The Packard Proving Grounds Wedding of Kierston & Andrew

The Packard Proving Grounds Wedding of Kierston & Andrew: August 19, 2023

Picture this: a charming wedding in the heart of Metro Detroit at the historic Packard Proving Grounds, where we had the pleasure of providing wedding DJ, videography, and photography services. Sounds like a typical wedding, right? Well, think again!

Our latest wedding gig threw us a delightful curveball. You won’t believe it, but the bride and groom decided to add a puppy adoption event to their wedding reception. Yes, you read that correctly—puppies at a wedding! It was a surprise that left us all in awe and added a whole new layer of uniqueness to their big day. As seasoned wedding pros, we thought we’d seen it all—gorgeous flower arrangements, touching vows, and stunning sunset ceremonies. But this wedding? It was in a league of its own.

The bride and groom’s decision to incorporate a puppy adoption event into their celebration turned an already special day into something truly extraordinary. We had the privilege of capturing this unforgettable moment in wedding photos and video, and it warmed our hearts like nothing else.

Recently, we had the chance to chat with the bride, Kierston, to understand what inspired this heartwarming addition to their wedding. What made them decide to host a dog adoption event on their big day?

Tell us why you both decided to include a puppy adoption at your wedding. Is this a close passion for you? If so, why?

            “I am a veterinarian in Farmington Hills so of course I have to have some dogs at the wedding. We have a dog and a cat and thought it’d be too stressful to bring our own pets. It was much easier to have someone else bring them all, set it up, and take them away without much input from us.”

Which shelter did you choose to help and why?

            My vet hospital works with the pet store, Petland, in Novi. I take care of all the puppies there every Thursday and perform exams, give vaccines, treat ailments, and sign health certificates saying they are healthy and approved to be adopted. If a puppy is sick, they come and stay at our hospital for treatment and monitoring. Since I have gone there weekly, I asked if they could bring some puppies to my wedding. It was kind of a special treatment thing. They do community outreach events like this where they bring puppies to events, but coming to the wedding was something nice they did for me at no cost! I am not sure if they have been to weddings before mine.”

Was this a surprise for your guests or did they know?

            “It was a surprise for most guests but I had a very hard time keeping it a secret. I told close friends and immediate family but extended family and other guests had no idea. I had my officiant announce it at the end of the ceremony before releasing guests so it gave them a heads up there were some “furry friends” waiting for them!”

What was the reaction your guests had? They had to LOVE IT!

            “The guests were so happy! I wanted to get all my pictures out of the way beforehand so I could spend cocktail hour with my guests and play with the puppies as well (like I don’t do this every week anyways). I only got to spend a little bit of time with them but it was still fun and I am so happy to see all the adorable wedding photos of people with the puppies. I think it was very unique and set my wedding apart from others. Guests told me after that having the puppies was totally something I would do and they had never seen that before!”

Your advice to couples who may be interested in doing something similar.

         “Even before I graduated vet school I had this idea. I said “I am having puppies at my wedding if it’s the last thing I do”. I thought about how I am going to do this- reach out to shelters, contact a friend who’s dog had puppies, etc. Learning that my vet hospital worked with Petland was a perfect opportunity.”

“I would still recommend this to others because it was so fun though may be difficult to pull off without connections. The puppies only need to be there for cocktail hour which is a short amount of time and is not overwhelming for them. The Petland dogs are used to being heavily handled at the store so were very well socialized.”

If a couple wanted to do this, I would recommend smaller breed puppies which can be held easily instead of larger breed like labs, rottweilers, goldens, etc. Though very cute, can get extremely squirmy being held and may need to be set down more often, and can play bite a lot larder than small breed dogs. Nobody adopted these puppies though guests defiantly were fighting it. The Petland dogs are a few thousand dollars, so if truly wanting an adoption opportunity, I recommend working with rescues and individual fosters, though I have no recommendations on which ones.

Also, don’t forget to have the puppies up to date on vaccines and deworming protocols. Puppies are not fully vaccinated nor have their Rabies vaccine until 12-16 weeks but at least starting vaccines is very important before going to public events.

  • Venue: Packard Proving Grounds
  • Florist: Thrifty Florist
  • Caterer: Chowhound Gourmet
  • Cake: Cakes by Deb (hobby baker)
  • Bridal Salon: J. Andrews Bridal (Atlanta, GA)
  • Menswear: Brighton Tux Shop
  • Makeup Artist: Summer Does Weddings (family friend)
  • Wedding Coordinator: Lauren Tonne, Peonies and Perfection
  • Wedding DJ, photography, and videography: Mike Staff Productions

Wedding Videography at Packard Proving Grounds

Wedding Photography at Packard Proving Grounds