"I was so sick of dating websites by that point," she said with a sigh. "I told myself I would go on one more date, but if it didn't work out, I was giving up.
"We had already 'matched,'" my bride continued, "but when I saw the picture of him with his two dogs, I immediately knew I had to send a message.
"We had our first date a few days later...and the rest is history!"
When it comes to weddings (and most other things, actually), our culture is hyper-focused on looks. Couples spend countless hours planning every detail, from the color palette to the cake display to the cocktail menu cards.
But when a couple includes their dog(s) in the wedding, it's about a lot more than just how cute they look.
We all know who is meant by "man's best friend," and we all know people who are crazy about their dogs (aka...well...all dog owners). We all know humans have co-evolved with dogs in a long-standing reciprocal relationship (to the tune of 14,000 years).
Again and again, though, I've seen dogs play a very special role in the relationship between two people.
Like the bride I described earlier who "just had a feeling" about her groom after seeing his picture, we often imagine dog lovers to be warm, caring and affectionate.
If we have a dog already and our new partner bonds with them, it feels like an affirmation of the person or relationship.
And I've worked with countless couples for whom getting a dog together was the significant turning point in their relationship. They feel like a family, with their dog as their "fur-baby." (No judgement, folks...I've got a fur-child, too.)
Many couples tell me that after getting a dog, they could see their partner as a parent...as the future mother or father of their children.
But why is that? If we look a little deeper, I think there's something very important dogs do...for us, and our relationships.
As my fellow interfaith minister, yoga teacher and friend Sam Wilde wrote in her Valentine's Day newsletter:
"Our love is not awakened by another person's worthiness.
Our love is awakened inside of us."
Yes, certainly dogs give us a lot of love. More importantly, though, dogs awaken love inside us.
Like children, dogs bring out our sense of ourselves as generators of love, rather than merely receivers of it.
Instead of something we have or we lack, something we give or we withhold, love is something we are.