Involving your pooch on your wedding day

Pooch at your wedding

If you’re planning your special day, you might be wondering how you can include your dog in the celebrations. Here, Julie Butcher from Webbox rounds up some tips for making your dog part of your wedding.

With couples making up for lost time after the last two years, searches for ‘weddings’ have increased year on year by 560% according to Google Trends. And with the wedding industry booming more now than ever before, there’s no better time to consider the type of celebration you want for you and your partner. If you have a dog, you might be wondering whether you can bring them in to be a part of this special day, instead of leaving them in doggy day-care or waiting for you at home.
So, here we’ll bring together some tips for including your four-legged friend in your celebrations as a couple. There are many considerations when you’re planning to have a canine guest at your wedding, and here we’ll show you how to start navigating them.

Use your dog as the ring bearer

A popular way to include a pooch in the wedding proceedings is to use them as the ring bearer — this can be adorable addition to your ceremony and make your dog really feel like part of the day. However, you’ll need to take some time to train your pooch for the occasion if this is what you intend to do. Try procuring the basket or box your ring will be in a few months ahead of time, and have your dog bring it to you from different rooms in the house, or the opposite end of the garden. Gradually increase the distance, and your dog should get the hang of it.
On the day, make sure to appoint someone as a dog handler or sitter so that they can keep an eye on your pup. This will mean you don’t have to worry about keeping your dog focused on his duties while you’re waiting for the ring. You might even try tempting your dog down the aisle with treats as they are carrying the ring.

Match their collar to your outfits

One of the easiest ways to include your dog in the wedding is to have them coordinate with the colour scheme of the day. You can do this by buying them a collar that matches the accent colour you’ve chosen for your outfits, such as lilac, blue, or pink. Their collar could also match the tie of the groom, or the flowers that will be carried down the aisle.
Other ways that you can add some glitz to your dog on the day, is adding flowers to their collar to go with the arrangements on the tables and around the venue. If your dog is likely to try to nibble real flowers, then you might want to consider stitching some fake flowers onto their collar. Whatever you choose, finding ways for your pooch to match with the other guests at your wedding will create some cute photos, and really bring them into the celebrations.

Include them in photos

Speaking of photos, it’s important to capture your pup’s presence at your special day if you are including them, and the most important way to do this is to have them be a part of the wedding pictures. If you are planning to have a dog at your wedding, it’s best to speak to the photographer beforehand so that they understand what to expect — you might even want to spend the time to find a photographer who has some experience photographing animals and will therefore be able to really create some timeless shots of your pooch as well as the wedding guests.
Think about poses and photo set-ups in advance too. If your dog tends to be quite active and have difficulty remaining still for long periods of time, it’s worth planning more candid shots so that they won’t have to pose. On the contrary, if your dog is very calm and patient, you might want to add in some time to the photo schedule to shoot some pictures of just you, your partner, and your dog to create some more posed memories.

Add your pup as a cake topper

One thing you might not have considered, is that as well as planning ways to include your dog in person throughout your wedding, you can also get a cake topper made of your pooch. There are lots of places that will create personalised cake toppers, and having one of your pup can really make the wedding more personal, and add to the photos too!
You might need some photos of your dog for the baker to work from, but other than that this should be a fairly easy way of including your dog in the wedding. You might also want to include a special ‘cake’ made from dog-friendly ingredients in case your pooch gets jealous!

Make your wedding dog-friendly

Another way to bring your dog into your wedding is to include their friends too! There are lots of ways that you can make your wedding more appealing to dogs, and it can be fun to allow your family and friends to bring their pups along to the day too.
If doing this, you should consider having a corner or a room set aside as a cool-down area for pooches that get overexcited, or tired, and need to rest. You should also make sure that you provide some dog treats or food for the guests’ dogs. Check with them in advance as to what their pooches will require, and make sure everyone is comfortable.
This can also be a wonderful way to create some adorable candid photos throughout the day, with everyone’s family present, even the four-legged family members.

Including your dog in your wedding can really make sure the whole family is involved in this special event, so use these tips to get started. Remember to adapt the day to your dog’s temperament, and to include them in a way that will be within their comfort zone.