There's nothing cuter than a charming terrier clad in a tuxedo jacket, or a big fluffy lab smiling into the wind while donning a flower crown? Having your pet participate in your wedding is a surefire way to get you and your guests swooning, and it allows you to include your VIPs during such a significant event. If you'd like to include Mr. Bubbles or Lady in your upcoming nuptials, here's some stellar advice to ensure all goes smoothly!
Does it make sense?
Perhaps the most important part of having your dog at your wedding is asking yourself if your pooch will enjoy it, and/or if she can handle it. If your sweet pup is prone to anxiety or gets shy or aggressive around crowds, it's probably not the best idea. Don't fret if this is the case — you can still incorporate your pet into your wedding by including him or her in the proposal, save the date announcements, or engagement photos. If your dog's a social dynamo, though, get ready to party with the entire family!
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Get venue approval
Check with your ceremony and reception locations to verify that pets are allowed in or on the premises. Also, check in with the bridal party, vendors, and photographer are not just comfortable with pets, but also aren't allergic!
How's the outfit looking?
While the bride tries on her dress and the groom tries on his suit, it only makes sense to have a dress rehearsal for your pup too! This will help determine if you need to size up or down for your dog's comfort, or if your dog doesn't want anything to do with that vest, garland or tutu.
If your pup is not having the head-to-toe getup, it's time to initiate plan B: a garland leash, a lightweight floral collar, or a loosely-fitted bowtie (on the collar, naturally). Your dog should be comfortable, even if that means sacrificing a little style!
Here comes the dog!
If your dog is sociable and well trained, consider having him or her proceed down the aisle. Your pup could wear a small sign, walk with the flower girl or ring bearer, or simply be named the "pooch of honor." Make sure to practice a couple times so your dog knows the drill.
Make sure they've done their doodie.
It's hard enough for brides and grooms to remember to eat, stay hydrated, know where to go, and what to do — so remembering to feed, water, and walk the dog is a whole other issue! Let this wedding planner's story of a dog stealing the spotlight be your warning.
Designate a handler
To ensure all goes smoothly, consider hiring a service that looks after your pup at your wedding, or choose a close dog-lover friend or family member to walk, feed, hydrate, and generally look after your dog throughout the day. You'll also want someone who can retrieve your dog from your home, and bring your dog to the location he or she will be sleeping that night (it probably isn't your hotel room)!