Doggie Do?

On my wedding day I would like to be surrounded by the people who I love the most. This also includes my dog Otis (pictured below). Derek and I adopted him from the Humane Society right after we moved to Ventura almost two years ago.  Otis truly has changed my life for the better with his constant cuddles and easy-going personality. I know he will play a huge part in keeping me sane through the wedding planning process, and naturally I would like to include him in some way.

Despite my large family, Derek and I do not have any relatives or close friends with children around ring bearer/ flower girl appropriate age. This is where I am hoping Otis can step in (if he is up for it) and take on a dual role. I am envisioning him in a special bandana (I don't think a bow-tie is his style) led down the aisle by a leash adorned with flowers or ribbons.

Sources: Gambol Photography, Shannon Renee Photography, Chattman Photography, 4, Cedar House Photography

I have been researching tips and pointers for including your pup in your special day and I have put together a "DO" list.

The Pet Parents' Check List of Dos before the Big "I Do"

  • DO double-check that your wedding venue allows dogs.
  • DO have realistic expectations of your pet. Even the most well-mannered pup may let out a bark or two, or some other unpredictable behavior.
  • DO prepare to be flexible on your wedding day. You can't force it. If you expect your pet to perform a certain task, have a backup plan in case he is not up for it.
  • DO assign someone who can handle your dog. Preferably someone your dog is familiar with, or a professional pet sitter -- keeping tabs on your pup does not have to be your job!
  • DO practice with your dog as much as possible before the wedding. If you want him to carry a basket or walk down the aisle with the rings, run him through his paces regularly as the wedding approaches.
  • DO schedule a grooming appointment a couple of days before the wedding. You'll want your dog to look his/her best, but not quite as good as you :)
  • DO prepare a travel bag of must-haves for your pet (include treats, toys and comfort items).

Sources:, 2 & 3, Victoria Souza PhotographyDottie Photography

For more tips on including your pet, check out this Huffington Post article.

Are you thinking about or did you include your dog in your wedding ceremony? What kind of role did they play? Anything else I should be considering?