Dog Friendly Weddings18 May 2023
Reviewed by Dr Jill McMaster BVM&S MBA MRCVS, Veterinary Surgeon and in-house expert at BorrowMyDoggy on 18 May 2023
Whether you consider your dog as your best friend, your baby or just the greatest pet alive, it's lovely to include them in your wedding. They can be such important parts of our lives so it can seem 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 as a guest? Whatever your ideas are, here are a few things you might want to consider to make your wedding dog-friendly.
Firstly, is your dog suited for a wedding? Simply, will your dog be happy at your wedding? There might be lots of people, food and excitement, which can be overwhelming for some pups. Would they be better off at home or being cared for? There are lots of care options, including BorrowMyDoggy to find someone who isn’t already attending the wedding, where your pooch might be happier.
If you have decided on including them in the wedding you'll need to check if your venue is dog friendly and that they are happy to accept furry four legged guests. If they do, pawfect!
Next is deciding what role they'll play? Whether they are set to be the best man (or best dog!) or just coming along as a guest, it is a good idea to include them in rehearsals. This way they can get used to the venue, some of the people, have some training on how to behave in this new place and you can see whether they're going to be comfortable on the big day.
"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 make sure your pooch pal is trained not to jump up at guests, or the bridal party (unless you're up for mucky paws on that pristine outfit!). It’s also best that they don’t steal food from tables or guests, know how to settle down or sit calmly when required, and will only do their business outside.
It is also worth considering 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. They 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 lets you enjoy your day and be in the moment without worrying about your dog’s needs. This person should be someone your dog knows well and be able to do everything needed for your pup. They can then be in charge of taking them out for toilet breaks, chilling with them for some downtime, and generally keeping an eye on what they are up to.
It’s also a nice idea to create a space safe for them to escape to for downtime or sleep, because even the most chilled pooch can get a little overwhelmed and need a disco nap. This area can include their bed, a toy and something that smells familiar. If you want to let guests bring their dogs too, this space could be extended to include any dogs that need a snooze or a snack.
With just a little planning you can include your dogs in your special day. Just be sure to remember that every dog is different and while some pooches will find being part of your wedding day amazing fun, some others might prefer to chill at home with their borrower.
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