Tips for Involving Your Dog in the Wedding

A black and white dog on a lawn with a bride holding a bright bouquet of flowers.

When we get married, we want our loved ones right there with us, and this includes our furry friends. Dogs make any event better. They can lighten the mood, ease any awkward tensions between family members, and provide some much-needed stress relief on a day that, however special, can cause some anxiety. However, there are a few things you should consider before committing to including man’s best friend (or friends) in your wedding.

Ask These Questions

Two grooms and their dog.

First, are there guests who will be allergic to your pet? Are any people in your wedding party or any guests scared of dogs? If so, having an animal around could severely dampen their experience. What about children who might be nervous around a big dog?

What parts of the wedding would you like your pup involved in? Do you want them walking you down the aisle or carrying the rings to you? Or were you thinking that you’d like them to sit next to you at dinner or while you get dressed for the ceremony? Do you want them at the entire event, or is there someone who could take the dog home after the ceremony is over, before the reception dinner? (Or bring them over for the reception?)

Are you okay with the possibility that there could be a few hiccups in your ceremony if you choose to involve your pet?

Plan Accordingly

An elegant bride and groom with their black dog.

Make a game plan.â?¨ How will your pet arrive at the ceremony? Do you have someone (or a few people) who can keep an eye on the dog during the ceremony, and at other times when you might be occupied with friends and loved ones? â?¨

Make sure your dog has enough water and food for the entire event. If your wedding is on a hot summer day, plan ahead so that you’re not scrambling to find a water bowl for your dog during a hectic time.

Identify possible issues. â?¨If someone is allergic, try to inform them before the wedding, so that they can take an antihistamine. Is your dog transporting your wedding rings to the altar? Make sure you practice as much as possible beforehand. Bring your dog’s favorite treats or a special toy to keep your pup comfortable. Think about how the ceremony may affect your dog: are they used to large crowds? If not, take some time long before the day comes to prepare them for interacting with a bunch of people.

Accommodate Your Dog’s Needs

A bride wearing a flower crown and kissing her golden retriever.

Give your pet its own area to hang outâ?¨. Some people put up baby gates, while others use different tools to let your dog escape from the crowds and take a break if they get overwhelmed, overly excited, or just plain tired. Remember, it’s a long day, so it’s good to have your bases covered well ahead of time. If the pet will be around music, make sure the noise is at a safe level for their sensitive ears. Try to envision every part of the day, section by section, and to identify any points at which you might need to adjust something for the comfort and safety of your animal.

Have Fun With It

If you do decide to have your dog at your wedding, get creative with the idea. You could feature your dog in the wedding invitations, signs, menus, and other stationary. You could create a special dog-themed treat in addition to your cake. You could sew up a fancy collar or shirt for the occasion (keep in mind that a comfortable dog is a well-behaved dog). Some people like to teach their dogs special tricks for the wedding party. Train your pup to bark when you say “I do,” or to dance on two legs during a certain song.

Whatever you decide when it comes to involving your furry best friend, planning is key to ensuring that everything goes smoothly and that you, your pup, and your guests have a great time.

Find Amazing Vendors