Furry Attendants: Including Your Dog In Your Big Day

 Photocredit: Leah Hewitt

Photocredit: Leah Hewitt

Chanteclaire Farm is no stranger to animals- after all, we were a working farm until the 1970s. Many of our couples choose to include their pups in their big day.  We understand the desire to have your fur babies be part of your festivities.  Weddings are all about celebrating with your nearest and dearest, and pets are part of our families.

 Photocredit: Chad Heller

Photocredit: Chad Heller

 Photocredit: Karlo Photography

Photocredit: Karlo Photography

We welcome your four-legged best friends to take part in your Chanteclaire wedding.  Here are some practical considerations to keep in mind when planning to include your furry friends. 

 Photocredit: Higher Focus

Photocredit: Higher Focus

Pet Personality

While each of our pups is perfect in our own eyes, be honest with yourself about your dog's personality.  Some dogs are fine with crowds and noise, while others may be intimidated by the hustle and bustle of a wedding day.  Make sure that you've seen how your pup reacts in a crowded, loud environment to test their readiness.  If Fido barks and jumps, you may want to consider pet training, or including them in a more quiet environment, such as pre-ceremony photography.

 Photocredit: Karlo Photography

Photocredit: Karlo Photography

 Photocredit: Joe Appel Photography

Photocredit: Joe Appel Photography

Practice Makes Perfect

No matter how well trained your dog is, this will probably be his first time making a trip down a wedding aisle.  Be sure to start practicing with your pup well in advance of the big day to make sure he is comfortable with his duties.  Make sure your pet is present at your wedding rehearsal, along with his day-of handler, so both can be confident in their tasks.

 Photocredit: Higher Focus Studios

Photocredit: Higher Focus Studios

 Photocredit: Higher Focus

Photocredit: Higher Focus

Inform Your Guests

Please check with guests about any potential dog allergies prior to the big day.  Nothing can spoil the flow of a well-timed affair like a trip to the emergency room.  Most guests are delighted to celebrate with your pet, but it's best to make sure no serious problems will arise.

 Photocredit: Higher Focus

Photocredit: Higher Focus

Inform Your Photographer

Give your photographer a heads-up about your dog's involvement in your celebration, and make sure they are comfortable working with animals.  Your photographer will want to discuss which aspects of the day your dog will be present: pre-ceremony, ceremony, formal shots, etc.  You may want to give yourself extra time in your schedule to account for delays caused by Fido's unwillingness to pose for the camera...and for everyone to pet and cuddle.

 Karlo Photography

Karlo Photography

Make Time to Play

Your wedding day is always jam packed with things to do, but make sure you take some time to play with your pet.  This has the benefit of letting your dog use her pent-up energy prior to her appearance, and helping you relax.

 Photocredit: Joe Appel Photography

Photocredit: Joe Appel Photography

Designate a Pet Sitter

If your dog is walking down the aisle, you will want to make sure a trusted friend is responsible for escorting them.  You will also want to put someone in charge of making sure your dog is well taken care of throughout the day when you are preoccupied with wedding tasks.

 Photocredit: Higher Focus

Photocredit: Higher Focus

Provisions

You spend a lot of timing choosing what options of food and beverages you're providing your guests, but don't forget about your pet's needs.  We recommend having bowls of food and water available.  The summer days can be pretty toasty at the farm, so be sure your pet is well hydrated.  It's also a good idea to have some bags handy in case Fido leaves you an unexpected wedding present.

 Photocredit: Karlo Photography

Photocredit: Karlo Photography

Plan B

If your dog just isn't ready for the ruckus that is a wedding day, you can still make his presence felt during your celebration.  Consider having your pet take part in your engagement photos.  A popular idea at the farm has been to give your dog a starring role on your wedding cake.  Be creative, there are lots of ways to show guests that your dog is part of your family even if he can't attend.

 Photocredit: Karlo Photography

Photocredit: Karlo Photography

 Photocredit: Joe Appel Photography

Photocredit: Joe Appel Photography