Hugh, Ashley, and Wedding Dog Frank

Hugh, me, and our wedding dog Frank

In honor of my upcoming three-year wedding anniversary I thought it would be fun to post something to celebrate what was a wonderful day. I loved every second of wedding planning and picking out each specific detail. One thing that was important to my husband and I was to have our entire family be a part of the big day – this clearly included our dogs.

Now, having four dogs was a bit of a challenge to work into the plan without things getting ridiculous. We had a small bridal party consisting of my matron of honor Hilary and Hugh’s best man Ryan, who happen to be married to each other. I thought it would be delightful to have all four dogs walk down the aisle in place of a traditional wedding party. Unfortunately, this brilliant idea was quickly nixed by both my husband and the church as a bit too much.

So I consented to have one wedding dog, our Labradoodle Frank, meet us after the ceremony for pictures. Frank was bestowed this honor as Hugh and I got Frank together when he was a puppy in fall of 2010. It really would have been a bit dicey with all four dogs jumping around my pristine white dress. It was well worth the effort, the pictures (taken by Ashley O’Dell) with Frank are by far my favorite from the wedding.

Wedding Dog Cake Topper

Wedding dog cake toppers helped to set the mood and incorporate our 4 dogs into the festivities

In order to include all of the dogs, I did find little ways to incorporate them into the wedding festivities. I found someone on Etsy to make custom toppers for our cake; this was another one of my favorite parts of the wedding. I also had a map drawn up for the guest bags and asked that the artist (Natty Michelle) include the dogs in the illustration.

If you do have your dog around for the wedding festivities make sure there is someone who is responsible for him, things can get hectic and you don’t want to be worried about his whereabouts. Also keep in mind, not all dogs love a party. If your dog is timid or fearful perhaps it is best to have him stay safely at home. Even if your pets can’t be physically present for the actual day there are plenty of ways to include them, after all they are a part of the family!

Ashley Gallagher, DVM

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