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How to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding

Learn how to include your dog on your special day to add that extra element. They are a part of your everyday life so why not include them in your wedding.

By Hannah Purvis

If you’re at the beginning stages of planning your nuptials, there are endless possibilities for how to make the day not only beautiful, but extra personal to you both as a couple. One way to do this that is growing in popularity these days is to incorporate your furry family members into the ceremony!

Gone are the days of traditional weddings where couples had to follow rigid guidelines from walking down the aisle to generic floral centerpieces in the reception. These days the sky's the limit for your special day and we have a few suggestions that would make it truly paw-some!

dog at wedding
Photo by Vasylyna Kucherepa

Your Special Day Will Be Even Better With Your Fluffy Bestie

1. Put Them in Charge of the Rings

You may have seen this idea before, as it’s one of the more popular ways to include your pup. Putting them in charge of the rings can be a fun way for them to make an entrance and strut down the aisle with a sense of purpose. Keep in mind that this may not be the best idea for dogs that get a little bit worked up off-leash. Afterall, you don’t want them running off with the rings or playing keep-away when you are trying to tie-the knot!

dog with bow tie

2. Model Your Cake Topper After Them

Fewer and fewer couples seem to be opting for traditional couple cake toppers these days and many instead choose to use live flowers or greenery to wrap the cake with a beautiful pop of color. Head to Etsy and get a custom cake topper made to mirror the image of your pup. Or consider working with your baker to have nods to them on one side of the cake– maybe include a few paw prints or a fondant model of them peeking around the side in a mischievous way!

dog on wedding cake
Photo Credit: One Boards

3. Include Them in Your Wedding Photos

A couple’s wedding photos are incredibly intimate and something they will treasure for many years to come. While we definitely encourage the two of you to grab a few shots alone, it can be fun to include your dog in the photos. Speak with your photographer ahead of time and the two of you can workshop some poses to incorporate them. You can also dress them in a themed wedding bandana or collar for the occasion!

dog being kissed by bride and groom
Photo Credit: Jessica Hernandezz

4. Name the Signature Drink After Them

If your pup can’t be there, whether they get too nervous in crowds or the venue isn’t pet friendly, you can still incorporate them in your wedding by honoring them and what they mean to you as a couple. One way to do this is to name your signature cocktails after them and include fun illustrations or photos of them on the drink menu!

family pet name made into signature drink at wedding
Photo Credit: Tidewater and Tulle

5. Hire Them as Your Unofficial Videographer

If your dog is good in crowds and your venue will allow their attendance at your reception, consider putting them to work! Clip a GoPro on to their harness and then set them loose on the dance floor. It can be a hilarious way to remember your special day when watching it from their point of view! You can see all of your friends and family interacting with them and even get a front row seat to any wedding shenanigans they may get into!

Dog ring bearer at wedding.
Photo Credit: Wedding Ideas Magazine

6. Use Their Photo on Your Invite/Stationary

Another way to show your love for your furry friend is to include them on your paper products. This can include your save the dates, invites, menus, programs and other signage you may incorporate around your venue. Consider supporting an artist on Etsy or in your local area to sketch an illustration of them or of the three of you to use on your stationary.

family dog on wedding invite
Photo Credit: Tie That Binds Weddings

7. Have Them Sit in as Best Man/Maid of Honor

Maybe you don’t want your pups to play a crazy role in the day, but you do want them there when you exchange your vows. For some of us, our pets can truly be our best friends and a great source of emotional support. Have them stand in as best man or maid or honor and walk the aisle, so they can sit up at the altar and support you when it comes time to say ‘I do’

Golden Retriever with wedding bouquet
Photo by: Frederick Shaw

8. Pup Themed Cufflinks and Bouquet Decor

If your dog can’t make it to the ceremony or the reception, wear a nod to them on you, so they come with you every step of the way. This can be done with custom pup cufflinks, a small photo of them worn in a locket, a custom insert in your bouquet or even a fun pair of socks with their face as the pattern.

family dogs engraved on cufflinks
Photo Credit: AnaviaDesign

So Many Paw-Some Ways to Include Your Dog

We truly don’t deserve dogs. From the joy they bring us and the comfort we experience every time they’re around, it makes perfect sense that we would want them to be there on our biggest day. Consider one of these fun ways to include your fur-baby in your wedding and DM us on Instagram to show us how it went!

Traveling with your pet for the big day? Learn some tips for How to Travel with a Pet.

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