The Dog Days of Weddings

flower girls petting a small dog

There are a lot of different ways to involve your furry bestie on your special day and we highly recommend it! Whether he or she has a role for the ceremony, stops by for photos, or is the inspiration for a signature cocktail. Pups add to the excitement (and cuteness!) of the day and can add a unique level of personalization to your celebration. Yet, there are a few things to consider to ensure all goes paw-sitively, so we have put together a list of tips and ideas for ways to include your furbaby on your big day.

english bulldog with pink tutu Photo Credit: Max Grudzinski Photography

Check with Your Venue

First of all, if you are sure you want to include your pup as part of your day, you need to ensure your venue is pet-friendly. This is a great question to ask prior to booking.  An outdoor setting is often the best choice. However, if you are unable to include your dog at your venue,  don’t fret – there are many other ways to include them. You could have them made into cardboard cutouts, include them in your stationery, or incorporate them as part of your cake topper!

wedding couple with cardboard cutouts of their dogs Photo Credit: Josselyn Peterson

Consider Your Dog’s Temperament

Ask if your pup has what it takes. Not all dogs are suited to play a role in a wedding or are comfortable being around a potentially larger group of people of varying ages. It’s important to assess the temperament of your pup and make sure he or she can handle it. You want your furry BFF to be a paw-some addition, not a distraction. Some dogs are calm enough to be a ring bearer or flower girl, while others are just too excitable to walk down the aisle.

flower girls petting a small dog Photo Credit: Gallivan Photo

Decide on Your Dog’s Role

There are so many different ways to include your pup! Perhaps appointing him or her as part of the bridal party, having them stop by for getting ready, first look photos, or maybe just a quick cameo at the cocktail hour. If you decide to have them walk down the aisle, be sure to have them make their way with someone to ensure they stay in control and don’t steal the show.  Also, don’t attach your rings to your pooch (even if he is the ring bearer), take our word for it! From there, decide whether he or she will also attend the reception. All of the food, music, and noise may be too much for them and they might be better off going home early.

Photo Credit: Sound & Sea Photography

Figure Out Who Will Be Responsible 

Once you make the decision to include your pup, you need to figure out who is going to be responsible for them for the day. Responsibilities like picking them up, knowing the day’s schedule of events/locations, and how to get them fed or home without having to ask questions of the couple on the day-of.  You and your partner will be busy, so we recommend arranging for a dog sitter, preferably someone your dog is comfortable with. And of course, don’t forget the treats! Be sure to pack plenty of them and make sure your sitter knows key phrases and commands that your pooch will respond to.

Groom with his cute black little dog Photo Credit: Tony Gambino Photography

Your Pup’s Attire & The Rehearsal 

We recommend bringing your pooch to the ceremony site before the wedding day and also have him or her attend the rehearsal to practice their part. Dogs love to sniff and explore new spots (especially grassy areas) and this will allow them to get that part out of the way the day before. And most importantly, don’t forget to dress your pup in festive attire! We love bow ties and tuxedos for the boys and floral collars and tutus for the girls. 

bridal couple with english bulldog

Photo Credit: Max Grudzinski Photography

If having your pup at your fur-ever day is going to introduce any unnecessary stress for you or your partner, then please remember there are plenty of alternatives for including your pooch. We all love our furry friends, yet you have to decide what is best for you two. 

We hope these ideas assist you along your wedding planning journey. For more wedding day tips, design, and information about The Indigo Bride, check out our portfolio and blog and follow us @theindigobride.

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