Weddings Go to the Dogs: Tips on Including Your Dog in Your Wedding Celebration

Weddings Go to the Dogs: Tips on Including Your Dog in Your Wedding Celebration


Wedding season is in full swing, and many couples are choosing to include their dog in the ceremony.  The AKC offers some tips for those considering including Fido in their big day.

Pre-Wedding Preparations

  • Consider your dog’s temperament. If your dog is unnerved by changes in environment or social situations, the crowds, attention and strange noises involved in a wedding may cause them undue stress.

  • Select a pet-friendly location for the ceremony and reception.

  • Let invitees know a dog will be attending the celebration.  But, prepare yourself - disapproval from some guests is inevitable, and people with allergies may be unable to attend.

  • Take a refresher obedience course with your dog. Just like pre-wedding dance lessons, dogs should be prepared for their performance. Can your pup tolerate their costume and sit or lie down quietly during the ceremony? They should not bark, jump up, or draw attention away from the bride and groom.

During the Ceremony

  • Use your dog to carry the rings, flowers or walk you down the aisle.

  • Designate a member of your bridal party as the official “handler” during the ceremony. Or, the dog can sit with a family member or pet-sitter in the audience while you recite your vows. This person should be armed with treats and baggies for cleanup.

  • Guarantee that the photographer you hire is comfortable working with animals. If your dog will not be participating in the ceremony, perhaps arrange a time beforehand so they can still be included in the photos.

At the Reception

  • Do not allow your dog to approach the food tables or beg from guests. Only allow them doggie treats – human food may make them sick.

  • Your pup should be kept on leash at all times – you don’t want them crashing into the cake!

  • Keep your pooch away from anyone who is scared of dogs. Conversely, protect your dog, especially if it’s a smaller breed, from having his tail stepped on or being bothered by overly rowdy children.

  • Arrange for a quiet room where your dog can rest in his crate if he gets tired or overwhelmed.

Tell us, did you include your dog in your wedding? Would you ever consider including your dog? Share with everyone in the comments.