Lisa Webb Photography » Alternative Wedding Photography

How to Include your Dog in your Wedding

dogs at weddings

It’s no secret that I absolutely adore dogs, so I’m always over the moon whenever my couples decide to have their dog with them at their wedding. I’ve complied a few handy tips and tricks for including your dog in your wedding day which is well worth a read if this is something you’re thinking about doing.

Doggy Ring Bearer

Having your dog as your ring bearer is one of the best ways to include your dog in your day. This can admittedly be quite dependant upon how obedient your dog is, you wouldn’t want them running the opposite direction from the aisle when it comes to the ring exchange! It’s usually a good idea to have a responsible guest looking after your furry friend before their big moment to deliver the rings arrives.

Have them along for your Couple Portraits

I’ve had a few couples over the last few years who have just had their dog with them during their group shots or couple portraits. It could be that you really want your dog to be there on your day but they’re either super excitable and would potentially wee on someone’s outfit. Or you don’t want to give someone the responsibility of looking after them all day. Some dog sitters will give you the option of bringing your dog along for part of your wedding day. This way you know they’re well looked after and you know they won’t be left to their own devices to potentially eat your wedding cake. There are some services, like Quintessential Wedding Day Dogs who will do exactly that and will even take them back to a 5 star boarding kennels in the evening!

Make it Dog Friendly

This is along the same lines as hiring a dog sitter for the day or designating one of your guests to look after your canine friend. Weddings can be super hectic for humans, let alone dogs, so it’s super important to make your wedding as dog friendly as possible. Giving your dog a chilled out space where they can go and just be with the person who is looking after them is really important. The noise and crowds of weddings can really stress some dogs out. I know my dog, Buddy really hates diverting from his routine, it stresses him out and a wedding is of course a big change to their normal routine! It’s important that your dog has someone constantly looking after them and making sure they have constant access to water. Giving your dog their own area to eat is also important, dogs, like humans, generally want to be left alone while they’re eating. And a quiet area with a dog bed for them to have a nap in when it all gets too much is ideal. One of my couples a few years ago had their dog’s crate next to their top table. This worked really well for them as the crate was familiar to the dog (a bit like having a portable bedroom) and they really wanted to be next to their humans.

Dog of Honour

I have met a LOT of people who claim they like dogs more than people. I’m fully in the camp of “we don’t deserve dogs”. A perfect way of showing this adoration is by making your best pal your dog of honour. They don’t need to fill any role and won’t have to give a speech, they just get the glorious title!

Have them with you for your wedding morning

So there’s a chance some of you will have read through all of this thinking, it sounds amazing and you’d love to have your dog there but they’d definitely get too excited or stressed so it’s in their best interest not to be present for your wedding. Having them with you while you get ready means you still get to spend some time with them on your big day but there won’t be loads of people round to make them stressed. You can either leave them at home (and have a designated person go and check up on them) or have a dog sitter pick them up from where you’re getting ready. If that’s still not practical you should definitely bring them along to your engagement shoot!

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