Around one-third of people getting married include their pet in their wedding festivities — as found in a study conducted by WeddingWire. It makes perfect sense when you consider that most Americans see their pets as one of the most important beings in their lives. Dogs also make beautiful photo subjects in a wedding album, with aspects such as nature, flowers, and (if you’re a sartorial type) doggie wedding fashion adding a bit of artistry to your images. If you will be tying the knot in a few months and you’d like to find the perfect role for Fido, keep the following considerations in mind.
A pup for all seasons
Making your pooch part of your wedding begins with knowing their personality and assigning them the appropriate role. Researchers of pet behavior have found that dogs do indeed have personalities that can be energetic or calm, quick to learn or a little distracted, and sociable or introverted.
Traditional roles for dogs in wedding celebrations include ring bearer, best pooch (part of the bridesmaids or groomsmen entourages), or pooch of honor. However, if your dog is the shy, retiring type who may get overwhelmed by large groups, then you may choose to bring him along for the pre-reception photographs with the bride and groom.
Dogs in the spotlight
If your dog is highly trainable and you authentically enjoy music and dance, then including your pooch in a quick wedding reception dance choreography is a memorable way to share his importance in your life with your friends and loved ones. Just a few tricks your dog can perform to music include walking in reverse, twisting or spinning around, and walking on two legs.
Your dog can also take part in a short but sweet show, surprising guests by jumping through a hoop, spinning, and crawling commando-style.
Making it safe and comfortable for your dog
If your dog is very young or a senior, or if he has a health condition that may make him tired, consider including him in a couple of meaningful photos. If his health is good, but you still don’t want to tire him out, consider a relatively easy role — such as guest of honor. Your dog can be present at the ceremony but be taken home by a trusted family member or friend right after, so he can enjoy a restful nap while you celebrate with guests until the sun rises. Hiring the services of a pet sitter can be of aid if friends and family are busy or if your wedding celebration is far from your home.
Finding the perfect wedding outfit for your dog
Many couples go all-out when it comes to dressing their pooch for a wedding, purchasing a doggie tuxedo or wedding dress for their pet. Many dogs feel uncomfortable when dressed in costume, though, and a full-body outfit can be uncomfortable in the spring and summer seasons.
You can get around this by using simple accessories such as flower clips in your dog’s hair (if he has long hair) or the use of a soft flower necklace or wreath (which can be removed once the photographs have been taken). If you opt for natural flowers, make sure they are safe for dogs. Just a few good choices include roses, African violets, asters, lilies, and hollyhocks.
Find the right wedding role for your dog
Dogs are an important part of the family for most Americans. It is only logical, therefore, that many couples wish to include their dog in their wedding. If you wish to do the same, make sure to find the right role for your dog, take time to train him (teaching him to behave well socially and to learn new tricks if you wish), and make sure he is safe and rested while you are celebrating.