If you are like me, my puppy is my kid and I want her to be a part of everything.   Are you thinking of adding your “kids” to your wedding party?  Have you thought this all the way through?  Have you asked these few questions:

·         Is our puppy trained?

·         How old will it be during the wedding?

·         Will there be a lot of children at the wedding?

·         Is anyone afraid of dogs at the wedding?

·         Is anyone highly allergic to dogs?

·         Does your venue allow them?

·         Does your dog handle large crowds?

·         Does your dog like strangers and new people?


Depending on your answers, you may want to think about ways to incorporate them without them actually being there.  Have them be a part of your engagement photos or bridal portrait session.  Have photos on them on your memory and/or gift table.  You even have them as part of your decorations or create a groom’s cake theme with them as the centerpiece. 

We’ve done several weddings with dogs and some went really well others went not so great.  Here are some tips to help things go smoother:

·         Have a dog sitter (someone who doesn’t mind missing the wedding and reception).  Have them bring the dog right before the ceremony and leave right after a few photos are taken.

·         Keep the dog in a separate area, away from guests before the ceremony starts to keep them calm.

·         Make sure they use the bathroom before the ceremony starts.

·         Try and have them trained before the big day (simple commands: sit, stay, come, heel, etc.).

·         Practice what the dog will be doing the day of the event (over and over again, try at the venue if possible)

·         If dog is small have a wedding party member hold them during the ceremony.

·         If dog starts barking, whining or making a scene have dog sitter remove from ceremony.

·         Don’t keep dog at reception, it will be eating all food on the ground and whomever is keeping them on your honeymoon will not be your biggest fan after the upset stomach.

·         Ask yourself, if you are okay no longer being the center of attention?  Because all eyes will be on the dog while it is onsite.

Trust me we love our puppy but we don’t want to stress her out.  You’re already going to be gone for a week on your honeymoon.  Don’t stress them out more if not necessary.  Put them first, but if they are trained and love people…enjoy making those memories.

*Dalmatian Photos are by ALS Photography