Bridesmaids Ditch Flowers for Rescue Pups to Promote Couple's Favorite Cause

Cami Zi Photography
Cami Zi Photography

Most couples spend months planning their dream wedding, which includes picking out the flowers they'll be walking down the aisle with. But for one Sarasota, Florida, couple, the flowers weren't the focus -- they knew they wanted to give back in some way during their November 11 nuptials. So instead of shelling out thousands on overflowing bouquets, Andee and Tina Krasinski chose to have their bridesmaids walk down the aisle holding puppies wearing flower collars. (That's right -- puppies!) In doing so, they hoped to raise awareness of the benefits of pet adoption. And the photos of their big day show just how special that idea turned out to be.

  • The lifelong dog lovers said that they wanted to do something that would benefit their community on their special day.

    "We’re very involved with the community," Andee recently explained to Good Morning America.

    “Our animals are our kids," Tina added. "That’s how we look at them."

    In fact, Andee works as a general manager at Bayside Pet Resort in Sarasota, and worked at animal shelters for years before her current job. Tina, meanwhile, grew up rescuing dogs within her family.

    “I've had to be the person that makes the decision of which animals I can keep and what animals I have to send on to another shelter and hope that they take them," Andee explained. "it's a very hard decision to make -- to look at an animal and essentially say, ‘I choose you to live.'" 

    It was Andee who first came up with the idea to use the pups in their wedding, after she was inspired by a similar story on the website The Dodo. Once she laid eyes on the "puppy bouquets," she knew that dogs had to be a part of their wedding somehow.

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  • Andee says she was able to find the 10 puppies she needed for the ceremony fairly quickly.

    Andee gave a quick call to a local shelter, Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue, and described what they were looking for and why.

    “It was very serendipitous … me contacting them and them just so happening to have 10 puppies from the same litter,” she told Good Morning America.

    The pups had all born just five weeks before Andee made her call and had the “bluest eyes” she'd ever seen in such adorable puppy dogs.

    When it came time for the November ceremony in Plant City, Andee bought a playpen for the puppies to hang out in so guests could play with them during their cocktail hour, People reported.

  • The puppies' mom was also invited to the ceremony, as were volunteers from the shelter.

    “All the bridal party wanted to be holding one at all times because they were so cute,” Andee told People. “They were very well-behaved puppies and we couldn’t have asked for a better group.”

    Well, except for one pup ...

    "We had one accident on one of our bridesmaids, she got peed on,” Andee said.

    But for the most part, the puppies were a hit. 

    “One whined during our vows and actually helped calm us. You know, we giggled instead of crying … It broke the ice a little bit and made me laugh,” Tina shared with GMA.

  • The couple already has a 3-year-old daughter named Carter, who made it clear pretty quickly that she wasn't going to leave without a puppy.

    “Carter looked at one of the puppies and saw the blue eyes and she said, ‘I want this one,'” Andee told People. “‘He has blue eyes like Mama,’ and she was talking about Tina, and that obviously melted our hearts and we said, ‘Absolutely, he’s yours!’ “

    The new addition is named Swift, after Taylor Swift. (Needless to say, the Krasinskis are pretty big fans.) She also joins a pretty large brood already, including two cats and two dogs. 

    "We have room in our hearts, we have room in our home, and what better way to remember our wedding than to bring one of those amazing puppies into our life," Andee shared.

    Two applications were also filed for other puppies at Tina and Andee's wedding, but because the couple had served alcohol, guests were not allowed to adopt at the event.

    “Nate’s Honor Rescue has a rule that no puppies should go home with anybody during an event where there is drinking,” Andee explained. “Our guests were able to take home adoption applications and submit them the next day or the following day after thinking it over.”

    At the end of the day, the couple is just proud that they were able to make a difference and raise awareness for a cause they truly believe in.

    "The goal was to help shelter animals as far as we could reach," Andee said.

    As for future adoption plans, Andee told Good Morning America that perhaps it is time they grow their family in other ways, having adopted four animals within a year.

    "We're done," she said. "My next request is a baby."