Dogs in Weddings: How to Include Yours

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Recently, while watching TVs “Shark Tank,” there was a business on the show to pitch their company that was all about dogs in weddings. At first I thought the service was to take care of your pets while you were getting married. And, it seems that the company does that for the wedding couple and their guests. However, their main gig is helping you to incorporate your dog in your wedding.

Two adorable dogs wearing wreaths made of beautiful flowers on wedding outdoors closeup dogs lying on the porch Wedding ceremony Two cute dogs
Photo credit: Adobe Photos.

Dogs in Weddings

Having dogs in weddings is hardly a new concept. However, back when I started writing books about planning weddings, it was.

Back then, barely anyone talked about having a dog in their wedding. Fast forward a few decades, and couples are working their love for pets into their wedding plans. Heck, if my husband and I decided to renew our wedding vows — we just celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary — I would probably find a way to have our pups Oscar and Sadie be in the ceremony.

Also, I know that plenty of people hold weddings for their dogs. Of course, they’re not legally binding or anything, but it’s a fun reason to have a party with your dog and your friends and their dogs.

Popularity of pet weddings

Etsy reports more than 30,000 results for “pet weddings” on its site. Also, People Magazine reported in 2020 on a Wedding Wire survey. It found that 38 percent of couples included their pets in their wedding or announcement of their engagement.

However, other surveys I found asked pet owners exclusively if they would involve their dogs in their weddings. And guess what? Nearly nine in 10 of them said, yes, we want our dogs in our wedding.

Outdoor marriage ceremony for male gay couple
Photo credit: Adobe Photos.

How people incorporate dogs in weddings

So, how do dog-loving couples incorporate their pets in their wedding? Sometimes it’s a joint affair, meaning they work together to figure out where the dog will be in the wedding. Others like to surprise their betrothed with this addition.

This latter situation was what one couple I know did. Or rather what one-half of one couple decided to do. She decided to surprise her fiance at the wedding by having their dog walk down the aisle as the ring bearer.

She told me that guests loved seeing the dog walk down the aisle. However, she didn’t pull off this feat alone.

Wedding couple with corgi pets
Photo credit: Adobe Photos.

Training service for dogs in weddings

A few weeks before the big day, she hired a service, like the one I described in the intro, to work with her dog to get him ready to walk down the aisle. This included some short-term training so that the dog would be on this best behavior.

Then, on the day of, they picked up her dog and gave him a good walk before the wedding. That helped prevent the pup from being too energetic. Also, it freed up my friend to focus on getting ready for the wedding. The dog did such a great job walking down the aisle and my friend’s now husband had a hard time holding it together when he saw the dog.

The service kept tabs on her dog for the remainder of the day. For example, when it was time to eat (dog’s dinner or the guests) or it seemed like the dog had had enough, they took the dog somewhere quiet and became the de facto pet sitter for the rest of the evening.

Not only did this help the couple enjoy their big day but also, they didn’t have to ask a friend or family member to care for their dog during the wedding. That would have meant their missing out and they wanted guests just to be able to enjoy themselves as, well, guests.

Other ways to have dogs in weddings

Here are some other creative ways to include a dog in its owners’ wedding:

  • Design a signature wedding cocktail named after your dog or dogs. That way you can have them represented at your wedding without having to worry about babysitting them.
  • Include the dog’s photo on the wedding program or signage around the venue. Or, rather than numbering tables at the reception, you can label them with dogs names — yours and your guest’s pet names.
  • Have the dog wear a matching bandana or tie to the wedding colors.

So if you’re hoping to have your dog or dogs in your wedding ceremony or at your reception, there are definitely ways you can make that work for you.

Finally, that company I mentioned from Shark Tank? It’s called Fairy Tale Pet Care and they got a deal with Barbara Corcoran.

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