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Plan to include your pup in your wedding? You must consider these four factors first:
- Rover’s temperament. If your dog is a stress-machine, then you should probably let your furbaby and everyone else chill and include your dog creatively rather than as your flower child. Yappy or high-strung canines will ratchet up the stress level on an already crazy day. A symbolic nod to your pooch is a great way to include them. Etsy to the rescue: have a figurine made of them as a cake-topper, wind their favorite collar or leash around the base of a bouquet, or make a charm out of their dog tags and wear these proudly to show where your heart lies. (These are also wonderful ways to honor older, sick, or recently departed pets.) Is there temperament good? Then let’s move on –
- Aunt Myrtle’s allergies. When your beloved great aunt is deathly allergic to Fido, or when your flower girl freaks at the sight of a slobbery canine smile, circle back to symbolic inclusion (see item 1). It’s only fair to check-in with the guests who will be within breathing (or slobbering) distance of the wedding party to be sure all of them will be comfortable around your mutt. No worries there? Don’t forget –
- The legal stuff. Does your venue contractually allow you to have a dog on the premises? Let the venue rep know right up front that you want to have Spot in the wedding party, but strategize the request to get buy-in. Even though you may not be able to have your dog onsite for the entire party, you may be able to work out terms (get them in writing!) where a dedicated doggie valet, can show up with Buddy for a special appearance to be part of just the ceremony and pictures–which leads us to –
- Where’s Waldo? Is one (or more) of your BFFs your furchild’s god-parent? If items 1-3 are a go, and if you have special friends that your dog is comfortable with and who agree in advance to gift you with puppy with chaperone services, then you are set. Appoint a Wedding Day Dog-Handling Committee weeks before the event! Provide a basic checklist for them (even down to poop bags, water bottles, and the post-ceremony photography session) and then relax! Your sweet angel-child can say, “I do, too!”–and you can include them in that first magical dance that will lead you all into the rest of your lives.
Go to http://bit.ly/taggmagfreebies for three detailed checklists to help you organize your dog’s attendance at your wedding.