For so many of us, having a dog is the same as an extra family member and for many, it only seems right that they would be part of their big day. But there is a lot to consider when it comes to having man’s best friend walking down the aisle with you. If you feel like you can’t tie the knot without them, there’s a number of steps you can take that will help keep your dog happy on your wedding day – and if they’re involved, that has to be the most important thing! The team at Rivenhall Oaks, a bespoke wedding venue in Witham, share their tips for how you can incorporate your favourite canine into your big day.
Consider your dog’s temperament
Before making any decisions you need to determine if the venue allows for pets- Rivenhall Oaks caters for dogs so you can bring your furry companion along for your special day. Remember to only have your pup come along if you think they will enjoy it! For puppies or mischievous dogs you may want to consider having them present at the ceremony but keep them at home for the reception with a dog sitter. Alternatively, you can always incorporate your furry friend in a different way by having them feature in your engagement photos!
Think about travel arrangements
The last thing you want to be doing on the morning of your wedding day is to be running around trying to work out whether a Labrador can fit in a mini cooper with three bridesmaids! Decide on travel arrangements in good time to minimise the strain on you and your dog. If it’s a long journey to the ceremony make sure the car is well ventilated and your dog has a fresh air supply and water. Make sure they have somewhere comfortable to sit and for the smaller pooches, ensure they are strapped in safely.
Assign someone in particular to take responsibility for them
Enlist a responsible cousin or friend to take charge of your precious pooch during the ceremony. Make sure the person in charge of your canine companion knows if they are prone to barking at loud noises, or making a break for it when they’re off lead so they know what to expect. It’s always necessary for dogs to have a fresh supply of water but this is even more important if the weather is hot or they are stressed- weddings can more often than not, be both of these things! Invest in a collapsible bowl to make sure your dog is hydrated during your big day.
Have a quiet area for them
Having somewhere your pet can take time out if needed is a great idea, especially in such a busy environment. Consider having a room that is well ventilated away from the main celebrations, this would be a good place to have someone sit with your dog if your pooch is getting a little over-excited.
Involve them in the day
If your pup is making an appearance on your big day, why not have them carry the rings? They might need some practice at walking down the aisle but it could result in some great photos and it’s a good way to make sure your dog is part of the special day. If they will be dressed up for the occasion, ensure they are comfortable for example, if they are in a doggy tuxedo or flower crown. They can be sweet additions to your ceremony but ensure they’re not too tight and your pup doesn’t have access to dangerous flowers.
Keep an element of their normal doggy routine!
Don’t expect your dog to enjoy your entire wedding day without a break. Have someone you trust take them for a walk or a snooze if you can (depending on your dog’s temperament!) – we recently came across Wellington’s Walkies in the north east, who provide a tailor made petsitting service for weddings – we think they’re fabulous! They’ll look after your dog while you get ready in the morning, bring him to the ceremony, and afterwards take him for a long walk – they’ll even look after him overnight if required!
For more information about weddings at Rivenhall Oaks, visit www.rivenhalloaksgolf.com