How to Include Your Dog in the Wedding for National Pet Day 2023

National Pet Day is a day dedicated to celebrating the love and companionship that our pets bring into our lives. Whether you have a cat, bird, or fish, there’s no denying that pets make life better in so many ways. However, if you’re a dog owner, there’s one special way you can celebrate this day – by including your furry friend in your wedding!

Including your dog in your wedding can be a fun and memorable way to show your love and appreciation for your pet. After all, your dog has probably been a loyal companion through thick and thin, and it’s only fitting that they should be there to witness your special day. Keep reading for 25 ways to include dogs in weddings (and real wedding features submitted by you!), but first let’s walk through a few tips.

Tips To Help You Include Dogs In Your Wedding

couple walking with dogs

1. Choose the Right Role for Your Dog

Before you start planning how to include your dog in your wedding, you’ll need to decide what role you want them to play. Do you want your dog to be a ring bearer, a flower girl, or just a special guest? Consider your dog’s personality and behavior when deciding on their role.

2. Practice Makes Perfect

If you decide to have your dog play a specific role in your wedding, make sure to practice with them beforehand. This will help them get used to the idea of walking down the aisle and following commands in a new environment. Consider having a friend or family member walk your dog through a mock ceremony to help them get comfortable with the process.

3. Outfit Your Dog for the Occasion

Your dog will need to look their best for the big day, so consider outfitting them in a special wedding outfit. This can be as simple as a bowtie or a floral collar, or as elaborate as a full-on dog tuxedo or wedding dress. Just make sure that the outfit is comfortable for your dog and won’t impede their movement.

4. Prepare for the Logistics

Including your dog in your wedding will require some extra planning and logistics. You’ll need to make sure that your venue allows pets and that your dog is welcome. You’ll also need to assign someone to be responsible for your dog during the ceremony and reception, as well as make sure they have access to food, water, and a place to rest.

5. Capture the Moment

Finally, don’t forget to capture the moment! Make sure to have a photographer or videographer on hand to document your dog’s role in your wedding. You’ll cherish these memories for years to come and be able to share them with your furry friend.

25 Ways to Include Dogs in Your Big Day

1. Have your dog be the “best dog” instead of the best man or “dog of honor” instead of the maid of honor

2. Have your dog be the ring bearer – Let your furry friend be responsible for one of the most important parts of the ceremony! Just make sure they’re comfortable carrying the rings and won’t run off with them!

3. Give your dog a special role in the ceremony, like a flower petal tosser – Your pet can add a fun and adorable touch to the ceremony by scattering flower petals down the aisle!

4. Include your dog in your decor – If your pet in unable to attend, why not include their photo or a funny saying in your reception decor to give them a tribute.

“If your dearly beloved pets aren’t able to attend your wedding, featuring them on a cocktail napkin is the perfect way to acknowledge your most faithful friends at your reception or cocktail hour! My clients LOVE seeing their hand-drawn pups (and cats, and rabbits, etc.) on their beverage napkins.” — Laura Eckert, Open Air Paper

5. Have your dog’s photo on the save-the-date – Let your guests know that your pet is a part of your special day by including their photo on the save-the-date or in your engagement photos!

6. Dress your dog up in a formal outfit – Whether it’s a tuxedo, a dress, or a fancy collar, dressing up your pet in a formal outfit will make them feel like a VIP on your big day!

Photo by: @blackbird_and_rye

7. Match your dog’s outfit to the wedding colors – Coordinate your pet’s outfit with the wedding colors for a cohesive look that will make them stand out in photos. A matching leash is a subtle way to tie in your pet’s outfit with the wedding colors!

8. Have your dog walk down the aisle with you – Walking down the aisle with your pet can make for a sweet and unforgettable moment!

Photo by: @ollieandarchiethecorgis

9. Have your dog ride in a wagon down the aisle – If your pet is too small or nervous to walk down the aisle, consider having them ride in a decorated wagon!

10. Have your dog sit next to you during the ceremony – Your pet can be a comforting presence as you say your vows, so have them sit next to you during the ceremony!

11. Have your dog wear a flower crown – For a more whimsical and nature-inspired look, have your pet wear a flower crown!

Photo by: @ksuttonphoto

12. Have your dog wear a sign that says “Here comes the bride/groom” – Your pet can make for an adorable sign bearer, announcing your grand entrance!

13. Include your dog in the pre-wedding photo shoot – Get some adorable shots of you and your furry friend before the ceremony!

14. Have your dog be a part of the wedding party – Let your pet be an official member of the wedding party!

15. Have your dog sit at the head table with you – Give your pet a VIP seat at the head table!

Photo by: @samanthajoyandco

16. Have a signature cocktail named after your dog – Include your pet in the wedding festivities by naming a signature cocktail after them! This is a unique and fun way to honor your furry friend.

17. Have a custom cake topper with your dog – A custom cake topper with your pet’s likeness is a sweet way to include them in your wedding decor. There are many talented artists who can create a unique topper for you!

Photo by:  Juliana Rose Photography ; see more of this real wedding here!

18. Have a dog-themed wedding cake – If you’re a true pet lover, consider having a wedding cake that is entirely pet-themed. This could include paw prints, bones, or even a replica of your pet!

19. Have a dog photo booth – Set up a photo booth for your guests that includes props and backdrops featuring your pet. This is a fun and creative way to include your pet in the wedding festivities!

20. Have your dog be a part of the first dance – For a truly unforgettable moment, include your pet in your first dance as a married couple! Just make sure they’re comfortable with crowds and loud music.

21. Have your dog be a part of the bouquet toss – Instead of tossing a traditional bouquet, consider tossing a toy or treat for your pet to catch!

22. Have your dog be a part of the send-off – Your pet can be a special part of your grand exit, whether they’re walking down the aisle with you or waiting at the end!

23. Have a dog-themed photo display – Include photos of your pet throughout the wedding venue as a fun and personal touch. This could include framed photos or a slideshow.

Photo by: Kelsie Elizabeth (hired through Tolman Media) ; see more of this real wedding here!

24. Have a dog-inspired table setting – Include pet-themed elements in your table settings, such as paw print napkins or pet-inspired place cards.

25. Have a dog-inspired wedding hashtag – Create a unique wedding hashtag that incorporates your pet’s name or a pet-related pun. This will make it easy for your guests to share photos and memories of your special day!

These are just a few of the many ways you can include your furry friend in your wedding and make it even more special. Remember to choose a role that suits your dog’s personality and behavior, and to make sure that your dog is comfortable and happy throughout the process. With a little planning and preparation, your dog can be a part of your special day in a meaningful way.

How YOU Incorporated Dogs Into Your Weddings

Brittany & Mark

“How cute are Brittany and Mark?! I mean, they are adorable, but the pup was the star of the show. I loved seeing the doggo join the fun and have the chance to take fabulous photos with his parents.” — Sarah Narcus, Olio Event Space

Bride – Brittany Ballaron
Groom – Mark Irvine
Coordination – Without A Hitch

Event Space — Olio
Officiant – Jennifer Penzone
Photographer – Namaste Photography: Taylor Robinson
Caterer, Bakery – Gourmet Delights: Rachel Hoffman
Bar, Liquor, Rentals – Rachal Marks at Premier
Ceremony and Reception Music – Xtreme Soundz (Luis Mota)
Transportation – Michael’s Transport for bridal party
Pup walker – For the Love of Paws: Hannah Rosen
Hair – Frederika MacMillan/Formal Hair by Frederika
Makeup – Allysa Hartnett
Florist – PrimRose Floral (Grace Payne)
Event rental company – PEAK through caterer and bar service

Zareen & Spencer

“This yellow lab, named Blanche was the flower girl at Zareen and Spencer’s wedding. On Zareen & Spencer’s first anniversary, they took Blanche to this exact same lake to teach her how to swim. It was only fitting that they return to the same spot on their wedding day, with Blanche along for the ride. Blanche walks to the beat of her own drum. She likes water and a good roll in the mud.” — Joleen Willis , Love Wildy Photography

Photo: Joleen Willis (@lovewildly)
Catering: Lila & Sage (@lilaandsage)
Florals: Flower Hutch

Megan and Joshua

“Megan and Joshua got married at the perfect place amongst the pines. Megan’s best friend Hank the golden spent the day getting ready with the girls, running around the venue, and then celebrating his favorite people’s love.” — Megan Natrop, Shaded Spruce Events

Wedding Planner – @shadedspruceevents
Photographer – @coral.mia
Venue –
Hair –

Sydney & Logan

“Sydney and Logan opted for a small intimate wedding in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. A flower dude was dancing down the aisle in sunglasses and with a fanny pack. Their beloved dog, Jynx, dressed as a ballerina (!!!) was delivering rings to the altar. The rings were tied by a pink ribbon to her collar in a small wooden box. Jinx was also part of the First Look, and when Logan saw her in a pink ballerina dress, he laughed so hard that he almost cried.” — Elena Gera, Focus on the Moment Photography

Ceremony & Reception – Lonesome Pine Way Villa
Dress Store – David’s Bridal
Cake – Fox Den Baking Co.

National Pet Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the love and companionship that our pets bring into our lives. Including your dog in your wedding can be a fun and memorable way to honor your furry friend and make your special day even more special. With a little planning and preparation, you can make sure that your dog is a part of the celebration and memories that will last a lifetime.

These are just a few ways to incorporate your dog into your big day. Remember, the most important thing is to stay true to yourself and create a celebration that reflects your personalities and love for each other. Enjoy these dogs in weddings? Check out for helpful wedding planning resources and more inspiration.

Featured Image by: @emroebuckphotography

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How to Include Your Dog in the Wedding for National Pet Day 2023