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Dogs At Weddings: What You Should Know

Updated on May 25, 2012

A Beagle Owner Chimes In

Having dogs at weddings is not exactly a new thing; you need only look at some old paintings to see that dogs showed up in more than one ceremony.

Still, just because it's been done before, doesn't mean that it's been perfected. There are tails - er, I mean, tales - of both joy and misery from having a four-legged friend participate in a wedding ceremony. Is having your dog at your wedding for you? Read on to find out more about this topic, and hopeful find a decision that works for you.

Want to go straight to pictures of dogs at weddings? Click here to see them on

Our Wedding-Dog Decision

What We Chose to Do

Our dog, Snoopy, is a beagle who is almost a year old. At first, we discussed using him as a ring bearer. We also wondered whether, even if he wasn't in the ceremony, he could still attend the reception.

The thing is, Snoopy just isn't a good party dog. He howls (ear-piercingly) every time someone comes to the door. He jumps up on people. He barks. He climbs up on chairs and steals food from tables at a moment's notice. He takes off the second you let go of his leash, and if you tie him up or try and keep him in one place, he howls some more. (For the record, he is fairly well-trained; beagles are just a very energetic, inquisitive, excitable breed!)

So, with heavy hearts, we took him to the kennel for the day. He came back, none the wiser that he'd missed out on all the fun.

I'll Admit, It Was a Hard Choice... - ... Because This Is How Cute He Is

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Why Snoopy Would Make a Poor Ring-Bearer - He Eats Everything

He's especially got a taste for metal, so I'm not sure that wedding rings would be safe from him.

(We are good pet-parents, but occasionally he'll slip past our defenses. He's very wily!)

Here are some of the things he's enjoyed...

  • Shoes
  • Lettuce
  • Newspaper
  • Tuna cans
  • Bed frames
  • Chair legs
  • Toothpaste tubes
  • Puzzle pieces
  • Telephone cords
  • Headphone cables
  • Wedding rings???

Then Again, Your Dog Is Different

Our old dog, Jake (may he rest in peace) would have been a great wedding dog. He was calm, and would never run away. Could your dog also be good in a wedding?

Questions to Ask Before Having Your Dog at Your Wedding - Things You Must Know

  1. Will the venue allow dogs? Many indoor venues don't allow dogs for health or safety reasons. Outdoor venues are sometimes more lenient (but not always). Having your dog at your wedding works best for a backyard affair, especially because he or she will feel more comfortable at home.
  2. Will my dog be comfortable? Some dogs are scared by large crowds, or people they don't know. You know your dog best; do what's right for your pet in addition to what's right for you.
  3. Will my guests be comfortable? Some people are allergic or afraid of dogs. You might not mind your dog jumping or begging, but others might. In addition, a dog whining or barking about being confined during a ceremony or reception can put guests on edge.
  4. Do I have someone to watch my dog? Weddings are full of tasty, interesting, and dangerous distractions for dogs, from food to decorations to favors. You really should have someone dedicated to dog-duty for the length of the event.

Dogs at Weddings: Terrific or Dog-Gone Terrible? - You Decide!

Should dogs participate in weddings?

Dogs At (and In) Weddings: Resources - Find What You're Looking For

Here are some great resources for learning more about dogs at weddings.

Here is a great article about dogs (and other pets) at weddings, on the Washingtonian site.

On The Bark, you'll find another great dog-wedding article.

If you missed it before, here are those cute pictures of dogs at weddings again.

More wedding dog pics on Pawnation.

Image source: Flickr.

So You've Decided To Have Your Dog In the Wedding

Here's what you'll need!

Dog Wedding Outfits: Dog Tuxedo - Turn Him Out In Style

East Side Collection "Yappily Ever After" Groom's Tuxedo for Dogs, 12" Small
East Side Collection "Yappily Ever After" Groom's Tuxedo for Dogs, 12" Small

This outfit is meant for small dogs. Click on the link to go to Amazon and see more sizes. And don't forget to make sure your dog will actually wear clothes before buying this :) I know Snoopy would tear something like this to shreds as soon as you turned your back.


Dog Wedding Outfits: Wedding Dress - Pretty In White

East Side Collection "Yappily Ever After" Wedding Dress for Dogs, 12" Small
East Side Collection "Yappily Ever After" Wedding Dress for Dogs, 12" Small

Is a wedding dress for your dog too much, or just right? You decide! I have to admit, this small dog does look adorable in the dress. As long as she decides to keep it on for a while, at least!


A Bow or a Tuxedo Collar Also Works - And Don't Forget the Ring Bearer Pillow!

Don't Forget Some Treats To Reward Your Dog - And Maybe a Toy or Two

It's hard work for a dog to be on his or her best behavior at a wedding. Use toys and treats as rewards!

Have You Seen Dogs At Weddings? - What Was Your Experience?

Anyone can vote here :)

What was it like having a dog at a wedding?

See results

Share them here. Anyone can chime in!

Suggestions for Having a Dog at a Wedding? - Or For Keeping One Away?

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    • misterhollywood profile image

      John Hollywood 3 years ago from Hollywood, CA

      Super informative hub and something I had not thought about until your hub!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      nice as visit

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      no stories, 'thumbs up' to you however for putting this lens and topic together.

    • profile image

      promotional-coupons-codes 6 years ago

      loved your lens. It's very informative and the dog dress is really cute.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      I guess it all depends on the dog. I've never been to a wedding with a dog, but I think it would be kind of cool! Depending on the personality, anyway. Cool idea for a lens.