There’s no doubt that weddings are a celebration of love and unity, not just between two people, but also among family and friends. For many, pets are considered family members, and including them in your wedding can add a unique, personal touch to your big day. With that in mind, we’ll explore the joys of having your dog at your wedding and offer some tips to ensure a smooth, memorable experience for everyone involved.
The Unconditional Love
How to plan a dog-friendly wedding
One of the most heartwarming aspects of having your dog at your wedding is the unconditional love they bring to the celebration. Dogs are known for their loyalty, and their presence serves as a reminder of the unwavering love and support that you and your partner will provide each other throughout your marriage. This emotional connection and the joy they bring to the occasion can make your wedding day even more special.
Creating Unique Memories
Incorporating your dog into your wedding creates unique memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. From walking down the aisle with your furry friend to posing for adorable photos, your dog’s presence adds a distinct charm to your special day. As you look back on your wedding photos, you’ll be reminded of the love, laughter, and joy your canine companion brought to the celebration.
Weddings can be stressful, with many details to manage and emotions running high. Having your dog by your side or able to spend some of the day with you can help alleviate stress and lighten some of the perhaps more serious or overwhelming moments. Their calming presence and playful energy can help ease nerves, allowing you and your guests to relax and enjoy the festivities.
Tips for a Smooth Canine-Inclusive Wedding
Consider your dog’s temperament
Before including your dog in your wedding, it’s important to ensure that they are comfortable in large gatherings and around unfamiliar people. A well-behaved, socialised dog will make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
Assign a dog handler
So that you can focus on enjoying your day, I always recommend that you have someone arranged to look after your dog. There are some incredible “dog sitters” available for hire who specialise in this or alternatively choose a trusted friend or family member. This person should be familiar with your dog’s temperament and needs, armed with plenty of treats and can ensure they are comfortable and well-fed during the day.
Doesn’t need to be all day
One thing to consider is whether you’d like your dog to be at the wedding all day. For some dogs this can sometimes be a bit too much, and may mean you’re then needing to worry about looking after them rather than enjoying the party. A great compromise may be to have your dog handler/sitter bring your much loved canine family member to your wedding for part of the reception – and then take them back home, or back to your accommodation to look after them.
Plan for the ceremony
Determine your dog’s role in the ceremony, whether as a ring bearer, flower dog, or simply walking down the aisle. Be sure to practice with your dog beforehand to make the process smooth and stress-free. Don’t expect everything to be perfect – it might all go flawlessly to plan… it might need some spur-of-the-moment adjustments. Always best to go with the flow and see what happens!
Inform your suppliers & talk to your venue
Please do always let your photographer, florist, and venue coordinator know that you’ll be including your dog in the festivities. They can help accommodate your canine companion and ensure the experience is a positive one. It’s always vital to check with your wedding venue team too to be sure dogs are permitted. Some venues may have restrictions on where dogs are allowed to visit or how long they can be with you for on the day.
Make your dog comfortable
Provide a designated area where your dog can have some quieter space during the reception, complete with food, water, and their favorite toys. This will help your dog feel more at ease and enjoy the celebration.
Don’t overwhelm your dog
It’s good to remember that lots of short bursts of stimulation require our four-legged friends to effectively recycle emotionally from scene to scene – something we humans are not so well versed at. To avoid overwhelming your dog it’s good to try and provide many opportunities for your furry friend to take a break outside the celebrations or away from people . On the day itself this is when having someone else responsible for your dog can be useful as they can perhaps go for a short walk around the venue, or simply help your pup to have their own space within which to recover and play. After all, if your pooch isn’t happy then your special occasion won’t exactly run smoothly!
Consider muddy paws!
My final point for now would be to keep in mind that dogs, especially when outside, tend to have muddy or otherwise dirty paws. If you’re keen to keep dresses or suits absolutely 100% pristine through the day then it may be wise to perhaps rethink inviting your doggy friend. They’ll want to jump up and see you… that’s not always a good match with a beautiful white dress!
Including your dog in your wedding can bring immense joy and create lasting memories on your special day. By considering their temperament, planning their role in the ceremony, and ensuring their comfort, you can create a beautiful celebration that cherishes the love between you, your partner, and your loyal canine companion.