If you are an engaged couple and totally adore your dog, chances are you would love to include your canine kid in your wedding ceremony.
Having been to more than a few wedding ceremonies, I can tell you that including a beloved pooch in a wedding processional and/or wedding ceremony is something that creates sweet memories and brings great joy to a couple, family and friends.
So, how best to include Fido in your ceremony and wedding day?
1) Fido And Your Wedding Ceremony: Many couples love including their dog as “ring bearer” or “flower dog.” Select a friend or family member to be your dog’s handler and walk Fido down the aisle. At the front, the groom could meet/greet the dog and the handler and then the handler and dog would take their places/seats. An extra special touch would be to get a special “wedding mat” for your dog to rest on during the ceremony. This mat also makes for a great memento to take home from your ceremony!
2) Presentation Of Rings, Canine Style! If possible, work with your Officiant or Minister so that your dog (with handler) can present the rings. One idea would be to put the rings in a special little box that is tied around the dog’s neck and the rings are then taken off by the groom – either during processional or in the middle of the ceremony. This idea most often works best outside of a traditional church or religious venue.
3) Fido’s “10 Top Tips For A Happy Marriage” – Over the years, I have presided over wedding ceremonies where I have worked with a couple to create a unique “top 10 list” supposedly written by Fido about marriage and relationships. This list can be humorous, enlightening and serious and best of all, it can also include some inspiration for your family and friends.
4) Doggie Wear: Appropriate Canine Attire: What about a wreath of flowers around your dog’s neck or “tuxedo cuffs” on the front legs? Or perhaps a special bandanna with your names and wedding date embroidered on it? Every dog is very different in temperament so remember to dress up your dog in something comfortable and long lasting for the day.
5) Insure That Fido Is Comfy: Many couples I work with have their dog at their wedding ceremony and then someone takes the dog home or to a place for the night, especially if the reception is at a special venue, hotel or fancy facility. If your wedding is a casual picnic or backyard event, then it only figures that Fido would stay for the post-wedding festivities!
Most of all, include your dog in a way that is fun, happy and respectful and also allows your pooch to be comfortable and happy during your big day.
Annemarie Juhlian is a Wedding Officiant, Minister & Celebrant in Seattle, Washington. She creates personalized wedding ceremonies for couples of all faiths and traditions. Take a peak at Annemarie: http://www.marriedbyannemarie.com or call 425. 922.1325