#1: The Proposal
If your phone and social media feeds are overflowing with pics of you and your dog, you’ll likely want to spend your wedding day with him, too. You wouldn’t leave your sister or best friend at home that day, so why leave out your fur child? The key is to find the right role for your dog. Surprisingly, there are several ingenious ways in which he can join the party.
#2: Engagement Photos & Save-the-Dates
Celebrate your exciting news by including your dog in your engagement photo session. Whether he’s rambunctious or well behaved, you’re bound to capture at least a few cute photos together with an experienced photographer. There are so many different ways you can pose with your dog: Get a shot from afar of you all walking down the beach, or get some playful candid shots. He can even wear a sign that says, “My humans are getting married!” Then use the photos to announce your engagement or for customized save-the-dates. Your pup’s presence will make them that much more personal and joyful.
If your dog would rather not attend a crowded event, honor him and the homeless dogs across the country by asking your guests to bring supplies for an animal shelter instead of a gift. This can be done for your engagement party, bridal shower, or even your wedding presents. Most shelters have a list of supplies on their website that you can print out and include with the invitations so your guests know which supplies they need the most—it’s like a registry for dogs. Imagine how good it will feel to deliver all the supplies to the shelter and how many dogs you’d help.
If you’d rather not burden your rowdy or nervous dog by having him participate in your wedding or a photoshoot, you can always involve him in other ways. Show him some love by including a photo of you with him on the invitation, or just send out a dog-themed invitation. There are several options to choose from on shops like Etsy.com. Some vendors create custom invitations with a drawing of your dog, and some invitations feature silhouettes of dogs—the possibilities are endless!
What better way to tie the knot than with your furry best friend right by your side? If he’s outgoing and polite, your dog would make a great “dog of honor.” Dress him up with a bow tie, flowered collar, or even a doggy tux. He can be the ring bearer or simply escort the flower girl down the aisle. Make sure you do some trial runs with your dog so that he’s familiar with the surroundings and knows what to expect. Check in advance that the ceremony space allows dogs before you make any plans.
#6: Wedding Photos
If your dog is okay with taking some photos but would rather pass on the rest of the festivities, plan in advance to have someone take him to your photo location and back home afterward. Sharing your special day with your fur child doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming—you can enjoy beautiful newlywed photos with him and preserve everyone’s peace of mind at the same time.
On the other hand, your dog can make an appearance at your reception if he’s a party animal. You can make your grand entrance with him by your side, share your first dance with him, or just have him sit under the table at your feet if he’s content with that. Just make sure to designate someone reliable to watch him when you want to get up and dance. Consider hiring a dog sitter to handle him throughout the evening—remember, between the ceremony, photos, and reception, your dog will be away from home for six or more hours.
Online shops have countless customizable options for dog-themed wedding décor. This includes cake toppers, which can feature both spouses and dog—a true representation of your family. Your dog can make an appearance on your place cards, table numbers, coasters, napkins, and any other signage in the form of a black-and-white photo or customized drawing. Do some browsing to see what type of doggy décor would best suit your wedding style.
In lieu of wedding favors, donate the amount of money you would have spent on favors to an animal welfare organization and explain this on the program, place cards, or dinner menu. You can also display bags of gourmet dog treats with a sign that says, “From our dog to yours. Take a treat for your four-legged friend!”
#10: Thank-You Notes
If you didn’t have the chance to incorporate your dog in your actual wedding, he can still help you thank your guests! Customize a thank-you note with a photo of all three of you or just a cute one of your dog. If you plan ahead, you can have your dog pose with a sign that says “thank you” in your wedding photo session. Show off one of your favorite pictures from that day! These special doggy additions will surely add a personal touch to your wedding that will leave a lasting impression on both you and your guests.