Updated: Jun 19
Including your furry friend in your wedding day can be a joyous and memorable experience. However, it's essential to plan and prepare to ensure that your dog feels comfortable and that everything runs smoothly.
Do assess your dog's temperament and readiness. Consider your dog's personality and behavior before deciding to have them at your wedding. Ensure they are well-socialized, comfortable around people, and able to handle the noise and excitement of a wedding celebration. If your dog tends to be anxious or reactive, it may be best to find an alternative arrangement for their well-being.
Do inform your wedding venue and vendors. Inform your wedding venue, planner, and other vendors that you'll have your dog present. Check if they allow dogs and discuss any specific guidelines or requirements they may have. This ensures that everyone is prepared and can make necessary accommodations.
Do designate a responsible dog handler. Assign a trusted friend or family member to be responsible for your dog on the wedding day. This person should be familiar with your dog's needs and behaviors, ensuring they are cared for, supervised, and have their needs met throughout the event. This allows you to focus on enjoying your wedding day without worrying about your furry friend.
Be mindful when you ask someone to do this role, however. This is a big job and it will distract the person from the cermeony/cocktail hour! Consider hiring a company for this job like Pup Plus One.
Do have a plan for exercise and bathroom breaks. Make sure your dog has had sufficient exercise and a bathroom break before the ceremony. Plan for designated breaks throughout the day to allow your dog to stretch their legs, relieve themselves, and have some downtime. Designate an area specifically for your dog's needs, with water and waste disposal options.
Do incorporate your dog in a safe and comfortable manner. Consider your dog's comfort and well-being when involving them in your wedding. Choose a role that suits their personality and temperament, such as walking down the aisle, joining in for photos, or being present during the reception. Ensure they have a safe space to retreat to if they become overwhelmed or tired.
Do have your dog attend the ceremony rehearsal. Your ceremony rehearsal the day before is just as important for your pup as it is for your humans! It is also the perfect place to talk through logistics of who is in charge of the dog at what time.
Don't force your dog into a role they are uncomfortable with. Respect your dog's boundaries and limits. If they are not comfortable with being in a crowded or noisy environment, it's best to find an alternative arrangement for them. Your dog's well-being and happiness should always be the priority.
Don't overlook your dog's grooming and hygiene. Prioritize your dog's grooming before the wedding day. Ensure they are clean, well-groomed, and free from any strong odors. Consider having them groomed professionally a day or two before the wedding to ensure they look their best. You don't want your pup's dirty paws jumping up on your clean dress!
Don't leave your dog unattended. Avoid leaving your dog unattended at any point during the wedding.
Even with a designated dog handler, it's important to keep a close eye on your dog's well-being and ensure they are supervised and comfortable at all times.
Don't forget to have a backup plan. Prepare for unexpected situations by having a backup plan in case your dog becomes overwhelmed, anxious, or disruptive. Consider a quiet area where your dog can rest if needed, or have someone ready to take them home if the wedding environment becomes too stressful for them.
Photos: Coldiron Photography