The Glen Oaks Village Enchanted Forest Dog Park has been the site of birthday parties and Halloween contests since its inception in 2012. But Dee Philips and James Forrester turned it up a notch and decided to have their wedding photoshoot at the private dog run on Friday, April 9.
The four-legged wedding party included Philips’ two fur babies Chloe and Sunday, Forrester’s dog Bailey, and three of their puppy friends.
It wasn’t an easy task to get the dog pack to pose for the wedding photos. However, bribing the pooches, wearing fashionable dog wedding attire with treats seemed to do the trick and the canines eventually settled down.
The bride, who works as a bid administrator for Tully Construction, told QNS that the couple met 30 years ago at Rikers Island during a construction project.
Forrester, who was the plumber for the construction company, walked into Philips’ trailer and asked if he could use the fax machine. Philips said she responded by saying, “I’m not your mother, lover or your friend.”
They reconnected while working at Ground Zero. The friendship developed over the years, and they grew closer, especially during the pandemic.
Dee was the one who initiated the nuptials about a month ago.
“I’m like, ‘Well, you want to do it?’ And then he’s like, ‘Yeah,'” the beaming bride said.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the couple tied the knot in a virtual ceremony earlier in the day at their home and will have a small celebration with their closest friends — most are already vaccinated — at Tavern 18.
Asked by QNS why they decided to have their wedding photos taken at the picturesque dog park, which sits on a gentle slope and is covered with special K9 artificial turf, Philips cited the connection the couple has with their furry friends.
“Our dogs helped us through a lot of things during this pandemic, you know,” she said. “There are our babies. We are both 56, we are not going to have any kids, and they are our kids.”
“We are always here,” she added. “We have pool parties here for the dogs; they have Halloween costume parties where everybody dresses up. It’s safe, everybody’s vaccinated, everybody’s neutered, and they cleaned it up for us today.”
“It’s our home away from home,” James added.