Your dog isn't just a pet, it's a member of the family! For that reason, there is a very good chance that you will want for them to be a part of your wedding day. We carry a wonderful line of pet accessories for your wedding to make sure they look every bit as incredible as the rest of your wedding party. The tips in today's blog will help to ensure that their participation goes as smoothly as possible too.
You know your pet better than anyone, and even if you have your heart set on including them in your special day, be absolutely sure that they can 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 Your Venue
You will need to make sure that your venue allows pets 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, and also keep an eye out for anything in the area that might distract your pet during the wedding.
Choose Your Dog's Role
A very popular role for dogs to play in weddings 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, and the pillow itself is attached around your dog's shoulders and to the leash. Stylish and practical!
Dogs can also play the part of your flower girl if they can successfully hold a basket of petals in their mouth. You could let them walk the bride down the aisle (but only if there is no chance of them jumping on that beautiful bridal gown) or if you both have dogs, they could play honorary best man and maid of honor and be led down the aisle by their human counterparts.
Alert the Wedding Party
Let the other people in your wedding party know about this additional member. They can be very helpful in making sure that everything runs as smooth as possible. Family members that are already close to your pet can also 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, either in advance or just before the ceremony begins, to please not spook, distract, or try to pet your dog until after their part in the wedding is over.
Plan With Your Photographer
Letting your photographer know about your pet'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 some of the wedding experience. Hiring a professional handler is a great idea. Not only does a pro know how to handle pets 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 board your pet for the night and bring them to the ceremony and back to their kennel after.
Style Your Pet
Set up a grooming appointment for your dog so they look their very best on this special day. You can also find them something spectacular 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.
Practice Makes Perfect
Line up some chairs, seat a few people in them, and practice, practice, practice walking your pet 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.
Spend Time With Them Before the Ceremony
Before you put on your beautiful wedding dress and fancy suit, spend a few minutes with your dog to get their 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.
Your dog can be a wonderful and very unique addition to your wedding. 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