The only thing better than a couple in love is a couple in love who wants to include their dog in wedding or engagement photos! Seriously, photographing your four-legged bestie alongside you and your partner is one of my absolute favorite parts of my job. I am a huge dog lover with two adorable pups of my own at home, so I know how important it is to include your dog in your photos! Adding in a furry friend does come with its own set of logistics, so I’ve rounded up my best advice of how to plan for a worry-free photo session with your dog.
Have a dedicated pet assistant
If you want your pup in your engagement photos, it’s absolutely necessary to bring along an extra hand. Ask a friend of family member who knows your pet well to come to the engagement session. You’ll want photos without your dog, so your assistant will be able to keep them entertained while we get some human-only shots.
For wedding day photos, you may want to ask someone who isn’t in the wedding to be responsible for your pup. It’s sometimes easiest to hire a professional (Fetching I Do is a great option!) or pay a neighbor’s responsible teenager to manage your dog during photos.
Whether including your pup in your engagement session or wedding photos, make sure to bring along plenty of fresh water and some treats to keep Fido in good spirits during the shoot!
Keep it short and sweet
If you want your furry friend in your official wedding photos, don’t feel like you need to keep them around for the entire ceremony and reception. Most dogs will not enjoy a loud and crowded reception anyway! Feel free to have your pet assistant bring your pup when it’s time for photos and then take them back home as soon as pictures are done.
Dress them up
Wedding day doggos should fit in with the overall theme and vibe of your wedding. It’s a perfect time to splurge on a fancy new collar or a lavish leather leash for your pet. If you really want to do it big, consider ordering a floral collar for your dog to match your bouquet or having your florist decorate the leash with fresh greenery. Floral and greenery will both photograph much more nicely than a plain collar or leash.
No dogs allowed? Improvise!
If you’ve already booked your wedding venue and they don’t allow dogs onsite (boo!), you still have plenty of options for including your furry friend. Some of my favorite options include having cut outs of your pet as photo booth props or providing a “doggy bag” gift bag station with a variety of treats for guests to take home for their own pups. You can also name a specialty cocktail after your pet, have a custom wedding cake topper made in their image, or display photos of you and your partner with your sweet pup at your reception.
Pick a pet-friendly location for engagement photos
If you know your engagement photos won’t be complete without your pup’s paw alongside your sparkly new diamond, make sure to plan ahead. Do some scouting, talk to your photographer, and make sure dogs are welcome at your engagement shoot location site. Most parks are open to dogs, though some do have leash requirements. If you aren’t sure if your pup is welcome, you can always call and ask!
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