By: Denise Edkins
I love dogs. I have two German Shepherds and they are my babies! (They’re chewing on bones at my feet right now as I write this!) That’s why I am so glad that more and more people are including their pets in their wedding ceremonies and receptions. As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen it many times and have learned a few things. (I have a cat too, but I think we can all agree, cats wouldn’t participate in a wedding in the same way a dog would…)
*10 Things to Think About When Your Dog is a Part of Your Wedding!*
1: Have them look their best. Shampoo them beforehand, trim their nails, brush out their tails and consider a new or special collar.
2: Spend a little time introduce your dog to the children at your wedding — and make sure they know where the treats and dog toys are. It’s a chance for some new friendships to form.
3: Consider giving your dog a new squeaky toy as a special treat (but wait until AFTER the ceremony).
4: Ask someone who your dog already knows to supervise your dog and be available to take him somewhere if the reception becomes too exciting or too loud.
5: Have a water bowl and a refill jug nearby at all times, of course. Most kids at your wedding would be happy to keep an eye on the water level and be responsible for refilling it.
6: Make sure to include your pet in your posed shots, group photos and engagement portraits. If you give them a new squeaky toy during the photos, it will occupy them and the squeaking will make everyone smile 🙂
7: If you’re going to have your dog be the ring bearer (a lot of people do) make sure you do many practice runs ahead of time. Twice is not enough. If you’re not confident about her carrying it in her mouth, tie a basket to her collar.
8: Make sure the spaces are appropriate and comfortable for your pet. A grassy area with shade is essential.
9: If you’re renting a reception hall, check if there is a “No Animals” policy. Your deposit could depend on it.
10: Make sure there’s a resting place where your dog can calm down. Even the best behaved animals can become overexcited with so many people and so much commotion. Have someone take them home.
— Have a wonderful wedding!