The Instagram hashtag #weddingdog may be nearing 100,000 picture-perfect posts, but before making the decision to include your four-legged friend in your wedding day, there’s a few factors to consider. Thankfully, if you say “I do” to the idea, there’s plenty of Rhody handlers, groomers, and more to take some of the stress out of the day.
FIDO OR FIDON’T
Honesty is vital in any successful relationship, so ask yourself: Is my dog a good match for a wedding party? Is he or she comfortable with crowds, unfamiliar locations, smells, unexpected noises, and flash photography? Will your fur baby be okay being separated from you? Consider having a test run at the wedding rehearsal to see how they react. Some people opt for a life-sized cut-out as a substitute, or you can book a photoshoot with your fur family at a later date – paws layered upon hands displaying wedding bands is a simple yet touching pose.
You’ll need someone to be with your dog for better or for worse throughout the ceremony. Find a dedicated handler from a local professional service, like Laurie Ruttenberg of Newport’s Lucky Dog Resort. Ruttenberg is a highly experienced class act and offers the added advantage of exercising the dogs prior (which helps get them in a calm and relaxed state) and offers overnight stays after so you are free to dance until dawn.
You’ve put a lot of thought into your wedding visuals and you want your pup to look their absolute best, too. Rhode Island groomers are often booked solid in the summer months, so it’s smart to make an appointment as soon as you set the wedding date. At a minimum you’ll want to coordinate your dog’s collar and leash with the wedding color palette (Fetch RI and Woof! Woof! have extensive ranges), and keep in mind that a harness will offer more control when handling an over-excited pup.
Doggie tuxedos, tutus, and flower garlands are popular accessories, but Mutt Butts of RI go one step further with head groomer Madeline Ingraham offering to paint your dog’s toenails with safe vegan polish. If your dog has white or cream fur, she can even dip dye their tail to match! One final mouthwatering touch – The Mad Bee Barkery & Boutique (an extension of Mutt Butts) bakes up hand-decorated wedding dog cookies in cheesy-bacon flavor, ideal for getting your dog to pose for wedding pics. The black bow-tie and bouquet designs also make memorable party favors for guests with dogs at home!
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