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How to Have Your Dog at Your Wedding

Do you want to have your dog at your wedding? Do you want them to be your ring bearer? Or are you just wanting to have them be there for the photos? I love the idea of bringing your dog with you on your wedding day! Your dog is not only your companion, they can be your best friend, and the one who got you through tough times. They mean more to you than anybody realizes. A lot of people compare them to a child, and I think they’re pretty similar. So why not have them there on your special day? I would hate not having them with me!  Just the photos alone would be well worth the extra planning! So how do you prepare them, and yourself, for such a big day?

Weddings are Stressful for You and Your Dog!

Wedding days are not just stressful for you, they’re chaotic and definitely can be a stressful experience for your pup. One of the best things to do is have a friend be in charge of them the day of. Make sure they get a good walk in so they’re a little tired, well fed, and already went potty. It would be best to get them used to big groups of people before. If possible bring them to your rehearsal dinner. You can have them at your bridal shower, or even bring them to your bachelorette party! Lol, ok maybe not your bachelorette party, but you get the idea! Get them used to large amounts of people. On the day of your wedding, make sure they are exercised and they’re de-stressed as much as possible.

Do You Want Your Dog to be Your Ring Bearer?

Are you planning to have your dog walk the rings down the aisle? Or did you just want them there for support? If you did plan to have them be your ring bearer, I’d highly recommend having someone walk them down the aisle and not send them down alone. Very few people I know have a dog that’s trained well enough to walk down all alone with that many people around! But if you can train your dog that well, then those photos would be even better! I photographed several weddings where that was the initial plan but they didn’t prep the dog enough. The dogs were just too nervous and weren’t able to walk down the aisle after all, even with someone walking them. We still were able to get some cute shots with the couple and their dog, but they didn’t get the full experience they were hoping for. Now that’s still not necessarily a bad thing. Having your dog there just for the photos can be well worth it.

Where Does Your Dog Go When They’re Done?

What to do with your dog after the ceremony or the photos are done? You probably don’t want them there the entire reception, and they probably don’t want to be there the entire reception either! Loud music, and lots of people dancing seems like a very stressful time for a dog. What I suggest is having that same friend that walked him and prepped him earlier, bring him back home or to your hotel immediately following the photos. There are dog services you can use that will do just that if you don’t have a friend available. Some specialize in wedding day walking and watching so they would be my first choice. I recommend Black Tie Pups or Canine Crossings. If neither are in your area, I’m sure you can make arrangements with a pet sitter from Rover.com.

What Does Your Dog Wear?

dog wedding ventura photography pet

So you got most of the logistics worked out. Now what does your dog wear?! He can’t show up to your wedding in his regular old dingy collar! There’s a few companies out there that make custom collars, bow ties, and leashes. I’d check out Fang and Fur, or Punky Roo, and there’s also Olivias Doggie Designs. You can get something that will match the colors of your day exactly! You can also buy a mini tuxedo from Chewy!

I LOVE love love when my clients bring their furbabies to their weddings, and to their engagement sessions. Dogs are awesome and they are our best friends and our family! Why not have them be there for you whenever possible?!

Check out my website to see some of my favorite moments where clients brought their dogs! I love it so much, I have an entire gallery dedicated to showcasing them! It’s called Puppy Love! 🙂 If you want to see more cute pups, look at this dog wedding I photographed for FurKid Rescue in Pittsburgh.

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