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In 2016, Veronica Silva was in the midst of her wedding planning process when she ran into a complication. Silva wanted to include her dog JakeBear in her celebration, but wasn’t sure how to make it work.
“I did a quick online search thinking that there must be a pet-sitting service helping couples prep their pets for wedding day activities, like photos on the day of, but found nothing,” Silva told Newsday.com.
Silva ended up having to recruit her groom’s cousin to be JakeBear’s attendant, with the responsibilities of dressing JakeBear in his bowtie and toting him to and from the church, the photo location, and eventually the reception. But that set up didn’t work out as well as Silva hoped. Both JakeBear and the cousin ended up missing the entire cocktail hour.
Although her beloved pooch missed out on a portion of his mom and dad’s big day, the JakeBear debacle got Silva thinking.
“I realized there was quite a need for the business,” Silva said, “especially the more I talked to other couples getting married." Shortly after her wedding, Silva started Pawfect for You, the Long Island-based company that takes the stress of managing pups during the wedding day off the shoulders of brides and grooms — genius, we know.
With the help of 13 independent Pawfect for You contractors, Silva and her team handle the logistics of getting pets ready for the big day (meaning suiting them in tuxedos and tiaras) as well as their transportation from church to venue to photos, etc. Pets can also spend the night with a Pawfect for You contractor to ease mom and dad’s worry of leaving their baby home alone while they’re at their reception.
While in Silva’s hands, pets and their “Pawrents” are given the celebrity treatment.
“Every wedding is different,” Silva continued to tell Newsday.com, “so I really try to tailor each pet-care package to the specific couple’s needs.” She explained that sometimes includes lint-rolling the bride and groom before they head to the altar. Other times Silva will come prepared with bags of ice to help a dog cool down during a hot summer wedding. “The success of the day really lies in those little details,” she said.
Business for Silva is booming. She has raised her rates two times within the two-year life of her company (currently, a two-hour wedding day pet-care package costs $200, four-hour packages cost $385, and additional hours are an extra $85). But even so, brides and grooms remain willing to spend to make sure their furry friend is present for their celebration.
One such bride, Allison Zakre, told Newsday.com that getting married without her bulldog Matilda being there was not an option. She called in Silva who dressed Matilda in her floral collar, iced her down, and fed her boiled chicken during Zakre’s big day — honestly, being a dog has never been so good.
Silva has expanded her Long Island business to New York City and Hudson Valley. Her independent contractors are also located all over the East Coast from Washington D.C. to Maine.
Booking for the 2018 to 2019 wedding season is currently underway, so if Silva’s services sound like something you and your pet could benefit from, call now to begin the arrangement process. When you go back and look at your wedding photos, you’ll be glad your loveable doggo was part of the celebration.
Written by: Olivia Harvey