16 May Do’s & Don’ts of How to Include Your Dog at Your Wedding
Dogs are a man’s best friend but when it comes to weddings, can we say the same? With emotions running high and spaces packed with people, this can send the calmest and most well behaved on dogs into a nervous wreck. But there are ways to make sure that your pooch is chilled out for the big day.
DO – Book your venue within a suitable driving distance from your home, the chances are that your venue cannot accommodate dogs overnight, so you need a trusted sitter who is able to escort your furry friend to and from the venue. Ideally your sitter will look after your dog at your home, to keep them in their normal environment to reduce stress.
DON’T – Expect that your dog will walk down the aisle on its own neatly trotting its way toward you bearing rings…(the dream!) With all of the new faces and excitement of not seeing you in the morning, expect to have a super excited friend who cannot wait to jump up and give you a big kiss! So, choose a dress that can withstand some claw marks and maybe a muddy paw print or two.
DO – Arrange your dog sitter well in advance. The issue with organising dog sitting at weddings is that the friends and family you would usually ask, will be there with you! So, make sure you have another trusted friend or neighbour that would be willing to look after your dog for the day.
DON’T – Keep your dog at the venue for longer than your ceremony and drinks reception if you have not hired a designated carer. No matter how adamant you would like them to stay all day, you will be too busy greeting guests, dancing the night away, enjoying that flow of fizz for it to be a safe place once the party starts.
DO – Hire a company such as Hurley’s Wedding Day Dogs (covering the East Midlands) who will collect your dog from home, bring them to the reception complete with floral collar (oh my goodness how cute!) so that you can have some truly amazing photos! Or opt for their “ultiMUTT” package for full day and night puppy love! They also offer a grooming service! (read on to see why this is essential prep for your dog). If you dream it, there is bound to be a company that does it, so research into how a wedding supplier could help you with the logistics.
DON’T – Expect too much. If your dog is generally nervous around people, this isn’t going to be a happy experience. All animal owners put their pet’s welfare at the top of their priority list so this shouldn’t change on a wedding day. If your wedding is going to make them anxious, leave them at home and be happy in the thoughts of knowing they will be super excited when you return!
DO – Make your guests and necessary suppliers aware there will be a dog present for part of the day. Mishaps could happen for example, hiring a photographer who is allergic therefor having a reaction and unable to shoot the rest of your day! If everyone is aware, then everyone can prepare… (ooo, I may use that as my motto, I need to copyright that!)
TOP TIPS FROM ONE OF MY GORGEOUS BRIDES
Heidi had “the other man in my life”, her gorgeous chocolate lab Bentley at her wedding. She recommends a good “bath and brush” to reduce the amount of malting on your dress! So, a trip to the parlour for your dog before the big day may be essential if your dog is prone to malting. I know I would with my Jack Russel Harry, but then again, he is farrrrr to excitable for attending a wedding!
TOP TIPS FROM WEDDING INDUSTRY EXPERT – HURLEY’S WEDDING DAY DOGS / HURLEY’S DOG GROOMING
Michelle recommends being prepared for the exact shots that you want in your wedding album for when your dog arrives. Talking to your photographer in advance to know about the possibilities at the venue will make sure no time is wasted and you can get the maximum reward of getting that “perfect shot”. For photographic inspiration, take a look at the portfolio at www.hurleysgrooming.co.uk.
So, there you have it. A simple tick-list to ensure you have the best day with your four-legged best friend!
Thanks for reading and see you next time,
Photography Credit – Photos kindly shared by Michelle at Hurley’s Wedding Day Dogs
Chris Chambers Photography (Collie)
Ed Godden Photography (Bulldog)
Barry Page Photographer (Chocolate Labrador)