When I saw this adorable styled shoot of a dog elopement, I couldn’t stop smiling. Photographer Rayna McGinnis dreamed up this great idea and collaborated with some amazing vendors. Everything is incredible!
From Rayna: “Dogs are kind, cuddly, playful, and hold a never-ending, unconditional love in their hearts. They’re everything we strive to find in a partner and more.
Whenever I talk to a couple on the phone, we almost always talk about their fur babies, and I always want to know if they’re going to be part of the wedding. This is because one of my favorite things as a wedding and elopement photographer is when a couple includes their furry family members on their wedding day. And of course, I get to photograph them. Wedding after wedding, elopement after elopement, I’ve swooned over puppies of all breeds, colors, ages, and sizes. I can’t help myself.
A few years ago, the idea came to me, what if we had a dog wedding? I just had to find the perfect vendors and, of course, models. The vendors were easier to come by because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love dogs? But finding the perfect dogs was a much more difficult task. Then, I met Katie, a fellow wedding photographer, and her dogs Luke and Leia (She’s a Starwars fan, haha). These two beautiful pit bulls love on each other constantly and have the sweetest personalities. I knew immediately that they were perfect for the shoot, and Katie was more than happy to help out!
I teamed up with a number of dog-obsessed wedding vendors and the Denver area, and piece by piece, we made it happen.
Leia and Luke were quite pleased with our work.”
She’s super gregarious and LOVES snuggling up to people more than anything else. Luke is the aloof handsome dude that you think is too cool for you, but he’s actually just super awkward and nervous. He always follows Leia’s lead on adventures. They both are convinced that 50 pounds is the perfect size for a lap dog.
We think Luke is a Gemini like his dad, Scotty, because he has two personalities. Nukey-Lukey and Spooky-Lukey. Spooky is around most of the day. He mostly sits at my feet when I work and glares suspiciously at my roommate. As soon as the clock hits 11 pm, it’s like a switch flips! His ears flop forward, and he goes crazy zoomie around our house, gets us to chase him, makes Leia play tug of war, and stomps on my head if I try to sleep. If we ever go to bed before Nukey hour… I wake up to him sitting next to my head just, watching me—what a creeper.
Leia just has the one personality. She loves to fetch more than anything else in the world and will run herself into a state where her whole little body is vibrating while she pants. I’m fairly sure it is not healthy, but if you try and stop her before she gets to that point, she just pokes you with the tennis ball for an hour as punishment. She is quite fashionable and has an array of adorable jackets (some for warming, some for cooling). She is only ideally comfortable between 68 degrees and 75 degrees. Any warmer and you can’t take her on walks, any cooler, and she’s shivering. So Colorado is OBVIOUSLY the best place for her to live.
They are both rescues, of course. Leia is from the Boulder Humane Society, and Luke is from the Evergreen Animal Protective League. Leia’s owners just gave up because she was a crazy young pittie with TONS of energy, but Luke’s rescue story is a little more involved. He and his brother were shipped from a kill shelter in Texas to EAPL. I think they were abused in their first home as he is terrified of people. There was a photo on their listing of the two brothers huddled in the back of their transport crate, looking so scared that it broke my heart and made me want to help! The rescue did a ton of work to rehabilitate them in their foster home before they adopted them out. We told them we would take both brothers, but the other one found a home the day before Luke did with an amazing young family. I knew when they first met that Leia’s confident attitude would be an awesome influence on him, and he clung to her side from the moment they saw each other! Every day he gets a little braver, and we keep working with him on building confidence through training and socialization!”
You can see more of the cutest dog elopement on Rayna’s blog!
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Dog Elopement Vendor info:
Dog Models, Luke and Leia
About Rayna McGinnis Photography: Based in Colorado, Rayna specializes in destination elopements.