Last Updated: Apr 24, 2018
Before you learned about love, there was puppy love. A wedding is a special moment in life to celebrate with loved ones, and for many, dogs are both friends and family. It’s no surprise that more couples are including their canines in the biggest day of their lives. What is more adorable than seeing your pooch smiling and walking down the aisle in a dog wedding collar?
From joining the wedding party photos to wearing a personalized dog tag decorated with your wedding flowers, there are many ways for dogs to partake in the festivities. While it may require a bit of time and patience, you will be happy you get to enjoy that special moment with your canine companion.
We put together a list of 34 ways to include dogs in weddings, from wedding photo ideas to cute outfits for inspiration. After you’ve decided on your dog’s wedding duties, don’t forget to add them to the list of who to invite to an engagement party to get them comfortable with guests beforehand.
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Tips to Consider
Before you gush over all the cute outfit possibilities, take these steps to ensure a memorable yet smooth wedding experience with your pooch. Make sure to add these items to your wedding planning checklist.
Check With the Venue
First things first: check with your venue and your vendors to see if they are dog-friendly. It’s a simple yet easily forgettable step. If they won’t budge when it comes to pets, consider including your pup during photos before and after the ceremony instead.
Consider Your Pet’s Personality
How is your dog around large groups of people? Their personality will help you decide whether to give them an active role in the ceremony or to just have them pose in pictures.
Let Your Guests Know
Announce on your wedding invitations and wedding website that your dog is attending the big day. This will allow guests with any allergies to plan ahead.
Choose A Comfortable Outfit
While dressing up your pooch is the cutest thing, be sure to give them an outfit that is comfortable and won’t break apart. If you are using florals, consider using edible petals in case your pup tries to eat the pieces.
How to Include Your Pet In the Wedding
From a charming photo to a starring role in your wedding, here are some ways you can share your special day with your furry friend.
Men and Puppies
Instead of men with crossed arms, how about men with bundles of fur? Have the groomsmen carry dogs (ideally, a litter of puppies) to bring out their fun, loving side in photos.
Use your relationship with your furry best friend as inspiration for your wedding decorations, including stationery, favors, cake, drinks, and more. This is a great way to make your dog’s presence known if the venue has a strict policy with pets.
Stride with the Bride
Brides—if you and your dog are usually joined at the hip, you can walk down the aisle together. All eyes will be on you and your beloved pet.
Dress Them Up
Dogs in weddings should look just as dapper as the rest of the wedding party. Think bow-ties and tuxedos for boys, floral collars and tutus for girls.
The First Dance
Invite your dog to the dancefloor during your first dance as a married couple. A word of warning, however—your pet might just take all the attention.
Instead of following the flower girl, your dog can be the flower girl. Give your dog this role if she is people-friendly, obedient and easy to train. You can create a lovely wreath leash for your pup to walk down the aisle with grace and style.
Walk The Aisle
The easiest way to include your pet is to have them walk down the aisle with the flower girl. The sight of two precious beings makes this a picture-perfect moment. Have the flower girl hold treats and drop one every now and then to get the pup to follow.
Instead of just one dog, assemble a dog squad for each member of the wedding party. Have them sport a matching collar or accessory. Your dog will have friends to play with and fit right in with the wedding party.
A dog ring bearer in a sure crowd pleaser. Attach your rings to your dog’s collar and watch them strut down the aisle. Just make sure your friend is well-trained and won’t crack under pressure.
True Love’s Kiss
It’s normal to be nervous on your wedding day. Luckily, pets are known to reduce anxiety. Calm your jitters before walking down the aisle by snuggling with your furry friend.
A human bridesmaid is great to have, but what about a canine one? Dub your canine companion with “Dog of Honor” or “Best Dog”. No one in your entourage will look as sharp in a tux or as glamorous with flowers.
For cute, candid photos, have the photographer capture your furry friend interacting with the wedding party or a still life of the dog gazing at the festivities.
The classic family portrait is a must-have pop. Pose with your pup and position them front and center in the photo. A picture-perfect snapshot for your family of three.
Part of the Crew
A close-up of your dogs is another must-take photo for your photographer to take. Dogs are usually distracted or fidgety in pictures but if captured by your photographer at the right time, they can look beautifully classy and poised.
If you’re getting ready with your bridesmaids, let your little guy or girl tag along to bring the ladies some cheer as you prepare for your entrance.
Your Favorite People and Pups
Your canine companion loves you, but that doesn’t mean your pet doesn’t love the other people in your life too! Don’t forget to include your dogs in photos with your whole wedding party—they will appreciate being part of the group.
Dog Wedding Outfits and Collars
The best part of having your dog at your wedding is seeing them dress in miniature fancy wedding attire. Make sure to have them try on the outfit before the event so you know it will fit.
Bowtie and Cuffs
Instead of a full suit that might not be comfortable for pets, a simple bow tie and matching cuffs will look swanky on any canine.
Take A Bow
As an alternative to florals, accessorize your dog with a dainty patterned or solid color bow that matches the bouquet or theme of the wedding. You can also add a matching tutu for extra cuteness.
Arrange a collar made of flowers to give your canine companion a soft accessory. Select flowers with colors that match the wedding party’s color palette.
You can keep it simple with a colorful tie. It’s easier to put on and less prone to being picked at by your furry friend. Pick a color that goes with your wedding color palette.
Pretty in Pink
A lighter flower collar with soft pastel colors will look vibrant on any dog with darker fur.
A rustic collar made of bright greenery and wheat pieces is the perfect accessory to celebrate your furry friend’s love of the outdoors.
Suit and Tie
Dress your boy pootch up in a classic black tuxedo and matching bowtie. Your dapper dog is sure to draw “aww” from everyone in attendance.
Accessorize your four-legged friend with a wreath made of lush greenery. The right green colors will stand out against any dog fur.
Be sure to include your dog in the wedding party on your wedding program template. Design a personalized dog bowl that matches your wedding colors so your pup doesn’t get too thirsty throughout the busy day.