Bridesmaids Ditch Bouquets for Rescue Pugs to Honor Florida Bride's Late Brother

Three of the seven pugs are available for adoption.

Pug Wedding
Photo: Mike Wacht

When it came time to plan their nuptials, Michelle Dodds and her fiancé Mike Singler agreed that finding a way to incorporate her late brother Jeffrey "Jay" Nelson Dodds was a must. So, the Florida couple decided to highlight something Michelle and Jay both loved.

For their January 4 wedding in Orlando, all seven bridesmaids walked down the aisle not with traditional flower bouquets, but rather bow-tie-clad rescue pugs from Pug Rescue of Florida.

That's right, pugs.

Wedding Pug Bow Tie
Mike Wacht

According to Good Morning America, Michelle kept the pugs a surprise until her wedding day. Three of the seven pugs—Baby Boy, Darcy, and Hank—are currently up for adoption. The others were on loan, having been previously adopted from Pug Rescue of Florida.

Bridesmaid Leah Grissom told GMA that she felt the tribute to Jay, who passed away unexpectedly in 2017, was a special way to have his presence felt.

"She and Jay were inseparable—she still talks to him daily," Grissom said. "I think it's beautiful and matches Michelle perfectly. She's unconventional, sassy, lively, and loves her pugs!"

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By choosing to honor Michelle's brother this way, the couple also hopes to bring awareness to animal rescue groups like pug Rescue of Florida.

"There are a lot of agencies out there that are struggling and can use the help," the bride's friend, Bobie Polite, told GMA. "Michelle's got one of the biggest hearts I've ever known. ... I'm glad she chose pugs because of her brother."

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