For many their special day wouldn’t be complete without a faithful companion by their side – and by this I mean the four legged variety! With many couples increasingly choosing to include their canine companion in their big day, some careful planning can ensure the day is stress free and memorable for you both.
Lucy and Rowan recently held their vintage styled wedding in the Lake District. For them, having their dog Marty by their side was really important. They met whilst studying at Lancaster University and lost contact, but a few years later bumped into each other by chance and have been inseparable ever since! Both animal lovers, they spotted Marty on their local animal rescue centre's website and instantly fell in love!
Lucy & Rowan booked and planned their wedding day in 6 weeks (wowee!). They wanted it to be a relaxing day that they could enjoy with their closest family, friends and of course their dog, Marty. They chose the Lake District as their wedding location, a special place that they visit to go walking in the hills with Marty. Lucy runs a craft business selling felt flower stems in her free time (check out @houseforpixies on Instagram) so it was important to them to use beautiful handmade goods and accessories for their wedding. Lucy made her bouquet and her sister made the cake!
So to ensure your dog friendly wedding goes as smoothly as Lucy & Rowan’s, we’ve compiled a few top tips for anyone who wishes to include their hound in the day:
- Location – it may sound obvious but if you are planning to have your dog as part of the day, ensure that your venue is dog friendly upfront so you can decide which parts of the day you can have your dog with you. Lucy & Rowan weren't able to have Marty with them at the Registry Office, so they arranged for a local dog walker to meet them when they arrived who took Marty for a nice walk. Marty loved it and it meant that he got to do something fun whilst the ceremony took place. He then went with Lucy & Rowan for photographs at a nearby beauty spot and to the restaurant for the reception. Seamless planning and a win-win for everyone!
- Flow of the day – think about when and where you’d like your dog to make an appearance. Do you see them being part of the whole day, the Ceremony, the reception, the photos or just one of these? This may depend on how your dog copes with crowds of people and if you are able to find someone you’d be happy with being your dedicated ‘dog minder’ for the day! Which brings us on to the next point…
- Dog Minder – do you have a friend or relative that would be happy to act as official pooch minder for the day? You could think about giving this role to an older child (along with a responsible parent!) and officially thank them during your speech ‘thank you’s . But if you’d prefer to use a trusted dog walker you are familiar with, then have an open chat about it with them - tell them about the day and find out what they’d be happy doing to help – perhaps arriving in time for the photos…
- Photography – when you are meeting prospective wedding photographers let them know upfront that your pooch will be a part of your special day. Ideally your photographer may have experience with animals. If you are planning an engagement or pre-wedding shoot, this is the ideal time to do this! Lucy & Rowan’s photographer Gail of photographybygail.co.uk, understood their desire for a relaxed day! She suggests that “all good dog photographers should spend a few minutes getting to know your four legged friend” for example, having a quick game with their favourite toy which helps to build trust and a connection, which will show in your photos.
- Outfit & Accessories –you’ve carefully planned your outfit but have you planned your pooches? There are some beautiful accessories for dogs. Take a look at our bow ties and collar sets which Lucy & Rowan discovered for their big day. As Marty was going to be attending the big day, they wanted him to look smart. They chose the Liberty Print bow tie to coordinate with Rowan's shirt. Accessories help add something special to your photos, and are a great excuse to pamper your pooch! Think about matching accessories to your theme or style of the day.
- Treats– and lots of them! You and your photographer may appreciate a few treats on hand to reward your special pooch for their good behaviour or even to help them pose for your pics! Did you know you can also get doggy cupcakes? You could even create a wedding breakfast for your dog! The Barking Bakery do some awesome treats – we love the iced woofins and trio of mini woofins all made with dog friendly ingredients!
Photo Credits: Gail Caddy