Making your beloved four-legged friend a feature of your wedding is big business for a Staffordshire couple – as TV stardom continues to beckon
Emma and Ade Cartlich (pictured) have been running Precious Pets Weddings since 2018.
The dog chaperone service helps couples’ pets play a part in their wedding or simply be at the event.
And since its launch more than five years ago, the business has gone from strength to strength and become a popular fixture on TV screens.
“We were on Dragons Den in 2021, pitching our business to the dragons,” Emma tells Staffordshire Living.
“Following our pitch being aired on the TV, we had a lot of interest in our chaperone service and secured our first Precious Pets Weddings London Chaperone at The Old Marylebone Town Hall.
“Then the media exposure continued, editors of large local and national newspaper tabloids and prime time TV shows kept on approaching us.
“We were recently on the One Show and we appeared on This Morning a few months ago.”
Gap in the market
Precious Pets was born in 2018 after Ade decided to change career. He re-trained as a dog groomer and both he and Emma began working together, offering additional services, such as dog walking, puppy visits, pet sitting and cat care at home.
It wasn’t until they chaperoned friends’ dogs at their weddings as a gift, and even organised one to be a surprise ring bearer, that they realised there was a gap in the market.
Wedding chaperoning became part of the couples’ offering and the business began to grow – then Dragon’s Den came along.
“The Dragons’ Den Research Team actually contacted us to be on the show,” Emma explains.
“We felt so privileged to be given the opportunity to pitch our business in front of The Dragons’ and millions of TV viewers.
“From start to finish the whole experience was positive, everyone made us feel at ease while delivering our pitch and even though we did not get investment, we didn’t feel disappointed as it was great exposure for our business.”
Indeed, the service has grown tremendously and is thriving despite the pandemic.
The forecast for the future is bright, says Emma, and they are proud of what they have achieved, including a number of awards
She says: “We are a very passionate and determined pet loving husband and wife duo who are proud to have been able to scale the business up even through a global pandemic and have been awarded many prestigious awards along the way including “National Winner” in The Wedding Business Awards.
“We have expanded our chaperone service’s geographical area from not just in Staffordshire but surrounding counties and have also hit the London wedding scene since November 2021.
“During the pandemic, like other wedding businesses, 99 per cent of our wedding bookings were postponed, not once, but sometimes numerous times depending on changing restrictions. However, we are very happy to confirm we have completed all covid postponement chaperones and 2022 has been and continues to be a record-breaking year for us.
“The wedding industry is seeing its busiest time ever and our 2023/2024 dates are filling up fast and we have even been approached to open up our 2025 waiting list.”
Over the last few years, Emma and Adrian have enjoyed looking after lots of different dogs at different types of weddings.
From alfresco forest affairs to glam gatherings, they’ve probably done it all.
But there is one request that is becoming more and more popular.
“We are getting requests for our “secret” wedding dog chaperon service,” Emma reveals. “This is where couples are surprising each other with their dogs making a surprise appearance at their wedding.
“Surprising the wedding guests with their dog as a ring bearer is also very popular.
“One of the most fun surprises we did was at Chloe and Leigh’s wedding at Foxtail Barns, where we staged that the best man had lost the wedding rings, then we appeared with Dougie who had the ring attached to him and he came running down the aisle. Priceless moment.
“We have completed chaperones with four dogs that had three outfit changes, and all had different roles in the wedding.”
Now the couple are hoping to expand further.
“We have exciting plans,” adds Emma. “We plan to invest in a second chaperone vehicle and are in the final stages of launching a recruitment drive for additional chaperones to cope with demand locally in Staffordshire, its surrounding counties and across the UK.”