Whether you’re planning a wedding inspired by international traditions, or dream of tying the knot in a winter wonderland, you know the big day wouldn’t be complete without Ruffles the Conqueror – your lovably hairless Chihuahua.
Your dog is your best friend (don’t tell your fiancé) and you want him or her to be a part of the most important day of your life. Having a dog at your wedding isn’t a new concept, but we’ve compiled some of the most adorable ways to include your furry pal in your big day that you might not have thought of.
1. Fluffy Groomsman or Bridesmaid
Traditionally members of the wedding party walk down the aisle in pairs composed of a groomsman and a bridesmaid, but what if you added your pooch to the mix? For example, your human best friend and maid of honor walks down the aisle with Fluffy, your beloved Pekinese.
Who wouldn’t love seeing a dapper doggo groomsman accompanied by a beaming bridesmaid? Some brides may not want the dog to steal focus, but if you’re close with your dog, you could consider walking down with him yourself, as well.
2. Dog Themed Save the Date
If you’re sending out save the dates, include a cute picture of your pooch. He’s excited his parents are getting married, too. If you didn’t have engagement photos done, why not make the entire save the date themed around your dog?
There’s tons of cute ideas and themes, and it’s an easy way to incorporate the fluff monster you love most into your wedding. If you are having professional portraits, it’s proven that dogs relax humans, so the photos will come out better and more natural with your little buddy around. Everyone wins!
3. A Ruff Speech
This one is just for fun, but if your dog is at the reception, you can have him perform this little trick to surprise and delight your wedding guests. When everyone is ready to give speeches, call the dog up, and invite him to “speak”, then hold the microphone so he can deliver a hearty bark of approval.
It’ll likely be the hit of the night, and you can be sure your dog won’t suddenly start telling your most embarrassing stories. Not because he doesn’t know them, but because no one would know what he was saying if he tried. Just be sure you don’t invite anyone from the Doolittle family.
4. Doggy Dances & Tricks
This one depends on how well-trained your dog is. If your dog is a trickster and can pull out all the stops, a little display of her best moves would be a fun addition to your wedding reception. Things like choreographed dances and other surprises are very popular at weddings – there’s no reason your dog can’t be in on the action.
Your fiancé and pup could even share their own “first dance” as an official welcome to the family. It will be something to remember, and a fun diversion for you and your partner to focus on leading up to the wedding.
Secretly choreograph a dance with your pup for an extra cute wedding surprise your fiancé won’t expect.
5. Fuzzy Ring Bearer or Flower Grrrl
If you feel comfortable giving your dog a job to do during the ceremony, these are perfect options. A doggy ring bearer isn’t a new idea, but it is a consistently adorable one. It’s also very simple – tie a ring box to the dog’s collar, watch him trot down the aisle, and voila! Instant adorableness and ring delivery.
While there’s tons of more traditional flower girl concepts to choose from, we don’t think anyone will complain if you dress your dog up in an frilly dress and send her down the aisle sans flowers – unfortunately, there are currently no dog breeds that have evolved to drop the petals.
Lastly, and this is extremely important, cute pup tuxedos and other dog wedding outfits come in a wide variety of sizes and colors.
6. Let Your Dog ‘Lead’ the Procession
You, your dog, and your spouse are all starting a brand-new life together after your wedding is complete. Even if you all shared a home, things change once you’re a married couple. Let your dog lead the way at the end of your ceremony, by being the first one down the aisle in the exit processional.
It’ll be a nice symbolic gesture showing your unity as a dog child and two pet parents. Plus, by the end of the ceremony your dog may be ready to head outside anyway!
7. Reception Puppy Snuggles
There are party animals, and then there are party animals. Everyone needs a break from the party sometimes, if at the best wedding receptions. If you have a lounge area, have your pooch available for snuggles for anyone who needs a moment to relax. Or, if your pet is good with large groups of people, why not invite him to the party?
He can wander to his heart’s content and receives pats, snuggles, and “You’re a good wedding boy!” praises from all your guests. This is particularly great if your wedding has children. Not only will your dog be a nice addition to the evening, but also a nice diversion for the kids.
Planning a gorgeous outdoor wedding is the perfect way to make your big day dog-friendly. You can even invite your guests to invite their own pups!
8. Canine Cake Topper
You’ve created the beautifully customized cake of your dreams and you need a cake topper to match. In addition to showcasing you and your new partner, incorporate a doggy figurine too. If your dog is a common breed, you should be able to find something easily in a retail store.
If they’re a mix of various breeds, you may be able to commission something from an artist. Pet-friendly artists on sites like Etsy abound, and will be happy to create your dog in miniature form.
9. Have Your Dog Walk You – Down the Aisle
Another cute idea involves the wedding officiant asking who gives you away – only, instead of your family, they ask your dog. It’s sure to be memorable and you’ll finally get to see what your dog REALLY thinks about your union (just kidding, dogs love weddings – twice the people in their family equals twice the pets and twice the treats).
10. Tail-Wagging Security Detail
Nothing’s cuter than a “tough” doggo. OK, you caught us, we really just want an excuse to promote more dogs wearing tiny sheriff’s outfits, but how cute would it be to have a doggy security detail at your nuptials?
They can guard the reception and make sure no one even gets close to ruining your special day. And again, any excuse for dogs in costumes is always a great idea.
If you do take a liking to any of these ideas, we recommend ensuring you have a few family members or friends to serve as doggy day care. You’ll have enough to worry about on your big day!