AN animal-mad couple chose to pose with their pets and not parents in their wedding pictures.

The pair from Partington are known for their love of their dogs and horses, and after gawking at the cost of a wedding photographer, they hired a pet photographer to take the pictures instead.

The couple, Ben and Sarah McDermott, said: “Our animals are such a big part of our life, it seemed wrong not to have them involved in our special day.”

Ben and Sarah met through their shared love of horses, and although their big day was far from conventional, the 50 guests of the bride and groom didn’t bat an eyelid.

Sarah said: “Our friends and family know exactly what we’re like. They thought it was very ‘us’ and a brilliant idea. Our guests weren’t at all surprised that our dogs and horses would be involved in our big day.”

Ben and Sarah’s wedding took place in Sale’s registry office, with the reception being held at Red House Farm in Dunham Massey. The couple just had to pop to the nearby Dairy House Farm Livery to pose for pictures with their pets.

“I was wearing a traditional white dress with a veil and Ben was in a three piece suit. Our friends had groomed our dogs and the two horses”

“When we got to the stables, Sue, who took the photos, was there waiting for us with everything set up. We quickly did the shoot before moving on to the reception.”

Sue Westwood-Ruttledge, the photographer who runs two photography businesses taking portraits of horse and dog owners with their pets, said: “I thought it was a lovely idea to involve their animals in this way on their wedding day and their guests were very understanding.

“As an equine and canine photographer, I completely understand how big a part people’s pets play in their lives. I’m completely potty about my horse and dogs too.”

Friends and family did take snaps of the wedding throughout the service and reception, but the official wedding photographs take pride of place around the house.

Sarah added: “My favourite is one where we’re both riding horses in the barn. We’re each sitting on our horses, side by side, and they are touching noses. It’s a beautiful reminder of our special day.”