Top tips for including your dog in your wedding, plus three great reasons why they should be your ring bearer
There are three things to know about the Create Gift Love team: we love dogs, we love weddings and we love dogs at weddings, so when a customer asked us if we could add a clip to our popular personalised leather wedding ring pouch to make it suitable for her dog to carry up the aisle on her wedding day it was an easy yes, and we knew we had to add it to our full time range.
For a lot of people their beloved dogs are as important to them as their family and friends - they’re called “man’s best friend” for a reason. If you’re a dog owner your life revolves around your pup, so having them be part of your wedding feels like an obvious choice. After all, your best human friends usually get a role in the bridal party so why not your dog too? Surely a brilliant idea.
Should you include your dog in your wedding?
If you’re planning to involve your dog in your wedding, you’re not alone. A 2022 study of Google search data by money.co.uk revealed that web searches for “pets at weddings” were up 200% since 2020, making it the biggest wedding trend in 2022, and a survey of pet owners in the USA found that over a third (38%, in fact) had included their pet in their wedding or engagement.
So, is involving your dog in your wedding right for you? Before you commit to the colour-coordinated collar and lead, here are three things we think you should consider…
1. Make sure to find a pet-friendly wedding venue
First things first, you’ll need to check if your wedding venue allows pet dogs on site. With dogs at weddings becoming more and more commonplace in the UK, lots of venues are open to the idea but you will need to check before booking, especially if having your dog involved at the wedding is a deal breaker for you. Remember, your dog will need access to outdoor space on the day and somewhere to walk or let off steam. Some venues will be happy for your dog to be part of the full day, others may only allow animals outside and some may not welcome pets at all so it’s important to check their animal policy. If you’re having the ceremony and reception in different locations you will need to check with both - a compromise might be having your dog around for only part of the day if necessary.
2. Nominate a wedding dog sitter and plan the big day logistics
If your dog is involved in your wedding it’s important that they have someone looking after them, as you won’t be able to be with them all day if you’re the one getting married. Allocate a dedicated dog sitter who can be responsible for making sure your pet has all they need: space, exercise, food, water and breaks from the action – weddings are long days, for pets as well as people! It’s also worth discussing whether your dog will be an all-day guest or if a few hours of fun will be enough for them. Do you need a dog sitter to take them home? Make sure you plan out the arrangements for who is collecting your dog from the wedding and when they will need to be available.
Your pet sitter could be a trusted dog-loving member of your wedding party (like the groomsmen or bridesmaids, if they’re up for the challenge!) or you could hire a dedicated dog chaperone for the wedding day – lots of small businesses here in the UK like dog sitters and dog walkers will offer this service. It’s best if your dog is familiar and comfortable with the people who will be taking care of them so you might need to plan in a few playdates beforehand.
3. Consider if a wedding is the right environment for your dog
You and your partner know your dog better than anyone else, including all their quirks and unique behaviours, so it’s important to ask yourself “will my dog enjoy my wedding day?”. How are they around people, crowds and noise? Can they sit still long enough to pose in photos, and would you really trust them with your wedding rings? Some dogs are naturally more laid back than others and would cope just fine at a busy wedding whereas others might be more anxious in a crowded environment. Some dogs love the attention and are the life of the party, but can their excitement turn into disruptive behaviour if they are having a bit too much fun? You might love the idea of having your dog there but the last thing you want is to be worrying about them all day if they’re not having a great time, so make sure a wedding is the right environment for them before you decide to bring them along.
How to include your dog at your wedding
Now that you’ve got your dog-friendly wedding venue, your wedding day dog sitter and you’re sure your dog will enjoy the day, it’s time to decide what their role will be.
There are lots of ways to involve your dog in your wedding day: you could have them walk you down the aisle, dress them in flowers to match your bridesmaids or have them centre of attention at the wedding reception by including them in your first dance. One of the most popular roles for dogs at weddings (and our personal favourite!) is having them be the ring bearer. Let us tell you why.
Why should you have your dog as your ring bearer?
It gives them an important role in the actual marriage ceremony
Aside from the obvious “do you take this man/woman…?”, “do you have the rings?” is one of the most important questions in the wedding ceremony. After all, the ring exchange can’t happen without them! If your dog is an important member of you and your fiancé’s life together, show how much they mean to you by giving them a special role at the wedding. Your dog might not be best suited to making a speech at the reception or throwing confetti outside the venue, but ring bearing is a straightforward (but significant!) job they can definitely master – especially with one of our customised dog ring bearer pouches.
These clever little handmade pouches hold your wedding rings inside and easily clip to your dog’s collar with a secure solid brass clasp so that your dog ring bearer not only looks the part but most importantly, they’ll keep hold of the rings safely too. Our leather ring pouches have been tried and tested to make sure they are comfortable for your dog to wear and easy to use during the ceremony. Plus, they’re personalised too making them the perfect unique wedding accessory and keepsake!
Your wedding guests will love it
First and foremost, wedding planning is about you and your partner, making sure your wedding day is a celebration of your love and life together as a couple rather than planning the whole day to please other people or trying to outdo other couples. Having said that, it’s definitely a bonus to have something special about your wedding that will make your day memorable in the minds of your guests - and what’s more exciting than your dog making a surprise appearance! People love pet stories (we all still remember the time a dog got into our school playground, don’t we?) and having your dog carry the rings at your wedding is sure to become a talking point that they won’t forget in a hurry.
It will look great in the photos
You can picture the scene already: photographer low to the ground, capturing the moment your dog proudly trots up the aisle carrying the wedding rings at the start of the ceremony. What a shot that will make. Again, wedding planning should be about creating an experience you will love and treasure rather than just orchestrating things that will look good on Instagram, but there’s no doubt that having your dog as the ring bearer will make a brilliant photo to look back on. If you want your dog to be part of your wedding day, having them as ring bearer is a sure-fire way to guarantee they get their moment in the spotlight with the pics to show for it.
Create Gift Love personalised dog ring bearer pouches photograph beautifully. We have four leather colours available to compliment any décor scheme (or dog’s colouring) and the personalised gold foiled elements look great on camera. Our handmade ring pouches are designed to look the part and be practical too. We think they deserve a spot in the wedding album.
- Personalised with your initials or wedding date on the front, with four colours to pick from and an optional message printed inside
- Handmade to order in the UK workshop from sustainable vegetable tanned leather, here in our small business workshop
- Easy to use with a solid brass spring clip to attach to the dogs colour and a simple stud fastening to access the rings
- Matching leather dog wedding collar available
We hope this article helped you to decide whether to include your dog in your wedding day and gave you some great dog wedding ring bearer ideas. If you do involve your dog in your wedding please please tag us on Insta (we said we loved it!) and share your photos of your proud ring bearer.
Also, if you do decide that your dog might not be best suited to join in the wedding day, why not include them in your engagement photo shoot? It’s a great way to involve them in the celebrations but takes the pressure off your pup, plus it’s a lovely way to spend some quality time together as a little family. We also make leather engagement ring pouches for pet proposals, which could be just as cute if your dog is a little more crowd-shy.