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15 Tips for a Dog-Friendly Wedding (Vet-Approved)

Written by: Kathryn Copeland

Last Updated on May 10, 2024 by Dogster Team

Bride and Her Brown and White Dog

15 Tips for a Dog-Friendly Wedding (Vet-Approved)

VET APPROVED

Dr. Amanda Charles Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Amanda Charles

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Dogs have gradually worked their way into our homes and have gone from being considered mere pets to being members of our families. Since dogs are essential companions, it only stands to reason that they should be included in special events, such as weddings.

If you plan to have your dog participate in your special day, it will take extra planning, but it is well worth it!

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The 15 Tips for a Dog-Friendly Wedding

1. Locate a Dog-Friendly Wedding Venue

You must start by booking a pet-friendly wedding venue! Some venues are dog friendly, while others might only allow pets in outside spaces. Some venues might also expect you to have pet liability insurance, so you should review their policies before putting down your deposit.


2. Find a Dog Handler

You’ll be too busy on your wedding day to care for your dog, so you should find someone whom your dog is comfortable with and who doesn’t mind taking care of your dog for the day. This might be a relative or friend, or you can consider hiring a professional pet wedding attendant. They will ensure that your dog is well taken care of, which can also help things go smoothly.

a dog smelling flowers
Image Credit: Frederick Shaw, Pexels

3. Ensure That All Wedding Guests Are Aware of the Dog

You should include the information regarding your dog in the wedding invitations or the FAQ section of your wedding website. If you’re already aware that anyone you’re inviting has allergies, this can allow them to prepare for the day. If your dog has any issues around strangers or other triggers, you can inform your guests in advance, which will help everyone, especially your dog.


4. Hire Dog-Friendly Help

Other than your guests, everyone else working at your wedding should be informed about your dog. The caterers, photographer, DJ, or whomever you hire for your wedding should all be made aware that a dog will be around. Definitely do this before putting down a deposit.


5. Update Your Dog’s Vaccines and Microchip

Before things become more frenzied before your wedding, ensure that your dog’s vaccines are up to date. You should also ensure that their microchip and dog tags have your current information. While it isn’t likely to happen, with the stress and noise of the day, your dog might make a break for it, and you want to ensure that they can be safely returned to you.


6. Have Your Dog Professionally Groomed

If you don’t usually have your dog professionally groomed, your wedding is a good reason to splurge! This is even more important if your dog’s hair grows regularly and needs trimming.

Glad Asian newlywed couple with dog on wedding day
Image Credit: Thống Bụi, Pexels

7. Dress Up Your Dog

Now that your dog is spic and span, you should dress them up! If your dog is already used to wearing outfits, you can try putting them in a tuxedo or dress. But if your dog won’t tolerate clothes, go with something simple, such as a bow tie or a pretty bow, to give them a touch of class.

You can also try a safe-for-dogs floral wreath that they can wear around their neck or twine your dog’s leash with greenery and/or flowers.


8. Include Your Dog in the Wedding Photos

If your dog is groomed and wearing something to make them look dressed up for the wedding, you simply must include them in your photographs! You might want to find a wedding photographer who also specializes in animals, so they’ll know unique ways to add your pet to the photos. They should also have experience specifically dealing with dogs, which can be helpful if your pup is at all nervous.


9. Take Your Dog’s Temperament Into Account

Some dogs will not be comfortable walking down the aisle, and they shouldn’t be expected to participate in anything that might upset them (or you!) on the big day. You might want to only include them in your wedding photos and keep them away from the actual wedding.

However, some dogs love attention, so consider your dog’s personality when planning.


10. Decorate the Venue With Your Dog in Mind

This means essentially dog-proofing. Decorations at your dog’s level might be fair game for destroying or eating, so to keep things looking nice and your dog safe, plan your decorations around their needs.

A Cute Dog on a Leash
Image Credit: Brenda Valdovinos, Pexels

11. Create a Dog Section

To keep your dog comfortable, particularly if they become overwhelmed by the noise and people, you should set up a dog section. This space should be quiet and include a sleeping area. If some of your guests are bringing their own dogs, you could hire someone to look after them in their mini doggy daycare.

Bring your dog’s bed and a few favorite toys from home, which can add to their comfort.


12. Ensure That Your Dog Has All the Necessities

You can set up these things in the dog section, but if your pup will be spending a great deal of time doing photos or anything else, ensure that they have access to food and water.

If you hire a pet wedding attendant, they should stay on top of keeping your dog fed and hydrated.


13. Prepare for Potential Messes

It’s difficult to pull off any wedding without something going wrong, but you can expect a certain level of unpredictable messes when dogs are involved. Think about having extra supplies around in case your dog knocks things over, and a pet wedding attendant can help prevent other types of messes.


14. Know That the Weather Must Be a Consideration

If your wedding is entirely indoors, this is a moot point, but if you’re getting married outdoors in the summer, you’ll need to ensure that your dog has access to shade and water. If you’re getting married in the winter, your dog should have a warm shelter or even a dog coat to wear, depending on their size and breed.

Couple with a dog on their wedding
Image Credit: Lilen Diaz, Pexels

15. Consider Dog-Themed Favors

If you’ve gone all out and invited guests to bring their own dogs, you can have pet-themed wedding favors. Instead of or in addition to a candy bar, you can have a dog treat bar so guests can fill treat bags for their pups. You can also have dog toys as party favors.

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Be Kind to Any Non-dog Lover

Not everyone appreciates dogs, and that’s okay! We’re all different, and some people have a good reason for being uncomfortable around dogs. If you’re hiring someone to look after your dog, provide them with a list of guests, including their pictures, so they know to keep your dog away from these people.

Whether it’s due to allergies or some form of PTSD, respect your guests’ needs and space.

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Conclusion

Weddings are expensive affairs, and hiring a pet wedding attendant will add to the costs, but it can be well worth it! It will allow you to enjoy having your dog at your wedding without worrying about them, so you can concentrate on your important day. Don’t forget to involve your best friend in the rehearsals!

Including your dog in your wedding is definitely doable if you plan well and keep everyone informed.

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Featured Image Credit: freestocks.org, Pexels

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