How can my dog be a part of my wedding?
So, the big question, how can my dog be a part of my wedding?
I fully understand how much people love their pets! I always grew up with animals in our home and now we still have two cats to keep us company. They are an important part of your new life together and you want to celebrate with them. In particular, I am asked about dogs the most so this post will focus on our canine friends. Seriously though, if you want a turtle as a ring bearer send me a message because I need to photograph your wedding.
Have you considered them being part of your engagement session?
The easiest solution is to have them be part of your engagement session! Ok, that’s not the wedding but hear me out! Weddings can be very stressful for dogs. Family and friends may be coming to the house that they don’t know. There are a lot of people everywhere and so much noise! If your furry friend is actually allowed at your venue it is a similar situation (lots of people and noise). Some pups are totally cool with this. Others, it’s their worst nightmare! Having them involved in the engagement shoot allows them to be their best. They aren’t stressed, we keep it really calm, and work with how they are feeling!
How to make it work
1. Have zero expectations.
Dogs don’t really get that we are taking their photo and need them to be cute and pay attention. If you are stressed, they will be stressed. So just relax and whatever happens, happens. That being said…
2. I’ve always been able to get a photo with someone’s pup.
Dogs are super food motivated. I always ask owners to bring their dog’s favorite treat and use that to pull focus and get their attention. It helps if the treats are in a bag so your hands don’t smell like treats, only mine.
3. It’s ok if your dog cannot come off a leash.
Most leashes can be photoshopped out. I want to make sure everyone is safe and all leash laws are followed.
4. Designate someone else to help take care of your pup during the session.
Sessions run 1 to 2 hours which is way too long for even the best-behaved pup. It’s amazingly helpful to have someone come to take them home or just to watch them while we take the rest of your photos.
5. Make sure to have food and water for them!
They are working really hard being that cute! Make sure that they will have everything that they may need, especially if it’s hot outside!
Cool, but for real, how can my dog be a part of my wedding day?
All that being said your furry friend can definitely be part of your actual wedding day too! All of these tips still apply but make sure that it is also ok with the venue or ceremony location. Especially at the venue, there are a lot of rules about animals and food. I’d also advise that the person taking care of your pup isn’t a guest at the wedding. They will have to bring the pup to and from locations and you don’t want them to miss out on the fun!