Our furry friends are with us through so many important moments in our lives, so when it comes to one of the biggest days, it seems like they should make it on the guest list. Whether they have a starring role or just a place in the background, pups can make the types of wedding guests that bring a smile to everyone's face. More than that, dogs can be a calming presence to soothe nerves and take stress out of your big day. Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not your fur baby should be in on the wedding fun:
- Do I want my dog in the wedding photos?
- Will I be sad if my dog isn't there?
- Is my dog comfortable with large crowds and new people?
- Will it cause or relieve stress to have my dog there?
- What is the best role for my dog to play in the wedding?
- Who can I designate as a dog watcher?
Like most parts of your wedding, delegation is key to keeping your day stress-free. Make sure you have someone who your dog knows and is comfortable with to be his attendant walking down the aisle or taking care of him when you are busy with other wedding activities. And make sure to pack that person plenty of treats to keep your doggie happy on the sidelines.
If photos are important to you but you worry about your dog with crowds or walking down the aisle, having someone bring him just while you are getting ready and for photos before the ceremony is a great option.
If your dog is in the wedding party, help him play the role with a fancy new leash or floral crown. Make sure to give him extra snuggles while you are getting ready, it will calm you down and let your dog know how important he is to you.
Let your photographer know in advance if you plan to have your dog on your day so that they can prepare with toys or treats to get his attention. Talk about your dog's personality with your photographer so they know how to approach him to get the best photos. Bringing him along for your engagement photos is also a great way to introduce him to your photographer and get him comfortable in front of the camera.
Most importantly, no matter what happens, have fun with it! Embrace your dog's personality whether it is playful or mischevious, and remember how unconditionally he loves you. He is a part of your family, and however he is involved in your wedding, he is there for you because you are his everything and the center of his world -- so bring on the puppy kisses!