Hey guys! Colorado is one of the most dog friendly places I have ever lived. I photograph so many weddings where the couple includes their pup(s) so I have some advice to share! Keep scrolling for my top 3 ways on how to include your dog on your wedding day.
How to Include Your Pup On Your Wedding Day
1. Consider Your Pups Personality
Weddings can be a lot. It’s just the truth! If your pup does AMAZING with lots of people around, and away from you (since you’ll be busy getting married, socializing, and taking photos), then bring them! But if your doggo has separation anxiety or doesn’t listen to basic commands, you should totally save yourself the stress and honor them at your wedding while they’re relaxing at home. PRO TIP: Not all pets belong at a wedding! Engagement sessions are a great time to include them. Engagement sessions are a more intimate setting which can ensure more predictability for your pup. You can always use those photos as table markers or a variety of other wedding decor!
2. Find A Dog Friendly Venue
There are so many Colorado wedding venues that are outdoors. Like, I’m talking in the middle of the mountains or on ranches. With that, many of the owners of those venues are SO happy to let your pup roam. I had a couple who had 7 dogs (including three of mine–they insisted, it’s a long story lol) running around and having a blast at their ranch wedding! The pups were safe and free to do whatever, they cleaned up scraps during the reception, and just did their own thing. It was one of the coolest wedding I’ve ever been to! PRO TIP: If you’re inviting a small gang of pups, make sure they’re well behaved in large gatherings and ALL GET ALONG WITH EACH OTHER.
3. Ask A Friend to Be A Pup-Sitter
There are sosososo many people who would literally LOVE to be an integral part of your day! Find someone your pup loves (& listens to) and ask them to be in charge of your doggo while you’re doing things like getting ready/ dressed, during the ceremony, or reception! Or ask someone to take your pup home from during the reception if your venue doesn’t allow dogs inside! Your pup will need food, water, and potty breaks and your friend could handle all of that for you. PRO TIP: Cocktail hour it the perfect time for your pup-sitter to sneak out to drop your dog off at your hotel or Air Bnb and arrive just in time for the reception!
Some More Tips to Make Your Day Run Smoothly
- Inform guests and vendors so those with allergies and/or fear of dogs can plan accordingly.
- Bring your dog to venue before wedding so they can sniff and explore. You want them to be comfortable and semi-familiar with the area. This will help prevent the “OMG NEW AREA MUST SNIFF AND PEE ON EVERYTHING” from happening.
- Prepare a to-go bad for your pup! Include treats, water/food bowl, any medication they might need, poo bags, toys, and anything else that you can think of.
- BE FLEXIBLE! Dogs are dogs. If they decide last minute that they don’t want to be the ring bearer, or want to roll in a puddle of mud, don’t let it ruin your day! Prepare for anything and keep an open mind.
Okay, friends! I hope those tips about how to include your dog on your wedding day were helpful! Holler if you want to brainstorm some more options!
CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE WEDDING WITH 7 DOGS IN GUNNISON, COLORADO!