Love dogs? So do WeddingLovely’s bloggers + vendor community!
We’re celebrating National Dog Day this upcoming Saturday with a fun (and furry) dogs in weddings roundup style post sharing adorable photos, videos, ideas and inspiration — all to do with our beloved four legged friends.
Plus, we’re loving all of the rescue stories, endearing moments caught on camera/film, tips for including fur babies on your special day, doggy inspired fashion, stationery, decor elements + more!
See more after the cut!
Photo credit: Gideon Photography
First Look with Your Fur Baby
Not all dogs in weddings are going to be obedient and walk down the aisle with a sign or as your ring bearer, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be a part of your day. There are SO many ways to include them and this couple found quite a few ways to incorporate their love for their Maddie girl.
One great way to incorporate dogs in weddings, particularly a dog with anxiety, or a dog that may not have the best mannerisms is to do a first look with them. Have a friend or dog walker bring your dog to the venue or where you are getting ready and make sure your photographer is there to snap those pics. This is what Kaitlyn and Chris did and they will have these pictures to cherish forever.
Always remember what’s in the best interest for your dog, even if that does mean spending just a few minutes with them on your big day. Not all venues are safe for dogs and not all dogs want to be around loud music and lots of people – so always make sure their safety and best interest is at heart.
~ Kate of Fabulous Fête (Charleston, SC)
Photo credit: Shannon Skloss Photography
Doggy Wedding Tux
We recently had a beautiful wedding at the Joule Hotel in Downtown Dallas where the bride and groom had their bulldog “Gordito” attend the wedding. They had this custom made handsome little tux for him to wear and everything! It was such a special and fun moment for Christina and Aaron.
We love this new popularity we are seeing to include dogs in weddings! Christina and Aaron were no different and how could you say no to that face?! Plus he was the perfect gentleman all day :)
~ Julie of Refined Romance, formerly Forever Events and Weddings (Dallas, TX)
Photo credit: Joshua Rainey Photography
Hire a Professional Dog Handler
Caitlin & Michael’s ring bearer, Obi, was the best! This bride and groom loves dogs and had to have man’s best friend incorporated in the wedding. Obi loved his role and cleaned up rather nicely on the wedding day. Probably the easiest dog I’ve ever worked with on a wedding day!
For those of you out there considering having your dog be part of the wedding day, go for it! My advice is to have a handler there for dogs in weddings and not have the dog there the entire day. Pick a time for dog arrival and a time for dog departure so you can enjoy the day but still get some great pics with your canine friend.
~ Joshua of Joshua Rainey Photography (Eugene, OR)
Photo credit: Studio 27 Photography
Wedding Day Pet Care + Chauffeur
My company, Pawfect for You, Inc., brings pets to weddings for couples that are getting married. We handle all the logistics from transportation to helping out with pics and we even provide overnight accommodations.
I have a bride who is gifting our services to her groom as a surprise on their wedding day. He’s been asking to have their dog at the wedding and she told him no. All along though, she had hired Pawfect months ago, so my company will be bringing their dog in a tux! I can’t wait to see this groom’s face! I’ve actually had quite a few requests for dogs in weddings – either brides or grooms looking to surprise their significant other. I’m even working with parents who will be surprising their daughter and son in law next year with this service.
~ Veronica of Pawfect for You (New York, NY)
Photo credit: Murray Clarke Photography
Comfort with Doggy Treats + Toys
Alfie the cockerpoo is arguably the love of Emma’s life, to Daryl’s disappointment! Little did Emma know, that Daryl had a furry four legged surprise around the corner on their big day – literally.
I can imagine being handed your dog’s favourite bone can be slightly confusing on your wedding day, especially when you don’t know what’s coming! (A lot of guests can be overwhelming, ensure dogs in weddings have their favourite treats and toys on hand to comfort them) Emma’s reaction when she saw Alfie was a true reflection of how much she loves her pooch, as she broke down in tears of joy.
~ Murray of Murray Clarke Photography (Guildford, England)
Doggy Wedding Accessories
Who ever claimed that a dog doesn’t pose? Our Yorkie, Stuart Little, was certainly a ham when he was given a wedding head piece to model. I’m not sure who enjoyed all the loving cuddles, Stuart or the Bride!
Stuart Little is a purebred Yorkshire terrier, who truly believes he’s a small human. He loves to snuggle and pose. His adoring owner, the bride, simply could not leave him out of her special day. She tied her headpiece around his neck and he just rocked his photo-shoot! He is just 3 years old and will love on anyone, so he wandered the tables at the wedding and got lots of hugs and loves. As a treat, he also got a tiny bite of cake–which he loved–after the bride and groom made the first cut!
~ Owner of Willows Inn (Central Point, OR)
Video credit: Motion Art
Four-Legged Ring Bearers
We surprised our guests at our ceremony with Ruby and Bruno featuring as our ring bearers – they also stuck around for family photos of course, however they weren’t old enough to stay up late into the evening and enjoy some drinks at our reception.
I would encourage anyone else who considers their fur babies a part of their family, to add them to your guest list as you would for other family members. Dogs in weddings can either feature in a small part of the wedding or be involved the entire day depending on, your dog’s temperament, your personal preference or whether your wedding venue permits dogs, etc.
~ Jenny (bride) via Geoff of Motion Art (Queensland, Australia)
Photo credit: Chelsea Nicole Photography
Doggy Wedding Tux (Yet another, because they’re just too cute!)
Cash dressed for the occasion and stole the hearts of everyone the day his mommy and daddy, Bridget and David, got married. He even got some extra bling himself when Bridget bedazzled his leash and collar.
Although Cash killed it, I had treats in my pocket just in case. Cash walked down the aisle with the flower girl and didn’t miss a beat as I waited at the edge of the chairs with a treat to be sure he knew exactly where to go. After howling during the first kiss, he joined back up with his parents and strutted his stuff back down the aisle.
~ Tara of Scheme Events (Las Vegas, NV)
Photo credit: Caroline Logan Photography
Puppies as Bouquets + Doggy Place Cards
Persnickety Invitation Studio was so lucky to work on Sarah and Matt’s wedding last fall that actually went viral! The bride is a dog trainer and works for a local Pit Bull rescue (Pitties Love Peace). Instead of having her bridesmaids hold bouquets, they held up a litter of puppies who needed homes. It was too adorable!
The reception was entirely dog related, right down to the place cards… which were laser cut dogs! The bride brought Persnickety these little cards, and we handwrote the names of the guests and then placed them on a custom grass mat so it looks like the dogs are sitting on the grass. There wasn’t a single piece of this wedding we didn’t love!
~ Katie of Persnickety Invitation Studio (York, PA)
Funny Doggy Card for Bride + Groom
I started my stationery company out of my love for animals and my love for my Chocolate Lab, Chip. My greeting card designs come to me in funny day-to-day situations where no normal card will do!
This card design was inspired by my friend’s French Bulldog, Mo. Mo has an enormous, and sarcastic (at least I imagine… if he could talk!) personality! Recently, Mo’s owners were married in Long Island, and their relationship (much like their relationship with Mo) is full of spirited energy that comes from a place of love (we hope! ;). This greeting card is just a funny little poke at them where only humor will do. Don’t we all have friends that this card is perfect for?!
Photo credit: Tara Barnes Photography
Four-Legged Ring Bearer + Flower Girl
We loved that Chris and Sarah gave their pups the title of Ring Bearer and Flower Girl and dressed them for the part! Drama, the flower girl, was accessorized with a white collar embellished with pink roses and tulle, she even had her nails painted bright pink! Riley, the ring bearer, wore a brown collar with a navy blue bowtie, the navy matched the groom and groomsmen suits.
The ceremony began and it was time for the pups to make their wedding day debut. The pups were walked down the aisle by a bridesmaid and groomsmen. The most memorable moment of the ceremony was watching Drama, in flower girl fashion, pull loose from her leash and run into the groom’s arms.
Our tips for dogs in weddings would be to bring their kennel or dog bed so they know they have a safe space to relax during the hustle and bustle of wedding day, make sure your dog is hydrated throughout the day and during pictures (especially in the summer months!) and of course make sure your venue is dog-friendly.
~ Julianne of All Things Planned (College Station, TX)
Tips for Dogs in Park Weddings
We were living on the Upper East Side with our beagle puppy, Rufus at the time, and Central Park was walking distance from our home, so it seemed only natural to take our dog with us to our wedding. He was a good boy throughout the ceremony but it was a hot and humid day in Manhattan, so our guests did have to carry him a little after a while.
Getting married in Central Park inspired me to start a business helping others get married in such an amazing and iconic place. If you are considering taking your dog to your wedding, make sure they are permitted in the location, let your photographer knows your intentions in advance, and check if there could be anything hazardous to your dog in the area, such as wild animals or poisonous plants.
I love it when dogs in weddings are dressed with flower collars or crowns, or smaller dogs attend in a cart decorated with flowers. They can be the bridesmaid, ring bearer, flower girl or boy, or even best man! I’ve planned lots of weddings where the couple cannot bring their pet with them to the ceremony, and instead, we have given the pets a special mention in the ceremony wording.
~ Claire of Wed In Central Park (New York, NY)
Photo credit: Pottinger Photography
Furry Friends in Engagement Shoots
We love animals. We have three cats, a dog and often foster kittens! I love meeting the fur babies in our couples’ lives. Our dog Pixel came from our local shelter and is our best friend!
An engagement session is the prefect time to involve your furry friend and to capture a family photo. We recommend to the couple that they bring a friend to help handle the dog in the park when they are not needed. And that person can help get their attention for the group photo. What dog doesn’t love going to the park? So make sure to give them a little time to explore the park before and after photos. And don’t forget to have them bring a few treats too. My favorite from a recent session was a slice of cheese that the Bride and Groom called baby cheese – it was a big hit!
~ Brenda of Pottinger Photography (Cincinnati, OH)
Video credit: The Candi Project
Narrating Pawrents Love Story
How do you include dogs in weddings? By having your beloved dog tell your love story. This cute corgi named Summer narrates his Paw-rents love story which is so endearing. Bingyu and Peter met because of Summer, so naturally, Summer had to be included in the wedding.
Everything about this wedding centered on making sure that Summer was included. Summer even got a special haircut so that his tail could be shaped like a heart. The couple had to look for venues that will allow pets and the park was the best place to do it. A Central Park wedding did such a cozy setup at the park where everyone, even dogs felt they belong. This couple also had a picture of them and Summer on their cupcakes to cap the day off.
~ Aenid of The Candi Project (New York, NY)
… Wasn’t that lovely? A very special shout out to all of our amazing wedding vendors who shared their doggy wedding day inspiration with us for this fun and furry dogs in weddings special roundup post.
Happy National Dog Day, lovelies!
~ the WeddingLovely team