By Tui Benjamin
An animal-mad couple managed to tie the knot for just £1,700 by letting their pet pooch film their wedding video – with adorable results.
Dog lovers Sam and Reece Blanch, from Brisbane, Australia, married in front of 50 guests in a picturesque Airbnb in Newrybar, New South Wales, last month.
The thrifty pair, both 26, are saving to set up their own animal shelter so ensured the entire event cost just $3,000 AUD by enlisting the help of their four rescue dogs.
Border collie George, 11, a therapy pooch who was born deaf, acted as chief videographer with the help of a GoPro attached to his back via a harness – and his dogs-eye-view of the ceremony has melted hearts online.
Health insurance worker Sam, originally from Melbourne, said: “No one was surprised that we had George as our videographer filming on a GoPro.
“Involving the dogs was exactly what everyone expected, and no one was surprised by how much they were involved in the ceremony and on the day.
“The dogs were always going to be part of our wedding – every part of it was built around them being involved.
“They were our bridesmaids and groomsmen – we just had one human maid of honour and one human best man, our best friends, to help look after them.
“We wanted to involve our whole family in the celebration – and our dogs are part of our family and lives in every aspect.”
Sam and mechanic Reece, originally from Lismore, New South Wales, are currently spending their honeymoon travelling around Australia’s East Coast in a van with their pooches.
The pair have enjoyed a whirlwind romance since they met on a dating app in February 2017, getting engaged just three months later in May last year.
Their dogs Kiara, nine, a great dane cross, Rema, six, a husky, Rocket, a six-month-old border collie and Parker, an eight-year-old bull mastiff ridgeback cross joined George in making the day special – with Kiara even helping walk Sam down the aisle.
Sam and Reece – who also have eight cats – currently run a small rescue out of their home and are saving to buy a block of land to create a bigger animal shelter.
They spent £85 ($150 AUD) on booze for their cost-cutting nuptials and invited guests to make donations to their animal shelter rather than giving gifts – with music provided by a local 17-year-old busker.
Sam wore a lace dress costing just £61 ($110 AUD) and the vegan couple’s catering for guests was a Domino’s order of 25 pizzas for £85 ($150 AUD).
Sam added: “We hired an Airbnb property, and held the wedding in the gardens.
“We have our future planned out and just to spend so much money on a wedding didn’t make sense, we wanted to be as cost effective as we could.
“George is just the best dog and we always use him as an example for the sorts of amazing pets you can find at rescues.
“It just makes us so happy that we can give them such happy lives.”