Best Dogs: Leia and Luke – A Dog Elopement

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! 

wedding dogs, Pit bulls on Colorado mountain overlook

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.

chalkboard sign for dog elopement

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!

puptuals invitation, pink and aqua wedding invitation for dog elopement flowers and dog wedding invitation

I teamed up with a number of dog obsessed wedding vendors and the Denver area and piece by piece; we made it happen.

puppy love-elopement styled shoot, wedding cake, flowers, dog bowls, cake toppers for dog wedding wedding flowers arrangement in aqua dog food container wedding for dogs, wedding cake and flowers Pit bull puppy love cake topper wedding cake with puppy love topper and flowersdetails for dog themed weddinghandsome white and brindle Pit bull wearing blue bow tiebrown pittie in floral wreath, wedding dogdog wedding details, Colorado elopement dog wedding details, Please leave your paw print sign, dog wedding detailshandsome pit bull in blue bow tie, wedding dog lovely brown pit bull in floral wreath, wedding dog pitties licking each other's faceLeia and Luke were quite pleased with our work.”

 Puppy love, wedding dogs, Pit bulls licking each other, dogs kissing
 From Katie:  “Leia and Luke are the best! She totally wears the pants in their relationship and knows she’s the princess.

brown pit bull mix wearing floral wreath, wedding dog

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.

handsome wedding 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.

Pit bull wearing bow tie, wedding dog

 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.

Pit bulls on rock at scenic overlook

 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 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!”

dog dynamic duo, dog Bffs, dog wedding, Pit bulls licking each other

 You can see more of the cutest dog elopement on Rayna’s blog!

Follow Rayna McGinnis on Instagram.


OH MY MEOW!!!! This is one of the best photography ideas I have EVER seen. How ridiculously cute and BEYOND fantastic!!!

Denise says:

So…. I guess I am obsessed with these photos. The true sign was that I pinned almost EVERY SINGLE ONE. Every time I thought, ok this is the last one, I’d see the next and HAVE to pin it as well. You certainly chose terrific subjects and took absolutely stunning photos!

    Beth says:

    Rayna and the other vendors really did a fantastic job!

One of the most creative and beautiful pup photograph sessions I’ve come across – I must share! Is it wrong of me to want to snuggle with these two? Great article!

    Beth says:

    If that is wrong, then I don’t want to be right!

Adorable dogs, and what a beautiful cake!! It looks like it is going to be such a special day. 🙂

How lovely. I’m impressed she caught them swapping kisses! And that cake topper is gorgeous.

What gorgeous photos! It looks like the day was filled with happiness and fun. What will you do for their first anniversary!?! It will be fun to find out!

    Beth says:

    Oh, now I’m excited to see what they do for an anniversary shoot, what a great idea!

Such a beautiful post and I loved the two pitties! Luke and Leia are gorgeous. We took some of our wedding photos with Babu too:-)

This is so freaking adorable and such incredible pictures! These dogs sound awesome and lucky to have each other.

This may just be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I am loving the flowers too and wish I could have them for my wedding. Luke and Leia make a wonderful couple (even if they are brother and sister).

Hindy Pearson says:

What a beautiful rescue story, so great hear these babies were given a second chance at a wonderful life. The pictures are beyond magnificent, one is more beautiful than the next. Thanks for sharing I thoroughly enjoyed this post. They are a stunning couple!!

This is beyond adorable!!! The photos are beautiful, though of course it helps that the photographer had the cutest models/bride & groom ever! I bet everyone had so much fun with this. Thanks for sharing!

Debbie says:

Oh my goodness, this is adorable. Those kissing pictures are way too cute. Puptuals.. I’m dying!

What a cute idea and stunning photos! Luke and Leia’s stories are so sweet. What a blessing they are to their family. I love that you were able to find vendors excited about this project. Kudos to them!

This is the cutest post ever! I love it. Everything is so beautifully styled and these pups are just perfect. What a magical day!
Love & Biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

What a cute idea and such beautiful photos! I love how Luke and Leia are kissing each other.

Such beautiful photos of two out-of-this-world pups who love each other. The invitation with its “tie the leash” wording and wedding-themed doggie graphics is fantastic. Such a creative shoot. Thank you for sharing!

O what a brilliant idea. Thank you, as usual, for the most delightful post that lifts the spirits and delights the eye!!

when the sun lights up their ears like that that, it just kills me. Amazing work!

What a wonderful love and rescue story. As always stunning photos! The dogs look so beautiful and the setting and puptuals amazing. Such a fun idea.

Karen says:

I LOVE these pictures. They’re a funny couple. Leia looks so happy in her pictures, Luke looks so serious. He has the Uh Oh, the fun is over look 🙂

This is adorable! I’m obsessed with the invites and kind of want ones like that for my wedding. Those two pups certainly have a great taste for wedding decor!

What a heartwarming story. I’m so glad they both were rescued and found a wonderful home. This was the cutest elopement ever!

Paroma says:

I loved the mix of moods, themes and dogs featured here. From pitties to fall shoots and engagement shoots, our little four legged ones make all seasons and occasions so much more memorable!

    Beth says:

    Thank you so much Paroma!

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