Should I bring my dog to my elopement? As pet-friendly elopement planners & photographers we get this question quite often! Read on for our top tips!
Should I bring my dog to my Elopement? What to think about.
We have had dogs in our lives for decades and we totally get the desire to have them along for the special moments. After all, our dogs have hiked with us to far off places! It only makes sense to include them in your adventurous elopement day.
However, just like there are some things to think about when you’re bringing guests to your elopement, there’s things to keep in mind when bringing along our furry best friends. Let’s dive in!
Consider the age of your dog
Think realistically – is your dog so young and energetic that they might be too much of a handful during your elopement day? Will you be distracted from each other by having to handle a boisterous puppy?
Or maybe your dog is of the age that they can only go a short distance down the trail. Many of the best elopement spots out there require some kind of a hike – around a mile – and this can significantly reduce your options.
Think about what is most important to you – and keep the main thing the “main thing.” Maybe it’s better to have a loved one watch your dog – or to have them come along to be responsible for your dog so you can stay focused on each other.
How well is your dog trained?
This is so important to consider. Have you been working with your dog to “mind” in important situations? Or will bringing your dog pull you away from your solemn moments together?
Be realistic about what your dog is able to handle. They want to please you, but aren’t mind readers. Think about what demands you’ll be placing on your dog with your wedding day plans.
Does your dog get along well with others?
Along with the training question, it’s important to think about the demeanor of your dog. Elopements generally occur on public lands with other hikers (and their dogs) around. Will yours be a handful or get along well around other dogs on the trail?
Will the regulations let me bring my dog to my elopement?
Sometimes it’s easy to forget about this one – but in the places you have in mind for your elopement, are dogs allowed? Many of the National Forests we’ve been to in our area are open to dogs, as well as the Blue Ridge Parkway. But there are trails in Shenandoah that are not open to dogs, so it’s important to keep the regulations in mind.
How to bring your dog to your elopement – top tips
So you’ve definitely decided – “I want to bring my dog to my elopement!” Here’s our top tips to make your day go as smoothly as possible!
- This should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway – make sure you tell us you’re planning to bring your dog! We have lots of experience over our years of elopements and we need to know to build your timeline and make sure everything goes smoothly!
- If you’re bringing guests to your elopement, nominate one of them to be responsible for your dog. This makes for a well balanced experience! You don’t want to have to handle your dog’s leash during the ceremony along with vow books, ring exchange, your bouquet…
- Don’t forget to pack all your dog’s necessities! Leash, collar with ID, treats, water, medication … all the normal travel related stuff when you “bring fido” along.
- Play with ideas on how to incorporate your dog in your elopement and ceremony! We’ve had couples train their dogs to retrieve a champagne cork, carry the rings or wear their own “doggie” formal wear.
There is nothing like sharing your special day with loved ones. With the right preparation, it can be very special for our fur babies too!