Making your dog a part of your wedding

Ideas They’re your furbaby, and they form a part of your family, so why wouldn’t you want them there, right? Plus, the cute photo opportunities and sweet moments you’ll get from your dog(s) being there is on another level. So we’re here to talk successful and non-stressful pet involvement in your wedding.

Many pets manage to happily attend the wedding of their owners, but what if yours can’t? It’s not always practical: for starters there’s transporting them there (especially if you’re not getting married just down the road); then there’s finding someone who can look after them over the whole day (although there are specialist companies who do this); and last of all, weddings are strange, loud and unpredictable to animals who are used to the routine of our homes and lives, so many dogs may find a wedding a bit of a stressful and overwhelming affair.

BUT… we know you’re the kind of pet owner who does the right thing. So put them first and only invite them along if you’re sure they’ll enjoy it, otherwise it’s not fair on them, and you’ll be distracted by them not having a good time. And besides, there are so many amazing ways they can still be there without actually being there, y’know? Keep reading...

How to bring a happy pet to your wedding:
- Hire a professional dog handler. Those you trust the most will already have an invite, so shell out for a fully insured, fully qualified dog minder who’s brought pooches to weddings before. Keep them in the loop as much as your photographer and caterer so they know which parts of the day to pay close attention and which parts they can take Rover to let off some steam in a nearby open space.

- Ask your dog minder to go for a long walk with your four-legged friend that morning. An under-exercised dog is an anxious dog, or a naughty dog, or a grumpy dog – or all of the above!

- Dogs love attention, but don’t let people hound them day and night.

- Ask if your caterers can provide a couple of water bowls near to the action so doggy doesn’t get dehydrated.

- Some dogs love playing at dressing up, and in that case go wild! But if your dog gets stressed out by wearing stuff, be kind and accessorise simply. A little satin bow added to an everyday collar in a colour that coordinates with your outfits will work wonders, we promise you.

- Even if your dog loves dressing up, ask your minder to relieve them of heavier items such as flower collars (fresh flowers are pretty weighty!) every now and then so your little bundle of fur isn’t weighed down.

- Treats and toys make excellent bribery! Keep a few small nibbles in your pocket to keep the pooch nearby during photos.

- Brief your minder about any guests who have a fear of dogs or an allergy! A good minder will do their best to keep your Best Furry Friend away from these people. Also, tell anyone with allergies to bring their meds.

- Give your dog a role in the ceremony by getting them to be a ringbearer or even your escort down the aisle.

- Check with your venue(s)!

…and if Doggy can’t make it:

- Make sure someone will be spending plenty of time with them. You most likely left home in a whirlwind of glitter and suitcases, so having a dogsitter hang out with them will reduce stress and reassure them.

- Get a mini version of your furbaby put onto your cake, along with models of you and your partner. One happy, sugary, family!

- If you’re displaying photo boards, make sure Fluffy appears plenty of times. Everyone loves a dog shot!

- Give a speech – in the voice of your dog! Sounds bonkers, but we’ve seen it done before! In that speech, the dog talked about the first time he met his owner’s new wife and then apologised for humping her leg during that first meeting. Equal parts funny and tear-jerking, we promise.

- Consider a separate, laid-back photoshoot with your pet as a more peaceful option for getting some special pics with your four-legged family to commemorate the start of your marriage. It could even serve as your engagement shoot as well. Perfect!

- Wear a small pin badge/cufflinks of the silhouette of your pet so they’ll be a reassuring and heart-warming presence right through the day.

- Feature your dog’s mugshot on the place cards, the signs, wherever you please. Serve up customised biscuits in the shape of your dog. No one will complain because a) dogs are adorable and b) it’s your day.

- How about an ice sculpture in the shape of your beloved beastie? A statement centrepiece with a really personal touch.

- Make photobooth cut-outs of Fido’s face, tail, ears – or better yet a full size photo cutout – so they can be in the picture even if they’re at home putting their feet up.

Is your wedding going to go off with a woof? Tell us your plans!


Tags: pets, dog, wedding, advice, ideas, inspiration

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