Authored by: Jim Emerson
May 5, 2011

If you want your favourite four-legged friend to participate in your wedding ceremony there are a few things you can do in order to prepare your dog and your wedding party for the “Big Day”. The following suggestions may help.

• The first thing that you must do is confirm with your venue that your dog will be as welcomed as your other guests. If so, what are the rules? Must your “Best Man” remain on a leash or can Pluto roam freely among your guests?

• Consider your dog’s personality. Does s/he get along well with people or is s/he a nervous Nelly around strangers? Does your dog play well with children?

• Consider the impact of your dog’s participation on the wedding party and your other guests. Are any of your wedding party allergic to dogs? Tell them what you are considering in order to get their feedback well before your big day.

• Just as you will rehearse your part in the wedding ceremony, acclimate your dog to the venue and practice walking Oscar down the aisle. To help avoid accidents from an overly hyper dog, allow him to run, play and release lots of energy, and himself, before your ceremony.

• As the other members of your wedding party have gone to great lengths to look their best on your Special Day, don’t forget to give your dog a bath or take him/her to the groomer before the wedding. After all, you want him/her to be looking and smelling their best! Complete his/her look by purchasing a dog collar and leash that matches the bridesmaid dresses or a bow tie and top-hat to match the groomsmen’s attire.

• Determine how long your dog will stay with you at your wedding and who will care for him/her after your ceremony. Will s/he just walk down the aisle and then be taken from the venue once the reception begins? Or will s/he stay for the photos and dance the night away with your favourite uncle?

Have you ever been to a wedding where the ring bearer was a four-legged friend? How did it go? Would you consider involving man’s best friend in your wedding ceremony?

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About the Author: Jim Emerson

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