couple kissing dog

Photo: Cory Kendra Photography

While - sure - that lovely human being you’re engaged to is at the center of your heart, another big chunk of it? It belongs to the four-legged wonder that wagged his or her way into your home, in between you and your partner in bed at 4 a.m. For couples who have adopted a dog together, it may be important to think of dog wedding ideas to include your furry bestie into your big day. Though you may not want to send out a save-the-date for your pup to paw, with or without him or her at your actual ceremony, they can still be honored as part of your shared love story.

Here, some clever dog wedding ideas to pay tribute to your precious pup on your big day:

 

Lead him down the aisle, as a ring bearer

If your dog is well-trained enough to listen and follow commands, consider having him pay a large part in your ceremony that will leave your guests gushing over the sweetness. With a dog collar that holds a pair of rings, you can send him down the aisle, lugging along the wedding bands that turn a couple into a family. It’s important to have a willing groomsman, bridesmaid or wedding guest available to hold onto your fur baby after they make their grand entrance, especially if you don’t want paw prints on your gown or your rented suit.

Or, let the flower girl be in charge.

If your sister decided to have three kiddos far before you adopted your pup, your nieces and nephews might love your dog slightly more than they adore you. One of our favorite dog wedding ideas is giving the flower girl the special duty of walking your pup. This will not only help her stay focused on the task at hand - getting down the aisle! - but it prevents your dog from going bananas when they see you or your partner standing at attention. Best of all, the images of your pup and the little lady in your life will make for some of the sweetest yet.

 

Include him in photos you display

Though your wedding is primarily a moment for you and your partner to celebrate your long-lasting love affair, it’s also a celebration between your shared in-laws and relatives. One way to pay tribute to all of those who have come before you is via photographs scattered about your reception or cocktail hour area. Since you already have a few (hundred) selfies with your dog, print a few out that show the progression of your relationship. It’s one of the best dog wedding ideas if your furry friend isn’t actually present on your big day.

Send ‘thank you’ cards with his name, too

When you’re back from your honeymoon and settling into married life, the wedding duties aren’t completely over. Since you have countless thank-you cards to get out within the recommended six months post-wedding, you could get creative with your grateful sentiments by including your dog as part of the gang. Even if you didn’t have your couple’s best friend at your nuptials, a sweet family shot of the three of you together is a personalized touch for your guests to receive via snail mail.

Hire a dog walker for the photo session

Instead of having your pup be around for your entire ceremony or reception, consider inviting him for the all-important task of being a handsome goofball on camera. While you collect images of your bridesmaids, your groomsmen, your family and you and your number one, add on a few that focus on Fido completely. You can decide to let him take the stage with just his fur coat, or throw on a dog-sized tuxedo for added charm. Pro tip though? Make sure you invite a trusted dog walker or sitter to be on hand for when he’s not posing.