Meet the Northampton woman who has turned her love of dogs into a booming business for brides who want their four-legged family members involved in their big day.
An animal lover is helping turn man’s best friend into the best man with a very unusual wedding service.
Katie Enever launched Star Paws earlier this year and now helps people to include their canine companions in weddings.
“I just had this idea that I was sure people would love to have their dogs at their weddings,” says Katie. “I contacted a wedding fair organiser and said ‘Is this completely bonkers?’ and instead they thought it would be a really popular wedding idea.”
Katie made the decision to change her life after travelling to Thailand to teach English for two years, after a round the world trip.
When she returned, she realised she never wanted to go back to her nine-to-five human resources job – or to have to leave her one-year-old Cavachon Archie on his own for long periods of time.
“My old job wasn’t fulfilling me, I was just getting that Sunday night feeling,” she says. “My mum had her own business and that has always been a big thing for me, plus I love animals.”
Katie started Star Paws as a dog walking service in January, but pretty soon expanded to incorporate those unforgettable big moments.
Her wedding packages see her collect dogs from their homes, stay with them to greet guests, pose for pictures and even walk down the aisle, before returning them home.
She has seen everything from dog ring bearers – something she doesn’t recommend with hyperactive pooches – to full tuxedos and wedding gowns.
“I have found florists who make flower-girl wreaths to match the bride’s colour scheme,” she says. “And for the boys just a dickie bow collar looks good, unless you want the full tuxedo/wedding gown option.”
Katie also has a series of signs specially designed to be worn by dogs featuring messages including ‘My humans are getting married’, ‘If you think I’m cute wait till you see the bride’ and ‘I do too’ which owners can keep as a memento of the day.
So, would she have Archie at her own wedding? “Absolutely, if I got married he would no doubt have to be there, he is my little family.”
While most Star Paws services are open to any animals, for now Katie is keeping weddings to dogs only.
“I have had people who want their horses at the wedding, or their cats, or rabbits or guinea pigs. I think cats might be difficult, I can see myself covered in scratches!”
However, Katie provides another service open to animals of all shapes and sizes.
The Star Paws Taxi takes pets to and from appointments at the vets or groomers, whether it is because their owners don’t drive or can’t take the time off work.
Call Katie on 07934837123 or chat on twitter @starpawsnpton