June Wedding Blitz: Regina Duke Explains How to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding

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Please welcome Regina Duke to the blog today. Regina has advice for people who want to include their best friend — their dog — in their wedding ceremony. Some say it can’t be done. But Regina says it can — if it is done carefully and with forethought and a little planning ahead.

Fido at the Wedding

 Many people want to include their beloved pets in their wedding. We’ve all seen the adorable videos of handsome retrievers carrying flower baskets and ring cases. What the videos do not tell us is how they managed to get their dogs to do that!

With all the excitement and the long list of chores to accomplish before the big day, most people don’t even think about preparing their best friend for a place in the wedding party.

“He’s the perfect dog at home. He’ll be fine,” they say. “And the wedding photos will be extra special with our dogs in the picture!”

I could not agree more. However, here are some issues that must be addressed if you plan to include your dog in the wedding.

Unless you are getting married at home, do not expect your dog to behave at the wedding without preparation. A strange location, lots of people, and the excitement and anxiety that fills the room can have a serious affect on your dog. What should you do?

  • Make sure your dog has at least three opportunities to visit the wedding location prior to the event.
  • Decide ahead of time on a quiet safe place where your dog can rest when he is not walking down the aisle with you. If your dog has not been trained to wait quietly in a crate, designate someone to stay with Fido until he is needed in the ceremony.
  • Keep Fido on a leash at all times. He may be the friendliest dog in town, but if he expresses his kindness to a child or adult unaccustomed to dogs, you could have a very bad wedding memory.
  • Remember that Fido will still need his potty breaks, and request that your guests do NOT feed him at the reception. You do not want your evening ruined by a trip to the emergency vet with a sick or bloated dog.
  • And finally, if you have not been training Fido, be sure to consult with a local dog trainer about the role you want him to perform at the wedding. When possible, simplify! Do not expect him to carry the ring box in his mouth. He might swallow the ring. Instead, fashion a pouch for him to wear attached to his collar and tuck the ring into the pouch.

Note from Kelly: The only thing better than a mutt from the pound (Teagan, the brown one) is a rescue dog (Tora, the white one). They’re missed. Even by me!

Adding your dog to the wedding can be a lot of fun for you and your guests, but when you do so, remember that you must keep the dog’s needs in mind all day long. If you’re not sure that will happen, consider inviting your dog to the reception and let him skip the wedding itself.

Enjoy your day!

Regina Duke lives in northern Nevada with her two papillons and a princess Sheltie. When she’s not writing, she’s training dogs and rooting for the Yankees. When people fall in love in her books, you can be assured that there are dogs involved.You can find out more about Regina and her dogs at her website http://www.reginaduke.com.

If you liked this wedding related advice, there’s more. In honor of my daughter’s upcoming wedding, in the June Bride Blitz I’ve assembled a month’s worth of authors with wedding and bride related novels — and wedding stories and trivia to share. You can see more by clicking on the More June Bride Blitz on the sidebar to your right. I’m also picking a related item to feature on Amazon, just for fun. You can see those in the widget on the sidebar to the right, too. Don’t forget that I have wedding related books, too (look up in the navigation bar). Oh…and you can see the June Wedding Blitz on Pinterest, too.



About Kelly McClymer

Kelly is a writer, a mom, and a reading tutor for children with dyslexia. Plus, she is totally addicted to her iPad. Curse you, Steve Jobs.

3 replies
  1. Regina Duke
    Regina Duke says:

    Kelly, thanks for having me and letting me share my tips on your blog! Our dogs are such an important part of our family, we want them to share in all our big events.

  2. Kelly McClymer
    Kelly McClymer says:

    Regina, that is so true. I really like your tips for remembering that dogs get overwhelmed by big events, too. And I had to wonder if anyone ever had a dog really eat their ring. That would be an interesting exercise in patience. And then what do you do with the ring?!?

  3. Kristen
    Kristen says:

    Thanks for this great advice! We can’t wait to have our dog, Maya in our wedding, but I have to admit that I have had some anxiety about how this will go! I will keep all of your advice in mind to ensure everything goes as planned. 🙂

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