Dogs are our loyal, loving, and silly companions. If you have a dog as a pet, chances are he or she is a furry family member!
If you can't dream of celebrating your big day without your pupper, read on, as there are many ways to include dogs in ceremonies; one is sure to meet your desire. I have officiated ceremonies with pups and they were crowd pleasers! From Martha Stewart to the American Kennel Club, it seems everyone has great ideas on ways to weave your dog into your celebration.
First, let's get something out of the way. Including a dog in a ceremony in any form will add some logistical challenges. Be sure to think through these. Knowing your dog, will she want to sniff a lot, or perhaps doesn’t listen? You and your betrothed need to come to agreement that you are willing to take on the added planning of including a puppy (or senior dog).
Including your dog in your wedding can come in a couple flavors. The first is directly in the ceremony. In this style, your dog is present for the ceremony, tail wagging and all. A second route is to bring your pooch to your reception, putting a new meaning to “party animal”! And the final way is event adjacent. With this route you bring your dog’s personality to the wedding without him or her being present.
Having you dog play an adjacent role in your wedding might just be the easiest. Without physically being at the ceremony or reception you won't have to worry about your pup knocking over your cake!
Your dog could play a supporting role in your engagement photos. Throwing a Frisbee together? The three of you cuddling on a blanket? Adorable. And it will let your personalities shine, too!
Speaking of photos, your getting ready pics can include your dog, too. Maybe you and some of your wedding party would like to sit on the bed with your doggo, or sit on a park bench with her (she could even put on a sparkling, rhinestone collar).
Socks, ties, and pocket squares are a perfect place to embroider the likeness of your dog. Wearing a reminder of your dog during your ceremony is a great way to show off your personality as well as your pup. Some companies will put a picture of your very dog on socks (no generic image, thank you very much).
Wedding invites are another way to include your doggy. You could get custom photo postage stamps made with you two and your dog. Or just her. You can also feature a paw print on your invitation, down by your names. Rubber stamps are an option for this if you DIY your invites (I can only imagine the chaos that would ensue if I tried to actually imprint my dog’s inked paw).
At The Ceremony and/or Reception
If you'd like to have your dog present at your ceremony, consider whether your dog will handle the simulation, novelty, and stress of participating. Also, keep in mind that some guests might be afraid of our allergic to dogs. If your have a guest who uses a service dog, will your pupper be able to stay clear so as not to interfere? If all's good, here we go!
Your dog could be a greeter. What better way to welcome guests than to have a good dog wagging his tail. Keep your dog far enough from the aisle so that guests don't get a lick they don't expect (or want). She could also be the VIP greeter at your reception. Don't forget to encourage your guests to take pics with her.
How does your dog look in a tie? If he's smashing, have him walk down the aisle with a member of the wedding party. If your dog is good at staying seated, he can hangout at the front, but if not, his leash should be passed to a seated guest.
You could also have a ring dog. Let your dog come down the aisle, with a human ring bearer, carrying the (decoy) rings.
If your dog is good with kids, she could avail herself of the many pets that are sure to be offered by kids at your reception. If you go this way, make sure there's an adult who your dog is comfortable with and trusts to supervise, if not hold her.
What Did You Do?
Do you plan to involve your doggy in your wedding? Did your dog help you celebrate? Tell me about it!