Inviting your family members to your wedding may seem like a given, but there’s one furry member of the family that is becoming more popular to be included on the guest list—your dog!
If you’re thinking about including your four legged friend in your ceremony, keep reading to learn more about the things to make note of before the big day!
Be sure to check with your venue in advance to see if they allow dogs. As having your dog play a part in your big day is becoming more common, some venues don’t allow animals. If this may be a make or break for you, ensure to ask this question when initially reaching out to the venue.
If the venue allows animals and it isn’t written into the contract, or they are making a special exception, ensure to have them write out an addendum when booking that they are allowing you to have your dog on site.
Talk with your photographer before your wedding day in regards to having your dog attend (or be part of) the ceremony. The last thing you want to do is surprise your photographer when your dog shows up during photos as your photographer will want to work this into their shot list and timeline! As long as you notify them ahead of time, you can give them time to prepare and be ready to snap the planned—and sometimes unpredictable—moments that come with owning a pet!
Think about your pet’s temperament when you are considering having them as part of your wedding day. It’s also a good idea to think about your guests. Does your dog not do well with strangers or children (if children will be attending?) Does your dog get easily stressed out in a new environment? For their sanity and yours, it’s probably for the best to have your pet sit this celebration out.
Determine a “point person” who will be in charge of caring for the animal. We also recommend that this person is either someone who isn’t in your bridal party and/or someone that isn’t attending the wedding. Because most venues require that the animal be picked up and removed from the premises after the ceremony has concluded, having someone who can take them home after you are announced as newlyweds will reduce yours and their stress.
If the dog is participating in the ceremony—like as the ring bearer—ensure the dog is on a leash (even if they are well behaved) and you have a dedicated person who will either be walking them down the aisle (this can be a member of the bridal party if you so choose) or someone who they can be handed off to once they reach the top.
Your dog is one of the closest members of your family so it only makes sense to want to include them in your big day. Keep these tips in mind if you are considering having your pet attend and we guarantee that everyone will have a tail waggin’ good time!