October 30, 2019
Dogs have long been called man’s best friend, but recently dogs have moved from being “just a pet” to beloved family fixtures. So, if dogs are now our travel partners, office compatriots, and drinking buddies, then it’s no surprise that more and more couples are seeking ways to involve their furry companions in the most important day of their lives: their wedding. There’s no one way to include your pet in your wedding ceremony, but if you’re searching for a cheat sheet you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to walk you through steps for finding the right venue and getting creative with your pooch wedding guests.
For couples who are considering giving their pup a role in the ceremony, planning the logistics might seem a little daunting. Not all venues will be dog-friendly, for one thing. Once a couple does find a dog-friendly venue, they must take a lot of factors into consideration to keep their dog safe and avoid any wedding-day mishaps. It can take some intentional pre-planning, but including your dog in the wedding might be just as important as including family members. Let’s face it, including your dog might be even more important than including certain family members.
Finding that perfect venue for your pet-friendly wedding will mean taking a close look at venue policies. You will need to seek out a pet policy on venue websites, or try to locate a manager who can give clear answers to your inquiries. Once you determine if a venue will allow your fluffy special guest, make sure you are clear on vaccination requirements, leash rules, and so on. A comprehensive pet policy will help you figure out your day-of logistics way ahead of time to avoid confusion later on. For instance, the WinMock pet policy is:
We are happy to have your furry family members on-site! Please know that dog(s) must be leashed at all times, dog waste must be properly picked up and disposed of, and you must provide up-to-date vaccination records 30 days prior to the Event Date. Additionally, dog(s) must be brought on-site by an individual who is not a guest and taken off-site after photos and/or their ceremony participation.
Now you know that you need doggy waste bags on hand, a fancy leash that matches your decorations, and maybe even a pre-wedding vet visit (sorry, pup!).
Another important consideration for the big day is deciding who will be the designated pet-handler for your guests of honor. Do not wait until the day of the wedding to appoint your doggie supervisor, as this can cause added stress on yourself and the animal. If you don’t have a family member who can take the leash, ask your venue if they have any recommendations for local professional handlers. WinMock, for example, has recommended vendors like Ivory Hound and dog-care matching site Rover.com.
As you’re deciding on who will manage your pup for the ceremony, also take some time to consider what wedding role best suits your dog’s personality. Is your dog skittish or easily distracted? How does she do in crowds? Does Fido love chasing scents, or even children? Make sure you communicate these qualities with your handler for the day, as well. Luckily, wedding ceremonies are a good fit for dogs as they are fairly calm, time-limited, and structured. Receptions tend to be louder with lots of activity that can startle or excite your dog if he is not used to such commotion. Whatever role you decide for your pet, make sure you rehearse, rehearse, rehearse so your pup is familiar with his tasks.
If you’re looking for even more creative ways to involve your pet in your wedding, don’t be afraid to think outside the box/crate. Fur-babies don’t have to be relegated to just ringbearer or escort down the aisle. Consider naming a signature cocktail after your pooch as a fun surprise for guests. Use your dog to capture candid moments as the unofficial videographer when you equip them with a GoPro. Include pet photos in your reception decoration and as inspiration for your table settings and favors (doggie bag of take-home treats, anyone?). Better yet, include your dog in some shots from your professional photo session so they will forever be captured as part of your special day. There’s no wrong way to honor your canine-human bond!
In conclusion: we know you love your pets, and we love them, too! Contact us if you want to know more about having a beloved animal at your wedding.