Dog Lifestyle, Pets and Family

30 Ways to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding! (Best Dog Wedding Ideas 2023)

You are a dog lover and getting married so why not add your beloved dog to the big day festivities to make it truly a special wedding day!?  Dog’s are more prevalent in weddings than ever and I have taken the time to research the dog wedding failures and dog wedding successes to come up with this list of some of our favorite dog wedding ideas for including your dog in your wedding. 

Dog looking on at a wedding party toasting with champagne glasses.

This list was inspired by the fun chapter of all things dogs and weddings in Motherpuppin’ Adorable: What to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s, check it out here!

Top Ways to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding Before Your Wedding

Eve before your big day your dog can be part of your wedding and set the stage for your guest to know that your pup is integral to the love story!

  • Wedding Announcement and Save The Date. A perfect time to let your guests know that your top man will still be your fur baby and announce that there will be a person being added to your relationship. Plus add a sign to announce and everyone will instantly fall in love with him even if for some odd reason they did not already know your furry pal.  
  • Bachelor or Bachelorette Wing Man.  Many a wedding night have been spoiled by a bachelorette or Bachelor party going awry.  With a proper wingman the night could have been more fun than the mischief.  Imagine your furry pal and confidant at your side, a small moral compass to guide you on the path to a successful wedding day.
  • Invitations. If we start from what is most times the beginning of the Wedding journey for your guests it is the Invitation.  Add a fun dog motif to your invite to give everyone a heads up that your canine companion will have a special role in this event.  Try making a doggie graphic that resembles your dog with designers on Fiverr so that from here on on all of your doggie graphics will be consistent.  
  • The Wedsite. The wedding website introduces you and your loved ones and provides a central base for all things wedding info. This is a great place to let everyone know about how your pup fostered the love connection with a great love story and gain extra love and admiration from your fellow pet owners and guests.
  • Gift Registry. Most couples already have everything they need. Add a couple of items on the list for your dog (he likely has everything he needs as well but will be more prone to chewing it and requiring a new one than you) on your registry so that you can spread the fun and who doesn’t like buying a gift for a dog?  Answer: no one!
  • Bridal Shower Gift. Pick a themed gift like this cute bone couple or any other fun way to add your dog motif on any thoughtful giveaway available like these from this Etsy seller.
  • Wedding Party. There are so many options here. Dogs can replace traditional human roles in almost every role in the wedding party, including ring bearer, maid of honor (now dog of honor) best dog, flower girl (now flower dog), usher, officiant  (well that may be tough but that is not really a wedding party member either however if Elvis lookalikes can do it why can’t your dog?)
  • Rehearsal Dinner Honored Guest. The rehearsal dinner can always use a bit of extra joy.  Having a special guest of honor other than the person with their checkbook is a great way to spice it up. 

Ways to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding on the Big Day

There are many ways for your dog to be involved in your wedding but some of the most important, of course, are on the actual big day itself. These ideas will have your dog right there in the action. Whatever role you do select for your pup in your wedding party, don’t forget to order the outfit like we mentioned in our article on 5 Dog Wedding Pre Planning Tips. There are many stylish choices from an ornate dog collar to bow tie dog collar to dog flower collar which will cause your dog to show up the bride.

  • Greeter. A traditional role for any dog is to give a warm greeting coupled with a jump up or crotch sniff. The latter may not be the best for your guests but who could resist being welcomed by a cutie like your pup? It will surely set the tone for a festive wedding.
  • Participate in the Wedding Festivities. Think find the food scraps dropped on the floor (floor cleaner), a dance partner to the lonely, a crutch for those that had too much fun, and a cleaner upper of rice thrown as the couple makes their exit. There are the wedding party roles but also so many other ways for your dog to participate in the wedding festivities.  
  • In the Pictures. Pictures are an event in and of themselves and are a great way to have your furry pal be part of the festivities with a special photo shoot with your dog or presence in the photo booth. Put him in his cute wedding outfit for the photos and have a photo session or add a cute sign to his collar and he can say it all or create a fun photo booth photo of him like from this seller so that he can be at the event almost IRL. (see more photo tips for engaging and preparing your photographer for those pup shots here)
Couple outside dressed in wedding clothes holding hands in front of a lake with a brown and white bull terrier in the photo between them.

Dog Pro Tip: don’t forget the treats to ensure your good boy will cooperate with the photographer and other preplanning tips in our dog wedding planning article here.

Doggie Bonus Tip: If your wedding venue did not allow pets then having your furry pal at the wedding rehearsal dinner is a great way to include your furry friend without the guilt of him totally missing out on wedding festivities.    

  • Signature Drink. Make your cocktail hour complete with a signature drink named after your beloved pup. It may be a bit of a trick to capture your dog’s personality in a signature drink but a browse through a comprehensive bible of interesting alcohol concoctions like  Women’s Libation!: cocktails to celebrate a women’s right to booze is sure to inspire. 

Select a women’s activist that matches your dog’s personality and you have it. Once you have made the cocktail selection that matches your dog’s personality get a special sign created like this one to let your guests know that your puppy pal was the inspiration and that they can order it by name. 

Doggie Bonus: Add a custom doggie stir stick and you are set.  

  • Dog Featured Table Centerpieces.  Your table centerpieces may be works of art to hold your table number but why not have cute photos of your guy holding the table number or another doggie imagery on each table to add to the wedding decor? 

You can simply add a small doggie themed addition to the centerpiece or make your dog the focus of the centerpiece.  

  • Wedding Guest. It may be that your dog is not fit for any particular role and just needs to show up like the rest of the guests and family members dressed in his best. That, of course, is fine too. Your dog can roam the dance floor, make small talk and grab a snack here and there and will likely be the most popular belle at the ball. 

Dog Pro Tip: for all wedding appearances be sure a family member or pet care service provider can be in charge for the special day.

3 Dogs with wedding signs photo props during a wedding photo with bride and groom in the background.
  • First Dance. Many consider the first dance the first act as husband and wife, a spectacle that is practiced and learned so there will not be bruised toes or trips that are witnessed by your closest friends. 

What better way to take some of the pressure off than by teaching your pup the moves and including him in this special tradition before daddy steals the bride.

  • Assistant DJ. A good DJ can make or break a wedding and every capable wedding DJ seems to know that the YMCA will be a big hit no matter the demographic, however, what is a good DJ without an assistant. 

Get your dog involved in making the party happen with a little assistance and support to the DJ.  If you thought maybe your dog would not cut it as a Doggie DJ check out Freddie, he has got some serious moves that your doggie will no doubt be able to adopt as well.

Brown and white terrier dog at a DJ board DJ'ing beside a mirrored ball at a party.
Your dog can totally be the DJ (with some assistance!)
  • Friend and Confidant. For some reason weddings are considered one of the more stressful life events 🙂 A wedding party, in particular the best man and maid of honor, both are traditionally thought to be the support network for the bride or grooms inevitable stress.

However, why not rely on the trusty companion that has been your confidant and best friend since they came into your life and have your best friend at your side. He does not even need to be part of the wedding per se except your support network for the special day (like every other day.)

Boxer dog with a couple getting a wedding photo taking on a pier.
  • Wedding Favor or Goodie Bag Treats. Why go to all of the work preparing wedding party favors just to have them forgotten at the table, on the lawn, or in the car? 

With a Doggie inspired wedding favor your wedding guests special treat will surely make it home and provide a fond memory of the celebration even if the champagne consumed would otherwise have fogged the special memory slightly. Think doggie shaped cookies or other doggie inspired treats for guests on their way out.

  • Master of Ceremonies. This may not be the best choice given most dogs’ inability to communicate orally but since most MCs are fairly attractive and garner the attention of the crowd with an amusing joke I thought I would throw it out there.  Maybe Assistant Master of Ceremonies would be more apt.
  • Subject of a Toast.  Most dogs are actually responsible for fostering the love connection and latter love story due to the maternal/paternal nature foisted upon a couple that research albeit not from peer reviewed studies simply anecdotal research suggests brings couples together.

Accordingly, your dog can be the subject of a heartfelt toast that will have the crowd paying attention so that the other less interesting toasts that follow will have an audience.  

Brown dog at a wedding having a toast to him looking on at champagne glasses.
  • Barback. Nothing is worse than when the bar is slow and guests looking for libations are forced to wait. Why not put your pal to work? Afterall, given the unconditional loving nature of 99.999% of dogs they would always be happy to sacrifice their good fun to help in any way they can, in fact it would actually give them pleasure to make the signature cocktail that is their namesake.  

These dogs fetch beers for their human pals which may be enough to keep the bar line moving.

  • Catch the Garter and the Bouquet. While some singles may line up to catch the bouquet more recently at many weddings the women and men can be a bit shy for fear of the overall symbolism of what catching the garter or bouquet means. 
Brown and white beagle dog catching a flower bouquet at a wedding that is purple roses and other greenery.
Your dog may be the best to get married if he catches a balloon the start of even more fun festivities!

Instead of creating a helium bouquet as suggested in a recent New Yorker cartoon, teach your faithful friend to catch the bouquet which will not only be fabulous picture fodder but also save some embarrassment when the garter or bouquet would otherwise have landed clear on the floor.  

Including Your Dog in Your Wedding the After Party Duties

  • Doggie Send Off in Style. Some think sparklers, doves or rice throwing what about a big long howl to send the couple off in style. This of course will be easier if you have any sort of a hound breed but you never know what your dog is capable of with a little training.
  • Honeymoon. All good things must come to an end but weddings are one of the few that then have a bit of fun tacked on to the end so they are not truly over (in addition to the forever years of joy with your loved ones.)  What better way to celebrate coupledom than to include your best furry pal in your honeymoon plans.  This may require pre-planning and leaving Tahiti off of the list but think of all that will be gained.  
  • Dog Clean up Crew. You may think that you have hired help for the clean up crew but your dog may be a true healthy and well respected contributor appreciated for his efforts. Scraps, trash and all may be removed most expeditiously with and by your furry companion.
  • Thank You Cards.  In the end nothing would have been possible without the graciousness and love of your guests (and your dog.)  When it comes time to give thanks, send a card with a doggie design included and not just on the signature line. 
Red envelope with a wedding thank you card in it which says "thank you" and a dog image underneath it.
Your thank you card will be your last touch with your guests and a good place to remind your guests of your awesome adorable pup

In the end there are lots of ways to ensure that your pup is included in the festivities and you can get as creative as you want and go many different directions. I hope these ideas get the creative juices flowing so that your big day can be an inclusive event pups included.

 Learn more abut dogs and relationship, including in festivities and whole chapter dedicated to dogs and weddings in Motherpuppin’ Adorable: What to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s the ultimate tongue and cheek guide to navigating life with your dog, wedding included.  

Dog in Wedding FAQs

How to incorporate my dog in wedding without being there?

You don’t need your dog to be present to incorporate him in your wedding with these fun ideas, create a graphic of your dog and use on invitations, napkins, bathroom signs and signature cocktails named after your dog, and thank you cards. Include your dog on your wedsite, cake topper and more. Incorporating your dog can be a fun way to celebrate your big day.

What role can my dog play in my wedding?

There are so many fun ways and roles your dog can play in your wedding people generally think of ring bearer, best dog, or including their dog in their wedding party but your dog can also be a greeter, have the first dance, sit in the front row, flower dog and more!

Should I include my dog in my wedding?

Whether or not you should include your dog in your wedding is a personal one dependent on you and your dog’s relationship and trainability. The big day is filled with stress so if your dog will help and support you why not include them in the special day, if your dog may add to the stress and cause you to worry and detract from your enjoyment then maybe not. There are now so many options to lovingly and fun add your dog to your wedding like, just the rehearsal or just the photos and have a pet sitter take him home.