So you’ve decided to include your dog at your wedding… YAY YAY YAY!!
I LOVE seeing dog’s at weddings and can’t wait to meet your furry friends!
It doesn’t come as a shock to me when a couple mention they’ll be including their dogs in their wedding… in fact you don’t see this but my heart skips a beat when I hear there’s a Frenchie as Flower Girl, a Border Collie as Bridesmaid or a Retriever as Ring-Bearer… you get the jist 😉
A wedding day is widely celebrated by so many in front of friends & family, as it is an enjoyable and memorable experience to be remembered forever. Your nearest and dearest are there to toast your special day, so why not include your furry friends in the ceremony too? They are a massive part of your family too!
There is a LOT of planning and thought that needs to be considered when you make this decision though, but I completely understand the need for so many couples nowadays to include their dogs in the ceremony alongside them. They have become such a huge part of your life and should be with you on your special day as long as you have the appropriate safety measures in place.
1. Does your venue allow animals?
This is really a massive decider; if you’ve already booked your venue and then as an after-thought forgot to mention your dog will be present they may be against the idea and then it’s bye-bye to having your pooch there with you. Most weddings I’ve attended with the family dogs have been at country weddings or garden receptions, although one of my Weddings last year at Baddow Park did have my Bride & Groom’s two labradors show up as a complete surprise to them just after they had tied the knot! Let’s just say there was plenty of happy tears from my Bride Laura <3
2. What part of the day will your dog(s) be taking part in?
Are you wanting them present for the morning as you get ready, the Ceremony as you say your “I do’s”, the Reception where you relax and enjoy time with friends and family, or the evening when everyone is partying? A wedding can be a very long day for people let alone animals, so make sure your dog can handle whatever part you want them around for during your Wedding. If they are present all day, make sure they have food and water available, and a quiet area for them to lie down should they want some time away from the electric atmosphere.
3. Can they cope?
It might not seem like it but most dogs do like routine so this is totally out of their comfort zone being surrounded by people, noise, little children (if present), food and all the attention. If they’re young & springy will they be liable to run off if it is a different location to where they’re use to? If they’re older will they snap and bite if they’re scared? All questions to think about.
4. Is it an indoor or outdoor Wedding?
I adore outdoor weddings – all the natural light, beauty and warmth of a Summer wedding is precious and so so beautiful ! Although with a dog present you do need to make sure guests keep their eyes peeled for those doggy do-do’s on the grass. I’m pretty sure your best friends won’t be too impressed with a brown mess on their Jimmy Choos’ when they go home later!
Indoors can be less to worry about with the do-do’s although someone does need to be aware that your pooch does need to go to the toilet and be let out for a break every now and then! Also are they liable to chew anything if you’re in an unknown venue? You don’t want to be forking out for a new rug if your furry friend has decided it tastes too good!
5. Do you need a Dog Chaperone?
To take the pressure off you, is it worth having a dog chaperone present so you don’t need to keep looking over your shoulder to make sure they’re ok? There are plenty of services out there that cater for this so you don’t have to miss out on having your furry friend(s) there celebrating with you. These guys make sure the dogs are collected, walked, brushed, behaving, fed, watered and looked after all day so you don’t have to worry about a thing! Could be a great investment to include…
6. Are they playing a role in the Wedding?
Would you like to consider them as Best Man, Ring-Bearer or Bridesmaid? I’ve seen some adorable dogs taking on important roles at a wedding but again it is something you need to consider as it can be a big ask for them to take part. Would it be best for them to just be present as a guest instead of carrying out a role? As long as they’re there it can be less of a stress for you than worrying, for example, if they’ve still got the rings attached to their collar EEK!
7. Are they wearing something special?
A tux collar, a flower crown, special booties, a dress… are you suiting them up especially or are they to be running freely?
The suits and dresses can look super adorable and so great in photos but realistically are your dogs going to be comfortable wearing them? Make sure they don’t rub, or are too tight as this can be added unnecessary stress for them, however a matching dress with your bridesmaids, or bow tie can really bring together the wedding party!
8. Will your dog cause problems for the caterers?
Hehe I had to chuckle as I know my pooch certainly would!! Being part Labrador he can sniff out a plate of sausage rolls, a kitchen worktop of chicken dishes, or scratch open a hostess to steal the roast spuds.
You’re paying your caterers to provide a service to eat and enjoy, so try not add extra hassle onto them if you know your dog will be following them about all afternoon with his puppy-dog eyes. They already have a HUGE task of feeding yourselves and all of your guests some wonderful food, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on anything after your pet pooch has decided to scoff the sauteed potatoes or lick the gravy dish clean!
9. Let your guests know your dog will be there too!
Something so small but can be a huge deal to some guests. It could be that Aunt Maud has an allergy to fur, or that the Best Man has a fear of dogs. By letting people know, this may ruin a nice surprise but can also allow others to prepare themselves if they are not so dog-happy to see them there.
10. Let your photographer know!
Definitely!! If they are anything like me they will be absolutely thrilled and so so excited. It also means we can be well prepared with dog treats and squeaky toys if need be to make sure we get those beautiful photos of you all together 🙂