Keep Calm…On This Wedding Day

April 23rd, 2020

Meet Jacqui, the wedding day dog specialist.

I remember, in detail, when I met Jacqui for the first time. It was Premier Groom grooming competition in 2014 and I was launching my products when this tall, stylish, model-like woman came to enquire about calming products that she could use in her boarding kennel. She was also interested in the dog grooming training I was providing as she was looking to gain more training and perhaps become qualified too.

Over time we became friends, sharing the same interest in dogs, rural lifestyle, self-development and a similar sense of humour. I was amazed when she told me about her new business adventure called Quintessential Wedding Dogs for the first time. I remember thinking that it was such a great idea!

So far, as you’ll all agree, weddings and any other events have not been very fortunate this year and that every single aspect of our lives has been affected. The thing is, is that we need to carry on and we need to support each other. There’s always something to be grateful for and something to look forward to like perhaps your or your friend’s wedding next year or perhaps in a couple of years? To be honest, I didn’t know that weddings are planned so far in advance lol!

I had a brief chat with Jacqui and this is what she had to say…

I’m interested in knowing why you started this business and what the impulse was that brought it on?

I started the business because I love dogs and I love weddings – they’re two of my favourite things! It seemed like a fun thing to do in addition to my existing business as a dog groomer and a boarding kennel owner. The impulse was when my daughter, Rachael, got married and wanted her dog Spencer to be the ring bearer. Spencer did a brilliant job and was a perfect Hound of Honour. It was then that I thought it would be a great business idea as lots of couples want their dog to be a part of the day, even if just for a few photos. Imagine having a wedding dog specialist to take all the stress off?

When did you start?

I started the business just over two years ago and it’s proved popular with many couples.

What was the first wedding you did?

The first wedding I did was with a handsome Cockerpoo called George. He looked very smart in his bow tie and was loved by all.

What is involved?

My role as a wedding day dog specialist is to make sure that the couple can enjoy their dog on their special day without a worry. How it works depends on what the couple’s expectations are for the dog but this is all discussed in our first consultation. I get to meet the dog then too and assess any behavioral challenges. 

I offer a Bronze, Silver, or Gold package which can include dog grooming before the wedding, transportation, and overnight boarding plus dog chaperoning duty at the wedding. It’s so much fun to see the guests greeting the dog on the day and to see the wedding couple pose for photos with their dog. I also help attract the dog’s attention for the photographer with a squeaky toy and as an added extra I make a little video of the wedding dog’s day too. 

How do you make sure the dogs behave?

It’s important to make sure that the dog is relaxed and happy and that’s why I use Vita Canis products before, during, and after the wedding. I spray Calming Floral Spray in the car on the way to the wedding so that both the dog and I can benefit from the relaxing scent – this way we always arrive calm and collected. I also take all the usual bribes in my bag such as liver cake treats (these are a must for getting the dog’s attention) which I make myself. Poo bags and a water bowl are essentials plus a secure lead with a harness or collar.

It’s about finding the right balance and not allowing the dog to upstage anybody but to be included when the time is right. Sometimes, we go walking around the wedding venue and come back when it’s photo time. It’s also knowing when it’s time to leave and let the party continue. This is when man’s best friend and I make a safe exit and I take care of my charge until the next day. A few drops of Vita Canis Comfort Blend on the dog’s bed at night helps him to settle but after an exciting day and an evening meal, he’s usually ready for bed.

Where can people find more details about your unique business?

Details of my packages are available on my website and you can find us on FB & Instagram @QuintessentialWeddingDayDogs too.

Would you consider gifting a nice gift card from Jacqui so that your friend can have his/her dog/dogs at the wedding with no hassle, stress, and worries?

Email Jacqui for more details if this sounds like a good idea!

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What People Say...

When we got home from the hospital with our new arrival it was clear that Perri, one of our miniature poodles, maternal instincts kicked in and went into overdrive. She was immediately acting like a mother separated from her pups and just wanted to care for the ‘naked puppy’. She has a history of being so motherly, even to the point that she has produced milk for puppies that aren’t hers even before she had a litter and has mothered every type of animal she could. She was panting, pacing and unable to relax for long at all. She could whine for England!

We tried other herbal remedies we had at hand for a previous anxious dog and nothing worked at all. She stopped eating and stressed herself into overheating too. Her stress was starting to impact the other dogs and she just couldn’t unwind. No matter if we worked off her energy with a walk and she wasn’t even interested in her usual mind games or call games. We also couldn’t offer long-lasting treats and chews too often as they gave her an upset stomach.

As soon as the Calming Floral Spray arrived I gave the bed a spritz and put some on her coat and the change was instant. She just got on her bed and fell asleep. She stopped panting and barely whines now, started eating again and she only does a bit of whining if the baby cries. We have now been able to positively reinforce her calm behaviour. I honestly can’t recommend this enough to people.
Natalie Griffiths