By Becca Husselbee
A couple who consider their pets as part of the family decided they should be part of their big day too and gave their two dogs the roles of best man and maid of honour on their wedding day.
The two Malamutes, Phil, four, and Niko, three, were by Emma-Leigh and Shane Matthews side on their wedding day, on July 30, at Abbey House Hotel, in Furness, and dressed for the occasion, fulfilling all their necessary duties.
The two pooches were on their best behaviour as they walked down the aisle, fitted with a GoPro, attended the reception and even sent the happy couple off with a sparkler.
Emma-Leigh, an Offshore Business Improvement Leader, said: “I am dog mad and my dogs go where ever I go.
“If I can’t look after them then they stay with close immediate family but since everyone I am close to was at the wedding, they just had to be there.
“Plus you wouldn’t get married without your children, my dogs are my children.
“Their faces lit up every time they saw us and they knew it was a special day, even just getting ready on the morning of the wedding and having my girl, Niko, with me calmed my nerves.”
“They were on their best behaviour but the only downside was that we had to keep them on leads as the hotel was on a main road and also due to their size because it can worry some people.
“Usually they are off lead and free so it was rare to see them on leads all day.”
Emma-Leigh and her husband Shane, an insurance Claims Team Leader, bought their first male Alaskan Malamute, Phil, four years ago who was followed by female Malamute, Niko, a year later.
They live at their home in Salford, Manchester, with another four-legged friend, Milo the six-month-old ragamuffin cat, who unfortunately could not attend the wedding due to it being a feline-free zone but didn’t still get to dress the part.
The group of three have their own Instagram account with nearly 300,000 followers and often take the Malamute pair on walks with some of their adoring fans.
Emma-Leigh said: “The pups even get the opportunity to go on a family snowboarding holiday every year in Aviemore, Scotland, and will be heading off as soon as the season starts.