The wedding of Samantha Duckert and Kendel Clark was definitely a day neither the happy couple nor the wedding guests will ever forget. The guests were in shock when they saw the bridal party walking down the aisle holding rescue puppies instead of traditional floral bouquets.
Samantha is a dog lover and always wanted dogs to be a part of her special day. Kendel said, “I originally wanted to use my own three dogs but decided that they already have love and a home, so I decided I wanted to try to help rescue dogs.”
The unusual bouquets were welcomed with open arms (quite literally) and the bride and groom said all of their guests loved the idea. Samantha wanted a wedding that suited her dog-loving nature, much like the 40% of brides and grooms-to-be who look for unconventional venues to better represent their personalities.
Kendel said the reception had plenty of adoptable dogs available and that all the money raised during the dollar dance, where guests pay to dance with the bride or groom, would also be donated to the rescue shelter.
The newlyweds teamed up with De Soto-based AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport for the Chiweenies, which are a chihuahua and dachshund mix, for the big day. AHeinz57 is a non-profit, foster-based animal rescue. They provide free transportation all over the Midwest and Canada for dogs from traditional shelters to no-kill shelters. They also take dogs that are on death row and place them in foster or forever homes.
The animal shelter was “pretty delighted” that Samantha wanted to use her wedding day to raise awareness about adopting shelter dogs. Kendel was worried they’d be uncertain about the idea, but the owner of the rescue organization, Amy Heinz, thought “it was a really sweet way to bring awareness to rescue dogs.”
Kendel told local outlet KCCI TV that the wedding photos went viral. The posts had thousands of likes, shares, and comments. And luckily for the puppies, this brought in a massive number of applications from people wanting to adopt them. The wedding was not only a dream come true for the newlyweds, but people are sure to continue admiring their selflessness to share their wedding day with some puppies in need.