There’s good reason why dogs have been dubbed “Man’s Best Friend.” They’re loyal, they’re loving, and they treat you like you’re part of their pack. According to the World History Encyclopedia, some of the earliest known evidence of domesticated dogs dates back to 12,000 B.C. in Turkey. That’s an ancient history of friendship between mankind and our pups!
Here is my hubby at the Göbekli Tepe archaeological site in Turkey, where some of the oldest known evidence of domesticated dogs from 12,000 B.C. was found. Stay tuned for future Amarvelous Honeymoon posts on the fabulous nation of Turkey!
So it’s no wonder why this photo went viral on Reddit late last month and became the inspiration for today’s Amarvelous Wedding blog post! The reason behind the piqued interest? The best flower girl that any newlywed couple could have asked for: their dog!
When you love your dog(s) like family, how could they not be integrated into your special day? There are many ways to include your fur-baby in your nuptials, including pre- and post-wedding inspirations, determining your dog’s day-of-event role, capturing the moments with them, and incorporating their likeness if they can’t attend the wedding. Check out the 20 adorable ideas below for inspiration for incorporating your pup into your wedding.
Before we get started, I think it’s worth noting a few key questions you should ask yourself:
- Does my venue allow animals? If your venue doesn’t, then some items on the list below simply won’t be feasible to pull off.
- Is my dog well trained/well behaved? If you have a new untrained puppy, or a trained but rambunctious pupparoo, then it might be challenging to keep tabs on them during your wedding day and could add more stress to the situation than it’s worth having them on site.
- Do I have something to keep them entertained? We included our dog in our ceremony, and though she is incredibly well behaved and chill, I knew the best way to ensure she was comfortable for our beach ceremony was to have a carpet down on the sand with a juicy bone waiting for her arrival. Once she walked down the aisle with the Hubbs, he passed her off to a groomsman whose role was to handle her throughout the ceremony. This was an easy task since she laid there and went to town on her bone for the full 30 minutes.
If you answered “no” to questions 1 or 2, then don’t let that discourage you, because there are still loads of ways to include your four-legged friend, even if they can’t attend in person. Keep reading to learn more.
Pre & Post-Wedding Dog Inspirations
1. Dog Engagement Photoshoot
We included our dog into our engagement photos and do not regret it. The one tip I have is that if you want photos of just the couple, you could ask a friend or family member to come along, so after the dog photos are done, your friend can babysit while you go off and finish the shoot.
2. Dog Save the Date with a Dog Wax Seal
If opting to send a save the date, incorporating a family photo from your engagement shoot is a sweet way to include your pooch. I also love the idea of a custom wax seal. Don’t forget that this seal can be used over and over again, so it’s a great investment.
3. Featured on the Wedding Website
There are many companies that now offer a free wedding website. A few places that would be fun to include your dog on the website would be on the homepage with a family photo, on the bridal party introduction page, or adding a caricature.
4. Send Thank-You Notes From all Three of You, With a Family Photo
Our wedding thank you note included two photos: One side of the card was our favorite wedding day photo of us with our dog, and the other side was a photo of just us. I personally signed all cards from our little family of three, so why not also sign your wedding note the same way?
Determine Your Dog’s Day-Of Event Role
5. Dog of Honor / Best Man’s Friend
For a dog that’s literally your best friend, give them one of the most prominent roles of the day. It’s sweet for a bride or groom to walk down the aisle with their dog.
6. Flower Dog / Ring Bearer
You could pair up your flower girls and ring bearers with your dog, or you could have no children and only the dog walks down the aisle as this role themselves. Talk about stealing the show!
7. Honored Guest with Assigned Dog Handler
If you don’t think your dog will walk nicely down the aisle alone, then you could have them waiting at the alter so they can still be in a prominent position for photos. Assign a friend or family member to be the dog handler and care for your pup while you say your “I Dos.”
I am by no means recommending you let your dog be the sole videographer of the day, but it’s definitely a silly video to have in addition to your real videographer. We attached a Go-Pro harness onto our dog’s back for the entire lead up to ceremony, ceremony, and cocktail hour. The dog’s-eye view is so sweet. You get the see people come up and give your dog love and your dog’s viewpoint from the day. Some things to be mindful of are:
- Ensure the angle of the camera is high enough. You don’t want their head or ears blocking the camera view.
- You want to be sure the harness is tight enough so if they shake or walk with pep in their step the camera harness doesn’t slide to one side.
- Ensure the camera lens doesn’t get misty or foggy and blur the video. We were on the beach, and somehow at the end of the ceremony the camera lens got misty, so the cocktail hour footage isn’t nearly as clear as earlier in the day.
Photo Credit (Left): dreamlifewedding.com | Photo Credit (Right): amarvelousevent.com
9. Dogs Instead of Bouquets
This has gone viral a few times on the internet, and I love the idea, though logistically it is a challenge. A few ways this could happen is if all your bridal party brought their own dogs. You could adopt a whole litter of puppies, or you could foster a full litter of puppies. Bear in mind if adopting or fostering that this is a lot of excess work in your wedding week that you likely hadn’t planned for. But maybe you’re willing to do it for the ‘gram? haha
10. Wedding Gift
The video below is a husband giving his wife exactly the gift she always dreamed of. Definitely a sweet idea if you’ve been talking about a dog for that next chapter of life. Set up a game plan for someone to watch the pup after the gift giving though. A loud and chaotic reception dancefloor could be stressful for a dog.
Capture the Moment
11. Dog Getting Ready Photos
I kept my dog in the ladies’ getting ready room, and one of my favorite pictures is me in the chair getting my hair done and my dog simply sleeping by my feet. Another is my dog when she was awake, giving me her paw while I was getting makeup done. Sweet moments captured. Don’t be afraid to assign someone in the bridal party to give your dog walks during the morning and afternoon so you can be stress-free.
12. Bridal Party Photos
I love full bridal party photos that include dogs. It’s a picture with all of your favorite people and your favorite furry companions.
13. Just Married Walk Photos
Right after the ceremony, if you and your new spouse can escape for a bit to have a few moments just the two of you, bring along your dog. This is the perfect time of the day for more bridal portraits, to catch a breath, and just relish in the fact that you are finally married. A sweet walk around the property with your dog makes for lovely pictures.
Incorporate Their Likeness
14. Dog-Inspired Human Accessories
There are a bunch of ways to have a photo of your dog, or a cartoon of their likeness, incorporated into pocket squares, socks, cufflinks, jewelry, dress embellishments, small photos hanging on the bouquet, etc. Get creative here!
15. Dog-Inspired Place Cards
It’s the small details sometimes that bring a wedding together. Of course, you could have a boring white place card, or you could add a little pizzazz with a drawing of your pooch.
16. Dog-Inspired Cookie Favors
Custom individual cookies with your dog’s likeness in icing would be a darling addition to the day, not to mention edible favors are the best kind!
17. Cake Topper
The sky is literally the limit when it comes to cake toppers. Nowadays, you can design nearly anything custom off Etsy.com and have it shipped to you in a few days’ time. I’ve seen adorable cake toppers with the couple and dogs at the top, with just the dogs at the top, and with a formal-looking cake in the front and in the back a special surprise where a statue of the dog is eating into the cake. Adorable.
18. Signature Drink
If your venue or caterer allows you to do a signature drink, then it could be cute to name it after your dog in a “punny” way. You could also get dog drink stirrers, or you could have the sign for the drink or cocktail napkins have your dog’s image printed on them.
19. Picture on Display
Often on the gifts table, the couple will put a photo from their engagement with a sign for gifts and cards. Couples sometimes also use framed photos for table numbers. If your dog couldn’t be a part of the day in person, either of these options could be sweet to incorporate them.
20. Dog Biscuit Bar
If you have a “Pets Welcomed” reception and you booked a block room at a pet-friendly hotel, or if your guests have dogs at home waiting for them, then it would be so adorable to do a small dog treat table with little cellophane bags, so guests could take home a treat to their dogs. Be sure to pick cookies that look like bones to alleviate confusion from the human treats. Also post a sign that notes that these are for the fur-babies at home. If people can have candy or dessert bars, then why can’t the pets have wedding snacks too?
As a fellow dog lover, I hope that this post brought you as much joy to read as it did for me to write. When your dog is like your family, you can share the most special day of your lives with them, or at least have a piece of them there to honor them as a cherished family member. With so many awesome ideas to include your dog, I’m sure it’ll be hard to choose just one!
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