This bride had her bridesmaids walk shelter dogs down the aisle—And they’ve all been adopted

The Honey & Bee Photography/Facebook

Forget about flowers! Why have bridesmaids hold bouquets when they could be walking adorable dogs down the aisle instead?

That’s exactly what bride-to-be Sally Smith (now Sally Burky) thought when she was looking for the perfect way to incorporate her and her soon-to-be husband’s love of animals into their ceremony.

Some online research revealed that people had swapped bouquets for puppies in the past, but the bride wanted to take it a step further than that.

“I was searching different options other than bouquets and puppies popped up on Pinterest. I thought how neat it would be to not only have puppies, but adolescent, and senior dogs as well,” she told People magazine.


From there, she immediately got the idea to have the animals come from a shelter, too.

That way, they could potentially be adopted after attending the wedding.

And of course, her finace was totally on board with the idea. Anything to please his bride!

“It sparked the idea of having rescue dogs in the ceremony,” the bride told Insider in an email.

“I first suggested it to my husband and he laughed and said whatever you want [honey], let’s do it. He knows how much rescue means to me and couldn’t have imagined our wedding any different.”

So, rescue dogs joined Smith and Cary Burky as they officially became Mr. and Mrs. Burky.

A photograph from The Honey & Bee Photography Facebook page shows that the wedding turned out to be just as beautiful and heartfelt as you’d imagine, rescue animals and all:

The dogs came from the Haven of the Ozarks Animal Sanctuary, not too far away from the wedding location in Republic, Missouri.

The shelter’s director, Sherah Farris, told “Today” that she chose dogs that would be able to handle the wedding’s festivities.

“We have about 110 dogs at any given time,” she told “Today.”


“I waited until about seven days before [the wedding], and I picked dogs I knew could handle the stress of the new environment and can handle being around other dogs and strangers.”

The animals were a huge hit.

The bride told “Today” that they had her guests “smiling ear-to-ear,” and noted that just one week after the wedding, all but one of the dogs that had been included in the ceremony were adopted into new homes.

Yazzy was the only pup who walked down the aisle at the Burky wedding who hadn’t been adopted, so Sally took to Facebook to drum up support for the sweet 6-year-old.

The couple even offered to cover her adoption fees:

It must’ve worked, because last weekend, Yazzy was adopted.

Haven of the Ozarks posted a photo of Yazzy with her new family, and she looks pretty happy to be heading to her forever home:

Congrats, Yazzy!

Farris thinks this will pick up in popularity and recommends reaching out to local shelters if you’re interested in having precious rescue animals escort your bridal party down the aisle.

“People are definitely going to be interested in doing this,” she told “Today.”

“Shelters want their animals to find homes. The whole mindset is adoption so we can save more.”


What do you think? Would you want to host rescue animals at your wedding?

Animals, Family & Parenting, News, Pets, Relationships
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About the Author
Augusta Statz
I have a B.F.A. in Writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design. I’m an avid writer with a genuine sense of curiosity. I feel the best way to absorb the world around you is through fashion, art and food, so that’s what I spend most of my time writing about.

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