To Have and To Howl

Wag Nation taps into Newport’s wedding scene – for dogs

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When mother-daughter duo Alda Fernandes and Tallia Luvera took over Wag Nation exactly one year ago, they were the fourth owners of the 10-year-old pet specialty boutique. The shop had always sold items for cats and dogs, from toys to treats, but they saw an immediate opportunity to expand the apparel section and break into a fun niche: weddings.

Inspired by Tallia’s own wedding, where she incorporated her best furry friend Bogie sporting a bowtie, the pair decided to start sourcing and selling bridal accessories for dogs. Both ladies thought it was a natural fit because of their location in Newport, one of the country’s top wedding destinations.

Today, Wag Nation offers a selection of “blissfully barking nuptial items”, from collars and bandanas to bowties and dresses, most of which are customizable to your wedding colors and pup’s shape and size. There’s a doggie shirt with “Love” written in Swarovski crystals and bandanas resembling a tuxedo. Tallia recalls a man who came in looking to have his Great Dane dressed up as a groomsman – but the most memorable moment? Says Tallia, “We had a request for cat booties!”