Your pets are part of your family so it makes sense that you’d want them with you on your wedding day. We’ve officiated thousands of weddings and had the joy of meeting many family dogs; actually we’ve met horses, cats, birds, and more! Hah! It’s becoming increasingly more popular to include your dog in your wedding ceremony.
We are pet lovers so we understand why you’d want them to be there with you on your special day. We love when you ask us for ideas on how to include your beloved dog in your wedding ceremony. Before deciding on having your dog in your wedding ceremony think about the following:
- Does the venue or place you are having wedding ceremony allow dogs?
- What will you do with the dog after the ceremony?
- Will your dog bark at guests?
- Who will be in charge of the dog?
- Are you a easy-going couple who will laugh at your dogs unplanned actions? For example a bark or an excited run into your arms.
If all of the above are in check and you’ve decided to move forward with having your dog at your wedding ceremony here are some of our favorite ways to include your dog in your wedding ceremony:
- Take “family” wedding pictures together. Have your dog at the wedding and take pictures together. Dress them up in a suite tie or a wedding veil. Most often times a friend takes the dog home before the ceremony and reception so every can enjoy, but you still get “family” pictures together.
- Have your dog be the ring bearer. Some people even tie their real rings to the collars; we don’t advise doing this. One time George Jr officiated a wedding with a highly trained competitive show dog. When the bride whistled the dog rain down the aisle, jumped up to the his Mom (the bride) and gave her the rings!
- Have your dog be a “groomsman” or “bridesmaid”. Dress your dog up in it’s wedding attire and have him/her walk down the aisle with one of the members of your bridal party. This way they are standing close to you during the ceremony.
- Mention your dog in the wedding ceremony. This can be added to any part of the ceremony. For example,
- During the ring exchange, “(Bride’s name), I give this ring to you as my promise that I will walk with you and (Dog’s name), on and off the trail, wherever our journey leads us; living, learning loving, together forever.
- During the ceremony the officiant reads, “Throughout the past years (Bride and Groom) have built a beautiful life together filled with family and friends. They have built a beautiful home together, which now includes their little hairy dog child, (Dog’s name).”
- Remember a beloved dog that is no longer with you. The loss of a pet is very difficult. For many couples a dog is their first “child” and they will love them forever. A sweet way to remember your past pets is for the Officiant to say, “Before we commence the vows let us take a moment to remember (family members and close friends). Though he is absent physically, we invoke, through our thought and prayers, his loving presence. We pray that God might multiply beyond measure the blessings from him to Bride and Groom. We’d also like to remember Bride and Groom’s dog (Dog’s name) who is no longer with them, but will always be remembered as their baby.”
If you can’t figure out any ways to include your dog in your wedding ceremony:
- You can have a framed picture of your dog at the wedding. It’s a sweet way for your dog to be included without the worry of a crazy outburst 🙂
- Include the poem “How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog” by Taylor Mali in your ceremony
- Give your dog a shout out. Have your officiant mention your dog in the ceremony.