Your wedding is one of the most special days for you, your friends, and your family—and if you’re a pet parent, that group includes your favorite canine companion to boot.
Depending on your dog’s stress levels and how old they are, you might have to be creative when coming up with ways to incorporate your dog into your wedding.
For example, a brand new puppy might be a little too wild and rambunctious to do a specific task like walk your rings down the aisle. An older dog might be overwhelmed with all the commotion and energy and need a rest as soon as the ceremony starts. If your dog is not socialized yet, they could easily get anxious and scared around all of your wedding guests.
Luckily, no matter what stage your puppy or dog is at, there are endless ways to make sure your furry bestie plays an important and memorable role in your ceremony. Here are a few fun ways to make sure you incorporate your dog into your wedding in a way that’s stress-free and fun for all who are involved.
7 ways to incorporate your dog into your wedding
1. Make your dog the ring bearer
If your dog is up to the challenge, train them a few weeks before the big day to walk your rings down the aisle. This can be done in a few ways. Your dog can hold a basket in their mouth with your rings inside (safely padded on a jewelry-safe cloth of course), or your dog can wear a pouch or container on their back with the rings inside.
Just make sure you don’t wait until the last minute to practice, because this small yet memorable detail is the last thing you want to be worried about when your wedding day finally arrives.
2. Keep your dog close to your heart
There are so many ways to keep your dog close to your heart without having them at your wedding or putting them on display at the ceremony or reception. For example, you can tuck your favorite photo of your canine companion into a locket or charm.
Or, you can get an image of your dog embroidered and keep it inside your purse or sew it into the inside of your dress. You can even add an embroidered pillow with your dog’s image on it to the room you get ready in. The opportunities are endless, but the love you have for your dog is strong.
3. Make them part of the wedding "pawty"
Short on bridesmaids or groomsmen? Why not dub your dog as part of the wedding party? How cute would your dog look in a matching bridesmaids dress or tuxedo? The photo opps will be endless and it’s sure to lighten the tension and stress of your big day.
Read: Dog Travel Checklist: What To Pack When Traveling With Your Dog
4. Have them walk you down the aisle
Your dog is used to you walking them, but why not turn the tables and have your dog walk you or your partner down the aisle? Dress your dog up to the nines and have them by your side as you walk down the line and into your future.
5. Keep a framed photo of your pup near the guestbook
It totally makes sense that having your dog physically at your wedding might be more stressful than it’s worth, and if that’s the case for you, you can still keep your dog’s energy alive at the ceremony in a number of different ways.
Why not add a framed photo of your dog to the table where everyone picks up their table assignments and signs the guestbook? It’ll be a cute way to usher your guests into the reception.
6. Add them to your wedding slideshow
Most people have picture collages playing on a screen as people find their seats or eat dinner. Make sure to load up your slideshow with photos of you and your partner alongside your furry friend.
7. Make favors with your dog’s face on it
Forget chocolate covered almonds; order customized dog cookies with your golden retriever on it. Nowadays, bakers can do just about anything. Have one at each place setting as a small takeaway favor for your guests, or get a mini cake made with your pet’s face on it.