Tips for Including Dogs in Your Engagement & Wedding Photos


February 17, 2021

If you’re someone who has a furry babe at home, you know that they hold an incredibly special place in your heart! Which means that you’re of course going to want to include them on one of the most important days of your life – your wedding day! Especially now that there are all sorts of cute bandanas, collars, and even some flower crowns for the pets in our lives to dress up for the wedding! If you’re planning on including your little buddy in your engagement or wedding day photos, here are some tips to make that go as smoothly as possible:

floral wedding collar for dog

Practice/Train Beforehand 

Especially if you’re going to have your dog walk down the aisle during the ceremony, you’ll want to spend some time training them to ensure that they will come when called and not get too distracted with all the people around them. But even if you’re only having them jump in for pictures, it’s still good to make sure that they at least know “sit” for photos! It’s also good to make sure that your dog is well socialized before engagement pictures or the wedding day. If you know that your dog is really protective of you and your fiance, having them around a lot of new people may not be the best decision. Work with them around people to make sure that they will respond well to situations that may be overwhelming!

Purchase Their Attire

There are so many adorable options out there for your pup to wear for the big event! If you don’t see what you want at your local pet shop, Etsy is full of customizable options for them to wear! It may be worth it to try and find something sooner rather than later in case an online option will take a while to customize or ship. But what’s great about dogs is that they don’t need to be wearing anything to steal the show! If you’d rather not spend the money on something for them to wear, you can’t go wrong!

dog as a groomsmen

Schedule a Grooming Appointment 

It’s never a bad idea to have your dog groomed before they’ll be in these special photos! Especially if your dog is one that doesn’t shed it’ll be good to get a fresh cut for them. Even if your dog is one that does shed, having them be groomed could still be beneficial since they’ll be around arguably the most expensive items of clothing that you’ll ever purchase. You don’t want a smelly or muddy dog getting too close to a white dress or a perfectly tailored suit. I would also recommend asking the groomer to trim their nails at this appointment in case the dog walks too close to your dress and/or veil on the wedding day! The last thing you’ll want would be a ripped veil before the ceremony starts!

Designate a Dog Person

Whether it’s engagement photos or wedding day photos, you’ll want to make sure that you have a specific person along to handle the dog and take them away once the photos with them are done. Dogs, while amazing, are incredibly distracting and only want to be with their people. This makes it incredibly hard to take uninterrupted photos of you on your wedding day. It also means that having someone take them home or away from you guys very important. Even if it’s just for engagement photos, you still don’t want to have them along the whole time since you won’t be able to hold the leash or keep track of them without it being really distracting. Try to pick someone who loves dogs, and that your dog knows, to care for them and to take them home when the pups portion of the day is done.

dog in wedding photos

Pack Lots of Treats & A Leash

Even if your dog is the best behaved dog on the planet, you still want to eliminate any risk of them being disobedient, or worse, getting away. Having lots of motivating treats around to keep your dog engaged and behaved is never a bad move! And keeping them on a leash will keep them close by. Even if you don’t normally use a leash, being in a new place and around new people can often excite or startle a dog and the risk is always there that they would run off. At the risk of being dramatic, I don’t know that anything could ruin a wedding day more than losing your beloved pet!

Try to Keep Them Outside

This is helpful to keep in mind for a couple reasons. For starters, there are very few venues who would allow for pets inside. Especially if food is being served, it would probably violate quite a few health code violations. It’s also helpful because there’s no way to know if the people you’ll be around have any allergies to dogs or pets. You’d hate to have one of your guests have an allergic reaction or have to leave your wedding because a dog had been around. Even if the dog isn’t coming inside while the guests are there, they may still leave around hair or dandruff that could cause people’s allergies to flare up later on.

dog at wedding

Even though it might make your wedding day or engagement photos a tiny bit more stressful, I’m a firm believer that having a dog around also leads to a lot more joy! You won’t regret having photos with your four legged buddy and it will definitely be worth some of the hassle! Our dogs hold special places in our lives and bring us a lot of comfort! You don’t want someone that you love so much being the only one not invited to your wedding!

For more wedding planning tips, click here for the rest of our Wedding Wednesday posts!

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