You’ve chosen the dress, finalised your dream venue and booked your photographer. The excitement of saying your vows in front of family and friends is soon to be reality. However, there is an important someone that you don’t want to have your special day without!

Having shared so many special moments of your life with your beloved canine friend(s), can you really imagine walking down the aisle without them there? They’re part of the family, so it’s natural that you feel they should be invited.

More and more, wedding couples are including their dogs in their big days, and they couldn’t imagine it without their doggy guest of honour!

Here Gia Visco, Wedding Planner at Sophisticated Weddings, Italy, preps you on how to include your pooch in your perfect day with the help of her Australian Shepherd, Zori.

Can't imagine not having your dog at your wedding? Wedding planner Gia Visco from Sophisticated Weddings, Italy, shows you how to include them!

  1. Give your dogs a specific role, but before deciding which one, make sure you consider their personality. Ask yourself the following questions:

Does your dog feel comfortable with other people?

Are they at ease playing with children or are they scared of people they meet for the first time?

Your wedding should be a happy day for everyone, including your dogs! These questions will help you to refine their role to suit them, whether that means they’d make the best “bridesmaid” or “best man” or would be better matched with a quieter role.

One of the most popular options is for your dog to be your ring bearer. You can even train them to be the perfect flower or sign carriers! Alternatively, they can take part in your ceremony simply by walking down the aisle with you. They’ll love to be by your side.

  1. Having your dog at your wedding requires a little extra work, but if you couldn’t imagine your day without them, it’s worth it. To be sure everything runs smoothly on the day, dedicate some time to training your dogs. And if you’ve got your heart set on certain photographs, remember to teach them the commands for them so that they’ll sit nicely right on cue. They love to please, so have a bridesmaid keep a few treats in a bag ready to reward them with.
  2. Include your dog in your family or couples portraits!

A well-groomed dog can mean many things. You could accessorise them to complement your outfits, add flowers to their collar or even a bow tie. But if they don’t like being dressed up, a bath and brush will have them looking their best for your photographs. Then have them sit beside you, get natural shots walking together, and a few close ups too.

4. Think about your venue and make sure they are happy to have your four legged friends attend without any issues. It’s also worth enlisting either a dog trainer or pet sitter to take care of your dog during the day. This means your dog will always be safe, sound and well cared for and you won’t need to worry when other things call you away (like your wedding breakfast, greeting guests, your first dance…) A dog sitter is well worth the investment.

Can't imagine not having your dog at your wedding? Wedding planner Gia Visco from Sophisticated Weddings, Italy, shows you how to include them!

  1. And for dog lovers yet to pop the question, involve your pooch in your proposal!

If your dog has been a part of your family for a long time, having them there will make the moment even more special. Already engaged? You can still include them in your engagement photo shoot. You’ll get some lovely, relaxed and romantic photographs with all the family, your dog included, free from the demands of your big day.

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