Army Veteran’s Service Dog Serves As Best Man At His Wedding

Dog may be man’s best friend, but he can also be man’s best man. 

U.S. Army veteran Justin Lansford’s service dog Gabe served as best man when he tied the knot with Carol Balmes on Saturday in Largo, Florida. The golden retriever has been with Lansford since he returned home from Afghanistan back in 2012 after having lost his left leg in an IED explosion. Gabe was part of the Warrior Canine Connection, a program that pairs wounded veterans with canine companions to help deal with post traumatic stress disorder.

“Gabe goes with us everywhere, so we didn’t feel the wedding should be any different!” Balmes told The Huffington Post in an email Tuesday.  

Brad Hall Studios

 For the big day, the golden retriever wore a fancy ensemble and was the perfect gentleman.

“[Gabe] was easy, quite frankly, a lot easier than we typically see with groomsmen at most weddings,” photographer Brad Hall told USA Today. 

Photos from the reception went viral, much to the groom’s surprise.

“We had no idea that our little wedding would get so much attention! But Gabe works hard every day, and he deserves all the recognition!” Balmes said.

Check out more photos from the celebration below.


  • Brad Hall Studios


  • Brad Hall Studios


  • Brad Hall Studios


  • Brad Hall Studios

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