While the pandemic certainly put a damper on “wedding season” in 2020, wedding planning is back in full swing, and we know who the most loyal member of your wedding party is…

Your dog.  

Okay, maybe not yet, but you’ve been contemplating how you can include your furry family member in the occasion, right? If Maid of Honor or Best Man is off the table, we have some other memorable ways to include them that will definitely be a highlight of this special time in your life.  

1- Let’s backtrack and start from the beginning– The proposal!  

While the person being proposed to won’t have much control over this,  hopefully, the one doing the proposing will consider it, especially if your dog is a big part of the family. Discuss with your significant other ahead of time, and be honest if you always dreamed about your dog being included in this process. 

Now, more specifically, how can you include your dog in getting down on one knee? If you want direct involvement, how about a bandana that reads “Will you marry my mom/dad?” tied on your dog’s neck? If you want a less literal idea, take your pooch along on a favorite adventure and just have them with you during the moment. Whatever feels natural and most like “you”! Everyone loves a good full family photo opportunity, and this one will be full of genuine, happy smiles (and maybe a few happy tears too).  

2- Are you having professional photos taken for a Save the Date or invitation?  

This is the perfect opportunity to include your dog! Many photographers are thrilled to accommodate pets for an engagement shoot, so be sure to ask this question when shopping for one. While you and your significant other are the stars of the show, there’s no doubt your guest will love seeing your pup showcased on the invitation as well. It’ll be a great memory to look back on, and is a clever way to include your pet!  

3- You want your dog at the ACTUAL ceremony, and that is okay! Your wedding, your rules!  

The best part about planning your wedding is that you get to do whatever you want! If you want your dog at the ceremony, you will need to consider this when venue shopping. Ask questions regarding pet policies before you actually decide, and consider what you want your pet’s role to be. Ring bearer? Walk alongside someone down the aisle? Do you want them at the reception too? Who will be in charge of keeping an eye on your pet? While there are some logistics to consider, you won’t regret having them be a part of your day. Pets are like family, and for many couples, it just wouldn’t feel right to not have them there. Not to mention, everyone loves a dog in a bow tie or bridesmaid’s dress. Have fun with it!  

Bonus fun tip: If a pet is something you and your significant other will be getting further down the line, but animals are important to you, consider asking a local shelter or animal rescue to bring a pet to showcase, if pets are allowed. A wedding is a great place for a pet to find a potential forever home, and it’s a great photo opportunity for the rescue animal!  

Happy wedding planning!