Creative ways to include your dog in your wedding

dog sniffing a wedding bouquet

One of the fastest growing wedding trends this year is making sure your furry friend is a part of your big day. Couples who adopted pets during the pandemic are incorporating their newest family members into every aspect of their lives, including the day they say, "I do."

Here's the top four ways to add Fido to the fun:

1
Ring Bearer/Flower Girl

Tying the ring box to the collar or adding flowers to the leash and having them walk down the aisle can allow for your pup to have their very own moment during the ceremony.

2
Unofficial Best Man/Maid of Honor

Having your good boy or girl standing with the bridal party as you exchange vows can add special meaning to the day. 

3
Greeter

Allowing your pup's smiling face to be the first thing guests see as they arrive can set the tone for the entire occasion. 

4
Include your dog in your wedding photos

If any part of the ceremony is not dog friendly, try including them in photos taken outside the venue. This also allows your best friend to be a part of the occasion with out needing them to be on their best behavior the entire day. 

Dos and don'ts for including your dog in your wedding

With these in mind, there are also some dos and don'ts for including your pet in your wedding:

DO: make sure the venue is pet friendly

Some wedding venues have inside and outside spaces so it's important to make sure where your dog is and is not allowed. Pro tip: Golf courses are popular outdoor wedding venues, but most are not dog friendly. 

DO: bring your dog to the venue before the big day

Try to bring your dog to the venue before your wedding day, or at least well before anyone arrives. 

Let them sniff around, meet anyone from the wedding party they aren’t already used to, and even introduce them to the wedding photographer who will be wandering around and getting close to your dog’s favorite people. 

DON’T: forget the treats!

This is especially true if your dog’s role includes walking down the aisle. Make sure the person walking your dog has treats in case they need to redirect.

There also needs to be someone at the other end of the aisle, treat in hand, calling their name to ensure your pup doesn’t get distracted by all the guests. 

DO: designate someone as the official “caretaker of the dog” for the entire event

This should be the same person who walks the dog down the aisle or is holding onto their leash as they greet your guests at the beginning.

This person can also act as the dog sitter because after Fido fulfills his or her role, they need someone to take them home, to a doggie daycare, or up to the dog-friendly hotel room for the night. This could be a great role for grandma or grandpa who might not want to spend all night on the dance floor. 

Sign up for AHS email

If you found this article helpful and want more information about pet parenting, sign up for email from AHS. You'll receive behavior tips, stories about adorable, adoptable animals, and more!

SIGN UP NOW

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline