Dogs In Weddings – How To Include Dogs In Your Wedding

A new trend has started, and that is Dogs in weddings.  A large number of dog lovers would say that their big day would not be complete without having their pooch included in their wedding party.  And why not? Dogs are part of the family and I think it is a great idea to include them on your special day.

Now having a dog in the wedding party can certainly put a wrench in things.  Dogs are like children and are known to go off the plan. But many couples won’t have it any other way.  Their dog must be part of the wedding in some way, shape, or form. Read on for dog wedding inspiration, from charming canine attire to pet wedding planners and how to include your dog in your wedding.

Invest In A Pet Wedding Planner

Planning a wedding is stressful enough, but if you want to add your dog into the mix it can get way more stressful.  Everyone that you trust will already be part of the wedding with their own duties, and you don’t want to have to ask guests as they are there to have fun and celebrate with you. 

If you are really serious about having your dog in your wedding, then it may be best to hire a pet wedding planner.  That’s right folks a pet wedding planner. They do exist and are more than happy to assist you and help plan your dog-friendly wedding.  

A few things included in their services are:

  • Providing custom plans 
  • Chauffeur service 
  • Specialized pet care
  • Pet transportation
  • Photo Assistance 
  • Ceremony coordination
  • Dressing dogs in their wedding attire 
  • Taking your dog home 
  • Feeding your dog at your house 
  • Sleeping over at your house so your dog is not alone
  • Coordinate with your wedding planner
  • Dog Training
  • Pet First Aid

Tips And Ways To Include Your Dog In Your Wedding

Dogs in weddings.  Dog wearing a tuxedo costume.
Dog in Tuxedo

 Choose a Venue That is Dog -Inclusive

So that your furry family member can roam and run around free.  Venues that are outdoors, such as an open field or forest, are generally some of the best options. This will ensure that your dog can stay with you all day for lots of photos.  You will be glad when you look back at your wedding photos that your dog was there.

Get Ready With Your Dog In The Same Room As You 

Dogs can really add some cute, and funny moments as you are getting ready for your big day.  This can help you relax and make your dog happy to be spending time with you.

Have Your Dog Walk Down The Aisle With You

Great way to get lots of great pictures with you and your dog, and not mention a very special moment that you will remember forever! Dogs can add a lot of charm and innocence to photos.

Dress Up

A flower collar, bow tie, a custom collar, custom collar tag, or custom bandanas.  Nothing too extraordinary, you want to make sure that your furry friend is comfortable, not trying to rip its costume off.

Have One Person in Charge of Your Dog

It is best to have one person taking care of your dog on your wedding day. This way you will not have to worry about your dog every minute of the day.  Knowing that one person is in charge of your dog will make your day less stressful, and you will feel more at ease.   

Assess Your Pet’s Personality

If you have had your dog for a while, then you know how well they do in large crowds.  Does your dog get restless easily? Can your dog stay away from its home for long periods of time? Is your dog a people person? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you with deciding whether or not your dog should really attend, and which part of the event is your dog best suited for.  

Have Your Dogs Ultimate Favorite Toy Or Treat At The Ready

A lot of couples forget to have their dog’s favorite treat or toy available at their wedding.  Sure you can give your dog a dog cookie, but will your dog really be willing to listen for just a cookie?  Probably not. Lots of dogs love treats like bacon and chicken.

Your dog will be more responsive to commands if you give them something they really love.  Maybe their favorite treat is carrots, or maybe their favorite toy is a Kong with peanut butter in it. Whatever it is, you should 100% have this on hand for your wedding day. 

Remember The Leash!

Don’t forget to buy a new leash that will go well with your wedding pictures.  You don’t want to use your old retractable leash, do you? No, you don’t. Because it is old and ugly!  I know, as I have a retractable leash for my dog Kiki. Go out weeks or a month before your wedding and pick a cool looking leash.

Rehearse As Much As You Can

This gives you and your dog ample time to practice. Your dog should know its part and when to do it by the time the wedding rolls along.

Don’t Forget the Groomers

Set up an appointment with your groomer for the day before the wedding. You want to have your dog looking good and smelling fresh for the big day.

Expect Potential Hazards

Things like food and plants can be hazardous for your dog. You want to make sure that you and your florist know which plants are bad for your dog. Also, you should let the venue know of unsafe foods for dogs like chocolate and grapes to name a few. Here are two articles on plants and dogs, along with safe and unsafe foods for dogs.

Other Tips For Dogs In Weddings

Have someone walk your dog before the ceremony and before photo time. This works well for hyper and distracted dogs. It will relax the dog so it won’t be jumping when it is time for photos

If your dog cannot be there all day, include them in a small part of the wedding like the walk down the aisle so at least you can get your dog in some of the pictures. 

Your dog may be stressed out due to the fact that there will a lot of people around you and your dog.  Be patient with your pup, and make sure to spend some time with it while you are not taking photos or busy with something else.

If your dog will be leaving early, make sure you have someone to take your dog home to spend some time with it, so that it can unwind from the busy day, and feed it dinner.  Maybe even asleep over. I’m sure the dog would appreciate it rather than being left alone after an exciting day. 

Have a backup plan. Dogs in weddings can go a little off the script. So it is wise to have some sort of backup plan if your dog acts up and cannot be in the wedding. Have the person who is taking care of them, take them home. Also have that person spend time with your dog, not just drop them off and leave.

Let your guests know that your dog will be present. Some people with allergies may not be able to attend. There may also be people who do not want to attend a wedding where there is s a dog present.

Conclusion

There you have it, ladies. Lots of tips on how to include your dog in your wedding and things that you should know before including your dog. Some dogs cannot handle all the excitement and some lavish in it.

Before I sign off, I just want to congratulate all of you on your engagement, and I hope your wedding is everything you have dreamt of and more!

Related Questions About Dogs In Weddings

Should my dog be the ring bearer?

Yes, you could have your dog as the ring bearer, but not to actually carry the rings. That should be left to the best man. Something could happen, and you could end up without your rings. You could always just attach some fake rings if you feel the need.

Do all officiants allow dogs for the ceremony?

No, they do not. You will want to check with your officiant and see if they allow dogs. Places like churches and synagogues do not allow dogs. You should check with them soon rather than later, as you don’t have to have to find someone to take care of your dog at the last minute.

What if my dog is not trained. Can I still include my dog in the wedding?

Not a really good idea. If your dog is not trained, then there really is no way to tell if your dog will start listening now. Many things could go wrong if you bring your untrained dog.

Bibliography

  • TLC- https://www.tlcme.com/weddings/26-ways-to-include-your-dog-in-your-wedding
  • American Kennel Club- https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/tips-to-include-dog-in-wedding/
  • Martha Stewart Weddings – https://www.marthastewartweddings.com/399448/dogs-in-weddings-tips
  • Modern Dog Magazine – Dogs In Weddings

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