Styled Shoot

Puppy Love. A super sweet styled bridal shoot at Hardcastle Crags

Julia Braime

If you’re a dog lover, your heart may literally melt as we share with you what is surely one of the cutest bridal shoots to ever feature on Brides Up North.

Today, ladies, our super adorable four-legged friends take centre stage. And you have the lovely Bex from wedding pet chaperones Bow Wow Vow to thank!

With pets very much part of the family these days, it stands to reason, why shouldn’t they be a guest at the biggest family celebration of them all? And that’s the mantra behind this shoot – say yes to dogs at weddings, and we couldn’t agree more!

Set at Hardcastle Crags in Yorkshire, this captivating mill and wooded valley is like a dog walker’s dream – and it’s a great outdoorsy backdrop for weddings too! Think trees, waterfalls, bridges, a pond and stepping stones, and you’ll start to picture the scene.

Of course, the doggies (nine in total!) are the real stars of this shoot, complete with bow ties and props. But there’s plenty of inspo for us humans too, with some super stylish bridal wear lovingly hand dyed to an unconventional grey tint that’s very much in keeping with the shoot’s ‘anything goes’ vibe. And brining a conscious element to the proceedings too – all the makeup used on the bride was cruelty free; perfect for animal lovers.

With images by Mr & Mrs Wedding Boutique Photography

Models: Laura Hudson, Graeme Hudson and Rhianna Lombard-Earl


Bex says

: We decided to keep the title of the shoot simple to encompass how we all really feel: ‘Yes to Dogs at Weddings’. Your dog is part of any other day, so why not your wedding day?

Dogs and weddings just go together! In order to show this to the masses; we teamed up with stylist and wedding planner Emily K Weddings and gathered a bunch of pet lovers, wedding suppliers and nine (yes nine!) excitable dogs from At Heel in a National Trust mill in West Yorkshire.


Chances are, that if you have a dog, you spend a good amount of time in the great outdoors, sharing walks with your four-legged friend. So what better location than major dog friendly, pooch walking paradise Hardcastle Crags. They have woodland, waterfalls, bridges, streams, a mill pond and stepping stones which makes for varied shots and not to mention the interior of the mill itself. It’s also a National Trust mill in West Yorkshire which also hosts weddings, a fantastic way to keep these historic buildings in use.


As weddings move further and further away from what is ‘expected’ to being more about the couple, and their favourite people and things – it seems that now (quite rightly) anything goes!

As such, it’s becoming more and more common to have your pet, most popularly your dog, present on your big day. Who doesn’t want to see adorable pooches accessorised with floral wreaths, bow ties or even mini tuxes standing proudly next to their newly married humans?

With growing numbers of venues becoming ‘dog friendly’ it also seems more possible to have our furry pals by our side on the most important day of our lives. Pets really are our family (often we’d rather have Fido there than some estranged great aunt!).

Bow Wow Vow exists to get your Dog of Honour to your wedding. As pet owners and massive animal lovers we understand how important it is to have your faithful companions involved, and as event professionals we also know how to make this possible and stress-free.


The styling was a mix between rustic and modern industrial to complement the mill location. A muted palette of grey, white and black styling teamed with some simple greenery and hand-tied bouquets provide a muted palette that ensured the dogs are the stars of the show.

We didn’t want anything super polished (as having a pet never is!) but wanted to show dogs do fit with the sometimes formal occasion of a wedding.

Minimalist acrylic props and fonts mixed with tactile papers and hand drawn illustrations on the stationery, supplied by Suzanne Oddy Design, fitted the same brief.

We think it’s important to shop small, local and independent just like the makers in this shoot; including Fizzy Pigg, Wedding in a Teacup, Bertie & Fred, and Birdcages and Dragonflies.

The cakes and desserts, created by Cow and Cake Catering, were also carefully designed to look artistic and a little abstract and play with the colour palette a little more – with both some human and hound options!


The dresses, supplied by Bexbrides, were handmade entirely for this shoot and designed to be artistic but elegant. The skirts and veil were all lovingly hand dyed to introduce the grey tint.

The handsome groom was dressed in simple monochrome and grey with contrasting trousers and jacket, from The Bridgewater Menswear, to keep things modern and a bit more casual for a woodland walk.

Playing dress up with the dogs was a lot of fun and although we didn’t always stick to the brief colour wise – it was great getting different shots of the dogs all looking super photogenic in whatever they were wearing!


It was so important to choose suppliers that were animal lovers, and Nicola Whitfield ensures that all her hair and makeup products are cruelty free, and absolutely not tested on animals. Proving that you can look good on your wedding day without any unnecessary suffering.

Hair and makeup was kept really simple to allow the model’s natural beauty to shine through and for the details to pop, such as those special gowns, stunning backdrops and incredible auburn hair! We’re big advocates of looking like ‘you’ – we don’t want your dog to struggle to recognise you!


The images by Mr & Mrs Boutique Wedding Photography really sum up the day and capture those camera-loving pooches teamed with a stunning location and well themed details perfectly. It was an eventful day, putting lots of wedding and pet loving people together, with so many photogenic pooches – how couldn’t you have fun?

We hope it serves as inspiration for those dog-owning couples contemplating having their furry friend at their celebration.

Bow Wow Vow is expanding and will soon be able to offer our wedding pet care services in more areas outside of Yorkshire, meaning more couples can have their dogs at their wedding – stress-free!


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