Puppy Love: How to Incorporate Dogs at Weddings.

They say dogs are man’s best friends and it’s true. When you’ve had a rough day, they’ll look at you with those puppy dog eyes and are able to help you forget your worries (momentarily) or when the whole world seems to be turning against you, they’ll be the ones standing by your side. Their loyalty is unquestionable so it’s only fair that they get to share a slice of your happiness on your big day, be it through posing for a few photos or the more difficult task as a ring bearer. Here are some tips to ensure your wedding will be paw-fect.

Photo credits (clockwise from top left): 13:13 Photography, Nylagray Photography, Photography and More, Lucky PicturesKT Merry Photography, Allyson Magda Photography via People.com, Martha Stewart Weddings

1. DO ask the venue whether they are pet-friendly. The last thing you want is to find out your pooch is unwelcomed just before you walk down the aisle.
2. DO ask yourself whether your dog can behave on its own. You won’t be able to discipline or coddle it at all times, so you’ll need a friend or family member to help out and your pooch must be receptive to that.
3. DO NOT carry your dog when you’re wearing your wedding dress unless you are 100% fine with having paw prints as additional patterns.
4. If your pooch is acting as ring bearer or walking you down the aisle, make sure to rehearse. Even then, it’s no guarantee your dog will do as it’s told on the day itself.
5. Only allow your dog to be the ring bearer if it is fully disciplined and has no priors with eating things (think Marley in Marley & Me).
6. Hire a dog-sitter (yes they exist) for the day as they’ll have had experience handling dogs of all nature.
7. DO NOT dress your pooch up like a lunatic. A simple bow tie, wreath or ribbon is all that’s needed to keep them looking adorable.
8. If your dog has a history of barking or has withdrawal symptoms from you, it’s best to leave them at home. It’s not ideal but you don’t want it to ruin your day by chasing the flower girl down the eye or taking a chunk out of your wedding cake before it’s even been cut. Instead, incorporate your furry friend in your engagement photos if you’re having any.

**If you decide to leave your dog at home but still wish to incorporate your canine in your big day, keep a lookout for the post on how to share their love.

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