Dog In Wedding. Will It Work

A co-worker I know wants to have her dog in her wedding. The husband to be had the dog bring her the engagement ring as a surprise, so she thought it would be cute to have the dog pull the ring (on a case) down the aisle.

Now I think it is a cute idea, but then she tells me she’s having 500 people at the wedding ceremony.

The dog is a labrador retriever and I will admit it’s well behaved, but I’ve seen him in a park and he’s the kind of dog that runs after squirrels and chases other dogs tennis balls.


So she shows me a video of practice in the church and the dog does do a good job. He goes from back to one of the groomsman who will take the ring and hand it over.

I told her she better have a backup plan, 'cause with 500 people in a church, all staring at the dog, it don’t matter how much you train that dog, he’s gonna get all distracted. The people will be “aw isn’t he cute…” And the dog will be loving the attention.

It’s gonna be interesting to see if the dog can pull it off.

Do you think it will?

As cute as this idea is, I think it makes things needlessly complicated. Even the simplest of ceremonies and receptions offer ample opportunities for things to go wrong. Putting the dog in the ceremony is asking for one of those “wedding disaster” videos that get circulated in e-mails and get posted on YouTube.

I try not to be breed-prejudiced, but my offhand reaction is, “Not with a lab, it won’t.”

Fun idea, and as long as the dog is not REALLY bringing the ring, it’s worth a shot. Much like the ring-bearer should not really be bringing the ring down the aisle, bt instead brings a dummy of the ring while the best man has the real one, a dog can bring the dummy ring.

They will need to have several somebodies in charge of dog wrangling if he gets distracted and decides it would be more interesting to flirt with all the guests.

Why not have the dog in a little tuxedo jacket and bow tie standing with the groomsmen instead of having it haul the ring down the aisle? Or just getting it a seat in the front row next to the mother of the bride? There are many ways to involve the dog without having it actually have to, you know, do stuff.

That is sooooooo tacky. I agree with the other posters, that’s needlessly complicated.

Well my wedding was smaller and the dog was a Corgi (the perfect breed) and everything worked out fine. As Beadalin mentioned let the dog bring a dummy ring. We did have one person that was designated “Dog wrangler”, and none of the guests knew about it :slight_smile: Also who ever the dog is supposed to go to should have treats, and just before the procession this person needs to give the dog one. This might help get the dog down the isle. Also treats are a little more subtle than a tennis ball :slight_smile: But yeah, ours worked out fine.

I don’t believe in wedding disasters. What other people might call a disaster, I call “interesting change of plans that made our wedding way less boring and far more hilarious than the usual kind”.

Do it do it do it do it

Thanks I’ll mention to her the dummy ring and the dog tuxedo, but as I saw it on the video of rehersal the dog has a line attached to his collar and he walks up the aisle and pulls the ring on a wagon with the ring in it.

It actually looks better than I described it. I think it was cute. The thing that struck me is, she’s so sure the dog will do it because he does it fine in practice. I tried to tell her, when the dog practiced there we’re like 10 people in the whole church. With 500 people in the church, that’s a different story.

The dog can do tricks and is well behaved in general, I’m just thinking with that many people, unless it’s a professional dog, he’ll get distracted.

Well anyway I told her just to make sure she has a back up plan


A friend of ours used her dog as the ring bearer in her wedding, and it worked out just fine. Granted, it was an outdoor wedding and the dog was very comfortable with the process, having practiced a lot.

Edit- the dog had a small ring pillow clipped to his collar, with the actual ring on it.

I’d love a wedding with a dog in it (even if it is a lab …). It would definitely make the event more entertaining for ME and others like me, if that is the desired effect.

Seriously though … I would trust the dog if (a) the dog has a perfect recall in every situation (i.e. it will always come when its person calls, no matter what else is happening) and (b) that person is at the altar to call the dog when the time comes.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t trust the dog to go exactly where it was told to, just because to learn stuff like that dogs need so much practice in the exact situation that he’ll need to do the trick. You can’t get 500 people to act as guests for long enough to help him learn. Even if he does it perfectly when the church was empty, there’s no reason to expect it to work the same way during the excitement of a wedding, unless he already has a perfect recall.

Can they have someone walk the dog up? instead of a ring-bearer, they could have a dog-bearer.

I dunno. I think I’d want to have a pooper scooper close at hand. Dogs are . . . remarkably uninhibited.

I thought that actors and brides never wanted to work with animals…

My first thought was hoping that none of the guests are allergic to animals.

Well, the little kid variant of ring-bearers seems to me to have plenty of potential to go awry, too, so I think it comes out even in the end. Go for the dog.

We shot (video) one wedding where the priest had a dog (a lab) and he followed the priest out right before the wedding. The couple was very close to their priest and his dog.

The wedding was in a beautiful church in Charlestown, MA and it worked. He dog was only there for the ceremony, sat beside one of the groomsmen (leashed), no formals and no reception. I think it depends on the personality of the couple. If they have the personality to consider it, then they probably have the personality to pull it off.

It makes for GREAT pictures and video, and in the end, besides the memory, that is all they will have left!

My buddy dressed his dog up in a cap and gown, and they walked together to get his diploma. It was pretty neat. I like the dummy ring idea, it eliminates any of the worry. Well, from one source, at least.

If, by tacky, you mean awesome, then yes.

I don’t think it will be an issue, presumably friends of the couple have been around their dog before. Those that don’t know them very well probably won’t be getting close to the dog for very long, either.

Oh- I should add that the dog was accompanied down the aisle b an attendAnt, in case of sudden, unexpected rabbit or squirrel.


No. Terrible idea. Weddings are for people, and I wouldn’t trust most dogs not to A. run off and meet new people or B. be scared to death of all the new people.

I suppose what matters is how fancy and formal the wedding is supposed to be, and whether the bride and groom are the types who would laugh off some unexpected comic relief.

My dog was at our wedding. In fact, there were about 20 dogs there. Of course, most folks were in shorts, and it was in a park pavillion. It was great!

My dog did start to sing during my vows, however - she cracked everybody up.