Your four-legged furry friend is a cherished part of your family. It’s not even a question that you and your partner want to include them in your small intimate wedding ceremony. It wouldn’t feel whole or complete without your trusted pup by your side during one of the biggest days of your life. Besides, the pictures are adorable! But where do you begin sorting through the logistics that come with including pets in a small wedding ceremony? Where would you even start to make sure your pet has a role to play on your special day? Here are some tips and ideas to make your big day a success for both you and your furry friend
1. Check with your Small Wedding Venue About Their Dog Policies
Before making any plans, you need to make sure that the venue you've chosen allows dogs. Depending on where you have chosen to say “I do,” there can be really strict regulations or no regulations at all when it comes to this. Some small wedding venues might have a non-negotiable policy against pets altogether, so it's important to check in advance. If the wedding venue does allow your furry family members, be sure to know their policies front and back. You’ll want to be aware of where they're allowed to go, whether they need to be on a leash the whole time, and if there will be a quiet place they can stay in case it’s needed during any point of the day. PRO TIP: If you have chosen an outdoor venue, will there be wildlife around during the ceremony? Consider your dog’s energy and if this might be a distraction and problem during the wedding ceremony. If the answer is yes, it’s smart to plan ahead and avoid any situations where they could take matters into their own paws and hijack the wedding ceremony to chase a chipmunk.
2. Ask a Trusted Friend to Watch Your Dog on the Wedding Day & Night
Wedding days are notorious for being full of hustle and bustle as the excitement builds for you and your family and friends. Your pets know you better than anyone else. They also have a way of picking up on the energy around them, especially if it’s affecting you. You're going to have a lot on your plate once your wedding day happens, so it's a good idea to assign someone to be in charge of your four-legged friend. This person can make sure that your pet is comfortable, has water and food, and is kept out of the way while everyone prepares for your special event.
If you don't want to put that burden on y our friends, there are services in which you can hire a handler so that your fur baby can be at the wedding, but then you can relax and head off to the celebration while they go with the handler to have their own dog-friendly party. In Colorado, we recommend Anna Fowler with Canine Say I DO.
3. Dress Up Your Dog and Capture The Moment
There are so many cute ideas to dress your pet up these days - especially for a wedding! Depending on the feel of your small wedding ceremony, you can get a doggie tux or keep it simple with a tasteful corsage on your pup’s collar. The biggest thing to consider is that the outfit is comfortable and doesn't restrict their movement and is appropriate for the season so they don’t overheat. Regardless of what ensemble you choose, it is a great opportunity to capture amazing wedding photos and include your furry best friend in the pictures. Your wedding photos will be memories you cherish for forever, and including your dog in them can make them even more special. Plan ahead and let your photographer know that you’d like to include Fido in the photo shoot. You can have them pose with you individually, group shots, and even candid photos during the ceremony. Just make sure that your dog is comfortable and not overwhelmed by the attention
4. Keep Your Dog Entertained During Your Micro-Wedding
Even small weddings can be a long day for everyone, and this definitely includes your dog. You’ll want to eliminate any reason why they might act out during the ceremony so it’s a good rule of thumb to make sure that your dog has plenty of toys and treats to keep them occupied throughout the day. They will need an outlet to spend their energy and it might be a good idea to block out time fora trusted friend to take them on a walk before the wedding ceremony. You can also designate a quiet area for them to rest and recharge at the venue afterwards to keep them calm and ready to participate in the day.
5. Come Prepared for Accidents
Accidents are a fact of life and no matter the age of your dog, they are definitely possible, especially in an unknown setting like your small wedding ceremony. Make sure that you have plenty of cleaning supplies on hand, such as paper towels and stain remover. You may also want to designate an area outside for your dog to go potty and let their human for the day know to take them out regularly.
Bonus Ideas For Incorporating Your Dog In Your Small Wedding
© Photos by Kathryn Kim Photography
By Wendee Vezzetti
Mother, student, planner, gardener, mountain biker, entrepreneur, librarian, hiker, snowboarder, reader, dork, chocoholic, trail runner and creative.
Though we offer "done-for-you" packages in Colorado, if you are wanting to DIY your small wedding, or if your wedding will be out-of-state, join Wendee's online course for couples on how to plan your own small wedding with confidence, focus & ease, saving you time and avoiding overwhelm.
Colorado's most experienced planner for intimate weddings, elopements and micro-weddings. We don't do the big weddings, which means you receive quality vendors and a planner who knows how to pull together your logistics efficiently & easily. Reach out to Wendee today.