Celebrating a Dog-Friendly Wedding in Your Yard

This is a guest post from Jennifer Dawson

The post-pandemic wedding scene is characterized by a greater sense of meaning, closeness, and family. As a result, many couples who once deemed destination weddings or big events as their ideal way to celebrate, have decided to hold smaller, more intimate weddings at home. In fact, event specialists, David Alan Warehouse, predict micro weddings (those with 40 or fewer guests) to be one of the biggest trends for 2023. If the idea of a tiny wedding appeals, and you would like to hold your ceremony and celebration in your yard, there is one additional bonus: your furry BFF can play a big role in making your big day memorable.

Photo by: Jen Vazquez Photography

Setting Up a Gazebo

Few structures are quite as romantic in yards and gardens as gazebos.Yardistry’s gazebos that will fit in with the style and feel you wish to bestow on your wedding.

Pictured above is the 10 x 10 Meridian Gazebo

If you are into boho chic events, imagine a wooden gazebo graced with golden fairy lights where the table of honor can be placed. Surrounding this central structure, you can set up gorgeous reclaimed wooden tables and chairs and decorate your tables with leaves and flowers obtained from your yard. If your chairs have cushions or upholstery, choose pet-friendly chair covers and cushions, in case your pooch wishes to sit with guests for a few minutes. Cotton, microfiber, and nylon are good picks. Avoid silk, leather, and other delicate materials which can succumb to scratches. In one corner of your gazebo, you can additionally set up your dog house or dog bed, so that Fido can rest and be close to you during the reception meal.

Training Your Dog for the Wedding

If your dog will freely socialize with your guests, it is important for them to behave calmly. For instance, they shouldn’t jump up on guests (since muddy paws and elegant fashion may not be a perfect fit). Some couples enrol their pup in obedience school, so their pet knows how to approach guests calmly, come when they are called, and even perform a few tricks for guests. If training is a hobby, you may want to surprise your guests with a short choreographed show that highlights your dog’s ability to dance to a tune or perform an array of clever tricks.

Giving Your Dog a Special Role

If your pooch already has their basic training and behavior down pat, you may decide to give them a key role during the ceremony or reception. Some couples make their pets part of the bridal party. For instance, a dog can be a ‘best canine’ or walk the bride down the aisle. They also make cute ring-bearers. You can buy dog ring bearer pillows from a host of online sites, including Etsy. This cushion has a pouch and a kind of harness that ensures that rings stay in place during the dog’s journey from the start to the end of the wedding aisle.

Assigning a Sitter

Your dog should have a dedicated friend or family member serving as their personal sitter on your wedding day. Otherwise, your dog could get over-tired or overwhelmed by too much attention. The sitter can ensure that your pet is in a quiet room at a designated time, so they can rest and recuperate after posing for photographs with you and being pampered by guests.

If you are thinking of celebrating a small wedding, your yard may be the perfect place to do so. Celebrating at home allows your pets to freely take part in important moments and play any role you deem fit for them. Your dog will undoubtedly enjoy socializing with guests, but it is vital to limit their time outside and ensure they rest after enjoying a few special moments with yourselves and your loved ones.

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