Welcome to the Directory - Emily | Diamond Dogs
How many of you have wanted your fur babies with you on your big day, but decided against it because of the logistical nightmare? Future couples to-be, your worries are solved! Emily from Diamond Dogs has a very cool little thing going on, and we met up to talk about it.
What is your background?
It’s pretty varied! My education background is in health and medical science. Then I combined my love for photography into my Masters which was in Biological Photography. I did half of my study back in the UK, and the other half here. I’ve also spent the last nine or so years working in various roles as a TV camera-woman, a medical photographer and running my own pet photography business Wild At Heart Pet Photography.
How did Diamond Dogs come about?
We had our own wedding and really wanted our dog to be involved, which we found was much harder to organise than we thought! We were really lucky that we have some awesome friends who were able to tend to her every need and handle her quirks but we were mindful that we might be taking away their ability to fully enjoy the day with us. The same situation unfolded for my sister’s wedding last year, so I took on the task of looking after her beloved Golden Retriever during the ceremony with my week old newborn snoozing away in the front row with my husband! I suppose you could say I trialed the idea on family and friends, and set up Diamond Dogs while I was on maternity leave - in between naps of course!
What can a dog expect from a Diamond Dogs package?
I pick your dog up in the morning and we go for a lovely walk, followed by a wash - because of course they ALWAYS get mucky right before the big event! Once they’re prepped and primed we pop on their wedding outfit (perhaps a bow tie or a little corsage collar) and it’s show time! We transport the dogs to the venue for the ceremony, they have their moment of fame with you and get to be in your photos, you get to enjoy puppy cuddles from your furry best friend and when all official duties are done we head home and settle them in at your place, a friends or at a kennel for the night. I make sure to pick up all the poop, your dog gets their regular meals, a few special treats, any medications that might need administering and of course a good drink of water regularly, because as you know Canterbury summers can get pretty hot! You, your friends and family can relax and enjoy the day knowing that your dog is well looked after.
What can a couple to-be expect from a Diamond Dogs package?
I think the most important thing is that I have a lot of experience with dogs and have invested a lot of time in training. I’m trained in pet first-aid, basic animal care, and have completed a course in managing problems of canine behaviour.
Diamond Dogs can tailor packages to suit, and obtain quotes on your behalf for your dog. We can organise and transport your dogs to and from grooming appointments during the wedding week and to the kennel if needed either using your preferred groomer/kennel or we can suggest appropriate services and provide quotes - it’s totally up to you and at the end of it all, you pay just the one bill to us and we take care of the rest.
As a professional photographer, my favourite part of the experience is taking photos of the day from your dog's point of view. Two - three weeks after the wedding, we would meet again for a photo reveal session where you get the opportunity to enjoy a presentation of the images from the day. Basically from there you can buy whatever you love, whether that's a print of your favourite photograph or you want them all in a keepsake album or box - I can sort that for you. They make really unique reminder of your big day.
Dog wedding attire is another service on my list. I have an ideas book that couples can look through to see what options are out there and if you have something in particular in mind to co-ordinate with your wedding colours we can also do custom-made pieces.
I like to think I cover all my bases. With every Diamond Dogs service I provide a smart photo-ready leash, water bowls, treats and wipes to get rid of any eye gunk! I help to assist the official wedding photographer into getting your pet looking in the direction of the camera at the right moments.
Favourite Canterbury Hotspot
Well, I consider myself a bit of an introvert so my idea of enjoying spare time is heading up to the Port Hills with my best furry friend Indy. I love seeing the city all lit up. I get to leave all the stresses of the day down the bottom of the hill and I’m just surrounded by space and fresh air - the perfect place the recharge the batteries! Indy LOVES racing around in the long grass up there. She's a middle-aged lady now but she behaves like a puppy!
What advice would you give to couples to-be when it comes to including their pet in their Wedding?
Obviously you’re going to want your beloved pet with you on your big day, but do think about how your dog will handle things like big crowds, children etc and work around that. If they’re a little anxious, it might be best just to include them in photos with a smaller group of people around, or maybe bring them to the ceremony once everyone has taken their seat - or maybe your dog loves the limelight and wants to be there at the altar with you! Whatever temperament your dog has, I'm always glad to assist and can plan around their needs. Your dog is my number one priority on the day.
You have got to admit that this just the best thing since sliced bread! I’m so excited to have you on board Emily, and I am absolutely fizzing to see the images of your clients fur children this season!