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If you’re anything like me when you were trying to decide how to get married you knew your four-legged best friend just HAD to be there. I mean, for a lot of us dogs aren’t “just” pets – they’re FAMILY. Of COURSE they should be part of your day! But the question is …. how? How do you include your dog in your elopement or wedding? Don’t worry, I’m here to help you out!
For simplicity’s sake (and because it’s mostly what I do!) I’m going to use the word “elopement” here but really, these tips and ideas could apply to a LOT of different types of wedding days!
5 Ways to Include Your Dog in Your Elopement
1. Have them “sign” your marriage license
While the rules vary from state to state, here in Colorado it is perfectly legal for your dog to “sign” your marriage license with their paw print. While you don't TECHNICALLY need witnesses here, you may as well have the WORLD'S CUTEST WITNESS sign your license, right?! If you are getting married somewhere besides Colorado, double check what the rules are where you are getting married to see if it's doable and if so, bring along an ink pad and your'e ready to go!
2. Have them be your “Best Dog” or “Dog of Honor”
Who DOESN'T want the honor of being a part of the wedding party?! Obviously not your dog! At many of the elopements I shoot the dog is the only other family member present so why not give them the distinct honor of being an official member of your entourage? Etsy has tons of cute collars and vests just for this occasion!
3. Take them On an Adventure!
If you're the kind of couple (with the kind of dog!) who loves to get off the beaten path there is no better time to do it than on the day you get married! Whether you all hike up to a lake or take a Jeep ride deep into the backcountry, your adventurous pup will love getting to explore a new place with you on this big day!
4. Do a “First Look” with Your Dog
If your dog is anything like mine they're pretty used to seeing you mostly in comfy pants and tshirts (just me??). So before you walk out to greet your future spouse, do a first look with the puppy! While I don't think dogs necessarily understand what is going on, they'll be pretty surprised to see you looking way WAY different than you normally do and the pictures are adorable!
5. Talk About Them in Your Vows
Look, I get it. Sometimes, no matter how much you want your dog to be there, bringing them with is just not practical. But that doesn't mean they can't be there in spirit! Having witnessed hundreds of elopement and wedding ceremonies over the years, I can tell you that dogs are VERY often referenced during ceremonies. And how could they not be!? Just because they aren't physically there doesn't mean they aren't part of this thing! So talk about them … a lot!
Need More Dog Elopement Inspiration?
Check these out!
Want me to help you (and your dogs!) elope?
Hey! I'm Jen Dz!
Elopement photographer + crazy dog lady
I'm that person at the party who is sitting on the floor playing with your dog (and probably covered in its drool). I've been helping dog loving-couples get married in Colorado and throughout the Western U.S. since 2016 and know how to put together and photography a day that both you AND your pups will love!
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