How to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding

Jul 19, 2023 | Weddings

Your pup is part of the family – so when you get married, of course you want to bring them along to your wedding! Here are plenty of ways to make sure your dog has a blast along with you. This guide is all about how to include your dog in your wedding, some tips for making the experience go smoothly, and ideas for the day!

Can I Bring My Dog to My Wedding?

The first question couples usually ask – can I bring my dog to my wedding? While we’d love to give you a blanket “yes,” this can depend on a few things! If you want to include your dog in your wedding, it’s best to start thinking about this before you dive into planning your day. The two big things to consider are whether your wedding venue is dog friendly, and whether your dog will actually have a good time!

Can I Bring My Dog to My Wedding Venue?

This is one of the big things to consider when you’re deciding to include your dog in your wedding! Good news – if you haven’t chosen a venue yet, you can definitely find one that’s dog friendly. Outdoor venues are typically going to be your best bet, since they don’t require the same amount of dog-hair cleanup that an indoor space would. 

While you’re looking, if a venue doesn’t explicitly state that they allow dogs (but doesn’t explicitly say that they don’t), don’t be afraid to shoot them an email to ask! Find a dog-friendly wedding venue that will allow you to include your fur baby in the celebration.

Will My Dog Enjoy My Wedding?

Your dog may not exactly understand what’s happening, but there are some dogs that are happy wherever they go, while other dogs may have trouble with crowds, loud sounds, new people, or new places. If your dog is laid back, friendly, and easy going, you can probably include them in your wedding! But, if your dog is a little anxious, reactive, or shy, it may not be a good idea. Be honest with yourselves about what’s best for your dog, and remember – if your pup can’t be at the ceremony and reception, you can still include them earlier in the day and have them with you as you get ready! 

Tasha and George's Wood Farm Everdon wedding, captured the bride and groom with their dogs in front of a VW bus.

How to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding

If you decide to include your dog in your wedding, here are some cute ways that your fur baby can be a part of it!

Wood Farm Everdon Wedding - A bride and groom stroll on a path with their dogs.

Dress Up Your Dog for Your Wedding

There’s nothing better than a dog in a suit – so if your dog will allow it, get them a special outfit for your wedding! It can be a doggy tuxedo, a skirt, or something simple, like a bowtie or a floral collar. We also recommend getting a nice lead for the occasion – that retractable leash you use is practical, but it’s not very cute! A nice brown or black leather leash will look a lot nicer on the big day.

Have Your Dog Be Your Ring Bearer…

For an active role in the ceremony, your dog could be your ring bearer! You can get a little box or a pillow that clips onto their collar, and holds the rings safely. We recommend having someone walk down the aisle with your dog, as there are a lot of distractions on the way! 

… or Your Flower Pup

Along with ring bearer, the flower girl is another popular wedding tradition that you can use (with a twist) to give your dog a role during the ceremony. It would be pretty hard for a dog to scatter petals, but you can have them hold a ribbon or a basket of florals if they’re well trained. Just like with the ring bearer, we recommend having someone walk down the aisle with your dog, and that person can help with scattering petals or picking things up if your pup gets distracted!

Tips for Including Your Dog in Your Wedding

When it comes to how to include your dog in your wedding, there are definitely a few tips to make things easier – for the two of you, and for your pup! 

Decide When Your Dog Should Leave Your Wedding

The key to a happy dog throughout the day is to make a plan beforehand – decide which parts of the day your dog will be there for, and when they should go home (or to their pet sitter’s home). Wedding days are long – and it may not be best to have your pup there for all of it! Typically, it’s a good idea to have your dog there for getting ready and for the ceremony, and have them exit sometime during the reception. If you want your dog there for part of the reception, we recommend having them leave when the dance floor opens up and everyone is celebrating – this tends to be the time when things are loudest and there’s a lot of commotion, so it can be a bit overstimulating for some dogs!

Have Someone Take Care of Your Dog

One of the best things you can do for yourselves on your wedding day is to have someone who isn’t getting married that day be responsible for taking care of your pup. The two of you already have a lot to think about, so make sure there’s someone who you trust to take care of the dog all day. And, make sure there’s a specific someone who will be responsible for this! 

You can have a friend or family member take on the role, or even hire a dog sitter for the day. This ensures that your pup is well taken care of throughout the day, and that you don’t have to stress about it! Bring lots of treats, a water bowl, and maybe a toy to play with throughout the day if your dog tends to have a lot of energy.

Our fave Dog-friendly wedding venue in Sussex

Is Wilderness Wood in Hadlow Down. Not only is it a fab woodland venue but you can bring your pupper too!

Planning a Wedding With Your Dog?

We’re all about weddings that are fun, and that feel like you! So if your perfect day includes your fur baby, we’re all for it. We’ll be there to take lots of photos of you and your pup, and to give them lots of kisses – contact us to get started!

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