(Closed) Dog involved in the wedding – advice

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2490 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

We had our dogs come to the ceremony venue after the ceremony for pictures. Our wedding was out of town and they were staying at a kennel closeby, so the kennel people brought them out for us. Honestly, I love that we have pictures with them but it was pretty stressful on both dogs to be around so many people and I don’t know if I would put them through it again. My brother took really good care of them and calmed them down because they were so excited and stressed. They hadn’t seen us for almost two days though so I think that a had to do with it.


A friend of mine had one of her bridesmaids walk her dog down the aisle… the dog is usually super well trained but she got overwhelmed and almost had to be dragged down the aisle.


It can be done but definitely be prepared for anything to happen!


Post # 5
2684 posts
Sugar bee

I think you should have one of the GM’s walk him in.  The best man may be carrying a book or items for the ceremony if he’s officiating, so it would be better for him to not have his hands full.  It’s probably also better that the GM’s are walking in from the side instead of down the aisle.  Fewer people to distract him during the ceremony.  We’re having our dog in the wedding too and I just know that she’s going to get sidetracked with guests when she walks down the aisle.  She loves people and is very social.  I wouldn’t have it any other way because she is really important to us 🙂

Post # 7
89 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

My small dog was involved in my last wedding (I’m divorced).  It was outside and about 50 people and my dog is well socialized.  She walked up the aisle with my mom and sat in the front row with her during the ceremony (dog was on the ground- not in a chair).  ha ha  We did photos afterwards and never had a problem with her behavior, muddy paws, etc.  A close friend of mine who the dog likes a lot took her out to potty before the ceremony (didn’t want her to squat half way up the aisle! LOL) and then when we went inside for the reception my friend took her and put her up.  No one said anything negative and I think people would’ve been shocked had my dog NOT been there!  ha ha  The only thing my dog did was when I said “I do” she made a crying/groaning noise.  ha ha   At the time it was funny and everyone thought it was cute.  Looking back maybe it was an omen of things to come with my now ex!  ha ha ha

Post # 8
283 posts
Helper bee

My dogs are both under 12lbs, they’re technically the family dogs but I love them dearly and I think it would be fun to have them in the ceremony. I’m an animal girl, as is my Fiance, but I’m definitely more of a critter person (I drew the line at bringing my pet rats, haha!)

We’re having them come for the ceremony, so they’ll probably be there 30min before the ceremony, and then they’ll participate and stick around for a couple of pictures. The kennel they’ve been going to when we go on vacation since they were puppies is just 10min away, so one of our family members is going to volunteer to drive them the 10min to the kennel, where they will have a sleepover for the night and be picked up the next morning by my mother and father.

I’m thinking my Maid/Matron of Honor, who is my sister, will be walking in with them and her escort will be my younger brother, that way the dogs will be with people familiar to them, and I’ll just have one of my other bridesmaids hold my flowers while my sister wrangles the dogs. I have given her full permission to break form and scoop up a dog if they get panicky, I understand that they’ll be in a room with tons of people and will probably be SO SO SO EXCITED OMG PEOPLE because that’s just what animals are like, and I really don’t mind if they’re around and things don’t go exactly as planned, it will keep it fun and informal.

My dog does have respiratory issues so he does cough and sneeze a lot (and honestly if you didn’t know him you’d think he was diseased and would probably not like him) but if he coughs or sneezes I won’t be concerned about it, if he’s really nervous I may even pick him up. Animals are apart of my life, and for some reason I always end up with pets who need a little extra TLC, so for my dog to need a little extra TLC during the ceremony wouldn’t surprise anyone and it would probably cause a couple laughs, they know how much I love all 9lbs of him and how important it is that he and his brother are there with me.

Post # 9
47214 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@AlmostMrsJPS:  If you are concerned about dirty paws and your dress, you have plenty of time between now and the wedding to teach him not to jump up on you.

I also suggest you ask the groomsmen if they want to escort the dog. They should be given the option and made to feel totally comfortable to say no.

Post # 10
133 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013


 we did pretty much the same thing that @orchidaloha did. We had a co-worker of mine take the dog for the weekend, and they brought her to the church after the ceremony for pictures.  people loved seeing her! (everyone knows how crazy-important she is to us!). there was definitely some excitement and jumping on her part- and it had rained earlier that day, so double the chance of dirty paws!-but it turned out fine. She even jumped on me at one point. I don’t know if I was just in a daze or what, but everyone around me freaked out about the dress more than I did! I was just happy to see my pooch! (and, after the fact, it didn’t even leave a mark, so it was fine). 

“But, Dad, I do this all the time! Why is it bad now?”

Post # 11
1152 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@AlmostMrsJPS:  Commenting mostly to follow, we are planning to have our 20lb terrier in our beach wedding in Florida this October…I think we’ve got it all worked out, but I definitely want to see what others think!

I’m planning to have one of my BMs walk him down with her, someone he already knows well and is comfortable with, and we’re going to have a bone up front with a mat/blanket/something for him to lay on and focus on the bone during the (short) ceremony.

Post # 13
9589 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I don’t mind dogs in weddings, but I would just make sure your Groomsmen or whoever you want to put in charge of him is okay with it. A gal I work with had dog duty for her friend’s wedding and she was pretty upset afterwards. I guess she missed out on a lot of the “getting ready” type things because she had to care for the dog, and the dog barked during the ceremony and she had to take him out, so she missed most of the ceremony too. And then afterwards she had to take the dog home so she missed out on more pictures and socializing. She wasn’t a very happy camper.

Post # 15
2480 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’d have loved to have my dog involved (briefly) in our wedding but dogs are not permitted at civil ceremonies where we got married. Luckily, my friend brought her dog along to greet us after the ceremony so there is a Jack Russell terrier in my wedding pictures. She’s just not my JRT!

What I would say is that my dog would have had minimal involvement though. For sure he would have got too excited and barky at the sight of all those people in the family that he just loves. There’s no way we’d have had him with us for the whole day because, to be honest, I think it would have been a case of our indulgence over his comfort . Because actually, most dogs won’t love a wedding and certainly not a whole day at a wedding.

I also think even well trained dogs are likely to get a tad carried away and any friends of mine who have had their dogs involved discovered this. They also needed someone to take charge of the dog and make sure that it gets some chill-out time. This is not something you are going to have time to do.

So sure, have the dog walk in with one of the Groomsmen. But be prepared that dogs are as unpredictable as very small children. Thus your picture of his involvement may not necessarily be reflected in reality/

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