You have seen all the photos of dogs being ring bearers and being part of the wedding. Is this an option for you and your dog?
The photos can be priceless!! But there are a few things to keep in mind if you are planning to include your dog.
Know Your Dog
All dogs are different. Some are super chill and can roll with the punches of whatever the day throws their way. They sit comfortably at their owners’ feet during the ceremony and wander freely during the reception. Other dogs? They’re a bit more high strung and need a little more attention when it comes to keeping them safe and happy. Know your dog’s personality and keep that in mind when making plans!
Have a Designated Dog Handler
Having someone (NOT the bride or groom, and preferably not someone in the wedding party!) whose job it is to be in charge of the dog can help lessen the stress on everyone and keep all parties involved safe and happy. Make sure your dog handler knows and loves your dog and is ready and able to take them away from the area if they become overwhelmed.
Be Ready to Roll with the Punches
A mellow black lab was the flower girl at this wedding. She walked down the aisle with the maid of honor and took her place at the front, next to the officiant. She laid down for the ceremony. And then, after the ceremony, refused to walk back down the aisle. The bride picked her up and carried her down the aisle. It wasn’t a big deal, mostly because the bride didn’t care. All that to say, be ready for things to go wrong!
You May Not be the Center of Attention
Dogs at weddings tend to steal the show, especially if those dogs are dressed in some sort of wedding attire! Most of my couples LOVE this (I mean, if you’re the kind of person who wants your dog at your wedding you obviously really love your dog!) and are stoked to have their best buds be getting so much love. But if you want all eyes to be on you? Maybe think long and hard about having your dog in your wedding!
Pick Vendors Who Get It
Not all people are dog people and that’s ok (in theory – personally I don’t understand how anyone can not like dogs!) and not all venues allow pups. Make sure to surround yourself and your wedding day with vendors who get it. If your coordinator is annoyed that your dog is around or your photographer thinks they’re a hinderance rather than an important part of your day, its going to be tough. Surround yourself with the people who know that dogs are family too and are stoked that your best friend is there!
Enjoy every minute of it!
Having your dog in your wedding can add an extra layer of complexity but for those of us who really love dogs, its totally worth it. If you can’t imagine having your big day without your pup present, just go for it. Having dogs in wedding is becoming more and more the norm (especially if you’re lucky enough to be getting married on Hilton Head Island, SC!). I promise that, even if things go a little bit awry, you’ll look back on all of it and laugh!