A dog’s guide to weddings

Thinking of involving your precious pooch in your big day? PetsPyjamas asked the third (and arguably the wisest) member of London’s coolest wedding planning company to share the wisdom of her experience. Meet Betty the Schnauzer of Union & Co…

flower garland

“When I received my first official wedding invitation, I’m not going to lie I was pretty excited. I mean admittedly I get pretty excited at lots of things – pigeons, treats, the next-door neighbour’s poodle – but attending a wedding was a privilege I knew only a few special pets gets to experience.

“On the day, I rocked a neat chevron bow tie (who says they’re just for boys?), dutifully posed for a few family pictures, and made a discreet exit just before dinner. It was a dignified, elegant VIP (that’s Very Important Pet) appearance and one my fellow furry friends – and their owners – could learn from.

“In my time as a wedding planner, I’ve had to step in and avert a few potential puppy disasters, most of which are simply down to lack of pet-preparation or over-enthusiasm (on both parts). So before you make the risky decision of appointing your St Bernard as bridesmaid, take paws – sorry, pause – and read my do’s and don’ts for a smooth VIP appearance.”

Save the date

DO make a style statement

With everyone in wedding finery, we’d hate to show up under-dressed so do us a favour and trade in the worn plaid collar for something a little more stylish. And don’t forget to book us in for some grooming. I know all too well the challenge of walking down an aisle when I can’t see past my own eyebrows.

DON’T go overboard

We subscribe to the Coco Chanel ‘less is more’ rule so you can back off right now with the doggy tux and the tulle tutu. A pretty ribbon, dicky bow or floral garland is all a dog really needs to stand out from the pack. Anything fussy will just cause discomfort and ultimately end up in tatters (don’t say we didn’t warn you).

bow tie

DO let us play a part

I’m pretty certain you spend more time with your pet than you do with even your closest friends and relatives so if they get to be involved, it’s only right we should. From posing for cute save-the-date cards to accompanying a lone maid down the aisle, we’d be honoured to be a part of your day.

DON’T ask too much

We’d be touched if you asked us to be your ring bearer or lead the way down the aisle carrying a basket of roses, but we know ourselves well enough to concede that these are tasks best performed by our two-legged friends with opposable thumbs.

DO appoint a dogsitter

We don’t ever want to be a handful but we can’t always be held accountable for our behaviour. If an over-excited child, gets a bit handsy or we’re overwhelmed by the noise and crowds, we might become agitated and if nature calls, well you know the drill. Make sure we’re well looked after by asking someone we know to look after us on the day and take us home before things get too crazy on the dancefloor.

DON’T forget about us

It doesn’t take much to keep us happy: food, water, a favourite toy and some space to run around is all we ask. Just make sure you’ve chosen a dog-friendly venue and that they know we’re coming. After what feels like years waiting for the big day to arrive, we’d hate to be turned away on the day.

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For more wedding ideas and inspiration, read Union & Co’s free online magazine at www.unionweddings.co.uk

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