How to Include your Dog in your Wedding Day
Dogs – we love them! They make great additions to an outdoor wedding day – and always get plenty of love and attention from the guests! And with a huge number of outdoor wedding venues welcoming dogs with open arms, there’s no reason you can’t include your four-legged friend in your big day if you would like to. After all, they’re part of the family – so why exclude them from the best day of your life?
A day that’s full of love and connection would not be complete without your dog there to share it with you – and not only that, but pets are known to reduce anxiety, so having them there may help with any wedding day nerves that you have. However, many couples feel unsure about the best ways to include their pets in the proceedings, while ensuring that their essential needs are met throughout the day. So in this blog we provide some top tips on how to include your dog in your wedding day to make them feel like they’re really part of the occasion. Woof!
Who will look after them?
Will the weather stay nice? Will the caterers turn up on time? We know the day already holds enough for you to worry about, so having your dog there may just seem like another thing to add to the list. We understand that on your wedding day you will both be too busy to keep an eye on your carefree canine, and you may not want to give one of your friends or family the responsibility of looking after them either. So you may wish to consider hiring a dog chaperone service, such as Precious Pets Weddings.
Pet chaperone companies go above and beyond to ensure that your fur baby is involved and cared for, not only during, but before and after the wedding too. Some of the things you can look forward to with such services are:
- collecting and pet sitting your dog on the morning of the wedding
- getting them ready with any wedding attire you may have for them
- chaperoning to the wedding venue
- looking after them during the ceremony to keep them calm and assist with any tasks (such as ring bearing)
- chaperoning and entertaining your dog at the wedding venue for the duration of the day.
You may need to consider how much of the day you want your dog to be there for – whether it’s the full day, most of the day until the evening or just the ceremony. You know your dog and what he or she can handle. If your pup might not have the energy or temperament for the whole day, perhaps you could make arrangements with a friend or a dog-minding service too.
Dog-friendly venues and roles they can have
Obviously a key initial detail you will need to consider if you want your pooch present is to have a venue that will allow it! Not every wedding venue will be dog-friendly, but a lot of them also will be, even if they don’t directly advertise it. It is becoming a very popular trend for weddings, so it won’t hurt to ask the venue if they are ok with your dog being there. Communicating this with them clearly from early on in the process will avoid any stress or confusion later on. Also, a huge plus with planning an outdoor ceremony is that a lot of venues that specialise in this will welcome your four-legged friends.
Once you have secured a beautiful and dog-friendly venue, you can start thinking about the role you wish your dog to take on the day. You may want your dog to simply be a guest of honour at your wedding, but you may also want them to be a specific role in the ceremony, which can be adorable! Popular ideas are a dog ring bearer, flower girl or simply having them accompany you down the aisle. Or how about a man’s BEST MANS’ friend? This can be a real life saver if you have too many human choices for your best man and can’t decide. Nobody gets disappointed! Of course, you can always assign the traditional tasks of a Best Man to different friends – unless your dog is particularly skilled at organising stag dos!
If you are wanting to assign your dog with one these key roles, ensure that your pet has the right temperament to cope with all the attention. Rehearse as much as you can with your dog before the big day so you are confident with them, and they get used to what is going on. You don’t want your dog to become overwhelmed, or cause mischief mid-ceremony!
Your dog is sure to look smart AND adorable in occasion-appropriate accessories, and they will really feel and look the part! Although dressing up our dogs can be super fun and can be easy to get carried away, it’s best to stick to something simple, so they are comfortable. After all, dogs aren’t used to wearing accessories so we don’t want to make them agitated or uncomfortable. Small add-ons such as bows and bowties, floral collars or custom leads are all simple but highly effective!
If you are considering a special dog wedding collar or accessory, make sure that it is safe for your dog first, as certain flowers or foliage can be poisonous to dogs so it is vital to check. Fake flowers may be a better option, but it is still important to make sure that the materials used are harmless to your dog. It’s probably a good suggestion to have them wear it a few times before the big day, so that they get used to it and how it feels. No annoyed pulling-off or crazy itching please!
Extra top tips
- Prior to the big day, ensure that all of your guests are aware that your dog will be attending the wedding, in case of any allergies, or if any small children are attending who may be uncomfortable around dogs. Although it may seem like a fun idea to have your dog make a surprise appearance on the day, it’s always best to pre-warn of things like that as you want to avoid any possibility of causing issues. A lovely way to do this could be to send out a ‘save the date’ card featuring a photo of your dog.
- Let your wedding photographer know that you are planning on bringing your dog to your wedding. This will certify that they are ready to capture your adorable pet in action and perhaps come up with some creative and fun ideas for wedding photos.
Our pets are incredibly important to us, so it’s no wonder that more and more dogs are being seen at weddings. Outdoor ceremonies are all about combining love with the beauty of nature, and the animals that we share our planet with count within that too. So why not invite your furry companion to your special day, and enjoy the feeling that comes when uniting all of the wonderful parts of life and nature.