How To Include Your Dog In Your Wedding And What To Consider Before

Having your dog walk you down the aisle or pose for photos with the family can make your wedding day even more memorable and special. Including your dog in your ceremony or reception may take a little extra work and planning, but the memories in later years will be priceless. Here are our top 10 tips to plan your dog’s participation in the wedding so that all will be smooth and safe for everyone.

1. Make sure the ceremony and/or reception venues allow pets. Check before you make any bookings and request confirmation in writing.

2. Think about your dog’s personality. If your pooch isn’t the most well behaved then having them as a ring bearer might not be the best idea. Instead, they can have them on a leash to walk down the aisle or stand with the groom at the front.

3. You can dress your pooch in an adorable outfit for a picture-perfect wedding moments.

4. Discuss with your officiant how you want your dog to be part of the ceremony.

5. Advise your guests that your dog will be at your ceremony and/or reception. Be prepared that people with allergies or fear of dogs may not be able to attend.

6. Advise the photographer you hire that you want your dog to be part of the photos. Plan the photos you want with your dog so that the process doesn't delay your day.

7. When you are saying your vows, have your dog sit with a family member or pet-sitter in the audience. Provide the designated carer with treats and a poop scoop. If your guests are helping with your pet at the reception, arrange for them to take turns watching Fido so they can enjoy the party as well.

8. Be realistic about how much time your pet can give to the wedding and the surrounding celebrations. Both wedding ceremony and reception may be too much.

9. Practice makes perfect! Take a refresher obedience class with your pup. You will want to make sure they can sit or lie down quietly during the ceremony and also that they are able to tolerate a costume if you choose to have them wear one.

10. If changes in environment, crowds, or increased attention stress your dog, then a wedding might not be the best place for them. But you can include your hound in other ways:

->Send out save-the-date cards with your dog’s picture on it.
->Add your pet’s image on your wedding stationery, including invitations and thank-you cards.
->Add your dog to your cake topper design
->Take photos with pooch and you before or after the ceremony
->Have a portrait photograph at the reception on the gift table
->Order a life-size photo cut-out of your dog. Whilst it’s a great way to decorate your cake table, it’s also likely to be a hit at the photo booth.