“My dog is way too crazy, they could never be a part of my wedding day!”
We can’t tell you how many times we have heard this.
We’ve seen the excitement in a future bride or groom’s face when they find out a service like ours exists, only to quickly fade when they imagine their “crazy” dog running wild on their wedding day.
Now, we’re not here to tell you that your dog will definitely be able to be a part of you wedding day, after all, you know their personality better than anyone & we ask all of our couple’s to truly consider their pet’s temperament before we talk about the best way for them to participate in the day.
That being said, we’ve worked with many dogs in the past whose owners initially thought would be “too crazy” & have always found the paw-fect way to include them in the wedding day.
Here are a few of our tips for those dogs out there that are easily excited, the ones that jump up to show their love, the leash pullers & crazy-eyed kissy-monsters.
If any of this sounds like your pup, we’re here to help!
Exercise Exercise Exercise
We can’t say this enough. Exercise before any of the wedding festivities is KEY. We customize each & every one of our wedding days to perfectly fit the needs of our furry clients. We want them to have a FUN day, an adventure, & to have a safe place to release some of those wedding day jitters.
When we say we carefully plan each day individually, we sincerely mean that, because it is important to monitor the dog’s energy levels; not just so they tire out, but so they don’t tire out too quickly. Especially for a high energy pup, it’s crucial they do not overdo it & expend all of their energy before the day is over. We take it slow, keeping their spirits high & their tongues hanging out just the right amount.
2. Choosing the Right Role for Your Dog
This is where considering your pet’s personality really comes into play. Many people think just because you are choosing to include your dog in your wedding day, instinctively means they will be in your ceremony.
This is far from the truth, and we’d say only about 50% of our couple’s choose to have their pet in the actual ceremony. They can still play a big part in your wedding day by coming to see you both while you’re getting ready for some good-luck-kisses, showing off their sweet face in photos, greeting your guests as they arrive or even just being there to celebrate once the ceremony is over & you are officially a family!
This is not to say a hyper pup can’t be a part of the ceremony, though.
First thing to consider is who will walk them down the aisle. If you have a high energy pup, make sure you choose someone who is comfortable handling them to walk with them. You should also think about whether it will be a good fit to have them stay up with the bridal party for the whole time. Maybe they could walk down the aisle & step away once the vows begin, this way they do not become a distraction at all. Or maybe they could go sit with a friend or family member whom they are familiar with & who understands their silly quirks.
Either way, it’s a very good idea to designate someone who is there specifically for your dog so that way if they do become too excited by all the love, they have a safe place to retreat to with a friend who can help get them there.
3. Allow Time for Your Dog to Familiarize Themselves with the New Environment
This may seem like a small detail, but it does go such a long way for making sure your pup is comfortable on the wedding day.
More than likely, your pup has never been to your venue, which means they are inundated with millions of new smells. How exciting!? They want to sniff over here & over there, & ooh, over here again! This is something we encourage our furry clients to do, we want them to sniff around as much as their hearts desire, but we want them to do this BEFORE the wedding photos & before the guests arrive for the ceremony.
There is a lot of stimulation for a pup on the wedding day & if you have an already excitable pup, they may need additional time to process it all & really take it in.
Again, we take it slow on the wedding day & always plan to have time on our side. We never want to rush your pup into photos or into meeting new people before they’ve had time to adjust & really soak in this new & exciting environment.
If your pup will be in the ceremony, we spend lots of time around the ceremony site to “practice” walking down the aisle & make sure they’ve had a chance to smell each & every spot, if they so choose.
4. Controlling a Dog that Jumps
While the answer to achieving this can essentially be found in the previous tips, we thought it deserved special attention.
Dogs get excited & when they get excited, a lot of those dogs jump for joy. We see it all the time & it can be challenging to train this response out of a dog. While it can be endearing to see your dog expressing pure happiness, it is not exactly a desirable response, ESPECIALLY on the wedding day - yes, we’re thinking about the wedding dress, grandparents & the little flower girl whom your dog just loves to BOOP.
We take special care in these situations by managing your dog’s excitement & constantly assessing their environment.
Advising those guests that want to say “Hi” to your sweet pup to get down to their level so they do not have the chance to jump up can be a great way to avoid bouncy behavior.
However, this may not be possible in fancy attire or if you’re a little kid & being knocked over is your concern. This is why putting someone in charge of your dog that has experience with large & high energy breeds is so beneficial. They will know the proper way to remain in control of your dog & how to handle them when those jumping beans kick in.
If you follow these important steps & carefully plan your pup’s day, we feel confident that any dog labeled as simply “too crazy” can still be a part of the wedding day.
Even if you decide including them in the wedding is just not a good idea, still make sure you give their care for the day serious thought. You’ll be able to relax & enjoy your day knowing you took the steps to ensure your dog is in good hands & being cared for.