I absolutely love it when people include their dogs as part of their wedding celebrations!
Here are my top tips for planning a dog friendly wedding day:
1. CHOOSING YOUR VENUE
Choose your venue wisely! If having your dog at your wedding is a deal breaker, be sure to research thoroughly if the potential venues are dog friendly.
Just how dog friendly are they? Questions to ask could be: Will your dog be welcome during your ceremony? Will they be able to stay at your accommodation with you? Do they have a quieter room if your dog needs some space? Is there somewhere nearby for a doggy walk?
One of my favourite dog-friendly wedding venues in The Lake District is Broadoaks Country Hotel near Windermere.
2. SEE YOUR DAY THROUGH YOUR DOGS EYES
Is there anything in particular that could be stressful for your dog during the day? Perhaps loud music? Plan in advance if there are times your dog should be around or be taken for a walk instead! If your day seems like it would be too difficult for your dog, there are plenty of ways they can be included instead of actually being there. Consider having engagement photographs with your dog instead and have one on display on the day. Or perhaps include them on your table plan design or cake topper.
3. PLAN A ROLE!
Will your dog be walking down the aisle? A bridesmaid? Perhaps even ring bearing? Have a think about how they can be included in advance, and have a plan B incase your furry best friend isn’t feeling up to it on the day.
4. NOMINATE A DOG-HELPER!
If you have a friend or family member coming along who knows your dog. ask them if they can be your dog-helper for the day! This takes the pressure off you, so you can relax and enjoy the big day, knowing your fur baby is in safe hands. There are also some professional dog walkers that offer this specific service – how amazing! For example – Katie & Co offers a range of wedding day services in Yorkshire.
5. PLANNING THE PAWFECT DOG OUTFIT!
Ok, I’m not suggesting you dress your dog in a costume, they will probably hate you for that! But what about a new collar & lead for the occasion, something to match your colour scheme. Or a bow tie, bandana or floral collar for photographs? You could also consider special touches – one of my wedding couples got their dog Raven, a new ID tag with their new family name. How cute! Why not discuss with your florist if they can create something beautiful!
If your dog will be present during your wedding meal, a great ideas is to bring their bed from home so they can be settled. Don’t forget their favourite toy!
7. BOOK A DOG FRIENDLY PHOTOGRAPHER
This sounds obvious but when searching for a wedding photographer, if your dog is part of your wedding day, definitely check your photographer (and other suppliers that will be there on the day) are comfortable around dogs. Fun fact – I actually used to be scared of dogs as I was bitten when I used to be a paper girl in my teens. After that I got a job walking a dog and since then, I absolutely love dogs! I love it when my couples include them as part of their wedding day.
All images and text copyright Katie Byram Photography