Dog of Honor: Including Your Furbaby in Your Big Day | Nashville Wedding Photographer
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
When I got married last year, my then fiance (now husband, thank the Lord) insisted on including our fur-children in the wedding. While I absolutely wanted nothing more than our two handsome weenie dog mixes to stand beside me as I married their dad, we ultimately decided it was not the best option for us.
There are more than a few things to consider when including your pets in your big day. Here are some suggestions for things to think about:
First and foremost, it is important to check with your venue to see if they have a pet policy in place. Many indoor venues, especially historic buildings and luxury settings, will not allow even the best behaved animals (barring service animals). Checking with your venue should be the number 1 step in whether or not to include your pets in your wedding day. Once it's cleared with your venue, you can move on to other considerations like...
Listen, I know everyone says it, but I'm going to say it again here too: you're going to be slammed on your wedding day. You're going to be pulled in a million directions and so busy you'll barely be able to get a breath in, let alone eat the delicious food you paid a couple grand for. Trust me. I've been there. If you want to include your pet in on your wedding day, it's important to consider their comfort as well as their needs. If you have an outdoor venue - Will they be sitting outside the whole time? They will need fresh water and food, don't forget that. If you have an indoor venue - Where and when will they take their bathroom breaks? Finally, who will ultimately be responsible for your pet for the whole day? If you want to include your pet, I would suggest having a designated person to be in charge of everything your little baby will need to make sure they're feeling as pampered as you are on the big day.
Another, and one of the biggest, reason we ultimately decided not to include our fur babies on our wedding day was their behavior. That's not to say that our dogs aren't perfect little angels (aren't they all???) but Vern, our golden weenie, is a rescue dog with a questionable past. He struggles with trusting new people and will definitely let you know when he's feeling nervous and uncomfortable. There's absolutely no way he could be trusted around 150+ people he's never met before. He also would've been loud and interruptive during the ceremony with his nervous barking. Nugget, our curly baby, loves to show his affection by jumping and generously giving out kisses. Being at an outdoor venue, we knew we did not want muddy paw prints all over our fancy clothes (and my WHITE DRESS), as well as begging for kisses from guests who may not have been as receptive and loving to dogs as we are.
I want your pets at your wedding. You want your pets at your wedding. But make sure to take the necessary steps in ensuring their comfort, and your guests preferences, before just bringing them along. But seriously. Please bring them along. And if you can't bring them along, your fur-children are always more than welcome at your engagement session. It's a great solution to still be able to include them in your wedding planning!