Including your dog at your wedding

I’ve been a planner for 11 years and in that time a few clients have wanted their dogs involved in the day. The most memorable are 2 pug dogs who wore fairy wings and were trained to walk down the aisle with the ring in a special sparkly collar, an obedient retriever who was the “best dog” and “ring bearer” and finally a beautiful Staffordshire bull terrier in a tux.

I am a complete dog lover which is just as well considering the majority of my clients have multiple dogs. My sprocker spaniel Freddy works with me in the office, or rather spends his day snoozing.

Top tips for involving your dog at your wedding.

  1. Think seriously about whether you want the dog at the ceremony and reception or just part of the day. What is your dog like around lots of people? If it’s an over excitable breed it might be prudent to limit how long the dog is at the wedding for. Ensure your dog has been taught to sit for attention and not to jump up at people. Guests who have spent their well earned cash on a new outfit wont appreciate muddy paws on their clothes
  2. Remember not everyone is ‘dog friendly’ so keep the dog on a lead at all times and delegate someone to be in charge. If this is not a family member think about hiring a professional dog walker to be present at the wedding ceremony.
  3. Ensure that you keep to your dog’s regular diet and don’t introduce anything new to them. Ahem need I say more then ‘upset tummies’
  4. Remember you can’t reason with a dog so if they decide on the day they’d rather sleep under a tree, well let them and resort to your backup plan – you do have a backup plan right?
  5. Ensure the ‘dog walker’ takes them for regular walks especially just before the ceremony if they are to play a part.
  6. Bring the dogs familiar items like dog bowl and bedding so they have an area they feel comfortable in
  7. Ensure the venue are happy with dogs before booking, many rural venues are more then happy for you to bring your dogs
  8. If the dogs are to act as ring bearers spend some weeks training them with treats first. If possible take them to the ceremony venue and practice the walk with the music you will have as you entrance playing – loudly. If you can get the dog to walk on command with the background noise there is a much higher chance of success on the day.
  9. No doubt you’re be pampered prior to the wedding so don’t forget to schedule in a grooming session for your pooch as well. You both want to look your best for the photos right?
  10. If you’re totally crazy about your dog why not create a monogram to include a paw print like one of my clients did in 2012?

 

Dog lovers out there might like this blog post featuring a dog poem! Falling in love is like owning a dog

For inspirational doggy pictures follow my pinterest board

Photos by Mark Bothwell & Kerry Morgan 

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