When newlywed Kristen Dupree imagined her dream wedding to her love of five years, Duncan Dupree, she didn't know that their dog, Zeke, would be part of their big day in such a memorable way.
Kristen, 24, a registered nurse who works in labor and delivery, knew that Duncan, 25, didn't want to see her until she walked down the aisle.
"Duncan decided pretty early on that he wanted to see me for the first time walking down the aisle with my father, rather than a 'first look,'" Kristen told TODAY. "In passing, we joked about me doing one with Zeke."
As it turns out, Kristen, whose wedding to Duncan took place Nov. 8 at Izenstone in Spanish Fort, Alabama, made sure to include her 2-year-old AKC black Labrador retriever in pictures that day.
"On the wedding day, I started to get some pre-ceremony jitters and really wanted to see Zeke prior to walking down the aisle," she said. "Zeke had been hanging with Duncan and the groomsmen all day. My matron of honor went to get him for me and it truly was a special moment for me. In the middle of a busy day of hair, makeup, setting up and pictures, it was nice to just love on my dog."
The result of that moment was a series of incredible and adorable pictures by Perri Farlow of Farlow Photography that perfectly show the love between Kristen and her dog.
"My bridesmaids, mother and mother-in-law were the only ones to see the photo shoot," said Kristen. "They all had huge smiles on their faces. We are all dog people and they knew how happy I was to see my boy!"
No matter where Kristen is, Zeke is usually by her side.
"Duncan and I bought Zeke together during my last semester of college at the University of Alabama," she explained. "He was bought to be a companion for me while I was finishing nursing school and Duncan was working in Spanish Fort, Alabama. Anyone that knows us knows how much we love Zeke. He comes everywhere with us. Family beach trips, hunting camp weekends, boat days, we bring him everywhere. He is one of the sweetest dogs you’ll ever meet, and he makes every adventure better!"
Duncan, a landscape foreman, also has a special relationship with Zeke.
"He is our best friend and there was no question about it," said Kristen. "Zeke even stayed in the groom’s suite and slept while the reception was going on. Duncan's groomsmen kept bringing him rolls and green beans to munch on. He even made an appearance on the dance floor at the end of the night."
As for the incredible photos with Zeke that she'll cherish forever, Kristen was surprised by the reaction they've received on Facebook.
"I was blown away by all the comments and shares of the post," she said. "I’m glad people thought it was cute and it brought a smile to their face. And it was nice to know how many people love their dog as much as we love Zeke!"
Congrats to the happy couple — and their best boy!