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Party Pets

Story By Jennifer Quinn

Photography By Dkin Photography -

Our pets are family. Some of the most important guests at the wedding are those we see everyday, and pets are no exception. Many couples are planning for ways to make them a part of the big day.

Cristin and David Kelley made sure their furry best friends were by their sides as they officially became a family. Ellie and Dusty were even a part of the bar menu, each being a signature drink. During the ceremony, Ellie had a few things to say, making sure the bride was always in sight. Dusty couldn’t get enough of the love in the air and the pats on his head.

Ellie, a Boxer-Pitbull mix, is Cristin’s best friend. Nothing beats walks around Chestertown or trips to the family home in Philadelphia. Since the day Ellie was adopted from Puppy Paws Rescue Maryland in 2018, the pair have been inseparable.

Dusty and David have been pals for almost 8 years, when David took him in summer of 2015. The 10 year old Chesapeake Retriever couldn’t have a better home, loving all types of attention and belly rubs. The term “man’s best friend” is certainly true with these two. Not only are Ellie and Dusty important to their humans, they are important to each other. Dusty is a comfort, “essentially Ellie’s emotional support companion” said the bride.

On Feb. 1, 2021, David got down on one knee in Worton Park and proposed. The surprise was made better having the dogs, and they even helped to disguise the true nature of the outing. Walks in the park and adventures with the dogs were a big part of their relationship. They knew the dogs had to be a part of the wedding day.

Dusty is always up for anything but Ellie was the worry. Making sure to think of everything was what made this day possible. The venue had to be OK with dogs, be close to home and there had to be someone to take the dogs home after the photos. Everything worked out perfectly. Great Oak Manor was great with the dogs, a family friend would rather hangout with the pups and miss cocktail hour mingling and the dogs were on their best behavior.

Practice was the true hero.

The dogs got time in front of a camera at engagement photos as well as experiencing new places like Wildly Native Flower Farm and the Chestertown Farmers Market. On the day of, Dusty got his fill of attention, hanging with the groomsmen and watching everyone come down the aisle while Ellie waited until she saw Cristin. The second she was in sight, Ellie’s eyes never left her.

The day wouldn’t have been the same without these kind creatures.

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