Puppy playdates led to love for this vegan couple.


This Couple’s Doggies Made Their Vegan Wedding Possible

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Like a meet-cute scene from a movie, Renata Henry and Eli Duber’s dogs, River and Leo, introduced the two outside of their Denver apartment complex one frosty winter morning. “They ran into each other and just couldn’t stop playing,” Renata recalled. After setting up multiple puppy playdates, the friends took their relationship to the next level on a first date at a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater, an iconic open-air music venue built in a rock structure. “We moved in together after a month, and luckily, it ended up working out,” Renata laughed.

After seven years together, the timing finally seemed right once Eli finished grad school. Renata bought a ring and got down on one knee, much to her boyfriend’s surprise. The newly engaged sweethearts celebrated with a champagne picnic at Denver’s popular City Park.

Renata and Eli might not have met if it weren't for their dogs.  | HALEY J PHOTO

After months of wedding planning, the couple married at Eli’s parents’ picturesque property in Bigfork, MT, with an eclectic theme combining old-school Western and Bohemian styles.

The couple's 90 wedding guests were treated to a relaxed and inviting nuptial atmosphere. | HALEY J PHOTO

Between the scenic lake backdrop, antique furniture atop Middle Eastern-style rugs, and rainbow-colored Chinese paper lanterns, the pair created a charming, warm, and relaxed atmosphere for their 90 guests.

Eli’s groomsmen dressed to fit the theme with thrifted, cowboy-inspired outfits, while Renata’s bridesmaids wore lace maxi dresses all representing different colors of the rainbow.

Doggies River and Leo played important roles in the wedding celebration. | HALEY J PHOTO

The bride and groom incorporated their beloved canine companions in the ceremony with River as the flower girl and Leo as the ring bearer.

“They were part of the whole day—they’re the reason we met, after all!” Renata says.

An intimate dinner for two followed the ceremony, allowing Eli and Renata to revel in the momentous occasion. | HALEY J PHOTO

After the ceremony, the newlyweds took their dinner on a private boat ride around the lake to soak it all in. “It was really special to take that time together alone.”

Leo and River even took to the dance floor with their newly married human parents. | HALEY J PHOTO

During their first dance to a mash-up of Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” and Slightly Stoopid’s “Don’t Stop,” Leo and River ran out to shimmy with the newlyweds under the twinkling stars.

Renata wore a chic‘70s-inspired lace jumpsuit for the reception. | HALEY J PHOTO

The look

The groom’s all-black cowboy outfit came together from various Western-inspired stores, while the bride stunned in a low-back, lace Christos dress from Brides for a Cause, a non-profit dress reseller that raises funds for women-focused charities. Renata changed into a groovy ‘70s-inspired lace jumpsuit for the reception.

 A deluxe taco bar and dessert table were just part of the vegan food festivities.| HALEY J PHOTO

The menu

The entirely customizable, organic menu from Farm to Fork Catering blew away the wedding’s mostly non-vegan guests. The cocktail hour included Vietnamese spring rolls with ginger peanut sauce and crispy sesame wontons with curried mango-cilantro yogurt dip.

For dinner, a buffet-style taco bar featured two types of fillings: lentil chorizo and sweet-and-spicy cauliflower. A dessert table showcased local Montana fruit ranging from bite-sized huckleberry oat bars to flathead cherry-chocolate cupcakes to blueberry-lemon tartlets.

A classic vanilla cake with buttercream frosting was the piéce de résistance. | HALEY J PHOTO

The cake

Montana cottage bakery The Cake Girl created a classic vanilla cake with buttercream frosting, topped with cherries, raspberries, and figs. The dogs also bit into their own vegan peanut butter-banana wedding cake.

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