Tips for dogs at weddings

by | Ceremony Wisdom, Wedding Planning Wisdom, Wisdom


Mona Chung-Chao

Image by Harold Lord via Wanda & Matt’s Fun Personal Tanglewood Estate Wedding

Nowadays, many of our beloved fur kids are part of our lives, so it only makes sense to include them on the special day!

Every bride or groom imagines their fur kids walking diligently down the aisle with a ring pillow in their mouths, but often this is unlikely. Like children, dogs are unpredictable.  Here are a few things to consider to make your special day with your dog/s a success.

If your dog/s are energetic, consider hiring a dog sitter to walk them for an hour or two the morning of the ceremony. This is important as you know even the ride there alone is enough to re-energise them!  Don’t try to use one of your friends or family as you want them to enjoy the day. Consider asking the nurses at your local vet or the dog trainers in your local area.  Preferably someone with a car who can drive your dog back home afterwards.

Image by Mitchell J Carlin via Tash & Adam’s Glam Festival Wedding

Bring your dog to the ceremony location at least an hour before so he/she can happily sniff and wee (where allowed) to his/her heart’s content well before the important moment.

Organise with the stylist’s and photographers to have photos of the dogs sitting and walking down the aisle well before everyone appears.  It is so much more difficult for them to contain their excitement with all the guests present. That way, your fantasy image of them walking down the aisle angelically has already been captured on film!  Take the family photo of you two and your dog/s at the front of the ceremony as well.

Pre-arrange with the dog sitter, your photographer and celebrant to ask all guests to sit (and patiently wait) during the intro, so you can take photos of the bridal party and your dog at the start of the ceremony. The celebrant can then invite the dog sitter to take them away or off to one side at an appropriate time, depending on how long you think your dog/s can last.

Image by Studio Impressions Photography

Arrange a bowl of water (a must if outdoor ceremony) and lots of dental bone or pigs ears for during the ceremony to keep your fur kid entertained. A squeaky toy is probably not recommended!

Many people want to dress up their dog in a little vest & bow tie or a dress. Make sure they get used to wearing it and are comfortable prior to the big day.

Instead of the traditional ring pillows, consider hanging a sign on them with a message like “Here comes the bride”. If you insist on a ring pillow and know there is a high risk of losing the rings to an excitable shake, consider using fake rings.

Images by Justin Aaron via Edwina & Matthew’s Modern Mindaribba House Wedding

After you have had opportunities to take photos with your dog/s, you need to consider what to do with them for the remainder of the day – mainly the reception.  Most likely they are not allowed at a venue where food is served.  If this is the case, if they usually happily stay in crates at home, you can consider having them somewhere sheltered, warm and safe.

Majority of the time they free roam at home so it would be awful for them to be tided up somewhere.  The last thing you want is to worry about them throughout your celebrations. Once again, this is when hopefully a local and known dog-sitter or vet nurse can take them back to your house or to their own home until you pick them up.

Image by Emily Adamson via Hannah & Mike’s New Zealand Festival Wedding

If all of this looks too hard or too expensive, do not fear! There are still many other ways to involve your fur kids without them being present.
Here are some of the multiple options you can consider:

  • Tying a keychain of their photo or paw print to your bouquet and/or buttonhole or tie clip
  • Include their paw prints as part of your wedding invitation
  • Have a specially made pen with their photo or names to use to sign your marriage certificate (just make sure it is black ink)
  • Include a miniature version of them on you cake topper;
  • Or at a minimum, include a photo of you both with your fur kids at the signing table.

Using this post as a guide, there are so many ideas for how to include your beloved dogs or fur kids on your special day. The sky is the limit for what you can do to make the day even more wonderful with them a part of it!

Ms Zebra Says: We all love our fur babies – and although we envision them behaving perfectly, it would be far too exciting for most dogs to sit still! These are some great tips to make your dog a part of the day, thanks Mona!


  • Loretta says:
    November 14, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Interesting article. Great ideas Mona

  • Yinsee says:
    November 14, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Great tips!

  • Euge says:
    November 14, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Love it! Fur babies are awesome so these are some great ways to get them involved.

    If you’re planning on having a photobooth, could consider making props from photos of your fur babies too so people can take photos “with them”. I know that our fur babies wouldn’t do well through the possible horde of people and in particular kids who would want photos with them. 🙂

    • Ms Fleur de Lys says:
      November 15, 2018 at 12:29 pm

      What a brilliant idea!

      Polka Dot approved, I’d say.

  • Jennifer says:
    November 14, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Great practical tips Mona! Thanks!

  • Pete says:
    November 14, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    I think that’s a great idea.

  • Kathy says:
    November 16, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Wow! Wow! Wow! Mona you surely have a wealth of knowledge and it’s so nice that you have given these great suggestions for us dog lovers to learn. Thanks so much!



We ask that the comments you leave on our site are respectful of each other and the personal stories that are told. We reserve the right to remove any comments that do not fall within our site policies.


Trackback from your own site.