Whether you consider your dog as your best friend, your baby or just the greatest pet alive, it is so lovely to include them in your wedding. They are a special part of your relationship and life so it seems only fitting to include them on this special day.
Maybe you want them to be your ring bearer or bridesmaid or maybe you just want them to be in attendance for the photo ops or as a guest. Whatever your ideas are, there are a few things you may want to consider to make your wedding dog-friendly.
Firstly, is your dog suited for a wedding? Consider whether your dog can handle this type of environment. There may be lots of people, food and excitement which could be overwhelming for some pups. Would they be better off at home or being cared for? There are lots of options including BorrowMyDoggy to find someone who isn’t already attending the wedding!
If you have decided on including them in the wedding it's a good idea to check if your venue is dog friendly and they are happy to accept furry four legged guests. If they do, perfect! Next is deciding what role they will play? Whether they are the best man (or best dog!) or just a guest, it is a good idea to include them in the rehearsals. This way they can adjust to the venue and have some training in how to behave in this new environment.
"We got married in August and invited Minnie to be part of my bridal party - 'sausage of honour'! She walked down the aisle with my bridesmaids and was immaculately behaved and partied on into the night! She has become such a big part of our lives and her owners have become true friends." Minnie's borrower, Felicity
Outside of rehearsals, you should ensure they are trained not to jump up at guests, or the bride (no mucky paws on that pristine dress!). It’s also best that they don’t steal food from tables or guests, know how to settle down or sit calming when required, and will only do their business outside.
It is also worth bearing in mind that there may be people on your guest list who are not fans of dogs and may even be allergic. Knowing this beforehand can prevent any upset guests or awkward situations.
"Having a couple looking after our puppies gives them oodles of play time and the flexibility to have individual attention and the mental stimulation is just as important. The biggest surprise was the puppies being invited to their wedding ranks and the puppies behaved beautifully and as you can see from the pictures the bride and groom were ecstatic to have them there to celebrate their big day." Haru and Sora-Star's owner, Sonia from South London
On the big day, it is a great idea to have a designated dog carer. This allows you to enjoy your day and be in the moment without worrying about your dog’s needs. This person should be familiar with the dog and be able to handle their needs. They can be in charge of taking them out for toilet breaks, sitting with them for some downtime and generally keeping an eye on what they are doing.
It’s also a nice idea to create a space safe for them to escape to for downtime or sleep, particularly if they may be getting overwhelmed. This area can include their bed, a toy and something that smells familiar. If you want to allow guests to bring their dogs too, this space could be extended to include any dogs that need it.
With just a little planning you can include them with little to no stress and have a magical day with all your loved ones, even the furry ones.