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  • Writer's pictureWags Down the Aisle

How to Incorporate Your Dog in Your Elopement

Are you wondering how to incorporate your dog in your elopement? You’re in the right place!

Eloping in the great outdoors has become a trend that offers couples an intimate and adventurous way to exchange vows. However, if you're a dog lover, you might be wondering how to incorporate your furry friend into your elopement day!

The good news is you don't have to leave your loyal companion behind. As a pet wedding attendant, I’m here to ensure your dog is not only a part of your special day but is also well taken care of.

I got eloped and it was the best decision we made for ourselves! We of course had Otis come along and I'm super passionate about making sure your dog can have the best day during your elopement too!

In this blog post, I’ll outline how you can seamlessly include your dog in your elopement adventure and how our services can help make it a memorable experience for everyone.

How to Incorporate Your Dog in Your Elopement

Invest in a pet wedding attendant

To make your day easy, we had to include this on our list! Consider investing in a pet wedding attendant to make sure that your entire day goes off without a hitch.

At Wags Down the Aisle, we can hang out with your pup all day and adjust for what they need (and keep up with any schedule changes). Plus, we will do most of the items from this post, including making sure your pup is where they need to be for the ceremony and photos, making sure they are taken care of with food, and more.

You can learn more about what is included in our services here. Plus, keep peace of mind knowing that we absolutely love pups and are also outdoors all the time. Basically, an elopement with your pup is our idea of an awesome day, and we’d love to be there to support you and your dog!

A man leaning down to pet a dog as they stand on a rocky shoreline of the ocean.

Choose a dog-friendly location

First of all, if you want to include your dog in your elopement, be sure to choose a dog-friendly location! This way, you can ensure that your pup can actually come with you for the big day.

Luckily, there are quite a few spots throughout Washington, where I’m based, where you can elope with your dog. Most people will want to elope with their pet in some of the national parks that WA is so well-known for.

One of the best places to elope with your dog is any spot with a view of Mt Rainier. Some spots include High Rock Lookout and the Noble Knob Trail. Unfortunately, the park itself does have pretty strict rules around pets, so that’s why it’s recommended to go around the park instead.

Olympic National Park is pretty pet-friendly and includes lots of great spots for you to elope with your pup. North Cascades National Park is, unfortunately, also pretty strict, like Mt Rainier, but you can go up to Ross Lake.

Other great spots throughout the state include the Washington State Parks (most of them are very pet-friendly and can be just as epic as the national parks), the national forests (Olympic National Forest is breathtaking), and many of the campgrounds throughout the state.

Plan ahead

It's important to plan ahead when you want to incorporate your dog into your elopement since some places restrict or have extra rules for pets.

Again, national parks like Mt Rainier and North Cascades, for example, are pretty strict when it comes to animals. So, if you decide to take your pup to any place, make sure to check out the rules beforehand so that you know what is allowed and how you can plan accordingly.

It’s also wise to check on pet-friendly accommodations and restaurants nearby as well as any additional requirements or fees before visiting. Planning ahead helps ensure that your elopement goes off without a hitch and both of you and your pup enjoy the experience.

There would be nothing worse than showing up for your elopement only to realize that your pup has to stay behind!

A bride walking towards her groom as a dog looks back towards her.

Consider doggy attire

If you want to make your pup part of the wedding ceremony, consider dressing them up in their own special wedding attire! There are a wide variety of outfits available for both small and large dogs that can add the perfect touch to your photos.

You could even find a dress or suit that matches the micro-wedding party’s style so that your pup fits right in with everyone else. This is one of the most fun things to do if you are wondering how to incorporate your dog in your elopement.

Include your pup in the ceremony

You can also have your pup actually included directly in the ceremony. For instance, when you say your vows at the top of a summit with epic views, you can have your pup right by your side or even standing next to the officiant. How cute is that?

Many officiants are more than happy to incorporate a pup in the ceremony if you let them know. No matter how you include your pup in the ceremony, it’ll be sure to bring joy to both you, your partner, and your pup.

Hike with your doggo

Since you are most likely looking to get outdoors for your elopement, why not take your pup along with you? Hiking with your pup is a great way to include them in your elopement and explore some of the beautiful trails that your area has to offer.

With the proper gear, such as a good harness, dog boots, and plenty of water, you can plan the perfect adventure for you, your partner, and your pup. You could even make it extra special by choosing a trail that maybe the three of you hike very often. This would also ensure that you know your dog is capable of hiking the trail because you really don’t want to tire them out on your big day.

Plus, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, why not bring a picnic lunch to enjoy together while taking in the views after you exchange vows?

An elopement couple standing on a rock by a body of water with their dog at their feet.

Cater to your dog’s needs

In order to incorporate your dog into your elopement, you also need to cater to their needs; make sure you give them plenty of breaks and stop for water and snacks. Bring some treats so they can have a snack throughout the adventure, or even some toys to keep them entertained while you’re taking photos. 

If it’s a warm day, try to find some shade and bring a collapsible bowl for easy water access. You may even want to pack an extra towel if you plan on swimming with your pup. Make sure that your pup is up-to-date on all vaccinations, as well as flea and tick prevention, for peace of mind.

Capture the moments

Chatting with your photographer ahead of time is key when it comes to incorporating your pup into your elopement. Let them know of any special moments you’d like captured with your dog, such as first looks or kisses after you exchange vows. 

If there’s a certain photo style you’re going for, discuss that with them so that they can get an idea of what you are envisioning. With their help and some extra planning, both you and your pup can have beautiful memories from the day to look back on.

Plus, if you were to hire us as your pet wedding attendants, you can also chat with us ahead of time for your schedule so we can make sure your doggo is where they have to be at the right time.

Here are a few recommended photographers!

Watch the sunset and stargaze

Lastly, you could also finish the day off by watching the sunset and stargazing with your pup. This can make for a long-lasting memory and is an awesome way to end your wedding day. Plus, it would make for some pretty epic photos!

If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could even then spend the night camping under the stars as newlyweds with your pup. Again, make sure to do research ahead of time to make sure that this is something you’re able to do with your pup, as it may not be allowed everywhere due to other wildlife in the area.

A dog standing on a rocky beach.

Final Thoughts:

Eloping with a dog

Hopefully, this post has helped you to brainstorm when it comes to how to incorporate your dog in your elopement. If you want to have your dog with you on your big day, it’s 100% possible!

Plus, if you are looking for some extra help with making sure your dog is where they should be throughout the day (and is extra taken care of), then be sure to reach out here. We’d love to hear more about what you have planned for your elopement!


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