Having your dog at your Wedding

Updated: Feb 27



On more than one occasion I have been asked - we’re going to have our dog/s at the ceremony, is that ok with you?


Um, what a STUPID QUESTION to ask ME, OF ALL PEOPLE. It’s not only ok, it’s welcomed, encouraged… AS LONG AS I get to say hello and snap a quick photo.


When I grow up, I still want to be a dog. I own two encyclopaedia’s on dogs (I’m a tad crazy ok, but everyone has to have interests).


Inviting you doggo along to your wedding is a great way to put a massive smile on the face of your wedding guests and include your furry family member in your photos.


But - while a lot of people love the idea of having their pets at the ceremony (or even reception after), there are a few things to consider.


I have only performed a handful of ceremonies where dogs have been present. From that experience and my experience of how the day tends to pan out - I offer you the following food for thought….


Dog: did someone say food?


WILL YOUR DOG ENJOY BEING THERE?


This is where you need to be honest with yourself. Some very good boys and girls are very happy to sit sill and co-operate and be around a whole bunch of excited people. For others, this situation may cause a little bit of wee to come out.


No one will know your dog better than you and you don’t want to see your guests getting frustrated with your furry child on your big day because your dog is barking incessantly, or very frightened (that would make me sad).


This doesn’t mean you dog has to walk on two legs, off-leash, carrying rings down the aisle. The best furry wedding guests are friendly, confident and able to be controlled well on a leash and around a crowd of people.


If you make the decision that attending the ceremony wouldn’t be fun for your dog, this doesn’t mean you can’t include them in your photos that take place before or after the ceremony!


I recently performed a ceremony with Kaydee and Mitch’s VERY GOOD GIRL, who could not have been more excited to be there.





CHOOSE A PET FRIENDLY VENUE


This is a little bit of a no brainer - but you should run the idea by the venue.


Kaydee and Mitch got married at The Edwards. Mon and Cate got married at Jesmond Park.


Some venues, will actually allow your dog to stay there too!


Tracey and Vincent’s puppo’s stayed at Elfin Hill, after playing a very important role in their wedding ceremony. But after all the excitement, they retired back to their room for a cat(dog) nap.


Photo: Bec Essery

I also know that Bannisters at Port Stephens, where I married Rosa and Jamie, has pet friendly rooms!


In public places or National Parks, just make sure to familiarise yourself with the local rules.


WHO WILL HANDLE YOUR DOG ON THE DAY?


On your big day, it’s likely you’re getting all polished and prettied up and there are hundreds of things swirling through your mind. Will I be nervous? Is the cake being delivered? Is Aunt Roz going to get lipstick on me when she inevitably kisses my cheek.


You may not be in a good position to bathe your dog, whip out the pet hammock, drive them to the ceremony with you, handle them during the ceremony and drive them home after.

It’s a good idea to have a designated person or persons to handle the logistics of transporting and handling your dog on the day.


There are businesses who offer a very professional chaperone service for your pets for big events.


Funnily enough, my sister runs such a business! - Best Boy Pet Chaperone - feel free to check her out!


Luckily for Baxter and Archie, their Mum’s had their reception in their backyard!! Their doggy grandparents organised their transportation to and from the ceremony site - as well as their DAPPER outfits.



Photo: Margan Photography