Hi! I’m Di Symes
Your Wedding Chaperone
Where it all began!
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!”
I’m Di Symes and I am the founder and owner of That’s Pawfect Wedding Chaperone®. The handsome chap in the photo with me is my hubby Tony. Est 2017 and based in Staffordshire, my little business was the first in the UK to provide a bespoke Wedding Chaperone/Pet Care Service for Dogs.
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.
We spend as much time as possible with our boys, ensuring they have many different experiences. 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. However, there is no doubt in both our minds that they would’ve played a key part in the day.
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!
Knowing how we feel about our boys and understanding the real need to include them in your wedding day, spurred me on to develop and launch a bespoke service to help make family wedding day dreams come true.
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. So I took the leap of faith into a completely new industry to do just that, and I share the key milestones of that journey with you below!
Now I am with dogs 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year. I get to spend my time taking great care of these wonderful creatures that fill our lives with so much joy, love and happiness, how lucky am I!!
2011 – Our lives changed furever!
2011 – Being home based 65% of the time & after much deliberation around which breed to have, we decided the time was right for us to have a dog (or two). After meeting a couple of registered breeders, the decision was made & the deposit was paid!
Nov 2011 – Oscar, our 9 week old Golden Retriever puppy joined our household! We enrolled in the usual puppy socilisation & training classes to help us & Oscar with the essential learning.
Oct 2012 – When Oscar’s brother Barney (same dad, different moms) joined us a year later, our family unit was complete & we continued to fall deeper in love with them both & make as many memories together as possible.
Over the next couple of years, the more I got to know and love the boys, my interest in everything dog continued to rise and I wanted more!
2015 – The Journey Began
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 & dogs generally.
Whilst holding down a position of responsibility, I undertook the following:
Initial research, listing & understanding what was already available out there for dog owners
Attended seminars & workshops focussed on canine behaviour
Enrolled with industry trade organisations & attended shows & networking events
Completed Pet First Aid Course
Voluntered at local dogs home to help build confidence & skill set
Developed Business Plan/Strategy & Brand
Aug 2015 – Registered as a LTD company with Companies House
2016 – Completed pet care & business courses (evenings/weekends) to build knowledge & skills
Sourced products that were ethically aligned with our values & sustainability strategy
Set up social media platforms & pet care/retail website
2017 – Dream became real
Finally in 2017, after working 6 months notice in a responsible, very well paid role of 16 yrs, I left the organisation to launch That’s Pawfect, the first of it’s kind in the UK!
Our Mission “To provide safe, consistent & high-quality experiences for our four-legged friends & their owners”
Proud to say we have & continue to achieve a 5* customer review rating
2020 – During pandemic took web design course & produced & launched this site, further developed brand & applied & succeeded in achieving a fully Registered Trademark
2021 – Became a paperless company, launched our Giving Back Campaign & are the FIRST Wedding Chaperone/Pet Care business to sign up to the UN Race to Net Zero Campaign
We won the Pet Industry Federation (PIF) Pet Business Service of the Year 2021
We have been nominated & voted for by our customers into The Wedding Industry Awards (TWIA) since 2020 & won the West Midlands Regional Finals 2021 – 2023 & received Highly Commended Award in our category 2023
TWIA 2024 – Our couples have voted – Watch this space!!
Di Symes - That’s Pawfect Wedding Chaperone®
Di Symes is the founder and owner of That’s Pawfect Wedding Chaperone® and That’s Pawfect
Di is responsible for introducing the first bespoke Wedding Chaperone/Pet Care business of it’s kind in the UK. Providing high-quality pet care, experiences and ethically sourced products, with a key focus on the health and wellbeing of every animal in her care.
Di strives to ensure all couples achieve their wedding day dreams with their beloved four-legged family members, helping to capture those all important memories forever.
With a strong drive to improve ongoing business practices and delivery in an ever changing world, Di is passionate about environmental issues. In 2021, hers was the first Wedding Chaperone/Pet Care business to pledge and sign up to the Race to Net Zero campaign.
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 have a no obligation telephone conversation where we can 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. which you can read more about in Our Values section. Since launching in 2017 we have:
– Streamlined our service delivery reducing on emissions/fuel consumption/general travel costs
– Continue to work with like minded companies to source 100% natural, sustainably produced dog treats and toys.
– All cleaning products used to disinfect our pet vehicles are also 100% natural, pet friendly and cruelty free.
– The display units we use at the artisan markets we attend, are either made out of cardboard, rattan or natural, unstained, upcycled 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 bacame a totally paperless company, we don’t even use business cards.
– Launched our Giving Back campaign.
– We were the first business of our kind to join the Gvts Race to Net Zero campaign.
– We replaced our pet vehicle with a more eco friendly model, reducing emissions & more fuel efficient.
– We participated in Gvt roundtables & have been quoted in the FSB/Gvt sustainability report.
– We were one of the first small businesses to complete the Small Business Sustainability Basics Course & complete our impact assessment.
– We were one of the 1300 small businesses to be shortlisted to attend a lunch/sustainability networking event at the House of Lords.
2023 so far:
– We have replaced our 2nd vehicle with a hybrid ensuring further reduced emissions & fuel efficiency.
– We reduced our data useage by closing one of our websites & redirecting to a more greener option.
– We participated in Gvt/FSB policy round table & have inputted into the current FSB/ Gvt report.