It’s a time in your life when everything has to go off perfectly. After all, it’s the moment where two souls merge as one. It’s your wedding day! Finding the right gown, selecting the flowers for the bride’s bouquet, making the seating arrangements: these and a thousand other things have to be just right. And now you’re drawing up the guest list and you wonder, “Is it okay if my dog takes part in the ceremony?” We have all seen enough videos on YouTube to know that can go disastrously wrong. If you are still determined to have your dog take part in your wedding despite all of the YouTube horror stories, then you might want to consider the points below.

No Dogs Allowed!

First, there is the matter of obtaining permission to include your doggie in the invitation. Before letting your dog participate in your wedding, make sure that family members have heartily agreed that he should be part of the celebration. Also, ask whether the wedding venue allows pets.

Be honest with yourself about your dog

Let’s face it: A wedding can be simply too much for most dogs. For instance, most dogs are not used to being around large groups of people. And the noise level at a wedding can send your dog into a state of sensory overload. And what about dealing with drunk guests and the near-chaos of the reception? Do you really think that your dog is up to it? Are you really sure that he would never snap when a drunk guest tries to pet him? That he would not decide to lift his leg on the bride’s gown?

Photos as a consolation prize

If your answer to any of the questions above is “No,” you need not despair. If you want your dog to be included in the celebration of your special day, you can still feature him in prenuptial photoshoots and save the dates invitations.

Dress them for the occasion

You and your family may decide not to invite your dog to your wedding celebration. That doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the fun of dressing up Rover for the occasion. Taking photos of your doggie in a tux or in a dress will be a great reminder of how important they are in your life. You may even think of a way to display those photos at the wedding reception.

Let them walk down the aisle

Okay, you’ve decided that your dog is up to this difficult task. You have also carefully considered whether your dog can remain calm at the ceremony – with all that en-tails. More important, everyone who has a say in this decision agrees to Rover’s participation. Are all of the boxes checked?

You might want to consider whether you want someone else to walk your dog down the aisle. Also: do you want Rover to be on- or off-leash? If you are confident that your dog is up to this challenge, seeing him walk the aisle will be a memory your family (and guests) will cherish for a lifetime.

The couple’s first dance

Some couples decide not to include their dog in the hubbub of the reception. However, if you simply cannot let your dog miss the fun at the reception, you should consider having him join you for the first dance.

Some couples have their dog perform a couple of tricks as a prelude to their first dance. I have never heard of a dog actually dancing with the bride and/or groom, but it is certainly not impossible. If you manage to pull it off, please don’t forget to send me a copy of the video ; ).

Practice until everything is perfect

Once it’s decided that your dog will play a special role in your wedding day, let him practice his part until it is second nature to him. It is also a good idea to take him to the wedding venue a few days in advance to let him familiarize himself with it. Practice until everything is perfect, because you deserve a perfect doggie wedding!

 

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