top of page
  • Writer's pictureWags Down the Aisle

13 Tips for Having a Dog-Friendly Wedding

If you have a furry friend that you absolutely love, consider having a dog-friendly wedding! Throughout this post, you can learn all about the best tips and tricks to make this possible.

As a pet wedding attendant in the PNW, I’ve attended many weddings that have dogs at them. This is a lot more common than you think, especially with the proper planning ahead of time. 

Keep reading to learn all of my best dog-friendly wedding tips to ensure that you and your pup have an absolute blast on your big day!

Dog-Friendly Wedding Tips

Invest in a pet wedding attendant

First things first: the easiest way to have a dog-friendly wedding is to invest in a pet wedding attendant if you can. Wedding day pet care ensures that your pet is taken care of all day long while providing both you and your pet a stress-free experience for your wedding.

With so many details to manage on your wedding day, a pet wedding attendant (like me) will help you to focus on your special moments without worrying about the happiness and safety of your pet. You can learn more about my pet wedding attendant services here.

Choose a dog-friendly venue

Next, be sure to choose a dog-friendly wedding venue to ensure that your pet can even come to the wedding. Most venues will have a pet policy that you can inquire about when looking to book one.

The right venue will allow you, your guests, and your dog to enjoy the celebration without any concerns about safety. You want to make sure there are areas where your pet can go to relax and take a break from the festivities, too. 

Inform your guests

Informing your guests in advance that a dog will be present at your wedding is one of the more overlooked yet considerate parts of planning a wedding that’s dog-friendly. This allows any guests with allergies to prepare accordingly so that they feel comfortable during the event.

It can also help to set clear expectations for your guests’ behavior around your pet, particularly if your dog isn’t as comfortable with attention from strangers or those that they don’t know as well. Guests will then know ahead of time to be more mindful of their movements and interactions with your dog, which can provide a safer environment.

Include your dog in photos

While the last one is often overlooked, I’m sure this is the one that you know about: include your dog in your wedding photos! This can be a great way to easily showcase your dog’s significance in your life and document their presence at your wedding.

Pet wedding attendants will make sure that your pet is in the right place at the right time for photos, and if you let your photographer know ahead of time that a pet will be involved, they will come up with fun ways to incorporate your dog into the photos. 

Get dog-friendly decor

It’s also important to get dog-friendly decor for your wedding. If you’re working with a wedding planner, they may be able to help with sourcing decor that’s more friendly for pets. This will help to make sure that your dog is safe amidst the celebrations.

Remember that dogs are generally pretty curious; it’s just part of their character! This means they could be inclined to sniff or chew on decorations with their reach. Again, you’ll know your dog better than anyone, so be sure to take this into consideration when putting together a dog-friendly wedding.

A couple posing with their dogs at a dog-friendly wedding with their loyal dogs by their side, symbolizing true companionship

Consider your dog’s personality

This point connects with my last, but be sure to consider the personality and character of your dog. Every dog will have their own temperament and comfort levels when it comes to larger gatherings like a wedding.

If your dog is sociable, they’ll probably love being included, but for more anxious or shy pets, they might get stressed with too much social interaction. Being mindful of your dog’s personality can help them feel most comfortable throughout the day. Talking this through with a pet wedding attendant will ensure your dog has the best day for them, too!

Keep food and water on hand

Just like your guests, you want to make sure that your dog is able to eat and has access to water throughout the day, especially because they might be a bit more active during your wedding! You can have a dedicated area with fresh water and dog food for them to refuel. This is incredibly important because it will be a long day for everyone involved.

Luckily, if you hire a pet wedding attendant, this will be fairly easy, as you can let them know their regular eating schedule. The attendant will make sure that they are eating throughout the day at regular intervals.

Get your dog a wedding-friendly outfit

Now for one of my more fun tips: get your dog a wedding-friendly outfit! This can be such a fun way to incorporate your dog into your wedding. This can range from a floral collar to a simple bowtie or even a more elaborate custom outfit.

Be sure as well when choosing an outfit that you are prioritizing your dog’s comfort and safety. You want the outfit to fit well without restricting their movement, and you’ll want to choose non-irritating materials. A simple way to do this is to just put them in the outfit for a short amount of time, such as for your wedding photos.

Prepare for messes

During your wedding, it’s best to prepare for everything. In the case of having your dog at your wedding, it can also mean preparing for potential messes. Now, I’m not saying they will happen, but it is a possibility.

Having a plan in place in case something unpredictable happens, such as your dog knocking over decor or even a food dish, will keep you ahead. You could have extra supplies on hand to handle any accidents. Most venues will also have staff on hand who may be potentially able to help if anything like this happens. 

Again, this is another reason why pet wedding attendants can be a great investment for your big day - they will help stay on top of instances like this!

A joyful dog wearing a bow tie at a lakeside wedding venue, embodying the spirit of a dog-friendly celebration

Ensure a comfortable sleeping space

Listen, weddings are long! Your pet will need a comfortable space to rest and even sleep during the event. A cozy and designated sleeping area can provide a safe space for your pet to retreat and relax amidst the buzz and noises of a wedding.

This space should generally be pretty quiet and secure to allow your dog to decompress easily. My best tip is to bring their favorite bed from home and maybe even a dog toy or two so that they will feel just like they’re at home, allowing them not to be as distracted from the unfamiliar environment of your wedding venue.

Keep safety top of mind

Prioritizing safety is not something that should be forgotten if you want to have a dog-friendly wedding. Safety encompasses a lot of aspects, from making sure that your pet is comfortable and secure to preventing any potential hazards.

Keeping your dog on a leash or within a designated area can be crucial, especially in an unfamiliar, crowded setting, to prevent them from wandering off or even becoming overwhelmed easily. On the other hand, you also want to consider the safety of your guests, particularly children and those who may be unfamiliar with dogs.

Consider the weather

Considering the weather can affect the comfort and safety of your dog. For instance, if your wedding will be on a hot day, you’ll want to give them plenty of access to shade and water to prevent overheating and dehydration. For a colder day, you’ll want a warm and sheltered area that can keep your pet comfortable.

Have emergency contacts

Lastly, you’ll want to have emergency contacts readily available as it can prepare you for any unexpected health and safety issues that can arise with your pet. While the odds of anything happening aren’t super high, trust me when I say it’s always better to be prepared.

This preparation can be as simple as having the contact information for your vet, as well as the location and contact details of the nearest animal hospital. 

Final Thoughts: Tips for a Wedding That’s Dog-Friendly

Well, there you have it! Hopefully, this post has helped you find out how to have a dog-friendly wedding. It’s 100% doable - just make sure to take the necessary time to prepare for it and really keep your dog in mind from the beginning of the process, from reaching out to a photographer and booking a wedding venue.

If you are interested in having a pet wedding attendant help you keep your dog safe and taken care of throughout your wedding, be sure to click here to get in touch.


bottom of page