Brisbane celebrant Andrew Sinclair chats with Kylie Bennett
How long have you worked with animals?
My love for animals has been life long, I knew as a child working with animals was where I wanted to be. In 2006 I begun my vet nursing career and in 2010 I begun pet sitting for a company. I started my own Pet Sitting business in 2012 and in 2018 I purchased both the original pet sitting company I worked for and a competitor merging all three of them in July 2018. In 2016 I was lucky enough to work for 3 weeks in Africa at an endangered species centre.
What sparked the idea for Pet Wedding Assistants?
I wish I could say it was my idea, hehe, but I had a friend ask me if I would surprise her husband on their wedding day with their 3 furbabies. I couldn’t have said no if I tried, it was such a special day and moment, I walked down the aisle with the babies just when her husband was expecting her. He instantly begun to cry and it was just such an honour to have been able to do that for them on their day. I then spoke to friends about it and they jumped at the idea too. It was after about 3 weddings a light bulb went off and I decided to attend wedding expos to see what we could achieve. We have now shared over 150 wedding days with pets across Australia.
What are the package options you offer?
We have 4 baseline packages available, but tailor make to our couples needs.
Our most popular is our Tails are Waggin package. It offers 3 hours on the day, 1 hour pre ceremony for a walk, toilet break, preparation and welcoming of guests, 2 hours for ceremony and photos.
The Pawsome Package offers training prior to the day as well to assist with any behaviour or command issues a pet may have and includes everything in the Tails are Waggin package.
Our deluxe package Purr-fect package also offers the Pawsome package as well as a pet sitting option. The pet sitting is either in the couples home or in one of our pet sitters home.
If the couples pet is too excitable or anxious, or heaven forbid their venue isn’t pet friendly we can bring their babies just for photos, this is our PAW-posal package. It is our smallest package which is generally 1.5 – 2.0 hours in duration.
All packages include transport, attire, signs and 100-300 photos taken from the pets perspective throughout the day.
From the weddings you’ve attended, what brings the most joy?
The most joy from each wedding is seeing the love the couple shares and how much that includes their pet. I can honestly say I haven’t been to a wedding that I have teared up at. It is such an intimate moment that you get to share and make even more special with their beloved pet/s. The honour that comes with sharing their day is simply breath taking.
How does your wedding day schedule play out?
Couples will generally book us anywhere between 2 weeks and 2 years in advance. Once the couple has secured their date we will arrange their Pet Wedding Assistant. Their assistant is assigned 8 weeks before their day and then we arrange their meet and greet. This meet and greet allows us to meet with the couple and their furbaby, ensure all the details are correct, try on attire and signs and ensure that everyone is comfortable with each other. Then the day before the wedding we will contact the couple’s celebrant, photographer, videographer and wedding coordinator to introduce ourselves and ensure we have the couples day planned pawfectly. On the day we will arrive to collect the furbaby, we arrive at the ceremony location 1hr prior to the ceremony to ensure the pets are comfortable during the ceremony. Once the ceremony and photos are complete we will then take the babies home. Within 24hrs we will have sent our photos to the couple and a warm congratulations to the newly weds!
What wedding venues in SEQ / Byron are pet friendly?
We are so happy that they are many pet friendly venues around now. We have a list of venues on our website. https://petweddingservices.co/pet-friendly-wedding-venues/
You attend many weddings, what trends are working well for couples?
We have attended over 150 weddings and we do see so much! I must say videographers are amazing and if you can have one get one! Same goes for live singers, they just add another dimension to the day. We also see a lot of smaller weddings, just the dearest and nearest, you can really see the how relaxed the couples are with a smaller wedding. The photos happen quicker, you can actually say hello to everyone on the day and well the wedding bill is less too.
Questions couples should ask suppliers when thinking pets at weddings?
Couples should make sure that their venue is pet friendly and see if there are any restrictions on where pets are allowed. If you are planning a surprise for your partner or guests make sure your photographer/videographer know so that they can capture the moment!
How far out should couples make a pet wedding booking?
The earlier the better however ideally it would be 12 – 6 months before your day.
On a personal note ….
How many fur babies do you have?
My place is a bit of a zoo really, there is Noah the Great Dane x and Bandit the Boxer X, Lina the Devon Rex, Amarni the Albino Darwin Python, Woody the Thoroughbred, Larry the Alexandrine and some fish.
What is your personal goal(s) for 2019/20?
I have so much I want to achieve. I currently work for Queensland Fire and Rescue within the 000 call centre, I would love to finally become a fire fighter, apart from weddings that is my dream job. I also wish to have the business expand within the areas we have just launched, Sydney/Melbourne/Adelaide/Perth. I need to take some time for me as well, I tend to work hard but not play hard enough.
After a wedding day how do you chill?
After each wedding I usually head home, play with my pups and then unwind on the couch with my partner. Weddings are such a high that by the time I get home and come back down, I can be exhausted! I will also go through all the photos from the day and send them to the couple.
Have you had your 5 minutes of fame?
Business wise we have had some great times! Featured on Channel 9, radio stations, newspapers and won awards. I personally have been a finalist in Australian Business Awards Entrepreneur Gold Coast in 2017 and 2018.
Favourite pet movie?
OOO this a good one, Secret Life of Pets, Lady and the Tramp, 101 Dalmations.
Netflix or Stan….what are you watching?
I honestly don’t get much time for TV, I have Netflix…. But not sure the last time I watched it.
Favourite online store?
I don’t really do a lot of shopping either lol
Favourite bricks and mortar store?
Kmart, I am sure these guys lace their aircon with something addictive.
Where are you heading for your next holiday?
Africa (again) this will be my third trip to Africa. If you ever get the chance make sure you get there. It is just incredible. I have friends that I made the first time I was there and will be attending their wedding then doing some exploring.
First Class Pet Wedding Assistants www.petweddingservices.co