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Dogs in the Ceremony

Dogs in the Ceremony-Tips for Success

by Julie Muir Celebrant

Role

Consider how your dog will be involved. Your dog could take the place of a flower girl or page boy by walking down the aisle unassisted. This may take some training and won’t be suitable for all dogs.

You could put them on a lead and get them to accompany one of your bridal party down the aisle. You could let them be the ring bearer with the rings attached to their collar.

You may need to have one of your bridal party loaded up with treats to reward good behaviour. It’s probably best to tell you bridal party about your plans, just in case one of them suffers from allergies so that they are forewarned and can take some precautions.

Why not go all out and let the dog be the ‘best man’?! Remember, it’s your wedding and you can do what you want!

Rehearsal

This is important for the smooth running of any ceremony especially one that involves animals. Having a rehearsal won’t guarantee that everything will go perfectly on the day but it will help highlight any possible problems.

E.g. a dog that won’t sit in position because they want to go to their owner or one that keeps barking.

Venue

Check that the venue doesn’t mind pets. It would be awful to turn up on the day only to find out that pets aren’t allowed. Think about where your dog will sleep that night. You may need to book some pet-friendly accommodation.

Handler/Pet sitter

You are going to have enough to worry about on the day without adding to the stress by worrying about your dog. Hire someone to look after your dog: to dress it, bring it to the ceremony on time, make sure it is watered and fed and looked after for the rest of the day if the dog isn’t going to the reception.

They should probably take the dog on a nice long walk before the ceremony to burn off excess energy so they are more likely to behave.

Outfit

There is nothing cuter than a dog wearing an outfit, especially a tuxedo or a bowtie. Make sure they won’t be too hot. Consider a flower wreath or just a collar with a flower on it.

Tell your florist what you are doing as some flowers and berries could be poisonous. And get them groomed close to the wedding sot that they are looking and smelling their best.

Photographer

Tell your photographer so they are prepared and don’t miss any crucial shots. They may even have some ideas on how to incorporate your dog into your photos.