Most dog owners don't consider their four-legged friends "just a pet" but instead, a member of the family. If you think that your wedding day can be even more special if your dog (or dogs) are included, the following tips can help you successfully make that happen.
Once you're confident about adding your dog to the wedding planning, be sure to take a look at the adorable pet accessories for your wedding that we carry at WhereBridesGo.com. After all, you want these VIDs (Very Important Dogs) to look every bit as fancy as the rest of the wedding party!
You know your dog better than anyone and even if you have your heart set on including them in your special day, be honest with yourself about how they will handle it. If you are worried at all that they may be too fidgety and cause trouble or be too distracted, it may be best to leave them out of this particular event.
You can still set up a photo session for new family photos with them before or after the wedding instead. On the other hand, if you know that they are able to behave long enough, use the following tips to get everything ready for them.
Ask the Venue
You will need to make sure that your wedding venue allows animals on the property and find out what special arrangements need to be made for it to happen. If they do give you the go-ahead, take a close look at the area you will be in. Make sure there are no toxic plants or other dangers for your dog at the venue. Also keep an eye out for anything in the area that might distract them during the wedding.
Chose Your Dog's Role
A very popular role for an animal to play at a wedding is the part of the ring bearer. We carry an adorable Dog Ring Pillow that allows you to tie the rings (or replicas of the real things) to it. The pillow itself is attached around your dog's shoulders and to the leash. Stylish and practical!
We also offer a very cute Flower & Rhinestone Dog Collar if you prefer they play the role of flower girl/boy. The flower is right there on the collar if they don't want to carry a basket. We even carry a Flower Dog Skirt to complete the ensemble if your dog is tutu-friendly.
Alert the Wedding Party
Let the people in your wedding party know about this additional member. They can be very helpful in making sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible.
Family members that your dog is already comfortable with can be enlisted to assist with the animal so you can focus on the wedding. It's a good idea to also let your guests know about this special member of the wedding party, either in advance or just before the ceremony begins. You may want to make an announcement to please not spook, distract, or try to pet your dog until after their part in the wedding is over.
Plan With the Photographer
Letting your photographer know about your dog's part in the wedding ahead of time will allow them to plan where to be to get the best action photos. They will also have advance notice to come up with some great ideas for special posed photos to take.
Hire a Handler
Even if you have a friend or family member that your dog loves and usually obeys, if they are watching the dog they may miss out on some of the wedding experience. Hiring a professional handler is a great idea.
Not only does a pro know how to handle dogs in all kinds of situations, but it is much easier for them to leave with the animal if necessary. Some places that offer this service will also bring your pets to the ceremony, back to their kennel after, and even board them for the night.
Show Their Style
Set up a grooming appointment for your dog so they look their very best on this special day. You can also find something spectacular for them to wear at WhereBridesGo.com. We've got top hats, specialty collars, frilly tutus, and more in the Pet Wedding Accessories section of our online wedding store.
Do a Few Practice Runs
Line up some chairs, seat a few people in them, and practice, practice, practice walking your dog down the aisle before the big day. If you bought them something special to wear, let them get used to that too.
A little training will go a long way. Bring them to your wedding rehearsal too and if you have the chance, walk them through the motions (or have your handler do it) shortly before your guests arrive on the wedding day.
Pre-Ceremony Quality Time
Before you put on your beautiful wedding dress or fancy suit, spend a few minutes with your dog to get the initial excitement about seeing you out of the way. This may help to keep them from jumping up on you and getting your wedding clothes dirty before anyone has a chance to see you in them.
Dogs can be a wonderful and very unique addition to your wedding ceremony. If you trust that they can behave themselves long enough to play their part, by all means, include them. The more loved ones from your life that can be a part of your special day, the better!
~The WhereBridesGo.com Team
Post by Deanna Powell, Certified Bridal Consultant