Dog Activities, Dog Lifestyle, Pet Celebrations, Pets and Family

5 Planning Wedding Tips to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding

Your love story may not be complete without your furry pal but at the same time weddings bring with them a plethora of choices and if you have made the one large choice to include your furry friend in your big day wedding you will need to do a bit of planning. 

Boxer dog with bride and groom on the beach for a wedding photo.

As you consider the decision to include your dog in your wedding also consider these top tips about including your dog into your wedding day to make it the most fun and seamless experience possible. 

1)     Ensure that the Wedding Venue is Dog Friendly. 

You may assume that everyone loves dogs and in particular your best friend as much as you do but not all venues at this time are dog friendly for various reasons such as liability and health code considerations. Even when you have an outdoor venue there may be restrictions related to dogs at the venue. 

Confirm that the venue you have selected for your wedding is dog friendly well in advance before you get set on either the fur baby star of the show showing up or the venue.  Even if you are outdoor in your park some Parks including National Parks do not allow dogs but these ones do.

2)     Consider Your Dog’s Personality

We know our dogs best. A quick scroll through social media shows some amazing dogs showing off their well-behaved innate wedding spotlight moments but your dog of honor, as mine likely, maybe more of a dig up the garden sort that gets bored easily. 

Consider your pet’s natural tendencies and whether a special role in a wedding will be stressful for both you and your dog that is not worth it or tailor the role your want your dog to participate in your special day based on his personality. 

3)     Consider How Your Dog Will Participate in the Wedding Festivities. 

As you consider your dog’s personality also consider the role that you would like your dog to play in your wedding party.  I talk a lot about the various options of your dog participating in your wedding 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 but just know there are many. 

From a centerstage role such as part of the wedding party as ring bearer, flower dog (replacing the traditional flower girl) or to center stage in pictures or just pictures at another location before the event, or as a simple wedding guest there are a host of options pet owners can include their dogs in the festivities

Even a wedding favor dog shaped like your dog can be a way to have your beloved pet incorporated into the big day or just a cocktail hour feature at the special event. We have so many favorite dog wedding ideas we have put together a separate post available here.

Two labs and one smaller dog posing with wedding outfits for a wedding photo shoot with words on the bottom of the photo about the many ways you can include your dog in your photo shoot.

4) Consider Dog Wedding Logistics.

According, to Wedding Planner Cindi Block, most often dogs are present at the pictures and ceremony or at a specific time of the day only morning or evening. 

Whatever you select ensure there is a plan to get your dog to the site and home and taken care of while at the event. A True Tail I describe in Motherpuppin Adorable: What to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s is of a friend that was tasked with bringing the dog to the big day. As the family member participant and mother of the bride, she has plenty to consider already and the best dog was left at home. Upon discovery panic set in and he was retrieved but alas too late for the festivities.

A lesson that it may take a hired hand not wrapped up in the big day to manage logistics so that including your furry pal in the wedding festivities can go off without a hitch.

Bonus tip: don’t forget to pack a dog wedding supply bag for the wedding day with everything your dog will need.

5)     Consider the photography. 

Confirm in advance that your photographer is comfortable and willing to photograph dogs at your wedding photo shoot (this may require more patience and effort to get the right image.)

Man's hand with a woman's hand on top and lastly a dog pay on that stacked representing a fun wedding day photo idea with your dog.
There are many fun ways you can include your dog in your wedding photos.

Additionally, you will want to have an assistant for the photographer no matter how much of a good boy your dog is. Your photo shoot assistance will have to be equipped with ample tools such as a dog treat selection of low and high value treats, and calming dog treats, cute sign, fancy outfits, and more to ensure your photo session runs smoothly and they should be somewhat familiar with pet care.

Block notes that dogs can be worked into the pictures but you need to make sure that someone is there (that is not meant to be in the pictures) to work with the dog to get their attention, place the dog and ensure they are not slipping off to more exciting things. 

Ensure that you plan out dog wedding shots with your photographers in advance. Steal some ideas for the camera shy pup which may include signs, backgrounds and more.

Bonus tip: A common problem is that everyone looks at the dog during pictures. If you have someone managing the dog they will be able to concentrate on getting the perfect shot as opposed to focusing on the dog

5) Consider the Dog Wedding Attire and Designs Well Before Hand.

As your wedding comes together and you select your color themes, flowers and such don’t forget to add your doggie wedding outfit to the list. A special doggie outfit may take time to prepare to coordinate with your style. Many are available from particular Etsy sellers such as a dog bow tie, a special dog’s collar, toppers for wedding cakes, and table number and centerpieces.

Your canine companion can show up in several places it just may take some planning. Check out Motherpuppin’ Adorable: What to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s for more ideas or our article on 25 ways to include your dog in your wedding.

Planning for Dog in Wedding FAQs

How do I keep my dog calm at my wedding?

Festivities, photos and your attention elsewhere all make your pup nervous at your wedding. You can try natural calming dog supplements like Calm CBD hemp spray for dogs and ensure they have a safe space and can be with a trusted caretaker while you are busy and socialize them by getting your dog out and about before the wedding.

How to have dog at wedding?

There are many ways to include your dog in your wedding from pup of honor to greeter. Discover 30 of those ways here but don’t forget to plan ahead by ensuring venue is dog friendly, your pup is prepared and you have a photographers assistant and dog caretaker to make it the best wedding day ever pup included.

How to include dog in wedding vows?

You can include your dog in your wedding vows by acknowledging how your partner has loved the your dog or acknowledging your dogs traits for unconditional love.