Dogs at Weddings: Dos & Don’ts

What could be better than having everyone you love at the wedding? Having your loved ones and friends there to support you and your significant other makes the day meaningful and beautiful for everyone. 

But what about having your dog at the wedding? Is that even doable? Let’s take a look!

Dogs at Weddings—It’s Doable

Having your canine companion at the wedding is doable; however, you’ll do some extra planning and work to see if this is allowed at your chosen venue(s). 

Plus, you want to plan for the unexpected. After all, when you have a dog, almost anything can happen! Especially if the dog really isn’t able to handle the wedding or reception comfortably. 

Just as with other parts of wedding planning and etiquette, there are some things you need to keep in mind. We’ve created a list of dos and don’ts to help you get started. These are geared to help you make the right decision about including your fur baby in the wedding or not. 

Dos of Dogs at Weddings

Here’s a list of dos for dogs at weddings!

Do What’s Best for your Dog

While your fur baby may be your best bud, would they really be comfortable at the wedding or the reception? Consider your dog’s personality, too: 

Does your dog easily become anxious or aggressive in new environments and/or around people they don’t know? 

Is your dog friendly and well-behaved? Would they be able to handle the ceremony or the party afterward? 

For dogs that are easily upset, anxious, or unsure of strangers (or people they don’t know well), it’s best to leave them home with someone they are comfortable with. Check if your dog’s nose is warm, the wedding and reception may be too much stress for him to bear. That’s the last thing you want at your wedding! And the last thing you want others to remember about your precious day!

If your dog is best at home, you might consider some other creative ways to include them on the big day. This could be through a beautiful cake topper that looks like your dog, dressing them up for pre-wedding photoshoots, and more!

Do Ask the Venue(s) If Dogs Are Allowed

Before getting too excited and caught up about including your canine friend in the wedding, you’ll first need to contact the venue(s) to see if dogs are allowed or not. Each place will have their own rules when it comes to pets at weddings and receptions. 

For instance, some facilities may not allow your dog to be part of an indoor wedding, but wouldn’t have a problem with your dog in an outdoor wedding. 

Another possibility is to ask if it’s possible to bring the dog to the venue for a short time. You might consider this for wedding photos, for instance. Once the photos are finished, then someone can take your fur baby back home to rest after all the excitement!

Do Consider Your Dog’s Personality & Temperament for the Role They’ll Play

If the venue Oks your dog to attend, and you believe they will take the wedding in stride, then be sure to consider your dog’s temperament and personality for the “job” they will do. 

For instance, would your dog feel comfortable walking down the aisle as part of the wedding party? Your fur baby could be a ringbearer or even wear a GoPro to record special footage of the wedding and/or reception! Make sure you do have the best aux cable though. 

Think about how realistic it is to have your dog perform a “job” during the wedding. Consider if they would feel comfortable at the reception with lots of activity going on around them, and more. Rather than keeping your wants in the forefront, consider your dog and what’s better for them. 

Give them a job they’ll be comfortable with, even if it’s only saying a short “hi” to everyone at the reception and then going home. 

Do Choose a Person to Take Charge of Your Dog on the Big Day

Even though you’ll be busy with the wedding, as a pet parent, you’re still responsible for the well-being of your fur baby. If your dog will be attending the wedding, then you’ll need to find someone who can take charge of your dog. 

This should be someone who is not involved in the wedding party. That’s because you and your wedding party will be very busy on the big day! From the beginning to the end, your day will be filled to overflowing. 

So, choose someone not directly involved in the wedding. Be sure this is someone you trust, and that your dog is extremely comfortable with. If you don’t know someone who can help out, you may need to consider hiring a pet sitter or dog walker who could manage your fur baby during the wedding. 

If you choose this route, then be sure to arrange a meeting with this person before the wedding day. It’s always a good idea to check references and credentials, as well as see if your dog is comfortable with them or not. 

When you find the right person, be sure to discuss the dress code for the wedding, as well as the part(s) your dog will play in the wedding. 

Don’ts of Including Dogs in Weddings

Here are some don’ts to keep in mind when including your fur baby in the wedding!

Don’t Forget the Treats!

This is essential! If your dog will participate in some way at the wedding, then you’ll want to make sure to pack plenty of treats for them! Treats are a great way to encourage your dog to behave and reward them for things done correctly. 

And be sure to not forget your dog’s water bowl, food, toys, and maybe even some bedding. Your pooch may want to take a break during all the excitement! 

Don’t Use a Retractable Leash

Retractable leashes have their place, but it’s definitely not at a wedding. They can be dangerous; for example, a retractable leash can become wrapped around someone’s led, causing them to fall and get hurt. Or the lease can wrap around objects and cause them to fall and break. Retractable leashes and weddings simply don’t go together. 

Instead, use a regular leash. Rather than leaving the leash drab, why not decorate it for the wedding? Use items to match the leash to the wedding theme/colors, and your fur baby will be dressed up, too!

Don’t Attach Real Rings to the Dog

This one may seem obvious, but we’re going to include it anyway! If your dog will be a ringbearer, then do not attach the real wedding rings to the dog or a pillow they may be carrying/wearing. Nothing would be worse than the dog running off and losing the rings! 

Instead, use fake rings. Your dog will still be cute and feel they’re doing a “job.” And you won’t have to worry about finding lost rings right before you say, “I do.” 

There you have it! Some dos and don’ts when including your dog in the wedding. With great planning before the big event, your canine companion can be included safely on the big day!

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