Is Your Dog Ready to Go For a Walk Down the Aisle?

Determine if your furry friend is a good ring-bearer or flower-girl candidate.

Is Your Dog Ready to Go For a Walk Down the Aisle?

Photo: Ira Lippke Studios

If you are currently planning a wedding and you own a dog, you've probably given at least a passing thought to incorporating your beloved canine into your big day.

It's a popular trend, and if your pup is more of a family member than a pet, it might seem natural that he or she should be there for such a momentous occasion. Plus, the photos are bound to be darling, as these images can attest.

Before you order a white leash festooned with roses, however, make sure you’ve confirmed the following:

Your wedding venue allows it. If you’re getting married in a house of worship, the odds are bleak that you’ll be able to have your pet accompany you down the aisle. In fact, many indoor venues – and even some outdoor sites – have pet restrictions, so inquire about the policy of your locale before your heart is set on the idea.

Your dog can handle it. Is your pup capable of perfect behavior at a strange location amid crowds of people while live instruments play and his beloved owner radiates bridal anxiety? Mine isn’t! (One squirrel sighting and he’d be off like a shot.) Be realistic and fair about your dog’s limitations – expecting even the mellowest dog to be calm and well behaved against the unfamiliar backdrop and excitement of a wedding is asking a lot.

Someone is available to be responsible for it. You don’t want to have to focus on your dog before, during, and after the ceremony. A willing and able adult with whom your dog is familiar should be on hand to handle him or her, while you enjoy being a bride.