How to Include Your Beloved Dog in the Wedding

From ring bearing pups to memorable exits, see how these couples incorporated their pets into the wedding.

Some couples say they could never get married without their best friend and furry family member. If your venue is dog friendly, discover these adorable ways to include your pup in the big day!

real wedding photo ojai california boho chic wedding bride and groom portrait with two dogs before wedding
Photo: Brandi Crockett Photography

If you have a dog – or know someone who does – you'll understand that many brides and grooms want to share their special days with their pups. Thought of as part of the family, no one wants to leave their precious pooch home while they celebrate with family and friends. Whether you choose to take wedding portraits with your dogs, have them along for moral support before the ceremony, or enlist them with flower girl or ring bearer duties, you'll be happy you made them a part of your big day – especially since they're such a special part of your life together.

Depending on your ceremony and/or reception venue, it may not be possible to include your pet in your special day; however, there's always a way to work with your resources. Can't bring your pup to the ceremony? Incorporate him or her into your getting-ready photos at home or in a pet-friendly hotel room or bridal suite. Worried about your dog eating the food at the reception or getting stepped on while on the dance floor? Have your wedding planner or a close friend or family member be in charge of bringing your pet to a safe location for the duration of the festivities. 

While it may seem like just one more thing to think about during the planning process, you'll be glad you took the time to include your favorite furry friend in your nuptials. After all, many couples adopt dogs together before they say "I do" and wouldn't imagine tying the knot without their puppy in tow. Take a look at the brides and grooms below that brought their dogs to their weddings – and even included them in the wedding party! Click the link below each photo to see more from these real weddings!

White dog in wedding tuxedo outfit
This couple's maltese puppy Bailey wore a bow tie and collar for the couple's Jewish wedding ceremony – he even donned a black-and-white yarmulke! Photo by Gruber Photographers; From Real Wedding: Glamorous All-White Fall Wedding in New York City

Black and white photo of bride kissing bulldog
An adorable English bulldog waited anxiously to give this beautiful bride a sweet kiss to wish her well before the vow exchange! Photo by Dalal Photography; From Real Wedding: Holiday Wedding with Woodsy Winter Décor Elements

Adrianna Costa holding a cute dog in outfit
Entertainment host Adrianna Costa and her groom included their grey poodle mix – named Jerry Garcia after The Grateful Dead guitarist – into the ceremony and outfitted him in a tuxedo jacket. Photo by Mi Belle Photographers; From Real Wedding: Entertainment Host Adrianna Costa's Desert Chic Wedding

Teacup yorkie in wedding ceremony on grass
The bride's sweet Yorkshire terrier, who had an adorable puppy cut, accompanied the flower girl and ring bearer down the aisle. Photo by Jose Villa Photography; From Real Wedding: California Oceanside Wedding with Natural Elements

Groom in tux walking dog in New York City
Since the couple could not feature their dog in the church ceremony, the groom took some time before the festivities to walk his pup around New York City. Photo by Gruber Photographers; From Real Wedding: Contemporary Fall Wedding at The New York Public Library

Little dog on coffee table in bridal suite
This sweet pup played watch dog on a glass coffee table while the bride and her bridesmaids prepared for the Los Angeles wedding ceremony. Photo by Elizabeth Messina; From Real Wedding: Timeless All-White Wedding in Beverly Hills, California

Bride in robe holding small black poodle
This bride felt it was important to include her black toy poodle Carmen in the big day, especially since she was a gift from the groom. "She's the love of our lives and we couldn't imagine her not being a part of the day," she says. Photo by Catherine Hall Studios; From Real Wedding: Metropolitan San Francisco Wedding at a Luxury Hotel

Bride with white lab dog on beach high five
Prior to the reception, the bride made sure to bring her white labrador retriever puppy to a North Carolina beach for a photo session. Photo by Dara Blakeley Photography; From Real Wedding: A Sweet, Beachy North Carolina Celebration

Nick Carter wife Lauren Kitt with English bulldog and pug
Lauren Kitt, the bride of Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter, prepared the couple's two dogs – a pug and French bulldog – for the ceremony, where they carried the wedding rings on bone-shaped pillows. Photo by Kris Kan; From Real Wedding: Backstreet Boys Nick Carter's Santa Barbara, California Wedding

Big grey dog in tuxedo bib at wedding
Since the couple's dog was involved in the proposal, they felt it necessary to also include Riley in the wedding day. He wore a tuxedo bib on his walk down the aisle, which was decorated with flower petals. Photo by Clane Gessel Photography; From Real Wedding: Rustic-Inspired Summer Wedding at a Vineyard in Northern California

Cocker spaniel dog in veil at wedding
This adorable cocker spaniel was dressed like the bride in a tulle veil-like skirt and a collar and leash adorned with fresh, ivory roses! Photo by Handeland Tesoro Photography; From Real Wedding: Oceanfront Ceremony & Ballroom Reception in Southern California

Bride and groom on floor with dogs at wedding
Since the couple's wedding was held at the home of the groom's parents, their chocolate lab served as a "flower dog" in a pearl necklace and their American bulldog stood as a ring bearer in a bow tie. Photo by Mi Belle Photographers; From Real Wedding: Romantic, Natural At-Home California Wedding

Bride and groom holding little dog at wedding
The bride met her groom while taking a walk with her beloved dog when her pooch ran up to the bench he was seated on and boldly jumped onto his lap. So of course, they included him in wedding portraits. Photo by Elizabeth Messina; From Real Wedding: Timeless All-White Wedding in Beverly Hills, California

Bride and father of bride walking dog at wedding
Despite the couple's destination-wedding location in Lake Como, Italy, this bride made sure her beloved dog walked her down the aisle along with the father of the bride. Photo by Corbin Gurkin; From Real Wedding: A Pink Summer Destination Wedding in Lake Como, Italy

Chinese flower girl walking dog down aisle
The couple's adorable pup was escorted down the aisle, which was strewn with pink flower petals, by a cute flower girl wearing a darling white dress. Photo by Marisa Holmes; From Real Wedding: A Blissful and Beautiful Outdoor Fête in Pasadena, California

The Bachelorette Ashley Hebert yorkie with sister
A Yorkshire terrier belonging to the bride – The Bachelorette's Ashley Hebert – was held by her sister (and maid of honor) as she walked down the aisle with the flower girls and ring bearer. Photo by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography; From Real Wedding: The Bachelorette's Ashley Hebert & J.P. Rosenbaum Say "I Do"

Small dog sitting on floor pillow at wedding
Taking part in the ceremony itself, the couple's Cavalier King Charles Spaniel rested on her own cushion while the bride and groom exchanged vows. Photo by Ira Lippke Studios; From Real Wedding: Eastern Themed Summer Wedding at the Montage Laguna Beach

Bride and groom with bull dog at wedding
This bride and groom's bulldog took center stage during the couple's wedding portraits and donned a cute black bow tie to match the groom's attire. Photo by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography; From Real Wedding: Indoor Chicago Wedding Celebration with Outdoor-Inspired Décor

Bride and groom walking with horse and dog
Following their vineyard wedding ceremony reminiscent of Tuscany, the bride and groom were led to the reception space by a dog – and a horse! Photo by Christian Oth Studio; From Real Wedding: A Classic Vineyard Wedding in The Hamptons

Bride and groom with pomeranian in tuxedo
Wearing an adorable miniature pinstripe suit, the couple's pomeranian Bentley played a key role during the wedding photo session. Photo by Jay Lawrence Goldman Photography; From Real Wedding: USC Alumni Glamorous Spring Wedding in California

Asian American couple leaving reception with dogs
Since the couple's young pups ran around all throughout the ceremony, the twosome made sure to hold them close as they made their final sparkler exit. Photo by Jen Yuson Photography; From Real Wedding: Outdoor Chinese Wedding Celebration at a Castle in North Carolina

Opening photo by Brandi Crockett Photography; Bridal Gown by Claire Pettibone Design Atelier; From Real Wedding: Boho-Chic Spring Wedding with DIY Elements in Ojai, California