contact the shelter regarding the information on the dogs – so it’s a win, win!
Given how adorable they all look with their little bow ties, there is no doubt that they will find their forever homes – something that Michelle’s brother would be so proud of. It’s fantastic that Michelle managed to find a way to not only celebrate her brother’s memory but also help animals in need.
Congratulations to Michelle and Mike!