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Wags & Weddings
For couples who want their dogs at their wedding but also want peace of mind that their pet is in good hands while they say “I Do,” Ally Fuhs of Captivated Canine is the answer. Here we chat with Fuhs, a dog trainer based in metro Grand Rapids, about how she got her start, her unique Wags & Weddings service, and what to consider when inviting your pets to your celebration.
Woman kneeling with dog near bridge
Tell me about Captivated Canine — how did you become a dog trainer?

Dog training found me six years ago and became the happiest accident. My degree is in social work and psychology. When I first graduated, I worked with teenagers in a rehabilitative setting and quickly decided to get a dog to train for therapy work with my clients. I set out to research and find a trainer who could help me achieve this goal. When I got my puppy and began training classes, I fell in love with the process. I started volunteering as an assistant trainer, and a few months later I was offered a position as a dog trainer for a pet store. I built up my skills there for a couple years and when the pandemic hit, I decided to branch off and create a business offering in-home private training lessons. Since then, we have grown and partnered with several other local businesses. We now offer private training sessions, group classes, day train lessons, and Wags & Weddings.

What is ‘Wags & Weddings’ and what inspired you to offer this service?

In the first year of starting Captivated Canine, I had a number of good friends getting married. Some of those friends had dogs they wanted to be in their weddings. Since I have experience with dog training, I offered to handle their pets for their wedding events. I ended up taking photos throughout and posting them online. They quickly went viral and I had a number of people reaching out to me asking how their pets could be in their weddings too. Wags & Weddings was created to fill this growing need.

How does the service work and what does it provide?

My goal is to make it simple and effortless to choose to have your pets attend your wedding. I provide transportation, pet wedding attire from tuxedos to flower crowns, posing for photos, and of course keeping pets well behaved throughout the event. Every wedding package includes a consultation where we can meet a month or so before the wedding day to discuss the timeline, vision, and of course to ensure the pets are comfortable with me. Every wedding is a little different. Some couples would love their dogs in the ceremony, wedding party photos, and featured entertainment for cocktail hour while others are just looking to have the pets there for quick family photos. Whatever the vision is for your pets at your wedding, I want to make it as easy as possible. 

What are a few important things couples should keep in mind when including their dogs in their wedding?

The most important thing is to ensure your venue is dog friendly — many venues are, but they may also have rules about dogs being off property by the time food is served. It is very helpful for couples to consider how their dog does with crowds and high energy environments. For more sensitive, nervous pups, having some quiet family photos away from the ceremony space can be ideal. For happy-go-lucky dogs, they might even be featured entertainment for the cocktail hour. Get creative and make it your own. I am happy to help provide ideas based on your dogs’ personality and needs. We know how important it is for all your loved ones to be there for your special day — let us handle the furry ones!

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