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Bride’s best friend: What to consider when involving your pet in your wedding

By Debra Bell | Feb 01, 2019
Photo by: Debra Bell Porter Wedding

When you’re planning your wedding, you’ll give lots of thought to the friends and family you’ll invite. So what about your best furry friend? Involving your dog in your wedding can make the celebration even more special, but you must first consider a few things.

Does your pup’s personality mesh with a high-stress event? The simple reality is that weddings are high-stress events with lots of people, things, and activity. Some dogs are natural party animals while others, especially those with more nervous or shy personalities, will not do well at a wedding. The last thing you want to do is to stress out your pet or put the pet in a situation where your dog might bite out of stress or fear.

Will your venue allow you to bring your furry BFF? As you are looking for venues, make sure you ask what their pet policy is and be respectful of it. Many venues have a strict no pets policy. If your venue doesn’t allow pets, consider doing your couple portraits off-site or including your furry BFF in your engagement portraits.

Inform your guests and wedding party that you’ll be including Fido. Some guests or wedding party members may be allergic or fearful of dogs, so giving them a heads up is imperative to them preparing.

What role will your pet hold? Will your pet be a ring bearer or a happy guest? If your dog will have a special task to do, begin training it as soon as possible.

Choose a handler. The handler will be your furry BFF’s wing man (or woman) during the course of the day. If pup is being brought in for special portraits, a handler will make sure your pet are transported safely and kept on leash when they’re not part of the event. Do not crate or hold your pet in the car when it’s not part of the festivities. The handler can also take care of any potty needs as well as water stops.

Good grooming. Arrange a spa day for a bath, shampoo, cut, and nail trim before the wedding. This is especially important for breeds that have special grooming needs. After all, you’ll make sure you look great, so why shouldn’t Fido?

Coordinate your pet’s “look” with your wedding. From fresh flowers affixed to a collar to speciality items created by a dog attire company, coordinate your pet’s look with your wedding and its style. This is the perfect time to invest in a new collar and leash for pup. Avoid any non-matching collar and leash sets.

Involve your photographer. Choose a photographer that specializes in pets or has photographed weddings with pets before. Tell the photographer that you’ll be including Fido and how you envision doing so. Great professional photographers can give you ideas on how to include Fido, especially if Fido is making a cameo appearance.

Whether you choose to include Fido in your ceremony and/or reception or not, do what will make her and you happy. After all, your union will only be stronger when everyone is happy.