I love animals and even more when they're at weddings. I mean, who doesn't love a dog at a wedding? Dogs at weddings are the best! But other animals show up, too! Sometimes it can even be birds of prey!
This blog post is honestly just an excuse to show you photos of animals at weddings I have photographed and links to the full blogs in which they feature! However, before we get to the overload of animals and crazy weddings with fury friend dogs, let's run through what you can expect if you decide to invite them. You can also click the link below to skip this.
- Advice from Thea's Lakeland Walks
- General advice for having a dog at your wedding
- Wedding Doggo Gallery!
Advice from Thea's Lakeland Walks
One of my fantastic Wedding supplier friends is Katy, who runs Thea's Lakeland Walks! I bump into her now and then at weddings with dogs, as looking after your dog on your special day is a service she offers! I asked her to write a few words about what to expect, and she wrote this!
From Tipi Wedding On The Shores Of Ullswater Where I first met Katy!
How to choose the correct pet care provider.
We all know that dogs are less than pets and more family members, so you want to find the best care possible for them.
Look for someone insured - are they covered to transport your pet, do they have public liability and do they have protection for your dog?
Are they qualified - do they have basic canine first aid qualifications and can help if your dog becomes injured?
Are they licenced - any pet care provider who takes your dog back to their home or kennels MUST be inspected and licenced. Don't be afraid to ask for copies of any insurance and qualifications; these should be displayed in a prominent place on the premises for you to view.
What can I expect on the day?
Every wedding is unique, depending on the services booked. If your dog has been invited to the ceremony, then we aim to arrive approximately 30 minutes before the ceremony. This gives us enough time to greet the guests, fit in a toilet break, and get the dog dressed in any attire.
During the ceremony, we are on hand should your dog get a little restless. We can whisk them away for some playtime until the all-important "I do" moment.
During the photographs, we assist the photographer in getting the "pawfect" photo of your dog. They always look great in group shots, family portraits or a simple snap with the happy couple.
Is it a good idea to have my dog there?
Generally - yes! Guests adore seeing the family dog at the wedding (remember seeing a dog at school?!); the dog is the centre of attention and loves being part of the big day.
If your dog is a little unhappier in crowds or may get overstimulated, they can be brought along for a photo and then whisked away for a day of playing if you would like a picture with them. Alternatively, they can skip attending, and you can be happy knowing they are safe and well looked after by your chosen pet care provider.
General advice for having a dog at your wedding
Don't Expect Them To Behave
It might be your wedding day, but your beloved pooch doesn't know that. If the urge to go to the bathroom in the middle of the dance floor arises, they will, no questions asked.
That's why you should lower your behaviour expectations in advance. Sure, it'd be great if they were as good as gold, but chances are, they won't be.
Nominate Someone To Look After The Dogs
If you forget to allocate a dog sitter for your big day, you could land yourself in big trouble. Your beloved pup might take it upon itself to bite the cloth on your banqueting table and pull it clean off, taking everything else with it.
To avoid these unspeakable acts of sabotage, allocate someone to care for your dog while you're busy saying your vows, cutting the cake, and doing everything else you need to do on your wedding day. You need someone, perhaps a relative, that you can rely on to take them outside, remove them if they get too rowdy, and give them food and water when they need it.
Include Your Dogs In The Photos
Some wedding photographers follow a strict process and go through the motions, copying and pasting their processes from one wedding to the next.
It's efficient, and it can improve results, I guess. But, at the same time, they can lead them to forget little critical details, such as your dog.
If you're like most dog owners, your pup is an important part of the family. Their presence is essential for making you feel complete. If they're not there, you feel like you're missing out.
Therefore, always work with a photographer who is keen on including your canine pals (Like me, as I frickn love doggos). Look for someone like me who has experience getting shots just right for families and their pups.
Beware Of wedding Guests Who Don't Like Dogs
You might love your dogs, but some guests won't. It's statistically guaranteed. It's not that they're bad people, and it's just that they're not big dog fans. (Perhaps they had bad experiences as children). It's only recently that I have started to love dogs, as when I was a child and teen, I was terrified of them!
Whatever it is, you need to be mindful of their needs. Don't expect them to walk up to Mr Snuffles and engage in endless rounds of play at your wedding reception.
To help these guests, keep your dogs in carriers or on a leash. Bring them out for the photos and the celebration but don't let them steal cake from the banqueting tables.
Check With Your Venue If You're Allowed To Bring Pets
You and your future spouse might have big plans for your dogs on your wedding day, but they could be left high and dry if your venue isn't a dog-friendly wedding venue.
Remember, not every venue is dog friendly, and some will not permit you to keep animals on the premises. Some hotels can be particularly strict about this.
You'll also want to consider whether the wedding venue is pet-friendly. Sure, they might allow dogs in principle, but if there is nowhere for them to run or go outside, you might want to pick somewhere else.
From Farlam Hall Wedding
Give Your Dog A Pampering
Taking a smelly dog to the park on a Sunday morning isn't a big issue. But if you're crammed into a hotel or stately home with hundreds of other guests and your dog smells, it could put a downer on your big day.
The solution is relatively simple: take your dog for some pampering. No, they might not like it, but a bit of shampoo, clipped nails and brushed teeth can make all the difference in the world. Fido will be all citrus and roses by the end of it and the best-looking wedding dog in the world.
Decide What You Want Your Dog To Do
Dogs don't work nine to five (lucky them). But at weddings, you still need to define their role clearly. The pastor might be going a bit far, but taking part in the photographs or comforting children are things your four-legged friend can do. Maybe even just a walk down the Aisle with you, or how about letting your dog be the ring bearer?!
Give Your Dog A Toast
Who's there for you whenever you need them? Who's always in a good mood when you get home from a hard day at work? Who's always beside you, no matter how badly you behave?
Your dog, of course. That's why toasting them at a wedding is such a beautiful gesture, and it signifies your enormous appreciation for everything they do (even if they don't quite understand what's happening).
Get Them Styled
Lastly, dogs can look very dapper when they wear bow ties. For that reason, consider styling your dog on the wedding day. There are plenty of dog stylists chomping at the bit to make your pup look adorable. With wedding collars and the like. Or raid eBay, Etsy and Amazon for a bargain! You can even contact Thea's Lakeland Walks and see what they're stocking!