Having a ñBest Dogî in your Wedding

Sometimes inviting your “best friend” to be in the wedding means stocking up on jerky treats and squeak toys. No, we’re not talking about your college roommate (even though he has been known to drink out of the toilet bowl), but about that fearless and faithful friend, Fido. Because many guys consider their dog to be part of the family, it only makes logical sense to make them part of your joyous celebration.

A growing number of grooms and their brides are including a pet as part of the wedding day lineup. Jobs for your four-legged pal include best man, groomsmen, ring bearer, escort, entertainment or tried-and-true companions. Arranging to have a loved pet in the wedding is truly a memorable gift for the groom. Before you let your canine sidekick out of the proverbial cage, there are some practical issues to take into account.

Is your dog well-rounded enough for a wedding? Sure you love your dog, but will others attending the wedding feel the same way? Is your dog calm yet people-oriented? Obedient, but with a healthy dash of tail-wagging personality? How does your dog react to dressing up in any clothes or accessories (such as a bow tie) that might be required on the wedding day?

Who will be the “handler” for your dog at the ceremony and reception? As the groom, you will be busy walking down the aisle and focusing your attention on the vows. During the reception, your duties as groom will be pulling you in a million different directions. This means that your furry friend will need a “chaperone” to make sure that he performs his role, doesn’t run off and has access to food, water and a nice spot to nap. Because your dog is out of his normal routine, it’s best that this handler not be someone new. Instead, a well-known, well-sniffed friend or family member is the best choice.

Do you have approval from your wedding venue? Don’t forget to check with the location of your ceremony and reception to make sure a “non-service” dog is allowed on the premises. Just imagine how stressful it would be to both you and your dog to discover at the last minute that pets are not welcomed. If in doubt, reserve a kennel nearby so that Fido has a safe place to hang-out while you tie the knot.

Have you thought about groomsmen gifts for your dog? He’s been your wingman, your loyal companion and listened to you ramble endlessly without butting in, he surely deserves a special treat. Even though your pooch might not be best “man” in the traditional sense, he still should be honored for his role in your both your life and special day. A new, comfy dog bed or assortment or chew bones are sure to be greeted with a sloppy wet kiss. Or, check out our personalized t-shirts that give titles to the best man, groomsmen and other members of the wedding party. While they are meant for men, it is easy to knot the bottom of one around a dog’s middle for a fun (and funny) look.

Don’t forget an extra groomsmen gift for the handler. Most likely the dog handler in your wedding will be a good friend or family member, perhaps even the human best man or one of the groomsmen. No doubt this person is a dog lover and an extra groomsmen gift that is dog-themed would be well-received. Our personalized bulldog pub sign makes a welcoming statement in any guy’s man cave while our personalized bulldog beer mug offers a way to make the brew go down with canine charisma.

Have you been to a wedding where the bride and groom included a dog? Thumbs up or thumbs down; let us know in the comments below.