The Pros and Cons of Having Your Dog In Your Wedding

Pros and Cons of Having Your Dog In Your Wedding

For many of us, our dogs are like our children. We love sharing experiences with them and want to include them in important events like our wedding day. But doing so often comes with some sacrifices, which is why it’s important to decide if having your dog in your wedding is the right decision for you.

Savannah at Our Wedding - Photo by Michael Will HAVING YOUR DOG IN YOUR WEDDING
Savannah Dog hanging out by our feet during couple’s portraits. Photo by Michael Will.

Pros of Having Your Dog In Your Wedding

  • You get to spend the day with your dog – who doesn’t want some puppy love on one of the happiest days of their life?
  • You don’t have to worry about your dog because you know where they are and what they’re doing.
  • Photos with your pup!! Need I say more?
  • Your dog gets to hang out with all of their favorite people. And they get to hang out with them (our guests loved hanging out with S-Dog at our wedding).
HAVING YOUR DOG IN YOUR WEDDING - Annika, Mark and Sidney the Dog
Annika and Mark hanging out with Sidney during Couple’s Portraits.

Cons of Having Your Dog In Your Wedding

  • Someone has to be watching your dog at all times. What if you forget that your pup is tied to a post outside, only to find them panting in the sun a while later? Someone has to remember to feed them, walk them and to make sure they stay out of trouble. It’s easy to get caught up in the day, but neglecting your dog is not okay.
  • You have to make sure friends and family members know about any food allergies or temperament issues.
  • Dogs often have dirty paws and you’ll most likely be wearing something very expensive, as will your guests.
  • Not everyone “LOVES” a dog. I know, it’s hard to believe, but some of your guests may not be as happy as you are to have fido there.
Savannah hanging out by our feet.HAVING YOUR DOG IN YOUR WEDDING
Savannah hanging out with guests at our wedding. Photo by Michael Will.

Other Things To Consider:

  • Your venue – Not all wedding venues allow dogs on site. Definitely check on their pet policy before making a decision.
  • Is there a doggie day care near by? You can always have your pup play a part in the ceremony and photos, then have a family member drop them off for some play time. We love our Doggie Day Care – The Barking Lot.
  • How is your dogs temperament?  Is your dog a fear bitter or anxious? Do they get bored and destroy things? Do they stress out and bark a lot? If so, you may want to leave them at home. However, if your dog is a social butterfly who can’t get enough ear scratching, they’ll feel right at home.
  • Is your dog easily distracted? If you want to give them an important job, like being a flower girl or ring bearer, they need to have a solid come, sit and stay. Otherwise, your wedding ceremony could be interrupted while you chase your dog across the venue. It sounds funny, but when you’re mid vows, it’s not quite as cute. (If this is something you really want, my dog trainer, Scott Schwab actually offers dog obedience classes designed for weddings!)
  • Where are you heading after the wedding? Christian and I went on a rock climbing road trip. We took Savannah dog with us, like we do most of our road trips. We loved having her, but there were a lot of restrictions, like what hotels we could stay at or where we could eat. We made it work but at times it was tough, and we gave up a few experiences in exchange.

Was your dog part of your wedding? Did you decide against it? Feel free to share your thoughts below!

Savannah giving me a high five at the wedding in exchange for her favorite bone.
Savannah giving me a high five at the wedding in exchange for her favorite bone. Photo by Michael Will Photography