Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Dog Ring Bearer/procession ideas (y'all are my sounding board)

So, I just kind of want to hear opinions from people who have no connection with this. 

I have 3 BMs, 4 GM, no children in the wedding, but my dog is the ring bearer. One of the GM (Groom's closest brother) is the best man but I did not pick one of my BMs to be the MOH because I didn't want to choose. I love them all equally...and I don't have an actual sister.     

My plan is to have the GM up with the groom already and have my BMs walk one at a time. 

Then I am torn. My dog is the ring bearer. (Don't judge, he's perfect). My mom offered to walk up the isle with him...which would work well. However, isn't my mother supposed to walk first and then sit? Also, I thought it would be super cute for me to walk up and then call my dog up with the rings and have him run up the isle. I also thought I would have him walk to the groom right before me...but that is iffy because he is my dog and I trained him. He's very much my dog and if he is nervous I will be the only person to whom he will listen. I actually have a feeling I might be holding him during the ceremony because he'll be so excited (he's 11 lbs and he's my baby) which is fine too...it will be short. 

Anyway, has anyone else used a dog/seen a dog in a wedding? How did it work? Any ideas? 
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Re: Dog Ring Bearer/procession ideas (y'all are my sounding board)

  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216
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    I don't have any advice, but I suggest you tell your wedding party and family what you told us. They know your dog better than we could, and they may have ideas you didn't think of.
    SP29
  • We had planned on having our ring bearer walk the dog but forgot the leash so the dog just walked up the aisle before my mother on his own. Then he jumped in a chair in the front row and no body told him to do any of this, it was quite hilarious. 

    That being said, I don't recommend having a loose dog especially if he is excitable. Having a BM or GM walk him down the aisle is the best bet. The dog doesn't have to actually deliver the rings, people will think it is cute to have him included regardless of if he does anything.
    charlotte989875
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
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    Um, not everybody thinks it is cute.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • I think it's fine for your dog to be at the ceremony, but does he have to be the ring bearer? If he gets nervous or distracted, it could make the ceremony longer and a little awkward (this kind of thing is only funny for so long). Couldn't you just have someone in the wedding party or a family member walk him in on a leash (maybe you could find one to match your wedding colors just for fun) then he can just stand up there with you guys or sit with other guests? I think it's better not to expect that much from him.

    I agree with @missJeanLouise that you shouldn't just let him loose during the wedding. Dogs sometimes get a little freaked out in big groups or with people they don't know. And as much as I love dogs, there are people out there who don't, and he shouldn't be bothering them.
    image
    LondonLisacharlotte989875
  • ernursejernursej
    Tenth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    I would really encourage you to take the advice that @Heffalump had. There is a lot of planning required to make this work. I know you say that your dog is perfect, but it sounds like when he is nervous, he doesn't do well. Performing in front of your guests could be the exact situation that causes this. If you want your dog there, consider having him as a guest and not part of the wedding party. Even as a guest, you still need to think about who will look after him and this should ideally be a paid dog person. Your guests should not have to look after a dog during your ceremony or reception.
    STARMOON44
  • lnixon8lnixon8
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    In your OP you bring up the dog getting nervous.  If you think he would be okay with your Mom walking him, then do that. Who cares if she's "supposed" to walk first? You're having a dog as a ring bearer for goodness sake :)


    Knottief82f9eec4f6705daOurWildKingdomcharlotte989875SP29
  • justsiejustsie
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    I think that if you have an concern that your dog will get nervous you need to either have him walk with your mom or reconsider the idea. This dog, while trained, can't communicate with you if he is too scared or worried about this situation like (some) children could. I would be concerned that in the excitement of the day and due to wanting something to be a certain way I would miss out on cues telling me that my dog isn't ok. 

    I say all of this having a trained therapy dog. We have to listen to our animals and respect them if we are expecting something from them where their behavior is concerned. 
    image
    OurWildKingdomernursejcharlotte989875
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    edited June 2
    I'm not a fan of having dogs as ring bearers, for a lot of the same reasons I'm not a fan of having really young kids do it.

    Being a ring bearer means going up and down the aisle at the right times, staying put until told to move, carrying something without losing or damaging it, not causing any other property damage, remaining quiet during the ceremony, not urinating or defecating in the wrong places, and in the dog's case, avoiding guests who are allergic to or are afraid of dogs. If your dog gets nervous, is this something you really want him to do -- regardless of how "perfect" you claim he is at other times?

    Also, as PPs have mentioned, your dog still needs to be fed and his other needs dealt with. You're going to have a lot of other things going on that require your attention, so you're going to need to pay someone (not a guest, as @ernursej points out) to look after him.

    Edited to add: Is it possible to "involve" your dog in your wedding in another way, such as having a photo of him?
    InLoveInQueensSTARMOON44CMGragainernursej
  • We are having our dog be the "flower girl"...aka she'll just walk down the aisle with a pretty floral collar. I'm not sure if you have any, but we are having one of our Ushers walk her down. Maybe you could have another close family member/friend walk him down the aisle? I'd suggest keeping the dog on the leash regardless of what you decide. It will make guests feel more comfortable!

    Also as far as taking care of the dog after we are having the pet boarding service come pick her up directly after the ceremony. Maybe check if one in your area has a similar service? You wouldn't have to worry about feeding him, taking him outside, or inconveniencing guests. Hope it works out!

  • You need to have him on a leash. 
    InLoveInQueenssouthernbelle0915
  • I attended a wedding where a guest was the designated keeper of the dog ring bearer for the day. The guest was a family friend, with whom the dog was familiar. Please note that this is only acceptable if a guest offers to provide this service.
    "Marriage is so disruptive to one's social circle." - Mr. Woodhouse
    Knottief82f9eec4f6705da
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216
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    scribe95 said:

    If you want to have the dog in the ceremony someone besides you who the dog will listen to has to be in charge of the dog.

    To be honest, the idea that you would hold your dog during a ceremony in which you are solemnly promising to love another person till death do  you part is crazy. Your focus on this day should be your FI - not your dog.


    I'm an animal lover, but when it's put that way, I agree.
    SP29downtondiva
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    I'm cool with someone having their dog as part of their ceremony, but I think your dog needs to be on a leash and have someone walk him in, as well as be responsible for his care and whereabouts during the ceremony- and not you!

    I would have your Mom walk him down the aisle if he is comfortable with her and she is agreeable. It's traditional that the MOB walks in at the start of the processional, but that's tradition, there is no rule against or etiquette breach for her to walk in before you with the dog.
    OurWildKingdom
  • edited June 5


    CMGragain said:


    Um, not everybody thinks it is cute.





    Riiiight? Imagine the dog taking a big dump right on the aisleway.

    I love animals and I have a dog too but he will be far far away from my wedding.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    InLoveInQueens
  • I had one friend who included her dog in her wedding, but she's a professional dog trainer and has the most well-behaved dog in probably the entire universe. Her dog often "performs" for her classes. He also helps train other service dogs. Even she said she would caution other people against having their dog in the wedding, and that it was a lot of planning and a bit stressful having her dog in the wedding.

    There are a lot of logistics to think about, too. How will the dog get back to your house? Will the venue allow dogs? How does your dog react to stress/crowds? If your venue is outside, are you going to be okay with a dirty dog jumping on you? If it's inside, are any of your guests allergic? What if your dog does his business during the ceremony? Are you willing to be "upstaged" by him?

    We have a tiny, adorable, friendly, hypo-allergic dog and thought about having him in the wedding for about 5 seconds before I was like nope there is no way he would behave and I don't want to hold a dog in my wedding dress, no matter how short the ceremony might be!
    OurWildKingdomSP29

  • Heffalump said:

    I honestly don't have an opinion on your dog as ring bearer.  I just suggest that you think through the logistics of the whole plan: how long is your dog going to have to be there?  Who will transport him there and back?  How will you provide food and water?  Where will he relieve himself, and who will clean up after him?  Are non-service animals allowed at your venue?  If it's an outdoor ceremony and you're forced to move it due to weather, is he allowed in the backup location?  Are any of your guests allergic to or afraid of dogs?  Etc.

    I don't think it's the worst idea in the world, I just think it requires a lot of planning to ensure your dog's (and your guests') comfort.


    QFT. 

    If you have any question whether your dog would be nervous during this...like to the point where you'd have to hold him instead of focusing on your future husband during your wedding ceremony (I can't even), then none of the logistics matter anyway because it's just a bad idea.

    If you absolutely must do this, then you need to answer all the questions above. And keep him on a leash. Your mother's position in the processional is only traditional and can be moved so that your dog can be leashed.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    OurWildKingdomahoyweddingInLoveInQueens

  • scribe95 said:

    If you want to have the dog in the ceremony someone besides you who the dog will listen to has to be in charge of the dog.

    To be honest, the idea that you would hold your dog during a ceremony in which you are solemnly promising to love another person till death do  you part is crazy. Your focus on this day should be your FI - not your dog.


    QFT. If this is what it would take for you to be able to have the dog there, then I'm sorry, but it just isn't worth it. I love dogs and I'm all for them being part of a person's life and family, but this is too much.
    image
  • edited June 5
    Wow...glad none of you aren't invited to my wedding. 

    He'll go on a leash once he's up front, he's just going to run down the isle...or be walked...not decided yet. I was mostly joking about holding him. He can sit under my mom's chair...like he's been trained to do...as a service dog...he is trained to sit under a chair in restaurants and stuff. He will go outside to do his business...you know...like he does at home...or anywhere else he's ever been.

    Anyway, I'm going to do some practice sessions with him. If I just practice with him, he'll be fine.

    I was really thinking about processional order not your opinions about dogs being in weddings.
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    Wow...glad none of you aren't invited to my wedding. 

    He'll go on a leash once he's up front, he's just going to run down the isle...or be walked...not decided yet. I was mostly joking about holding him. He can sit under my mom's chair...like he's been trained to do...as a service dog...he is trained to sit under a chair in restaurants and stuff. He will go outside to do his business...you know...like he does at home...or anywhere else he's ever been.

    Anyway, I'm going to do some practice sessions with him. If I just practice with him, he'll be fine.

    I was really thinking about processional order not your opinions about dogs being in weddings.


    Practicing in a quiet and controlled environment will not necessarily guarantee the same results in a crowded and unfamiliar environment.

    A dog "running up the aisle" is an irresponsible idea, in my opinion.

    Your mom may be willing to have a dog sit under her chair, but will the dog obey?  I am assuming if this is your service dog, his training is to remain by YOUR side.
    ahoyweddingDrillSergeantCatInLoveInQueensSTARMOON44
  • Sorry, I just didn't expect everyone to be so rude. I forgot what posting on forums was like. My bad.  
  • ernursejernursej
    Tenth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    Sorry, I just didn't expect everyone to be so rude. I forgot what posting on forums was like. My bad.  


    Posters have been quite tame and no one was rude. Blunt, sure. We are trying to ensure that you see the other side.


    So, I just kind of want to hear opinions from people who have no connection with this. 

    Then I am torn. My dog is the ring bearer. (Don't judge, he's perfect). My mom offered to walk up the isle with him...which would work well. However, isn't my mother supposed to walk first and then sit? Also, I thought it would be super cute for me to walk up and then call my dog up with the rings and have him run up the isle. I also thought I would have him walk to the groom right before me...but that is iffy because he is my dog and I trained him. He's very much my dog and if he is nervous I will be the only person to whom he will listen. I actually have a feeling I might be holding him during the ceremony because he'll be so excited (he's 11 lbs and he's my baby) which is fine too...it will be short. 

    Anyway, has anyone else used a dog/seen a dog in a wedding? How did it work? Any ideas? 



    From your original post, we've pointed out some concerns so that you will plan accordingly.

    Ultimately. it is your wedding and your dog. You can do what you think it best. We are trying to make you aware of other angles (like you asked).

    DrillSergeantCatSP29STARMOON44
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
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    edited June 6
    Knottie1469291583 said:


    Sorry, I just didn't expect everyone to be so rude. I forgot what posting on forums was like. My bad.  

    No one was rude to you.  You just don't like the opinions you are reading.
    In addition to what the other posters have pointed out to you, there are some people, like myself, who regard any marriage ceremony as a sacred event between two people.  The inclusion of your pet is puzzling to us.  I do not know any church that would allow it, and I don't like the idea at a secular ceremony, either.
    Be glad that you are getting these responses now from us, instead of from your guests at your wedding.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • OP, if you would have stated he was your service dog in your first post, I think you would have gotten different reactions. Like @missfrodo said, just have someone walk him around the outside of the rows of seats, or if you think he'll be comfortable walking down the aisle, your mom could bring him. Your friends and family probably all know your dog, right? He's likely used to being in public, and you could ask your venue about any accommodations they could make during the reception, if you think you'll need his services during that time. If not, is there someone who could drop him at home? Maybe hire a dog sitter?
    lnixon8

  • ernursej said:





    Sorry, I just didn't expect everyone to be so rude. I forgot what posting on forums was like. My bad.  




    Posters have been quite tame and no one was rude. Blunt, sure. We are trying to ensure that you see the other side.




    So, I just kind of want to hear opinions from people who have no connection with this. 

    Then I am torn. My dog is the ring bearer. (Don't judge, he's perfect). My mom offered to walk up the isle with him...which would work well. However, isn't my mother supposed to walk first and then sit? Also, I thought it would be super cute for me to walk up and then call my dog up with the rings and have him run up the isle. I also thought I would have him walk to the groom right before me...but that is iffy because he is my dog and I trained him. He's very much my dog and if he is nervous I will be the only person to whom he will listen. I actually have a feeling I might be holding him during the ceremony because he'll be so excited (he's 11 lbs and he's my baby) which is fine too...it will be short. 

    Anyway, has anyone else used a dog/seen a dog in a wedding? How did it work? Any ideas? 





    From your original post, we've pointed out some concerns so that you will plan accordingly.

    Ultimately. it is your wedding and your dog. You can do what you think it best. We are trying to make you aware of other angles (like you asked).



    I have actually seen a dog in a wedding. It was borderline disastrous. The dog wandered back and forth during the ceremony, causing one of the small children in the wedding (who is scared of dogs) to panic and have to be held by a groomsman. It eventually laid down on the bride's train.
    image
    InLoveInQueensDrillSergeantCatSP29
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