Dogs at Weddings- How to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding Day
Dogs at weddings. Yes, I said it. DOGS. AT WEDDINGS. I mean could there be a more joyous phrase? Dogs are such a massive part of our lives. Daisy, my lovely (bonkers) Sprollie, is my little shadow, and it feels very odd if she’s not there… so its no wonder we want them to be a part of our wedding day!
There are loads of ways that you can involve your pooch in your big day… doggy ring bearers, walking you down the aisle all dressed in their finest collar or just starring in your snaps- there are all kinds of ways to get them involved. But there’s all sorts of practicalities to think about too. So think of this as your how-to guide to creating a wedding day, which your Very Good Boy or Girl will love. (Plus, in these crazy times we live in at the moment, it’s just really good excuse to look at lots of very cute pictures of doggos. You’re welcome.)
Dogs at Weddings- The Venue
An obvious one, but a biggy. If you want to involve your four-legged friends, make sure your venue allows it. It’s also a great idea to have lots of open space they can run around in, and a quiet area they can go off to and chill out. If having your dog at your wedding is high on your priority list, it’s worth considering outdoor venues such as farms, barns or marquee/tipi venues so your doggo feels super comfy.
I’m planning a whole blog post on the best dog-friendly venues around the UK, but for now, here’s a few of my faves: Holmes Mill in Clitheroe, Camp Katur in North Yorkshire, Garmthyl Hall in Wales, HUSH in Norwich, Cote How in The Lake District, Millbrook Estate in Devon, Le Petit Chateau in Northumberland, Harvest Moon Weddings in Scotland, and AMP Studios, London. (Find the links at the bottom of this blog!)
What can my dog do?
There are soooo many fun ways you can include your pet at your wedding. They could help out your ushers and guide people to their seat. Perhaps you’d like them as your ring bearer or flower girl? Walk down the aisle with a bridesmaid (or the bride come to that!)? Or maybe you just want them to be there to celebrate with you and get lots of pats and cuddles from your lovely guests.
Make it a Pooch Party?
If you’re both super dog bonkers like me, why not invite you’re friends Very Good Boys and Girls too? Make a doggy party of it! You could even host a dog wedding ceremony too… sorry I’m thinking out loud now. Ignore me, I’m insane. But also, please do it.
Dogs at Weddings: The Outfits
Obviously, this is an excellent excuse to buy or make the cutest outfits for your four-legged friend. Bow ties, tutus, flower crowns. The world of doggy couture is your oyster! Just make sure that they’re super comfy and can’t chew or choke on any of their accessories! I loved the cute little ‘I DO TOO’ bandanas that Alicia & Dan’s sausages wore!!
Have a Doggy Escape PlanMake sure that you have a plan for when your pooch needs to head home and catch some zzzzz. Do you have a guest who can drop them at your house, or a doggy day care that can collect them? You don’t want to be worrying about how to get them home at the last minute when you should be having fun.
Doggy Day Care
Do you have a friend, guest, dog walker, or a pet-care centre that knows your pooch well? Think about asking them to look after your dog on the day! Some wonderful doggy professionals offer a service to keep your doggy friends entertained and looked after on your wedding day… and let’s face it, you’ll be too busy and your guests might well be too drunk!
A Doggy Plan B…
Obviously, dogs are adorable. But they can also be temperamental too! Our Daisy is a little beaut, but she’s also a nervy little thing, and can be a bit skittish in crowds. She also, for some odd reason, hates pugs!
Pooches temperaments and personalities can vary massively, and these are the kinds of things that need thinking about before just plonking a nervous dog in the middle of a crowded wedding and expecting them to behave.
As much as you’d love them to be there, if they’re nervy it might be worth considering other options. Could you include them in your engagement shoot instead? Or even have them feature in your day in other ways… Cake topper? Somewhere in your decor? Or even on your socks, like Charlotte and Ben’s cats here!
Plan a Dog-Friendly Honeymoon or Mini-moon!
Whether or not your furry friends can be a part of the wedding itself, you can always celebrate with them afterwards. Planning a cosy getaway for you and the dogs in a lovely dog friendly cottage, somewhere beautiful is a great way to chill out and recover after the big day. The Lakes, Wales, Scotland, or Cornwall are all great spots with lots of dog friendly holiday homes, pubs and places to visit. Bliss!
I love dogs. I love dogs far more than I love people, in fact. If you have any animals at your wedding I can guarantee I’ll get a bit over excited and take far too many photos of them, but if there’s dogs there? Well I can’t guarantee there’ll actually be any photos of anything else! I jest of course, but you get the idea.
If you’re planning a doggy friendly wedding and want a fun, relaxed photographer there to capture all the doggo action, I will be there with bells on! I absolutely love dogs at weddings and can help you plan a day that your pets will love just as much as you and your guests. Check out my portfolio and blog, or shoot over to my contact page to send me a message!