Pooches and Parties: How to Plan a Doggy Friendly Wedding

More and more, we’re seeing modern couples incorporating elements of their personalities, loves, and quirks into their wedding – and thankfully, their pets are no exception! Which is good, because we absolutely LOVE dogs at weddings.

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In particular, dogs are now welcome at an increasing number of venues’ ceremony and reception spaces (especially if you’re looking at marquees and barns), and doggy care businesses are starting to offer wedding-specific services to allow your four-legged VIPs to join the rest of the family at the wedding, but also be safe and looked after (have a look at the lovely wedding package offered by Barking Mad for example). This kind of chaperone service means the dog won’t be left unattended, and will get the right amount of rest, attention, and exercise, all the while giving you the peace of mind that a qualified professional is dedicating full attention to their wellbeing during the celebrations. 

There are definitely a few things to consider when planning a canine-friendly wedding. Firstly, think about what you know about your little pup: how does he behave and feel in crowds of people and children, for example? If your dog is still a little fearful or not used to these types of situations, make sure you create some safe, familiar, quiet spaces for him to relax in, like a crate he knows with some toys, treats, or scents he’ll recognise. Also, how much does temperature and weather affect him? If your wedding is during a warm summer month, make sure you plan for some rest in the shade and away from hot pavements; similarly, in winter, think about options for keeping him dry and away from drafts.

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When contacting your suppliers, do mention that your dog may be involved and present throughout the day – they will probably not mind at all, but it doesn’t hurt to share the information with them. For example, if your photographer turns out to be terrified of dogs, it may be tricky for him to capture those memories! Similarly, there may be guests who are scared or uncomfortable around dogs (mad I know) but just a bit of forward planning could alleviate a few petrified faces on the day!

On the day itself, you want your little friend to look dapper, but also be comfortable and relaxed. Instead of full-on outfits (which are, undeniably, adorable) maybe consider some fun bandanas, color-coordinated collars, or a custom lead. The lovely Jodie at Cupid Collars, for example, make beautiful bespoke doggy collars that are perfect for celebrating in style! You can also attach extras like a cute bow tie to the collar, or flowers to the lead, but make sure everything is securely fastened and won’t turn out to be an irritation later in the day.

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We all know how curious our little furry friends can be! One of the biggest dangers for your dog on the wedding day is actually eating something that they always beg for but you and I know would be toxic for them. Think about minimising this by printing a cute sign asking your guests not to share their wedding cake with anything furry and on four legs! And also keep in mind anything that may be on the floor that could be a hazard, like confetti. 

Do however bring plenty of dog-friendly treats, wholesome dog food, and fresh water to keep your pooch going throughout the day. You can even bake him something extra special for the day, like a doggy cupcake or a gourmet dog-friendly wedding breakfast – so he isn’t left out of all the culinary excitement! Have a look at these adorable doggy doughnuts, bubbly pawsecco, and other doggy delights.

Also, treats are super important when trying to capture that perfect pose! Make sure you have given your bridal party, your photographer or your on the day coordinator some of their all time favourites. They can then be held above the camera when it comes to making sure they are picture perfect and ready to smile! 

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Here at OQ we’re very proud dog owners, and we couldn’t be happier that #dogsatweddings is finally a thing! And for dog-friendly coordination for your wedding day or party, don't hesitate to get in touch. We see no reason why your furry friend shouldn't be a part of the best day ever! 

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Photo credits: Styling and planning by Occasion Queens, Photography by Parrot and Pineapple