Ask the majority of dog owners and most will tell you that their pets are more like close family members! So, when it comes to one of the biggest days of your life, it’s a no-brainer that a lot of you would of course want to share the big day with your dogs as well!
With the beautiful backdrop of our dog friendly Hayling Island wedding venue, we love to share the day with special canine wedding guests too...
Like all aspects of planning the big day, working your pet into the timeline of events is totally do-able, but it’s important to always investigate the logistics first.
Doggy Do’s & Doggy Dont’s At Your Wedding!
To help you on your way, we have put together a couple of do's and dont's for including your dog in your wedding.
Do, Remember To Think About What Will Be Best For Your Dog!
You’ve decided you’d love to have your pup right by your side on your wedding day. But before we get too invested in the planning the grand entrance, let’s think about what the experience will feel like for your pet.
Some dogs love to be around people and will probably greet every one of your guests as they go down the aisle! But one thing to bear in mind is if your pet is easily upset, or stressed in an unfamiliar environment? Are they at ease with people they don’t know or do they find this very distressing? If so, putting them in the limelight may not be the best idea.
Don’t forget, you are going to be very busy yourself, getting ready and you’ll most likely need to recruit a member of the wedding party to help ensure your pet is happy and cared for. This ideally needs to be someone who knows your pet really well, can keep them calm. It’s also a good idea if this person is not a key part of the day as they may need to be freely able to look after your pet at any given moment.
Do, Think About Their Outfit!
If you know your dog will love the spotlight, now you just need them to look that part.
Making sure they have been to the groomers and had a beautiful blow dry and trim if required is the best place to start. You can even buy your pooch some doggy Pawfume to make sure they smell their best too!
Now for the outfit, you can go for something simple like a cute bowtie, get them to join your flower girls with a beautiful flower collar, or you can go all out with a bespoke matching tux to become an additional groomsman. There are so many different options to choose from so make sure you shop around and get them something that they will both feel comfortable in and look adorable in!
If you do adorn them with flowers just remember to make sure they are dog friendly. Let your florist know that they are for your lovable pooch and they will help to advise and pick the best ones to make sure they are both dog friendly and won’t cause an itch!
If you’re thinking about spending a little extra on something beautiful for your pet to wear, or having them carry the rings, just remember to have a trial run! We wouldn’t want them to get to the end of the aisle and find that are no longer carrying the rings...oops!!
No matter what you choose we know that they will look adorable and get lots of attention from both your guests and your photographer!
Don’t Forget To Ask Your Wedding Venue What Their Rules Are When It Comes To Pets...
Most wedding venues will have some sort of rules or regulations in place when it comes to bringing pets along to the premises. This also may depend if the ceremony is taking place inside or outside.
Here at Tournerbury Woods, we are a dog friendly wedding venue!! But we do request that dogs at events are kept on a short lead at all times. This is to ensure that they are kept safe, but it also means our resident wildlife is also undisturbed by curious pets. We also ask that any dog litter is cleared immediately from our site as you would do in any public space. This ensures that no guest has an embarrassing “shoe” moment and you don’t have to do some hasty cleaning!
We happily allow couples to have their dogs participate in their wedding ceremony and drinks reception so you can grab those all-important photos. In order to keep things as fun and relaxed as possible, we do request that someone is assigned to look after the dog while it is on the property, and to take the dog home after the formal photos are concluded and we seat you for the wedding meal. We normally find that the pooch is ready for his own dinner by that time!
Whether you have booked with us, or another wedding venue, always be sure to check with your venue to make sure that they are 'dog friendly' and to see what they require when it comes to having pets on site, as it could differ vastly from one place to another.
Do, Go With The Flow!
Dogs are like children in their own way, they can be a little unpredictable! If you are planning to include your fur baby in the wedding ceremony, you must accept the fact that things may not always run entirely smoothly – and that’s just fine!
Make sure to be realistic when it comes to your pet and ready to laugh when something doesn’t go quite how you may have expected. If you’re thinking about spending a little extra on something beautiful for your pet to wear, or having them carry the rings, just remember to have a trial run! If they’re not used to having something around their neck you need to make sure this is going to work before the big day comes round.
Your dog may be very pleased to see you when you eventually begin your walk down the aisle, and this may be just the thing to break the tension and help you feel more comfortable, however depending on the size of the dog you may want to think about this when choosing your gown – it would be a shame if it ends up being pounced all over!
Even the best-behaved pets can have their moments, so it’s important to keep a sense of humour and know that whatever happens you are both there to enjoy!!
We hope that you have found our 4 top tips for including your dog at your wedding useful!
If you’re recently engaged and looking for a dog friendly wedding venue in Hampshire, why not give the team a call - we'd love to meet you and your fur-baby!!