I Went to the Most Expensive Pet Wedding in History
Answer: Donning a white satin button-down shirt with a double-breasted tux coat and tails, shaking his tush at a bevy of bedazzled bridesmaids, then falling asleep in the cab ride home while I emptied freeze-dried chicken treats from my purse.
Question: What are three things my dog experienced on the evening of Thursday, July 12, in New York City?
I attended the “Pet Wedding of the Century” with my Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, in full formal attire. Pet lifestyle expert, author, humanitarian and television personality Wendy Diamond hosted the “Cinderella style” Guinness World Record-breaking extravaganza at the Jumeriah Essex House for her pooch, Baby Hope Diamond. Carat by carat, here are some of the evening’s sparkling highlights (and why it happened in the first place).
The Bride “Triumphs”
Master of ceremonies and altar emcee Triumph the Insult Comic Dog officiated the wedding, wherein Virginia resident (and Poodle) Chilly Pasternak was united fur-ever to Baby Hope, a rescued Coton de Tulear. Triumph, the cigar-toting character puppet best known for mocking celebrities, reminded Chilly to think about the marriage long and hard, as Katie Holmes is now back on the market.
To Have and to Hold a World Record
Representatives from the Guinness Book of World Records were in attendance to announce the canine commitment with all its trimmings is a new record holder as "the Most Expensive Pet Wedding.” With $158,000 donated to honor Lucky Diamond, the wedding broke the previous world record set by two cats in Thailand in 1996 (then a mere $16,241). With all receipts totaled, it is believed the gala will hit a grand total of $250,000.
A Lucky Legacy
Gone but not forgotten, Diamond’s 15-year-old Maltese, Lucky, passed away in June. Lucky started her life in an animal shelter and went on to inspire Diamond’s crusade for animals in need. Lucky received the Guinness Book of World Records for the “Animal Most Photographed with Celebrities.” Her legacy loomed large at the gala, from the inspiration for the cake designed by television hit show Cake Boss (which was present for filming) to a floral sculpture designed in her honor.
Diamond has made giving back and advocating for animals her life’s passion, with her baby’s “puptuals” continuing the tradition. All donations and proceeds from the event benefit the Humane Society of New York. “Lucky’s inspirational life and her legacy of helping animal rescue and welfare shone in her lifelong animal advocacy canine career,” Diamond says. The Humane Society named its critical care unit for Lucky as a tribute to her and all the animals she saved in her lifetime. I was fortunate to meet Lucky at the Betty White Friars Club Roast this spring, and she is eternally missed.
Say Yes to That Dress!
The groom donned a ravishing tuxedo from Hec-Lin Designs, but it was the bride who took our breath away. Brother-and-sister team Henry and Michelle Roth set the “bark” high, to the tune of a $6,000 custom gown for Baby Hope. I’ve dreamt of the day I could “say yes to the dress” in watching weekend marathons of television’s bridal reality show of the same name. Her Coton majesty spent an entire afternoon at the world’s largest bridal shop, Kleinfelds, and her gown was roveringly ravishing.
The Poo Poo of Who’s Who
Custom floral arrangements, a wedding planner to the stars, a sushi chef extraordinaire, and the Cake Boss himself all had a presence at this affair. The five-tiered wedding cake with sugar orchids and model dog high atop sashayed onto the dance floor as the Hank Lane Orchestra entertained the crowd. Adding to the ambience and love in the air (and dog hair in the air, as those of us wearing black could attest), pop and opera singer Nathan Pacheo belted a romantic song. Think Josh Grobin meets Andrea Bocelli, and this star is born.
Flavor to Savor
Let them eat cake, indeed, but before the Cake Boss rolled out his intricate edible artwork, stations of human delicacies were attended to. From salmon to sushi and Mexican to American, Diamond’s attention to detail never wavered. Pooches honed their appetites and then some at the Halo-sponsored food buffet.
As for your humble narrator, right now I’ve just returned from a short late-night walk, clad in sweatpants and sneakers, around the Chelsea district of New York City with my pooch. Reality has set in as I reach for a clean-up bag from my pocket. Who says fairy “tails” can’t come true?
Have you ever been to a dog wedding or a wedding where a dog was involved? Let us know in the comments!