A Wedding for the Dogs

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Dog weddingWhether you’re the bride, groom or mother of the bride, if you’re a pet-lover like me, you’re going to appreciate this post.  There is an increasing trend right now of couples incorporating their dog(s) into their wedding ceremonies. 

I myself am a dog-lover and I’ve had dogs since I was a child, so this idea really gets my juices flowing.  I just love the idea of “man’s best friend” walking down the aisle and playing an active role in what for many women might be the best day of their life. That said, having a dog-friendly wedding definitely has some pitfalls, so read on for a few key tips.

First and foremost, you absolutely must have reasonable expectations about this; otherwise you’ll be setting yourself up for problems.  For example, if you are thinking that having your dog walk down the aisle alone to deliver the bridal bouquet would be a good idea, think again!  I would guess that 95% of dogs would be too distracted by the crowd and overall buzz to effectively perform a solo act.  Even the best-trained dogs generally cannot be trusted to behave 100% of the time in such a foreign environment.  A much more reasonable plan would be to have someone walk your dog down the aisle on a leash, just in case something goes awry.

Speaking of leashes, another tip is to assign someone to manage your dog during times when you cannot – for example, during the reception line, the cake cutting ceremony, etc.   This person should also attend to “doggie nap” time to give your dog a much-needed rest about halfway through the day.  And of course, this person would also be expected to do any kind of crisis management that might be required.  Just make sure whomever you choose for this role is responsible enough to handle it, and always ask well in advance.

Another tip is to keep your dog’s wedding outfit simple.  Most dogs are simply not accustomed to wearing any clothing, much less formal attire, so you want his or her outfit to be as comfortable and unobtrusive as possible.  You could either reduce the outfit to something that could be worn around the collar, or for more formal attire have your dog wear it for several days in advance in order to get used to how it feels.

Finally, be courteous to wedding guests who may not be as dog-friendly as you.  Hopefully you will know in advance which of your wedding guests will not be receptive to this, and if so you can make sure to seat them in a location away from the dog’s home base.  It’s also a good idea to give your dog’s chosen caretaker for the day a list of the people who aren’t expected to be quite so happy that your dog is there.

The bottom line is that if you want a dog-friendly wedding, you can!  Just follow the advice in this post and you should have no problem at when allowing your dog to take part in your big day.  Good luck!

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