Say hello to one bride’s best friend. When Briana Schaefer married the love of her life on November 4, the bride wanted to make sure that her best friend and beloved golden retriever, Norah, played a pivotal role in the ceremony—as the flower girl.
“The bond we have with Norah is special, she’s our fur baby,” Schaefer tells The Knot. “She’s brought so much joy and laughter to the both of us in the four years we’ve had her—she’s part of the fabric of our little family. My husband even made sure to include her in the proposal.”
The bride and groom first got Norah as a puppy after the death of their beloved dog, Tandi, who passed away from bone cancer in 2014.
“I was absolutely devastated when Tandi passed and immediately missed having a companion around,” says Briana. “Bringing Norah into our lives in February 2014 really brought light back into it. And, her name actually means ‘honor’ and ‘light’ so it fits perfectly… She’s definitely a ‘mama’s girl,’ but she will wait all day for my husband, Kevin, to come home so she can rough house with him.”
Nearly four years after receiving the gift of Norah, the couple married at the Stan Mansion in Chicago. “Very few people were surprised we included her in the ceremony,” Briana adds. “I was asked by quite a few people prior to the wedding if she’d be in it.”
During the ceremony, Briana maintained her typically mellow demeanor—but of course there was an incentive attached.
“She loves treats so she will do just about anything you ask of her, so long as there is a reward at the end,” says the bride. “The only challenge we had was figuring out who would pick her up after the ceremony and bring her back to our house. Luckily, our wonderful dog walker Daniele Laub of Dilly Dally Dog Club made a special trip to Stan Mansion to pick her up and bring her back to our house for us.”
Photos captured by Rudy Valentino show the patient and well-tempered pooch walking down the aisle with her co-flower girl.