Tips for Including A Dog In Your Wedding Ceremony

While it’s still far from the standard, more and more couples today are finding ways to include their beloved pets in their wedding day. To many of us, our pets are just as much a part of the family as anyone else, and the thought of not including them is out of the question! Here are a few ways to include man’s best friend in your big day, as well as a few pointers and accessories to keep things sailing smoothly.

Flower ‘Grrrl’, Ring ‘Bowser’, or ‘Mutt’ of Honor?
The most common way to incorporate your pet into your wedding ceremony is to designate them in the traditional role of flower girl or ring bearer, often walked along by their young human counterparts. Other people are so attached to their pets that they are given the honored positions of best “man” or “maid” of honor. Together with your future spouse, discuss what position you feel your pet should have in your big day, or if they are suited to the event at all.

Sharp Dressed Dog
Now that you’ve settled on the role your beloved dog will play, it’s time to decide an appropriate look for your pet. Many florists can create beautiful “collars” to drape around your dog’s neck or to wind around the leash, or if your pooch is particularly well-behaved, a small basket of petals can be carried in her teeth. For the “gentlemutts”, there are ring bearer pillows which allow the rings to be carried safely on the dog’s back, or the rings can be simply tied to a collar. For the couple that wants to go all out, there are even websites where doggie tuxedoes and bridesmaid-style gowns in all shapes and sizes can be ordered. Or, you can choose to keep things simple with a tasteful new collar and leash in coordinating wedding colors. How fashion-forward you take things is totally up to your taste and the style of your event.

Tips and Tricks for Wedding Pet Wrangling
Before making any plans, be sure and check with your venue and/or house of worship to make sure that pets are allowed. Once you’ve established that Fluffy is a welcome guest, there are several ways to prepare your pet and the situation. First, schedule a trip to the groomer a few days before your wedding to make sure your pet is looking and feeling his best. And of course, just like humans, practice makes perfect. If possible, take your four-legged loved one to the venue and familiarize him with the location, scents, people, etc. As you and your future spouse will be very busy that day, designate a trusted handler that your pet is familiar with to take care of your furry friend’s needs. Make sure to have your pet’s favorite treats on hand for the big day, just like fussy children, bribes can go a long way in encouraging your pet’s participation.

This all being said, be sure not to force the situation if your pet balks on the big day. If your pet is uncomfortable or scared, it will only make things worse for everyone involved if you try to force his participation. Instead, try for some fun “family” photos afterwards away from some of the commotion to preserve memories of your pet’s involvement. Above all, be flexible, and both you and your pet will be sure to have a wonderful experience.

photo credit: Save The Date Events

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One Comment

  1. Posted July 19, 2010 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    And for goodness sake, make sure they’re house trained!

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