Kristy
Dedicated April 2019

Dogs in the Destination Wedding?

Kristy, on February 7, 2019 at 4:32 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 17
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We have always wanted our dogs in our wedding. However, there are a few issues...

1. We have a White German Shepherd (6 yo) who will shed all over anyone wearing dark colors.
2. Dogs are dirty and our Bullpug (2 yr) jumps when he's excited.
3. The venue won't let our dogs upstairs, so they can join the outside ceremony and cocktail hour on the lawn, but when we go upstairs for the reception the dogs will have to be locked up in the bridal suite/groom's room until the end of the night. This doesn't seem fair.
4. Boarding... we don't live in the same state where we are getting married, so we'll be staying in hotels where we probably can't have our dogs...


After listing all of this, I guess it's stupid to even consider bringing them, but if anyone has tried this and has any advice, I would appreciate it!

FH has pretty much told me "we'll figure it out" because he refuses to leave the dogs at home with a sitter while we're off getting married.

17 Comments

Latest activity by Talia, on February 8, 2019 at 2:43 PM
  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn ·
    • Flag

    I understand wanting to include your pets, but that's kind of something that you sacrifice when you choose to have a destination wedding. Your wedding is two months away. If this isn't something you've worked out, I'm not sure how you're going to come up with a plan in such a short time frame.

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  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
    • Flag

    Is there a boarding facility in your area that also has one where you are getting married? You'll also have to designate a person for bringing them to the wedding & taking them after the ceremony.

    • Reply
  • PurdyAikey
    Super January 2019
    PurdyAikey ·
    • Flag

    First Look with PetsDogs in the Destination Wedding? 1

    We included ours in our first look! We did our first look, and then had our person bring the dogs and did some photos with them! I literally had muddy paw prints on my dress and the DOC and BMs were wiping me off with wet wash cloth and lint roller like mad before the ceremony and his guys lint rollered him off! Hahaha Wouldn't change it!!

    Also we were 100% against a first look and it made the day go smoother, so I am glad we did it!!! (the decision was made 3 DAYS BEFORE THE WEDDING!)

    • Reply
  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    • Flag
    Unfortunately in this case , I think you really have to think about what is best for the dogs ...which is rarely take them to a new environment, surround them with a crowd of people, and then leave them in a crate in a secluded room in a place they don’t know. They’d be WAY better off at home where they’re comfortable with a sitter .

    if you DO bring a dog to a wedding, I think it is absolutely essential to have a specific designated person there who is basically JUST there to tend to the dogs. I’ve been to 2 weddings with dogs that I can think of offhand— the most recent, pup had a handler (a friend of theirs, the girl who usually looks after him when they travel): it worked out perfectly. He was part of the ceremony , the girl did a quick lap with him during cocktail hour, and then she ran him home (these people legit chose a venue around the corner from their home so they could include him). It was perfect. The previous pup wedding was nutty— they had him in the ceremony and then basically let him run free (outdoor wedding) the rest of the night. He was a super well behaved golden retriever so no one was worried about him. Well guess what? Dogs in new environments can get overstimulated and act differently . Thankfully nothing crazy happened here, but he kept going after food. First from the garbage , then from the buffet table . I think he nabbed a few rolls and a cupcake. I, personally, having no real ties to the dog but being a big sucker for dogs saw it happening, and then spent the REST of my night looking after him . Bit of a buzzkill on the party vibe . So, can’t emphasize enough the importance of having a designated person. ALSO someone that can keep a jumpy dog off peoples’ formal wear ! (I LOVE dogs, I work with them professionally, I’d basically bathe in dog kisses without getting offended, but I would NOT be amused if I spent money on a nice dress and a dog jumped on it and ruined it!)

    the best way to involve a pup is to have them there briefly for their photo op (ceremony or what have you), with a designated person, who then takes them home/offsite entirely. Without them having a place to say, this becomes super challenging. The move would be basically: hire pet sitter to travel with you and stay in a dog friendly hotel with them and/or drive (?) them home after their part was done.
    • Reply
  • Kristy
    Dedicated April 2019
    Kristy ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Gorgeous picture... I'm glad to know you felt like it was worth it!

    • Reply
  • Kristy
    Dedicated April 2019
    Kristy ·
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    Thank you so much for the extensive response! There is a boarding place right up the street from the venue so we could have an usher or random friend in charge of handling the dogs during the ceremony and cocktail hour, then have them rush the dogs back to the boarding place before the reception... I just don't know if the boarding place will be open for this timeline, or if it's really worth all of this screwing around. You make a good point that whomever is in charge of the dogs will probably miss out on some of the fun.

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  • PurdyAikey
    Super January 2019
    PurdyAikey ·
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    We originally wanted them in the wedding, but the stress on the dogs was not worth it! Having them there when it was just me, H, the photog, and videogs was okay because that is not an overwhelming amount of people!


    • Reply
  • Thea
    Dedicated August 2019
    Thea ·
    • Flag

    I have two dogs I adore but it was a hard no for including them. Mine love to jump and one of them is nervous in new places. Now we're trying to find a pet sitter since all the people we would usually trust with our pups are invited to the wedding!

    As someone previously mentioned, even well-behaved dogs can be tricky in a new environment, so keep that in mind. That said, if you're set on having the pups, a handler is a great idea. I would also find a way to warn guests ahead of time that a dog will be there, in case anyone has allergies. For the dog hair, come armed with lint rollers.
    Also, I don't know where you're located, but there are some dog-friendly hotel chains if you're absolutely against a boarder.
    https://www.ihg.com/kimptonhotels/content/us/en/promos/pet-friendly-hotels
    Good luck!

    • Reply
  • V
    Super April 2019
    Valerie ·
    • Flag

    You can do what you want but if you plan on involving your pets in the wedding make sure to let your guests know. Due to getting bit by a dog when I was a child I am very very skiddish around dogs. I would opt to not attend the wedding versus attend where one was (or skip the ceremony if that is what it was). Also, anyone with major dog allergies will have to prepare so they aren't miserable all night.

    • Reply
  • Danielle
    Savvy June 2019
    Danielle ·
    • Flag
    We are having a destination wedding and our pups are coming with us! We have a 1.5 yr old black German Shepherd and a 5 yr old lab Chesapeake bay retriever mix. We rented an Air BnB that allows dogs so they will be staying with us. My fiancé will be getting ready at that air BnB so he will be with them all morning and afternoon. They will be at the ceremony but then will go back to the air BnB for the reception. For the ceremony they will walk with one of the groomsmen that they know really well, and we are making sure we work with them training wise to get their manners in tip top shape. His parents will be staying with them that night because we reserved a nice hotel room for ourselves. You can also look online like Rover.com (I think that’s what it’s called) because there may be places in that area that have dog sitters.
    • Reply
  • A
    Expert August 2019
    Ami ·
    • Flag
    We’re in the same boat but ultimately decided it’s best to leave them home. We included them in our engagement pics instead and used one of those pictures for our save the date. On top of the hassle of traveling with dogs you’ll also need to designate someone to take care of them duromg the wedding. It’s not really fair to ask a guest to do this as they’ll likely miss out on the fun. Also, even dog people don’t like to get dog hair on their formal wear and really don’t want to be jumped on (that was the final straw for me, I would probably cry the first time they jumped up on me in my dress).
    • Reply
  • Crystal
    Dedicated September 2019
    Crystal ·
    • Flag
    I’m having my dog in our wedding! He will only be present for ceremony and pictures though. I’m having my dog sitter come and be his handler for the day. She will then take him offsite after the ceremony and he will go home with her that night and for the duration of our honeymoon! My dog is my life so I couldn’t imagine getting married without him there! The main thing is just figuring out logistics!
    • Reply
  • Crystal
    Dedicated September 2019
    Crystal ·
    • Flag
    Also my dog is very low shedding (he’s a Weimaraner mix) so I won’t have to worry about dog hair getting on everyone’s clothes.
    • Reply
  • Courtney
    Super December 2018
    Courtney ·
    • Flag
    Our dogs stayed at the pet resort for a few reasons:
    - I am not willing to risk them getting hurt because someone (me/H) isn't watching them closely.
    -They would have been locked up whenever they were not with us.
    - Being in a new place with new people is stressful enough, but without us with them the whole time they would panic.
    -Just because someone is "A Dog Person" doesn't mean they read all dog signals well, and if something bad happens, it isn't Joe Guest's fault, it's yours...but Spot pays the price.

    It's our job to protect them, and sometimes that means making sure they're safe and cared for without us.
    • Reply
  • A
    Devoted August 2018
    Ally ·
    • Flag
    Too much unnecessary stress for the animal.... extra work for the wedding..... accommodating an animal in a distant location.... risk of ruining wedding clothes. I'd say do a small shoot before or after with your pets rather than when you are away.
    • Reply
  • J
    Master October 2019
    Jolie ·
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    I agree with what your first scenario is! FH's dad (grandpop) is our dog's favorite person besides me so he will walk him down the aisle. Then we are thinking he will stand up with the groomsmen with his other human friend he really likes in the wedding party until I walk down then I can great him and then he will sit on the ground next to his grandpop in the audience. We will probably get some quick shots with him immediately after the ceremony then one of our friends will have to quick drive him home. Our venue is about 15 mins away from our home less if driving fast. I worry about mud and him jumping so I am hoping and praying it isn't going to be a muddy day otherwise I might have to figure something out.

    • Reply
  • Talia
    Super October 2020
    Talia ·
    • Flag

    My venue allows pets there. I'm so on the fence because I think it would be cute if she was apart of the day. Right now she's a 7 month old chocolate lab and by the time were married she will be 2. Our venue is like probably 20-25 min from our home. I'm sure it won't be a problem if someone brought her and took her home. I'm just terrified if she gets mud on my dress, the bridesmaids dresses, FH tux, or the groomsmens tuxs.

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