How to Incorporate Dogs into Your Wedding

Want your furry friend there on your big day? Find out how to incorporate your dog in a wedding ceremony.

By Anni Irish

Dogs at Your Wedding
Photo by Zola

Pets play a huge role in people's lives, and when it comes to planning your wedding, figuring out a way for your pet to be present or participate is important. Our fur babies are a part of the family and they want to be part of the big day in whatever way they can, especially in the photos. Whatever kind of dog you have, there is most certainly a way to have them be part of arguably the most important day of your life.

Know Your Furry Friend

When you're planning your wedding there are a few things you'll want to consider in regards to your pet. The first: what is your dog like? Do they have a big personality and love attention? Are they a bit of a diva? Or are they on the shyer side? This should be a bigger factor in considering how you would like to include them. Even if they are shyer or prefer to be the center of attention, there are lots of ways to work them into the festivities.

How to Incorporate Your Dog in Wedding Ceremony | Zola Photo Credit // Shutterstock

Are Pets Allowed?

Another element is the venue. Do they even allow pets? A simple phone call or email should be enough to confirm if your pet is allowed on site. From there, you can best assess how to proceed in regards to the wedding venue and your furry friend.

Having your four-legged friend walk down the aisle with the wedding party—or even with you—is an option. They can even be an honorary groomsman, bridesmaid, or flower girl/boy, or ring bearer. There are also great outfits for dogs, such as tuxedos and dresses, that you can even dress them in as well. If you choose to have them present at the wedding ceremony and reception, you'll also need to notify the various vendors that a pet-friendly setting is needed.

If that’s too stressful for your pup, another option is to schedule a photo shoot leading up to the wedding where you, your partner, and your pup are the focus. This way, you can capture the special moments in a calmer and more relaxed atmosphere. Another great option is to also have them present for the wedding day photos––they can be there in the getting ready photos and even the ones with the bridal party.

Thinking of You, Pooch

If your dog can't make it to the wedding, after all, there's no need to stress. There are lots of ways to still have them be there in spirit. Your pet can be represented in a lot of ways and can also serve as the inspiration for wedding stationery, cake, décor, favors, and more. You could even have an illustration created of the doggo that can be used for the invitations or the place holders on the table.

A cocktail inspired by them is another great option. There are also ways to have your pup be part of your big day by having special attire or decor customs made, such as handkerchiefs, socks, glassware, or other items.

You could have framed photographs of your furry friend placed on the table and even around other spots throughout the wedding venue. Or, instead of a traditional cake topper, you could even have a replica made of your pup. Even having cocktail napkins inspired by your pet or a sign that incorporates them and tells guests where to get certain items is a great idea.

How to Incorporate Your Dog in Wedding Ceremony | Zola Photo Credit // Shutterstock

The sky's the limit when it comes to how you approach including your pet in the wedding. However you choose to incorporate them, you have to decide what makes the most sense for you, your partner, and your pet. Think about what your pet is like and also what will make for the most memories, but also try not to stress your pet out too much in the process. Whatever you choose, having your pet be a part of your special day will make memories for years to come.

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