When in a discovery call or meet and greet with couples interested in booking Black Dog & Company’s wedding services I have a list of (fun!) questions, scenarios and as a wedding vendor I’m actively formulating a rough itinerary and transportation for your wedding day (it’s the wedding planner in me, what can I say!). These initial interactions are some of my favourite moments, I love meeting new people, talking weddings and of course - spoiling dogs! Outside of the spectrum of asking when your wedding date is, your venue location, and who your photographer is, the most important question I ask is: how do you envision including your dog on your wedding day? What seems like a simple question is really an “ah-ha!” moment that sets my imagination brain on fire! Once this vision is discussed, I dive deeper into elements of your wedding day that you may not have thought about.
Today, I am going to shed some light on a few of those other elements that may not have crossed your mind when planning your wedding day with your dog.
Your vendor team
Firstly, is your venue and other wedding vendors ok with dogs? In Ontario, most venues are generally ok with having dogs on site. What I often hear from venues is they don’t want dogs near food prep and food serving areas, and dogs are to be on a leash. Yes, client dogs are on a leash and supervised at all times by Black Dog & Company. I take things one step further and ask venues where specifically is out of bounds so we don’t accidentally end up in these food service areas. Additionally, I ask wedding venues if there is a specific place where I can park when arriving that is out of the way to guests and staff that is also quick for us to load up and depart from. When booking your vendor team I recommend asking them if they are dog friendly. Believe it or not, some people don’t like dogs (hard to imagine, right!?) and if they are a vendor you are really keen to work with and they aren’t ok with your dogs being around, we will need to come up with a strategy to (hopefully) work with them.
All about the shoes
If you are including your dog in your wedding ceremony and a member of the wedding party is escorting your dog down the aisle, please take footwear into consideration for that human wedding party member. I’ll let your imagination wander a bit but imagine if your dog gets really energized when it's ceremony time and one of your lovely bridesmaids is aerating the ceremony lawn space with her heels and she has to walk your enthusiastic pup down the aisle and your pup decides to move at a brisk pace towards the altar area. Perhaps a funny visual but Black Dog & Company takes safety seriously and we are always prepared for emergencies with a human and canine emergency kit and we work with your dog to manage energy levels. However, we don’t want any injuries to your wedding party. Please think safety, flats are really cute these days.
Go with the flow
Including a furbaby to a wedding day is similar to including children in wedding day festivities. Your dog is so thrilled to be part of the day! Barking and dog silliness happens. We do our best to manage dog energy but sometimes a chatty husky might join in on the vows, adding more love to the wedding day.
Perhaps your dog is either low energy (think super sweet senior dog) or more of an introvert. Designate part of your wedding day for “family time” with you, your new spouse and your dog for quiet time to break up the festivities. This time could also be integrated as quiet candid family photos with your photographer away from the hustle and bustle of wedding guests. It really is beautiful to schedule time to be present and make some memories that will last a lifetime. This family time can be put into the getting ready portion of your day, first looks, or just before you go into cocktail hour.
Very Important Pup
Your wedding guests are going to love seeing your dog when they arrive at the venue! Seriously! Every wedding Black Dog & Company has attended, when people see a dog - they flock. Guests want to interact with your dog, give them pets, take pictures with your dog and chat about how awesome your dog is. Your dog is like your hype person before you’ve even made a grand entrance! As wonderful as this interaction is, I always discuss if your dog is ok with this type of interaction. If not, we will build your dog’s wedding day itinerary around limiting guest interaction.
Being a wedding dog attendant is so much more than arriving at the wedding venue with your dog. It’s about making sure your dog is comfortable and safe at all times, so your dog can be the best wedding guest ever while also making beautiful wedding day memories. All of Black Dog & Company’s wedding services include unlimited phone and email communication, safe transportation to and from your wedding in addition to continuous contact with necessary wedding vendors before your wedding day. We recently added a very convenient discovery call option to our website for you to schedule a chat with Black Dog & Company where we can learn about your wedding plans, your dog care needs and this will give you an opportunity to ask Black Dog & Company any questions. Including your dog in your wedding has never been easier.