The two chihuahuas, one dressed in a black royal suit and one in a white wedding dress, complete with a long, billowing veil, were the center of attention at the 2019 New York Pet Fashion Show. Here, guests witnessed the “royal pup-ital wedding.”
“This is going to be the most spectacular wedding you can imagine, maybe outside of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry,” said Gregg Oehler, chairman of the NY Pet Fashion Show.
According to Oehler, The New York City Pet Fashion Show is the largest pet fashion and animal benefit event in the world. Each year, fashion designers from around the country descend on the venue in Manhattan, with humans and animals alike dressed in flamboyant costumes and fancy dresses. A chihuahua dressed as a royal guard, a disabled dog in a dress attached to her “wheelchair,” and even a mini horse in red and white sequin stripes walked the aisle.
More than a dozen dogs, many either rescued or up for adoption, touted their fashionable wears on the runway. The highlight of the evening, though, was the holy matrimony of Meghan Barkle and Harry Prince of Tails.
The “minister” of the evening was Rick Johnson, who typically officiates human weddings through his ordination at The Universal Life Church. Tonight would be his first dog wedding–not that Harry and Meghan were eligible for a technically legal union. “New York may not recognize them, but everyone here will,” he said before the ceremony.
The procession started with a short drive in a remote-controlled Mercedes-Benz down a hallway in the upstairs of the Hotel Pennsylvania, which was lined with plastic wrap in case of accidents. In spite of all the excitement, the animals were generally calm and sat patiently for pictures and videos.
Later, the official marriage ceremony began. “Dearly beloved, and humans too,” Johnson began. Johnson then “translated vows,” citing long walks and watching “Petflix” together. It was presumed that both animals would have said “I do” if they could have.
“I now pronounce you loving partners for life,” he concluded. “Sniffing and licking is now permitted.” Harry and Meghan’s human companions then placed them in a white wagon and pulled it down the aisle as the animals looked out quietly towards the audience. Camera flashes blinked repetitively throughout the room.
While 2019 was the first year that the New York Pet Fashion show took place, the show generally happens every February. The event funds and brings awareness to The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, which is an umbrella group for 150 rescues and shelters. Anyone in the NYC area who is looking for a pet is encouraged to look at pet adoptions. If your rescued pet dresses well enough, they may get to walk the runway at next year’s NY Pet Fashion Show.
By Kristin Hugo, contributor for Ripleys.com