Walking down the aisle isn’t just for people anymore. More and more dog lovers, including celebrities like singer Carrie Underwood, rock star Gavin Rossdale, actress Tori Spelling, and Dylan Lauren (Ralph Lauren’s daughter and Candy Bar fame) are including their dogs in the most romantic day of their lives. If you’ve been lucky in love and you can’t bear to leave your favorite pooch out the excitement, why not include him or her in your wedding? If your dog is a natural around people of all ages and wags its tail at the hustle and bustle of a major event, you can even use these five great ideas for putting your dog in the midst of the action. There’s nothing like (wo)man’s best friend to make the wedding day jitters fly away!
Who doesn’t like coming home from a long day at work only to find your loving pooch ready to give you some A-grade affection? If your guests are dog lovers like you, they would love to be greeted by your best friend! Place the lucky canine off to one side of the gift or wedding program table. Imagine your guests’ delight when they see your friendly companion, specially groomed for the occasion, and waiting for a nice pat on the head. This is a good way to get your guests who don’t know each other to strike up a conversation – your guests can chat about their dogs or other great icebreaking topics as they pet your dog. Be sure to include some hand sanitizer near the dog’s handler.
A popular way to include Fido in a wedding is by making him your ring bearer. In fact, Dylan’s dog walked down the aisle in style with a Ralph Lauren Bowtie and a pillow bearing the rings on it. This is one of the easier ways to get your dog involved in your big day, if your dog is already used to walking the crowded, noisy streets. If you have an adorable child who would also be a perfect ring bearer, who says you have to choose between him and your beloved pooch? Your dog can walk in with the human co-ring bearer! You can even dress him in a dashing tux just for the occasion.
If your dog would look better in a frilly dress, she could dazzle the crowd as a flower girl. Dress her up in any of the myriad of wedding day doggie dresses, and drape a garland of flowers around her neck. Make sure that your dog is not allergic to the flowers you choose, and send her down the aisle for your guests to “ooh and ahh” over. You could pair her with a human flower girl as well.
Weddings are about creating new families, and one of the most romantic ways to express this is by lighting a Unity Candle with your sweetie. Remember the romantic scene in 101 Dalmatians when Pongo and Perdita’s pet parents got accidentally entwined in dog leashes when they first met? You can recreate the magic, without the mess! Make sure you have a romantically decorated leash like this one just for the occasion. Place the dog in between you and your beloved, and light the candle together. Once you both light the candle, grab the dog’s leash at the same time. If both of you are dog owners, you can do a variation of this by walking your own dog on a leash to the unity candle lighting. Once both of you light the candle, switch leashes and walk with their dog.
If your dog tends to shy away from the spotlight, you can still incorporate him or her in the wedding. If s/he’s comfortable getting her picture taken with the two of you or a small wedding party, you can include her in your wedding photos. If she can’t handle large events at all, you can still design your own wedding invitations with her paw print on them, or you can order a doggie-themed wedding cake or a bride, groom, and dog cake topper.
Most wedding merchandise for dogs are fancy dresses and tuxes. You can buy doggie wedding clothes at Doggle Clothesline or My Formal Dog. You can snag this classy wedding leash, or you can buy an adorable polymer clay cake topper here, and keep it as a souvenir of your big day. If you are a fan of handmade crafts, search Etsy for “dog wedding” or “dog flower girl,” and you can drool over all the
Wedding Day Dog Ring Bearer & Flower Canine Tips
- Before you even think about having your dog be a ring bearer or flower child in your wedding, take your pet’s personality into consideration, and then plan accordingly.
- If your dog isn’t comfortable in crowds or doesn’t like the limelight, choose a family member or friend that your dog knows to be the ceremony hound handler. The handler can place the ring or flowers around your dog’s neck before the ceremony begins and escort your proud pooch down the aisle.
- Place a favorite bed or pillow that your dog loves next to the altar, this is a way to make your dog feel comfortable and relaxed during the ceremony, and close enough to bring the ring when it’s time.
- If your dog is good with commands, then have the groom waiting patiently at the altar for his beautiful bride, and have him call your pet by name to start the wedding proceedings. Your flower canine or ring bearing dog will respond to his/her name and either walk, meander or run down the aisle. You have to expect a certain amount of spontaneity with pets in weddings!
- Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse! Remember this isn’t the usual walk in the park for your pet, so practice the wedding march with your dog so it becomes a more familiar routine. And as always don’t forget the magic of treats when rehearsing.