Tips For Including A Dog In Your Wedding

My Chihuahua, Carl, loves attending weddings!I have attended two doggie weddings. Each was complete with a bridal party, flowers and cakes for dog and human guests. Both involved Chihuahuas.

One was quite formal, the pretty Chihuahua bride was dressed in a lovely, long white gown and the groom looked quite smart in his tuxedo. The other wedding was a bit more casual. That wedding was for my oldest Chihuahua, Carl’s parents, BamBam and Baja. My dear friend, Barb, the owner of the happy couple performed the ceremony. A good time was had by all!

However, I have not yet attended a human wedding where a dog was part of the celebration.

If I were to get married again I would certainly include a dog or two (or three) at my wedding. I think Carl would look quite adorable in a tiny tuxedo!

Today including a dog in your wedding has become quite common. For many couples their dog is like a child to them and certainly part of their family.

“Wedding season is in full swing, and many people choose to include their four-legged friends in their big day. Some extra planning and consideration will ensure that your dog’s participation in the wedding will be smooth and safe.”

The AKC offers some helpful hints for a successful day:

  • Consider your dog’s temperament, is he good with crowds of people, will the stress of the day be too much for him?
  • Make sure your venue is pet friendly!
  • Alert your photographer and confirm he is comfortable with animals.
  • Let your guests know your dog will be part of your ceremony. There may be people with allergies. And some people are afraid of dogs.
  • Make sure your dog is a good citizen, planning ahead and taking an obedience class together is a great idea.
  • If you choose to dress your pet for the service, make sure the costume is comfortable for him.
  • Pick a designated handler for your dog. Being armed with treats and clean up bags is a very good idea.

If you have a dog sitter, it might be smart to include them. Many people like to give their dog a specific job, like being the ring bearer. Your favorite dog sitter can provide a lot of help to make your day perfect. Here are some other ideas:

  • Flower dog: Your dog can carry a bouquet of flowers or basket of petals in his mouth. Just try to avoid flowers toxic to dogs, such as hydrangeas and azaleas. Too hard for Fido? You can always attach a basket to his collar. It’s just as adorable.
  • Ring bearer:
  • Bridesmaid or best man: There are many options for dressing all sizes of dogs. Here are a few: Doggie Clothesline, Mrs. Bones and Doggie Designer. (However, we prefer a floral collar – it’s much more chic!)

“A pet plays an important role in a couple’s life and for many pet parents, family festivities would not be complete without their pet’s involvement,” said John D’Ariano, President of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS). “As a result, it’s becoming more common for couples to customize their wedding parties to include family, friends, and furry companions.”

If you are thinking of including your dog in your special day, do your research and be prepared so that you and your dog will both have a wonderful, memorable experience!


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