Eight Tips to Consider When Including Your Dog in the Wedding

Your pet is part of the family so why wouldn’t they be part of the wedding? For most couples, having a beloved pet share in their special day adds to the joy and memories.  However, planning makes for a more perfect pup in your wedding.

dog in wedding

1. Is your dog wedding ready?

Does your dog have what it takes? Consider the personality of your dog.  How do they behave in settings with lot of people, distractions, and loud noises?  Can they handle stressful situations?  You know your dog better than anyone.  If they are sociable and adapt well to different people and settings then they will do well.  However, if you have a shy dog you may need to consider some alternatives.  Also ensure that they will be well behaved around your guests.  No one appreciates a dog jumping on him or her, especially in his or her nice wedding cloths.

2. What role will your dog play in your wedding?

Will the dog be walking down the aisle? Do you plan to have them attend the reception? Both? It may be beneficial to work with a trainer who can not only assess what is most practical but also help prepare you and your dog.  Ensure your dog is on a short leash or depending on their size and temperament, consider riding in a wagon or having someone hold them. If you have any doubt about how your dog may react consider a limited role for your dog in your wedding plans, such as just walking down the aisle, or escorting you into the reception and then be taken home. If appropriate, remember to have your dog take part in your rehearsal plans so they get accustomed to the surroundings ahead of time.

3. Are you allowed to have a dog in the wedding?

Ensure your space will accommodate your furry friend. If you can’t bring your pet, you can incorporate them into the wedding in a number of ways, such as through pictures, party favors, engagement photo, or even a place for the dog on your wedding cake.

4. What about safety and potty breaks?

Are you considering a unique venue for your wedding?  Is the environment safe for a dog? Is there a quiet space where they can be taken to chill out if needed?  Is there a nice grassy area where they can go to the bathroom? Don’t forget bags to clean up for your pet and where the bag can be discarded. You may not want to put a poopy bag in a trashcan by the entrance to your wedding or reception. What if it is raining and they can’t be taken outside? What if things don’t go as planned?  Is there a place to take them? Ensure have a plan for them to get water and doggie appropriate treats or meals.

5. Ensure guests and caterers are informed.

Believe it or not – not everyone likes dogs.  Some people have allergies or perhaps fear of dogs.  Be sure that your wedding party is informed in advance.  Let guests know as part of the invitation and possibly even include them in your engagement picture. In addition to guests, don’t forget to inform your service providers at the wedding and reception.

6. Who’s in charge of the dog at the wedding?

You’ve got a lot to think about and remember on your big day. The last thing you want to worry about is if your dog is behaving.  Have a designated person in charge of the dog – someone familiar with handling your dog’s personality and behavior in any setting.  Consider a friend, trainer or dog sitter.  Make sure they are familiar with this person in advance and they are someone the dog respects.  Won’t help if your dog thinks he or she is in charge.

Have a plan for before, during and after the wedding.  One person should be in charge of watching your dog during the reception – no chocolate cake please!  And, ensure they can not only get them there but also take them home when they are tired.

We don’t advocate keeping your dog in the car under any circumstances, as studies show that temperatures can rise 20% or more inside the car. So, even if the weather seems nice at 70 degrees, for example, studies show that the temperatures inside the car will rise to 89 within just ten minutes.

7. Want your dog in wedding photos?

Let your photographer know in advance and brainstorm how to incorporate them into photos.  Have a back-up plan in case your pooch is not his best on the big day.  Take photos in advance or stage after the wedding in a calmer, less stressful environment.

8. Make a fashion statement with a wedding dog collar

Creative options abound for wedding dog attire, including tuxes and dresses. But, will your dog wear it? Is it scratchy and uncomfortable? Will your dog want to scratch at the clothing? A good alternative is to dress up your dog in your wedding with a standard, durable collar adorned with color-coordinated satin dog bowtie collar or dog flower collar. Wedding dog collars can also make nice souvenirs, or can even be used everyday of your blissful wedded life. QuickSwitchCollars.com offers 35 colors of wedding accessories for dogs including collars with clever interchangeable covers, so after the wedding, replace the cover with any of 100s of styles – maybe even one for your honeymoon! 

May 30, 2017 by Jen Troxell
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