Whos Missing From Your Wedding Party Your Dog

Whos Missing From Your Wedding Party Your Dog

Man's best friend is​ enjoying a​ higher profile when it​ comes to​ tying the​ knot. Although the​ trend gained steam in​ the​ easy-going West,​ wedding planners all over the​ country are seeing dogs take on​ key roles in​ the​ ceremony. in​ short,​ well-trained tail-waggers are showing up as​ ring bearers,​ groomsmen,​ maids of​ honor,​ and even assuming the​ role that once belonged to​ good ol' Dad -- giving away the​ bride. Dogs have become so common in​ weddings,​ many professional planners know where to​ book a​ dog handler for the​ day without blinking an​ eye. (After all,​ he'll need water,​ protection from crowds -- and a​ few trips to​ the​ loo.)

Gone to​ the​ Dogs?

What fuels the​ trend to​ add Fido to​ the​ ceremony? Opinions differ,​ but one is​ the​ way that weddings are changing: once they were a​ purely formal affair,​ with formal language and dress that hardly seemed to​ relate to​ our real lives at​ all. But many of​ today's couples are trying to​ bring more of​ the​ things we really say into the​ ceremony -- sometimes by writing our own vows -- and more of​ how we really look,​ which sometimes means bypassing the​ traditional white dress. And for many of​ us,​ our patient pooch is​ a​ lot like a​ child or​ a​ two-footed companion. He might have his own furniture,​ his own shelf full of​ tasty organic treats,​ his own set of​ smart fashion accessories. And whither we go,​ he goes ... just like any other family member. No wonder many couples don't think twice about bringing him to​ the​ altar.

But not every dog makes the​ perfect bridal party member. No matter how much you​ might love the​ mischievous antics of​ your wayward canine at​ home,​ it's only the​ well-trained,​ responsive dog that should share your big day. if​ your dog comes,​ sits,​ is​ good with groups,​ and can be relied on​ to​ hold a​ "down-stay,​" he's a​ candidate. if​ not,​ leave him home,​ or​ invest in​ some obedience classes straight away.

You'll also want to​ clear your pup's presence with the​ powers-that-be well ahead of​ time. Yes,​ it's a​ little surprising,​ but with the​ rising popularity of​ dogs in​ weddings,​ it's a​ fair bet that your officiant will give you​ the​ green light. Many banquet halls at​ hotels will also say "yes" to​ a​ well-behaved pet on​ your big day,​ provided you​ have a​ handler.

Dressed for Success

Once you've got the​ go-ahead,​ the​ greatest fun in​ including your dog is​ dressing him up. Popular choices for pint-sized wedding apparel include adorable jeweled collars,​ miniature tuxes or​ bridal gown,​ and crystal-encrusted combs and barrettes. Diane Meier Delaney of​ "The New American Wedding" draped her pooch in​ an​ ornate floral arrangement that literally took her guests' breath away (but discuss this option thoughtfully with your florist -- avoid poisonous flowers and steer clear of​ scratchy wires).

Now that you've ordered his attire and your dog's all set to​ work hard at​ your wedding,​ why not plan to​ treat him? you​ can purchase adorable cakes and cupcakes designed for occasions that are perfectly safe for your dog: delicious-looking confections made with wheat flour or​ oatmeal and bananas or​ honey,​ dripping with carob and studded with candy dog bones. or​ you​ can make your own -- just search the​ net for some tested,​ dog-safe recipes that avoid excess fat and sugar,​ and pass on​ canine no-nos like chocolate,​ grapes,​ avocados,​ coffee and certain nuts.

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