Want to include your dog at your wedding?

A dog is standing in front of the groomsmen's shoes at a outdoor wedding venue in New Jersey.

Of course you want all your loved ones to surround you at your wedding. There’s no wonder we are seeing more and more wedding couples including their four-legged friends at their weddings at Brooklake.

Not all venues are pet-friendly. An outdoor setting like we have at Brooklake is the best choice. Many dogs of honor have graced the wedding photos set before our rolling gardens, lake, gardens and pathways. Some are central to the ceremony, some make cameo appearances and we’ve seen others included on save-the-dates, wedding websites, invitations, and thank you notes. We’ve even seen a Lab dip his paw in ink to sign the marriage license!

When you decide what role you want your dog to play it’s important to thoughtfully consider their temperament and personality. Not all pets are suited to a wedding, and it’s important to assess the temperament of yours. Are they well-socialized and happy around lots of people they don’t know? Will they listen to gentle instructions such as “sit” or “down”? Are they barkers? Are they easily excited or do they just go with the flow? Dogs with anxiety or socialization issues should probably get a sitter for the day and a special new toy to celebrate the occasion.

A bride and groom pose for a photo with their dog at one of the outdoor wedding venues in New Jersey.

Your Brooklake attendant will advise and help you.

If you plan to include your dog at your wedding here at Brooklake, be sure to your attendant and vendors well in advance that your pet will play a role. Discuss special measures you’d like them to take. Also be sure to notify your officiant. Once you decide your wedding day will be a happy one for you and your dog, decide on your pet’s role. Bring your pet to the venue before the wedding day to sniff around, and have him come to the rehearsal to practice his part if he will be participating in the ceremony.

A couple posing with their dogs on a golf course at one of the stunning outdoor wedding venues in NJ.

Choose a role that is appropriate for your dog’s temperament and personality.

Here are some ideas for including your dog in your wedding day:

  • Flower Dog — This is adorable: They can carry flowers, as the flower girl spreads the petals. Of course, make sure the flowers are safe and nontoxic for dogs, in case they decide to take a nibble. Make sure the flower girl has practiced with your dog so that both are comfortable.
  • Pup of Honor — You can have your dog walk down the aisle along with the wedding party with a decorative leash to match the floral decor. Then they can take a seat with your Maid of Honor, Best Man, or whoever they are most comfortable with, during the ceremony.
  • Ring Bearer — One couple attached a pretty ring holder to the color of their standard poodle.
  • Favorite Furry Guest — If your dog is better suited to just chill for the ceremony, have them sit in the front row where you can see them, by the side of someone they’re familiar with.
A bride and groom pose for a photo with their dog at one of the sought-after Florham Park wedding venues in New Jersey.

Some tips to make sure you and your dog are happy…

A visit to a groomer before the wedding will help your dog look great and minimize shedding. Make sure whatever accessories you plan for your dog are comfortable. Try it out a few times in advance of your wedding day and don’t keep them dressed up any longer than needed for that special moment of your day. You may decide a color-coordinated collar is enough.

Your four-legged loved one will require special handling to keep them calm, cool, and well cared for as they join your celebration. Put a friend who also adores your dog in charge, or better yet, hire a pet handler. Once it’s time for the reception it’s best to have a trusted dog sitter remove your sweetheart from all the noise, activity and temptations of things like chocolate. However you include your dog in your wedding day, you’ll no doubt cherish the photos like these beautiful couples did.

Enjoy your special day with your furry friend! Contact a Brooklake event specialist to discuss the details of your wedding!