Got a wedding coming up? Hey, congrats! And also, your furry pal told us to tell you to start looking up wedding roles for dogs because he *really* wants to be involved. More and more people are including their dogs in their big day planning, but maybe you’re not sure just how to get your four-legged attention hog in on the fun. If you know you want your good boy or girl to be there for your celebration but aren’t sure just how to go about doing that, we’ve rounded up some of the best wedding roles for dogs below.
1. Dog of Honor or Best Dog
Sure, you love the rest of your wedding party… but do you love them as much as your dog? (You don’t have to answer out loud.) Have your pup stroll the aisle with the rest of the bridal party so he can be right by your side while you say your I do’s.
2. Aisle Escort for the Bride or Groom
Your pup’s by your side all the time—why should today be any different? You can walk or carry your pal down the aisle before seating her in a primo front-row spot. Some folks even recommend attaching a GoPro to your dog’s collar to get a perspective your videographer definitely isn’t gonna be able to catch.
3. Ring Bearer
This is a popular one—so much so that you can find all kinds of adorable canine ring bearer pillows, tuxedos, and more cute outfits online. Make sure your bud has someone walking her down the aisle, or consider using fake rings you quickly switch out. Rings are the kind of thing you don’t want to leave to chance!
4. Officiant Assistant
You’ll wanna run this by whoever’s doing the marrying around here, but so long as your minister (or recently ordained human best friend) agrees, it can be super cute to have your canine best friend “assist” them in marrying you and your partner. Just have him sit, stand, or lay down next to the officiant. He doesn’t have to remember any of the formal wedding lingo—he’s just gotta look cute.
5. Honored Guest
Don’t tell grandma, but the real honored guest here walks around on four legs and is covered in fur. And hey, maybe he doesn’t have to have a role—you just want him there with you because he’s your buddy and you love him. Get your pup his own front-and-center seat (or bed) where he can watch the ceremony along with your closest family members and friends.
You know how yappy you are when you walk into someone’s house and realize there’s a dog waiting to greet you by the door? Think about how much your guests’ll ruv having the same experience at your wedding! Bonus points if your fren is the kind of pup who extends a paw to new people.
7. Flower Pup
Truly gifted dogs might be able to sprinkle a basket of (non-toxic) petals down the aisle… but we tend to recommend pairing kid-friendly canines with a flower boy or girl. Your pup can carry the flowers; the kiddo can do the flower-ing.
8. Wedding Cake Topper
Know how your dog can get grumpy when you leave home without her and go do… anything? Yeah. You better make sure she’s represented on top of that cake with you! If she’s sticking around for the reception, you can also consider having a dog-friendly cake on hand for her!
9. Esteemed Model
Maybe your pal just wants to show up and look pretty. In that case, he just needs to hang out and pose for a few photos! (Pupper a little too stressed to participate in day-of festivities? Put him in your engagement photos!)
Tips for Including Your Dog in Your Wedding
- Before involving your dog in this momentous occasion, take your pup’s personality into account. You love him—but does he love being around big groups of people or hanging out with kids?
- Decide up front whether the dog will attend the reception, too. It’s gonna be fun, but is the food and dancing and noise going to be too much for your bud?
- Consider hiring a pet wedding attendant. (Yup: it’s a thing!) They’ll offer canine care before, during, and after your wedding, which lets you and your spouse-to-be focus on the whole “getting married” thing.
- Let your guests know there will be a pupper on the premises, so anyone who’s scared of dogs or has an allergy can plan accordingly.
- While you’re at it, inform everyone else of your plan. Make sure dogs are allowed by the venue, and keep folks from the catering company to the florist to the band in the loop.
- Practice, practice, practice. Bring your dog to the venue before the big day so they can familiarize themselves with it, and have one or twelve trial runs so they really nail their role.
- Dress ‘em up for the occasion. Some dogs prefer going paw naturale, but if you’re looking for the perfect wedding-day duds for your pal, we’ve got a list of adorable wedding outfits for dogs here!
Here Comes the Hound
Your wedding is pretty much guaranteed to be one of the biggest, best, and most memorable days in your life—and with your dressed-up pup along for the ride, the whole family gets to share those memories together. Whether your best bud is your best man or a flower girl or an assistant, he’s gonna love getting to be by your side on this huge occasion.
Which of these wedding roles for dogs would your pup ruv to play? Or if you’re already married, was your pal a part of your big day? Woof at us in the comments and share with anypawdy who is currently wedding planning!
Featured photo: Noelle Rebekah
Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, then check us out on Facebook and Twitter.