With a little planning, absolutely!
For some, their pet is an important member of their family! Therefore, they would like to try and incorporate their pet into the most important day of their life! Sometimes, however, it’s hard to know how to make it work.
Well we’re here to help! Both the Historic Dubsdread Ballroom and The Highland Manor are pet-friendly establishments and we’ve seen it all. From experience, we’ve put together some of our best tips for including your fur baby into your big day:
1) Make sure your dog is already comfortable being out and about for long periods.
- It’s a long and busy day with a lot of moving parts. If in doubt of your dog’s comfort in a strange environment without 100% of your attention or if he hasn’t spent much time away from his home environment, just don’t do it. You’ll both have better days. Though not having your fur baby may be disappointing, you can easily include her in your engagement photo session or Save the Date announcement.
- Make sure your dog is able to be around strangers, children, large crowds, and isn’t easily stressed being in a new environment.
- Even the best behaved and well-trained pets can be frightened by all of the commotion of a wedding day so try to simulate the day in another way and see how he/she responds.
2) Involve your dog in the ceremony, not the reception.
- The ceremony is the perfect moment for your dog to shine, be part of your day, and receive your attention.
- Designate a handler to walk him down the aisle or even add him in as a bridesmaid, groomsman, ring bearer, or flower girl.
- Make sure the handler has walked her and given her plenty of opportunity to go to the bathroom well in advance of the ceremony, especially if it is outdoors.
- Receptions can be loud and it’s easy for it to become too overwhelming with a lot of people, food service, and your attention on your guests.
3) Designate a specific family member or guest to be the handler and nothing else.
- Choose someone the dog is comfortable with, listens to, and who will be in control of the dog at all times.
- Don’t choose someone from the bridal party to also handle the dog as they typically have a lot of responsibilities already and may not be able to give the dog (or you) the full attention needed at key times.
- Make sure they are comfortable with the timeline and your dog’s needs including water and potty breaks.
4) Make a timeline just for your pet for event day!
- How they will arrive to the venue and when they should arrive.
- Where they will be at different times before, during, and after the ceremony.
- Schedule time for potty breaks and make sure the final one is near the timing of the ceremony.
5) Rehearse with your dog beforehand as much as possible!
- Make sure the handler will be present to practice with the pet as much as possible.
- Do not expect the pet to walk down the aisle on their own, make sure you have a designated handler with him at all times
- If you make your dog a ring bearer, do NOT attach the real rings to her. Use fake rings and then receive the real ones from a bridal party member – better safe than sorry
6) And above all, remember to bring treats!
Knowing your dog’s comfort level, and yours, will help you determine what is best for your day. It’s not easy to incorporate your dog into your day, but with practice and planning, it is possible.