Hi! I’m Di Symes
Your Wedding Chaperone
Where it all began!
I’m Di Symes and I am the founder and owner of That’s Pawfect Wedding Chaperone®. The lovely chap in the photo with me is my hubby Tony. Est 2017 my little business was the first in Staffordshire to provide a bespoke Wedding Chaperone Service for Dogs.
I don’t know where this saying came from but it’s the one I remember that changed everything: “You’ll only earn money for two things in your life – to pay the bills and to spend it to make you happy. So why not do something that makes you happy then all you have to do is pay the bills!”
My dream of having a business based around dogs and giving them the best experiences was inspired by and born from the love of our two bouncy balls of Golden Retriever fun – Oscar and Barney.
I was home based with my job when we made the decision to have Oscar and learning to take care of a 9 week old puppy didn’t come without it’s challenges! It had been a few years since either of us had experienced puppy mahem but we fell in love instantly and wanted to do the right thing by Oscar and ourselves.
We enrolled in the usual puppy socialisation and training classes, read books and articles about the breed and helped Oscar with all the essential learning. During this time my interest and wanting to learn more about dogs started to grow. When Barney joined us a year later our family unit was complete.
My job meant I was at home at least 65% of the week so we were lucky to spend time together. At weekends and holidays we took them to different places and shared lots of experiences to make many precious family memories as possible. Our only regret was that we did not have our boys when we got married, timing was wrong so we don’t have those special memories to treasure but there is no doubt in both our minds that they would’ve played a key part in the day.
The more I got to know and love the boys, my interest in everything dog continued to rise and I wanted more! Eventually, with a newly stoked fire in my belly, my New Year’s resolution was to explore having a career that allowed me to spend even more time with our boys and dogs generally.
So while still holding down a position of responsibility, my initial research and journey through a new industry began with listing & understanding what was actually available out there for dog owners.
In my head I had a clear vision to provide consistent, safe and high quality skilled pet care, which also enabled delivery of a top notch Wedding Day chaperone service for our four legged friends and their owners. My market research identified no-one was providing this so here was the gap I could fill, now where to start?!
I signed up for pet care and pet business courses (evenings and weekends) to help build knowledge and skills, enrolled with industry trade organisations and attend trade shows. I completed a Pet First Aid course and I also volunteered at a local dogs home to help with dog walking during weekends. This helped me to gain additional experience of many breeds, with different personalities and traits. As my confidence and understanding continued to grow I knew I was on the right path and was certain I could offer something a bit more special and unique not just for dogs but for their owners too.
Finally, in 2017 after working my 6 month’s notice in a very well paid role of 16 years, with all the perks and benefits, I left the organisation to launch That’s Pawfect! I’m proud to say that since launch we have achieved a consistent 5* customer rating, were nominated for and made it through as a Regional Finalist in The Wedding Industry Awards 2020 and WON the 2021 Regional Finals!!!
Now I’m with dogs 7 days a week/52 weeks of the year, from very small ones to great big tall ones and everything in-between.
Working and living with dogs every day is never dull and is so rewarding. They constantly surprise me with their quirky natures, their ability to learn, adapt and the never-ending love and support they provide for their owners.
Registering the business back in 2015 there was never any question or doubt that we would look to provide a service that ensures your furbaby, along with all other family and loved ones can actually take part in one of the biggest days of your life!
Now i’m doing something that makes me truly happy and all I have to do is pay the bills and to me, That’s Pawfect!
That’s Pawfect Wedding Chaperone® We take the lead, whilst you’re tying the knot!
I make sure your pooch takes part in your Big Day! no stress, no hassle, no worries!
The whole process has been designed to keep things simple and straight forward! To start we can chat agree a date and time where I can come along to meet with you and your dog. This is a free no obligation session and an ideal introduction opportunity for us all. We can then chat things through and agree yours and your dogs needs. Once I have captured all the details I will provide quotes for your review and final decision.
All logistics are taken care of
Whether collecting your dog from home, a family member or friends house or kennels, they will be transported safely to and from each venue and returned safely to their final destination point
Pre, during and post pet care needs covered
From the familiarisation sessions leading up to the big day, the care and handling on the day itself, to feeding and settling them back down at their final drop off point; your beloved pet will receive dedicated, safe, professional and experienced care and attention throughout
Support and assistance provided for your photographer
Making and capturing those precious memories is a key part of the day. We work closely with your photographer and pooch to achieve the very best moments captured on film to treasure furever
Ethical service delivery - Getting greener each year
A key aim for our business is to become a more sustainable and eco-friendly organisation. Since launching in 2017 we have continued to work with like minded companies to source 100% natural, sustainably produced dog treats and toys. Our home poured candle favours are encased in 100% recycled materials and we only use 100% natural essential, pet friendly oils. The cleaning products used to disinfect our pet taxi are also 100% natural, pet friendly and cruelty free. Even the display units we use at the artisan markets we attend, are either made out of cardboard, rattan or natural, unstained wood. All our poop bags used and sold are degradable to a maximum of 12 months to completely disappear and we even have fully compostable bags that disintegrate within 4 months! We have recently become a paperless organisation and we are currently focused on developing our Green Business Policy which will confirm our strategy for our long term improvements.