I loathe the unending news headlines about terrible men doing awful shit, so look, this story about a lady who isn’t hurting anybody and is simply marrying her dog is better than many things I’ve read all year.
Lilly Smartelli and her dog Bernie are planning a big old-fashioned Italian wedding on Valentine’s Day, and fucking good for them. Smartelli, who has a terminal form of pulmonary fibrosis, told The New York Times, that she understands exactly how this probably comes across:
“People who see only a headline that says I want to marry Bernie will think I’m totally insane,” she said, laughing. “So I hope they take the time to learn more about my whole story, and the reason I want to do it.”
Here’s the whole story: Smartelli has never been married, always wanted a wedding, and doesn’t see the need for a human groom:
“I know I will never be married, but I would still love to experience the kind of wedding, even if it’s a fake wedding, that I’ve been dreaming about since I was a little girl,” she said.
As someone who has attended a lot of weddings and once watched a groom in what would turn out to be a short-lived marriage straight-up giggle through the vows, this wedding sounds fine, even preferable, as long as there’s an open bar and the snacks are delish. Plus, replacing complaining in-laws at the ceremony with adorable dogs is genius.
Last October, Smartelli wrote a book called The $5 Dog Wedding, and she plans to donate all proceeds from the book and any gifts she receives for the wedding to Donate Life America, an organization that promotes awareness for organ donation, and to animal rescue causes.
Smartelli sounds like an awesome person. She worked as a travel nurse for years and once donated a kidney to a childhood friend. Smartelli’s dogs, Bernie and Spinner, who will serve as the best man, are both rescues.
“It’s kind of ironic, but Bernie and Spinner, who are just a couple of rescue dogs, have actually rescued me from a life of loneliness,” said Ms. Smartelli, who began to cry.
“I really love those two guys,” she said. “It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without them.”
Cool, now I’m crying. Have your wedding, girl. Mazel tov.