I LOVE my dog and absolutely love when couples decide to include their furry family member in their wedding. Adding your lovable pup to the celebration adds to the excitement of the day, but also makes your ceremony all the more personal—and of course fun! It’s always a good idea to have a plan set ahead of time when it comes to a four-legged friend with a mind of their own. Here are key items to check off your list before your wedding day:
So you want your dog (let’s face it, your adorable, cuddly friend is practically your first child!) included in your ceremony. Make sure it’s okay with the location you’re getting married. Depending on the venue, double check to see if they allow pets on the premises or just outside. If the ceremony is outside, coordinate with your venue to make sure it is okay to incorporate your pup in the festivities!
When your furry child isn’t stealing people’s hearts, have a game plan for where they will be. Does the hotel allow pets or is there a kennel nearby? Make sure to research kennels in the area, find out their hours, and bring plenty of food for your pet’s stay.
You must choose wisely, but you must choose a point person for the day or weekend to take care of your pup when you are preoccupied with the million other wedding things needing your attention. Does your furry family member know this person and be comfortable hanging out with them? Is your friend comfortable enough to take on this responsibility, hold onto them during the ceremony and help out with poop-duty? Do they even have a way of transporting your dog to and from places? Is this person even comfortable walking your dog down the aisle if that is the ceremony plan? If you’re going through a kennel, make sure your point-person knows when to pick up your dog and bring them back so that your day runs smoothly.
I love taking puppy, bride, and groom wedding photos during your special day. Talk to your photographer to make sure they are ready for pup pictures. Be sure to add a little extra time in the schedule to add in an excitable fur ball into the chain of events. Knowing ahead of time if there will be a dog in the ceremony or featured in wedding photos will help your photographer prepare and even come up with a few poses for you and your pet.
Be mindful that not all of your guests even like dogs—however unimaginable that is. Remember to pack a leash for transportation between the venue and the hotel or kennel or someone’s house, as well as during the festivities so that your friends and family who may not want a hello from a cold, wet nose, can rest reassured.
Although the planning and pampering mostly falls on you, if you’re including a furry friend at your wedding, take care of a few hygiene things before the big day. Give your dog a bath; your friends will thank you. Brush out some of those knots and make their coat shine. Trim up those nails! Add a bow to their collar, and coordinate the color to match your bridesmaid dresses. Prepare your dog for a busy day and make sure to familiarize your pup with whoever is watching them the day of the wedding. If the wedding is outside, think about applying a tick treatment to protect your dog from fleas and unwanted bugs.
Your furry friend will be there for your special day to make you laugh, keep guests entertained, and share in this exciting new chapter. You may not be prepared for everything that might happen the day of the wedding, but remember to have fun, your furry family member definitely will!