Today is National Puppy Day, Fairies! And in honour of that, we wanted to dedicate something special to our readers with a puppy; enjoy!
It’s only natural to want to be surrounded by all your loved ones on your wedding day, and that includes your pup! Nowadays, more and more people are wanting to include their dog in their wedding, and this is how you can, too!
Your Puppy’s Temperament & Personality
This is the most important step of all. Is your puppy happy to meet and greet everyone? Is it potty trained? Does it have at least a few commands nailed down, especially like “sit”, “stay” and “down”? Does the sight of a crowd have it whirling in a frenzy? Or is it shyer, more reserved, or frightened around strangers? It’s important to know what your puppy will, or will not enjoy. Puppies with anxiety and socialisation issues should probably stay away from big crowds.
Your Puppy’s Role
Depending on the answers you had for the above questions, and on your puppy’s overall obedience level and personality, you have lots of options.
Pup of Honour
Your puppy can walk down the aisle with the wedding party and then sit alongside them for the ceremony. It may be best to keep him on a leash; get creative and decorate the leash to fit your wedding theme!
Your puppy can carry a basket of flowers in its mouth, as the flower girl spreads the petals. Be sure the flowers are safe and nontoxic for dogs, in case it decides to sneak a taste.
Naturally, your puppy doesn’t have opposable thumbs or pockets, but you can tie the rings to his collar with a ribbon or find a custom-made ring holder.
If your dog is better suited to a calmer, more restrained role, give him pride of place in the front row, sitting with someone he’s familiar with.
Your Pup’s Attendance
Another important consideration, is whether your puppy will be attending the reception. All of the activity, food, music, and noise may be too much, and so it might be better to go home. The food may be too great a temptation; your puppy might sneak the filet off the table, or guests may be tempted to feed him treats that they don’t know are harmful to dogs.
If you decide that you want your puppy to attend your reception, make sure to check with the venue! Additionally, if you’re having the ceremony at a church or synagogue, dogs may not be allowed. But event venues, especially outdoors, are amenable to a canine guest. Additionally, make sure your vendors and guests are aware of your plans, so those with possible allergies can act accordingly.
Hire A Dog-Sitter
If you decide to include your puppy in your wedding, it is crucial that you arrange for a dog sitter or handler, preferably someone your dog is comfortable with. You will be pretty busy getting married, and your puppy needs someone to help keep it calm, engaged, and out of trouble. The sitter can also take it somewhere quiet after his starring role and provide water, food, and potty breaks. After all, wedding etiquette is not usually part of obedience school!
Choose Wedding Attire
Next, you’ll have to choose your puppy’s wedding attire. If yours is used to being dressed up, find a wedding-themed outfit. If your puppy prefers to be au naturel, consider simply decorating its collar with (nontoxic) ribbons, bowties or flowers! Either way, your puppy’s comfort should be of paramount concern; make sure the outfit does not prevent it from roaming around (and doing the dirty!).
Bring your puppy to the wedding venue, before the wedding day, to let it explore, sniff, and pee on everything at its leisure. This will assist with how comfortable it feels on the big day, because it will be familiar with the terrain.
This is so important, Fairies! Don’t assume your puppy will be able to ‘wing it’, but rather rehearse its role both at home and at the venue, as much as possible. Include the puppy’s sitter in the rehearsal, so a bond can be built.
Capture The Moment
Include your puppy in photos, and make sure your photographer has experience photographing animals, and knows what you expect. Lastly, prepare a bag for your puppy (include treats, a water bottle, toys, food, and anything else you think will be needed).
What If Your Puppy Can’t Make It?
If your puppy can’t attend the wedding, for whatever reason, there are still many opportunities to show how important it is to you!
- Include your puppy in a photo on your save-the-date card, invitation, and website.
- Find a wedding-cake topper that displays a puppy next to the happy couple.
- Use dog-themed accessories, like place cards, photo holders, or paw-print confetti.
- Send thank-you notes from all three of you, with a family photo.
Expect The Unexpected
Expect the unexpected. In your perfect wedding scenario, your puppy is a model citizen. But, puppies are puppies. It is not certain that it will gracefully prance down the aisle to you, it may bolt. Or it might need to pee. Or it gets overly excited and jumps on you. Be prepared to face every scenario with a sense of humour – it will make for a great story in the future!
Happy National Puppy Day, Fairies! Will you be including your pup in your wedding?
Digital Content Coordinator: Zoe Kanlis
Featured Image: Instagram