Dogs and Weddings … a few things to know!

If you’re a dog person and you’re planning a wedding, I’ll bet you’ve thought about having your pup or pups involved. So many dog-loving couples think about their fur baby walking down the aisle. But can it happen? Maybe. Before you take that leap there are several obstacles to consider. Read on!

To state the obvious: first and foremost is the well-being of your dog. Is the task a good fit for your (certainly perfect) pet? A jumping dog, a nervous dog, or a senior dog probably won’t work well, especially if you expect a little interaction with your guests. You need a well-trained, socialized dog to participate in your wedding. On the flip side, an overly friendly dog (like my Louie) might jump on someone, or just disrupt the proceedings.

And before you fall further in love with the idea, check with your venue to see if dogs are allowed on the property. Be prepared to ask and answer a few questions.  

Will your dog will be allowed to stay with you if there is on-site accommodations? 

Think about your time frame – will you have to leave her alone for too long when you go to your reception?  

To facilitate this dream it is very helpful to have a designated handler for the dog.

The most popular task for a dog is the walk down the aisle, often as a ring bearer or flower dog, or just walk on in and be awesome. Here’s how it works: obviously, someone has to escort the pooch down the aisle – a flower girl or ring bearer, Jr Bridesmaid or Jr Groomsmen are great choices, but really anyone can fill the bill.  Then, have your pup whisked away to the dog friendly pre-arranged location (or back home) after a nice walk and a cool drink of water, of course! 

Having your dog stay throughout the ceremony could take the focus off of you! He had his moment, now it’s your turn. If you do want said dog to hang around for some post-ceremony photos, have her exit the ceremony site until it’s time for the photos or social interaction. Either way, your pup will probably leave before the reception. This is why the dog handler should not be a guest, but someone specifically designated and paid to do this important job. Yes, hiring someone gives it importance and accountability – so please consider that.

Including your dog in your photos is worthwhile. Engagement photos, wedding photos, or save-the dates, are all great opportunities for dogs to be their most adorable. The photos also provide a lifetime of memories.


If you can’t arrange to have your dog with you at your wedding, consider including a few words about her in the ceremony, in the program book, or at the reception. How about using photos of your dogs incorporated into your table markers? (Side note: this is, in fact, probably the only way you could involve cats.) Take your pet’s photo, add a graphic, such as the table numbers, frame it, and place on the tables. Voilà!

How about a big cardboard cutout of your dog for photos or as photo-booth material?

You don’t have to dress up your dog,  but some people do love that. Maybe just a special collar. You certainly want a freshly bathed and groomed dog for the big day. Schedule a spa day for your four legged friends as well as your two legged ones.

If you think this is all ridiculous, you’re probably not a dog person. And please give me a hand for not including all those silly dog puns! It was a ruff, ruff effort. It wasn’t too much of a fluff piece, was it? I gave you the real poop! Vow wow wow! It was pawsitively off the leash!


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