Say Yes to the Pet: 11 Ways to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding

It’s your big day, and you want all your loved ones there. Who’s more beloved than your dog? With millennials making up the largest segment of dog owners, including woof woofs in weddings is now a thing. Here’s how to include your pup when you say "I do."

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Photo By: Rebecca Smith

Photo By: The Studio B Photography

Photo By: Leigh Hayward Photography

Photo By: The Studio B Photography

Photo By: The Studio B Photography

Photo By: The Studio B Photography

Photo By: Sandy Phillips/Olivia’s Doggie Designs

Photo By: Leigh Hayward Photography

Photo By: GoPro

Photo By: Rubi and Lib Design Studio

Photo By: The Studio B Photography

Let Your Pet Help You Propose

Want to get a guaranteed yes? Let your dog help you ask your significant other to marry you. Look at that face. How could anyone say no? Rebecca Smith and her fiancé, Sean Ianno, got engaged when they were on vacation in Hawaii, so Marlow, their 6-year-old Chi-Pom mix, wasn't with them. But they recreated the moment for the camera when he joined them. "It took nearly 100 tries, I’m not kidding, to keep the ring on his nose." To make your pup-posal easier, get a bow-tie collar with a ring clip.

Include Them in Your Engagement Photos

Nothing says "Awwww, how cute" like having your pup in those first official photos of you as a future married couple. "I’d say about 60 percent of my engagement shots include dogs," says Rebecca Enslein of The Studio B Photography in Atlanta. Enslein suggests having a friend accompany you to the engagement shoot, and then taking your pup(s) home when their portion of the shoot is over. Their attention spans are short, after all.

Remind Your S.O. Who’s Number One

Another way to include your pup is to get him or her to wear a sign reminding your significant other who had you at hello, first. Your fur kid can wear it for an engagement announcement, rehearsal or other pre-wedding shindigs, or on the big day. A sign-bedecked pup makes an adorable photo.

Put Them on Your Save the Date Reminder

How could anyone forget the date of your wedding if it's announced by a dog? You can buy cute signs to hang around your dog's neck with the wedding date, or go with a dog tag with the date of the big day, plus your and your significant other's initials. Pose the pup next to the rock on your hand, naturally, for the perfect visual.

Include Them in Your Wedding Photos

This is a popular way to make sure your fur child gets immortalized on your big day. Wedding photographer Leigh Hayward of Charleston, S.C., says about 20 percent of the wedding photos she shoots include dogs. "I seldom shot wedding photos with dogs five or six years ago," she says. "But now it’s pretty common."

Make Them Part of the Ceremony

Make him Pup of Honor and walk him down the aisle with the bridesmaids or groomsmen. Or make her Flower Dog who carries a basket of flowers in advance of the bride. Or the Ring Bearer, carrying the jewelry on a special pillow-equipped dog collar. If doing what she's told isn't your pup’s bag, go with Honored Guest who stays out of the ceremony but sits down front with a human attendant.

Dress Them in Wedding Attire

The maker community knows how much we love our pets, so this is a golden age for handmade dog tuxedos, dog dresses, dog bow ties and flower-ringed dog collars for your fur kid to wear to the wedding. The cuteness is blinding. Be sure you pick something your pet will actually keep on without freaking out. If your pup's cooperative about clothing, doll her up. If your pet thinks dog clothes are for pups who've surrendered to their human's silliest wishes, stick with a simple bow tie or floral collar.

Hand Out Dog-Themed Favors

If your pup is at your wedding, we're guessing your friends are into their pups, too. Send them home with a pretty bag of custom dog treats, so their fur kids aren't left out of the festivities. For your friends who don't have dogs? Put some human goodies out for them to take home. Or give them a business card for a local rescue where they can adopt a furry friend.

Turn Them Into a Wedding Videographer

Want to see your ceremony from your dog's point of view? Get a harness from GoPro and put a camera on his back. He's cheaper than a human videographer, too, amiright? This will be an especially amusing POV if he’s a low-rider like a corgi, pug or Basset hound.

Put Them Atop Your Cake

Put your pup next to the bride and groom figures on top of the wedding cake. You can get custom-made cake toppers that include your entire family, even the fur babies. This is a great way to include your pup on your big day if he's not wedding-guest material, or if the venue doesn’t allow dogs.

Capture Private Moments With Your Fur Baby

Like the one where holding your little furry one before you walk down the aisle makes you feel a thousand times calmer about putting "Mrs." or "Mr." in front of your name.

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