The Do’s and Don’ts of Dogs in Weddings

Putting your pup in your wedding is all the rage right now. Follow these tips to keep your big day stress-free.

Related To:

Photo By: dejandjuric

DO Pick a Venue That Allows Dogs

Check their policy on pets before you sign a contract. Don't just show up with your pup on your wedding day and beg for forgiveness. If your four-legged best man gets bounced, your big day will be a bust.

DO Consider Your Dog’s Personality

If he's obedient and outgoing, he should do fine at a wedding. Make him ring bearer, flower girl or let him walk down the aisle with you and sit by the altar while you say "I do." If he's an obedience school dropout who doesn’t do well around strangers and children, you may be wise to leave him out of the wedding.

DO Dress Him Up

Dogs in clothes are blindingly cute. But choose his attire with an eye to how tolerant he'll be of doggie duds. Not all pups will go for a full-on doggie bridal dress. But any dog will be down with a decorated collar and leash.

DO Designate Someone to Handle Your Dog

You will not have time to do this yourself. Assign a family member or friend to be your wedding day dog handler, or hire a pet wedding attendant. Some kennels specialize in sending a person to supervise pets at weddings. Be sure you pick someone who has a way with your dog and will feed, water and clean up after him.

DO Rehearse Your Dog’s Role in the Wedding

Bring your pup to rehearsal and show him what he's supposed to do. He needs at least as much practice as the humans in the wedding. Make sure the person handling your dog knows the phrases and commands he responds to, and arm the human with a pack of treats to bribe your dog to obey, if need be.

DON’T Let Your Dog Off Leash

Have someone walk him down the aisle, whether it's the bride, groom, flower girl or another member of the wedding party. Just don't turn him loose. Even the most obedient dog might dash down the aisle, slobbering on the guests along the way, or worse, get distracted and run off to the cake table. Keep him leashed at all times.

DON’T Forget to Bring Treats

Someone other than you will need to get your dog to obey commands. Make it easy for them by packing a sack of dog treats to bribe your pup to his best behavior.

DON’T Attach Real Rings to Your Dog

Even if he’s the ring bearer. Yes, it’s adorable, and yes, you can get special clips that attach the jewelry to his collar, but holy to the moly, imagine if he loses the rings. Let a human hang onto them.

DON’T Freak Out if He Acts Like a Goof

Let’s say he flops over on his back and waggles his legs in the air right there at the altar as you’re exchanging rings. Or he howls as you walk down the aisle on your dad’s arm. Relax. Laugh. The memory of your pup’s impromptu silliness will be one of your favorite ones of the day.

Shop This Look