Dogs at Weddings: How to Successfully Include Yours

Our attitude towards our pets is that they are very much part of the family, so it makes sense that you’d want to include them in your wedding day, but …

Our attitude towards our pets is that they are very much part of the family, so it makes sense that you’d want to include them in your wedding day, but with the focus on having a fabulous time and looking after family and friends, it may not always seem possible. Cue some useful ideas from Amanda Fraser Fish, head of dog chaperone service Amanda’s Ark… Here’s how you can successfully include your pooch (or pooches) on your wedding day…

Ask your registrar and venue if they allow dogs at weddings and whether or not they are happy for your dog to be your ring-bearer. And remember to think about your dog’s temperament – will they be ok acting as ring bearer, or will it be too overwhelming for them.

Tell guests about your planssome people are allergic to dogs, so remember to tell your wedding party and everyone invited to your day that your dog will be there, too.

Make sure they are well behavedno one wants dogs jumping up at guests, barking at children or begging for food with those big brown eyes of theirs, so make sure you train your dog to greet people calmly – raise a paw, even – and, if necessary, keep them on their lead.

Assign a suitable chaperone for your dog – preferably someone who knows them well and who doesn’t mind missing out on parts of your day for dog duties, or hire a professional dog chaperone, like Amanda’s Ark, who will get to know your dog(s) first to establish a bond ahead of your big day.

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– Amanda Fraser Fish “Common concerns for couples are that their dog(s) may become stressed, overwhelmed, too hot or even scared. You don’t need these kinds of worries on what’s meant to be the most important and happiest day of your life. Hiring an experienced dog handler removes these worries so you can relax and enjoy your celebrations.”

Plan your photo opportunities – consider key factors like shade, light and heat and seek out dog-friendly areas your photography can snap you all happy in, whilst causing the least amount of stress on your dog.

Be ready to take planned and unplanned breaks – furry friends will need time out, not only to relieve themselves, but to enjoy some calm away from the hubbub. Make sure someone can take them off for regular breaks to help keep them happy.

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Designate a safe space for your dog(s) to eat, drink and catch some zzzs – make sure it’s in a quiet, shaded space, where they can properly relax, safe in the knowledge that it’s their special place.

Groom and styleyou’re bound to want your dog(s) to look as kempt and smart as you do. Think about taking them to the grooming parlour the day before or morning of your wedding to make sure they’re washed, clean and looking good. You might even want to dress them up with a doggy bow tie, a special collar or a neckerchief.

Rehearsego through the motions repeatedly with your dog and their handler so they know exactly what to do and when. It’ll make the day go a whole lot more smoothly.

About Amanda’s Ark

Amanda Fraser Fish is the owner of Amanda’s Ark Pet Care Service, is a fully insured and licensed dog handler and animal care expert with more than 15 years of experience in the business. Her dog chaperone wedding service promises to take full responsibility for couples’ dogs on their wedding day, allowing couples’ best pals to be part of the wedding, but without one of the wedding party having to be on dog handling duty. For more info visit

Image Credits: Ragdoll Photography

Kate Lovell
Author: Kate Lovell

Our very first writer for The Gay Wedding Guide with over 300 articles written. Unfortunately, she no longer writes for us as she left to focus on other copywriting and projects but she'll always have a dedicated place in our hearts here at The Gay Wedding Guide.

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