A tip you will always hear us share with our clients during the planning phase is to make their wedding their own! We encourage them to throw all traditions out the window and celebrate their one-of-a-kind love by customizing their wedding to express themselves as a couple! We are loving that it is becoming increasingly popular among our clients to include those precious fur-babies in their weddings! Our bride, Tristyn Sipsy from The Mucky Puppy, was no exception. Today she is sharing her best 5 tips for including your dog in your wedding. We are so excited to share her tips with you!
Your wedding is such a magical moment in your life. It is a time to surround yourself with the love and laughter of your closest friends and family. And, if you’re anything like me … that includes your dog.
Including dogs in weddings has become a very popular trend in the past few years. From ring-bearers to four-legged flower girls, couples are finding more and more ways to incorporate their furry babies into their big day.
I was not an exception. In June of 2018, I said “I do” to the man of my own dreams, and I had my four-legged fur-baby right by my side to do it. Yep! You guessed right. Gypsy was not only a part of my wedding, she was a bridesmaid on my big day. Having had Gypsy for four years by the time my wedding rolled around, she had already been with me through plenty of life’s ups and downs. As I was contemplating who should be included in my wedding party, I knew one thing absolutely. Gypsy had to be standing (or, in her case, sitting like a good girl) next to me.
As the days rolled closer to our big moment, I learned quite a bit about what it meant to include my dog in my wedding. I would have loved a compiled list like this; a sort of one-stop-shop affair, for tips and advice for having a paw’ed pal included in the wedding party. So, here are the 5 best tips for including your dog in your wedding!
1. Have Something to Help Your Dog Stand Out
Don’t let your four-legged best friend blend in with the crowd if they are a part of your ceremony! Have some type of accessory ready to go to ensure that your pup is noticeably a part of your bridal party. Possible accessories include a bandana to match your color scheme, a tuxedo or dress, or a flower crown or collar.
For my wedding, I opted to “go big or go home.” I asked my coordinator if she could fashion a flower wreath for Gypsy to wear for the length of the ceremony. My coordinator really came through on the wreath, and Gypsy looked so great with all of the greenery! Etsy is a great place to find these kinds of accessories and many shops may offer custom orders. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to order the accessories — the last thing you need to deal with is a package that hasn’t arrived in time!
2. Treats, Treats, and More Treats
Let your groomsmen or bridesmaids hold onto a small pouch filled with treats for the wedding ceremony. If a bridesmaid is handling your pup-pup, she may find it difficult to hold onto a leash and the bouquet. If that’s the case, make it a team effort! Have one bridesmaid hold the leash while another keeps a small pouch filled with treats. Throughout the ceremony, your bridesmaids can give your doggy a treat to keep him entertained.
3. Come Up with a Game Plan for the Ceremony
How do you envision your pup coming down the aisle? Will they listen if called without being distracted? Are they people lovers? Will they be too excited by the crowds of people? Or do they tend to be more nervous with large groups of people?
Make sure that you have a game plan hashed out for the ceremony. Whatever it may consist of, definitely run through it a few times during the rehearsal. Gypsy, being the neurotic Australian Shepherd she is, gets nervous with large groups of people that she doesn’t know. While I felt relatively confident that she would listen if I called her, I didn’t want to risk her running through crowds of people (especially knowing I had some guests who aren’t “dog people”). Instead of giving her the opportunity to run awry, we had one of the groomsmen escort her down the aisle on a leash. Once the groomsman made it to the front of the aisle, he passed her to one of the bridesmaids who held on to her leash for the remainder of the ceremony.
4.) Don’t Forget the Photos
Just like with every other member of your bridal party, make sure you get photographs of you and your doggo on your special day! Keep your photographer(s) in the loop of who all is in your bridal party. If that includes your dog, make sure they know that! If your dog is a part of your wedding, that obviously means they are incredibly important to you. Don’t miss out on some great photo opportunities that you’ll treasure forever.
My absolute favorite photographs from my wedding that Two Chics Photography took have Gypsy in them. They are hanging all over my walls, they’re on my social media accounts, and they’re in my wedding album. Those photos will last forever, and you definitely don’t want to regret having some amazing, once-in-a-lifetime photos of you and your fur baby. And don’t forget to have the accessories ready to go so that your photographer(s) can snap photos of your doggy in all of his or her wedding day beauty!
5.) Learn to Let the Little Things Go
On my wedding day, Gypsy just about pulled the groomsman down while they walked down the aisle. As she and I had our photos taken, I sat down on my knees to be closer to her, and as a result, I got small grass stains on my dress. I worried about her in her crate and whether or not she was bored or sad while we partied during the reception. Gypsy whined and cried during the ceremony because she felt she was too far away from me. If you include your dog in your wedding day, be prepared for this and more. More importantly, be prepared to let it go.
Your dog is a living being that, ultimately, has a mind of his own. While you may have a clear vision of how you want everything to pan out, it might not go exactly as you’ve planned. Make a mental note from the very beginning that including a dog in your wedding opens the door for some mishaps. Your pup may take a stroll through the crowds and greet the guests; your dog might step on your dress just because they’re trying to get closer to you; your dog may get caught pooping in one of the photos. Don’t stress! Those mishaps help to make your day totally unforgettable! In the grand scheme of things, Gypsy and I had our fair share of mishaps throughout the wedding day but I wouldn’t have traded having her up there with me for anything in the world.
What do you think? Would you have your dog in your wedding? Would they be a part of the bridal party, or would you rather have them there as a guest? Leave a comment below letting us know your opinion!
Wedding Venue | Willow Creek Farm
Hair | J Thomas Salon
Makeup | J Thomas Salon
Florals & Design | Soirees Southern Events
Wedding Dress | Poffie Girls
Bridesmaid Dresses | Show Me Your Mumu