Including Dogs who ought Not to Be Included

My twenty-pound bucket of fur is the center of my world, but she isn’t getting anywhere near the aisle come my wedding day. Dolly, a five-year-old mutt we’ve been harboring for about a year, is not as well-behaved as some of the painted ring-bearing greyhounds and standard poodles that I see in so many wedding albums.

Not today, Lady.

No, my little corgi/spaniel/Pomeranian/warthog urinates constantly, especially at inappropriate and inconvenient times. The last thing I need is my grandmother in her Sunday best staring in shock as my pint-sized ray of sunshine tinkles half way down the aisle – or, God forbid, on the tail end of my stark-white gown.

 

So how can we include our fur babies in our wedding experience without suiting them up with ring pillows and praying for the best? Here are a few ideas I plan on taking advantage of come game-time:

The Wedding Engagement Shoot
Engagement photo shoots are a fun way to express your creativity outside of stuffy wedding formal wear. If you’re thinking about taking photos at your favorite Zen garden or dog-friendly arboretum, bring Fido along! Throwing an unexpected (and sometimes unpredictable) element into the mix may produce some fun photos you’ll treasure forever.

Save-the-Date Photos
The same idea as the engagement shoot, but with more distribution possibilities. Photos for save-the-dates also present a fun opportunity for some shots of you and your puppy, with the added allure of painted signs with your wedding date on them! Load everyone into the hatchback, bring a big whiteboard, some colored markers, and a photographer, and capture your wedding date AND your frolicking.

Doggie Cake Toppers
A plastic version of my dog is my favorite option as it removes my dog’s unstable bladder from the wedding equation entirely. Find some cute breed-specific cake toppers and place them either on top of your wedding cake or a tier or two below your main topper. If you’re without a wedding cake, pop those puppies on the dessert table or escort card table. Any table will do, really.

 

The Morning-Of
If you’re hiring a photographer for your wedding, make sure you’re including “morning-of photos” in your photo contract. While it might seem weird at first to have someone following you around as you’re getting ready for your big day, you’ll be glad those moments were captured after the fact. Take a second before you leave for a nice big lick on the nose from your other best friend. Maybe two.