The decision on whether or not to bring your furry pal along for the wedding festivities can be a bit complicated. You’re going to be focused on getting married, so how can you add another tail-wagging, poop-on-the-lawn kind of piece to the puzzle? If it’s important to you that your pup is present, there are a few pretty simple ways to make it work.
HAVE A HANDLER
It doesn’t mean you have to hire someone to take care of your dog the day-of, but it might mean adding someone else to your bridal party, or assigning one of your bridesmaids or personal attendants to the duties of looking after Fido while nuptials are happening. That way Grandpa Jim doesn’t get knocked over in his seat while you’re saying “I Do” because the dog wanted to say “Hi, I love you.” Having someone on hand who you know is watching out for your furbaby when you can’t takes the pressure off and allows you to enjoy the experience of having them there without worrying about territory being marked at the wrong time and place.
WORK THE PUP INTO THE PLAN
A lot of couples want their dog in on the big day because to the couple Patches is just as much a part of the family as anyone else (and probably even more so than a couple of the long lost relatives hanging out in the back of the reception). Rather than just having him sit by on a leash and pant his way through the ceremony, why not get him involved? I’ve seen doggie ring bearers and sign carriers. You might even have your pup help “carry the train” of your dress down the aisle. There are a lot of ways to involve your pet in the ceremony itself, and doing so will keep you at ease knowing where your dog will be and when they’ll be there for the ceremony. When you work your pup into the plan for the day, make sure to let vendors know he’s part of the plan so that they can plan accordingly. Maybe the baker makes a dog treat for cake cutting time, or the florist can craft a collar attachment that matches the boutonnieres. Definitely, tell the photographer, so we can be ready to capture Fido’s finest moments throughout the day. Those pictures of Bear walking down the aisle with the ring pillow held gently in his jaw are going to be heart-meltingly adorable when you get your files back from your photographer.
PREPARE AN EXIT STRATEGY
As fun as it is to have your dog there on your big day, it’s also important to remember that the large groups of people and nonstop movement of your wedding and reception might end up being a little overkill for your favorite four-legged pal. Have an exit strategy at the ready if your pet gets too overstimulated or is ready to call it a night long before you are. Maybe your new in-laws escort the furball to your hotel room or take them home if your reception space is close. As long as you go into the day knowing your furry family member will be able to leave when they need to, without you having to escort them out, you can take one more worry off your plate for the day. That’s always a good thing when you’re getting married, am I right?
There’s no reason your furbaby can’t be a part of your big day, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Having your furry friend along for the ride can be calming, and even add some much needed comic relief throughout the day. Will you be including your dog in the festivities?