4 ways to include your dog in your wedding

April 30, 2018

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Your dogs are a huge part of your life and family. They’re your baby and you take them with you hiking and on camping trips and all of your adventures. Why would you want to leave them behind on your wedding day?

It can be difficult to know which parts of the day to include them in, as well as the logistics so they don’t add unnecessary stress to your wedding day.

Include them in the ceremony

This is definitely a fun way to get your dogs involved with your wedding day. They can walk the bride down the aisle, or go up front with the groom first so the groom and dog are waiting for the bride. They could be a “best dog” or flower girl or ring bearer.

Before you get super excited about having your dog in the ceremony though, make sure to think through it carefully first. How is your dog around people? If your dog is hyper and jumps all over new people, this might not be the best idea. On the other hand, if your dog is really shy, that might make it difficult as well.

A lot of Lumos Couples have rescue dogs which is amazing, and a cause that is very close to my heart. Our dog Kyle is a rescue and as much as we wanted him to be included in our ceremony, we knew it wouldn’t be fair to him. He came from a tough background and is very skeptical of new people. Parading him around 200 people he didn’t know would really freak him out so we knew that wasn’t a good option for us.

Some dogs are very sweet and laid back and thrive in this type of environment. If your dog is a good listener and will stay put up front with you, definitely do it! Look how cute Lux, the Golden Oak Farm dog is as the flower girl 🙂


Include them in your first look and portraits

This is the option Tony and I went with since the ceremony wasn’t a good idea for Kyle. We found a sitter for the wedding weekend who lived near our venue. We found her on Rover.com because everyone who normally would watch our dog was going to be at our wedding. She was awesome, and I totally recommend Rover. We had a great experience.

When we initially talked to her about watching Kyle, we told her about our wedding and how much it would mean to have him there. We gave her an extra payment to bring Kyle to our wedding for an hour of photos.

Tony and I did our first look together in the park and she was sitting across the park with Kyle on her lap. After our first look, we called him over and he was so excited to realize we were there! Kyle sprinting through the park in his little tux was a highlight of our day!

It was amazing for the 3 of us to have time together to ourselves as a family on our wedding day. Our sitter brought him home after the photos, and we knew he was in good hands for the rest of the weekend.

Our awesome wedding photos are by One:One


Include your dog in your adventure session

If you’re not sure about having your dog around on your actual wedding day, definitely make sure to include them in your engagement photos. Your furbabies are always welcome in your Adventure Session with Lumos Images.

Make sure to have someone assigned to take care of your dog during your engagement photos and/or your wedding so you aren’t worrying about them. You’ll want someone to keep your pup occupied when they aren’t in photos. Give that job to someone who doesn’t have one already and has been asking if there are ways they can help! If you don’t want to put that task on family or friends, Doggy Social is a super useful service in the Twin Cities who can help with this.

With any wedding tips I give, I’ll remind you to embrace the unexpected. If your dog won’t sit still and pose for the camera, don’t get frustrated. Play with your dog and interact naturally for some great candid shots!


Have a day after portrait session

Day after sessions are portraits of the two of you in your wedding attire. They typically take place within the same month of your wedding. The name is a bit of a misnomer because I never recommend doing them the day immediately following your wedding. You’re going to want to relax!!

This is a great idea for many reasons, one of them being you can have your dog around! This is great if your dog doesn’t do well around a lot of people, if your venue is not pet friendly or logistically you can’t make it work to have your dog there at your actual wedding. You can go to a location that has significance to you and get additional wedding photos in a totally laid-back, no pressure setting.

The wedding day goes quickly and sometimes you don’t get as many portraits as you’d like, or the weather is bad and you can’t do them where you want. These day-after sessions add more variety to your album, and it can be really fun to get dressed up again! Who says you only have to wear the wedding dress once!?


If you are looking for a dog-friendly photographer, I would love to work with you and your furbaby! Just fill out the form below to start the conversation! I can take you out for a drink, hear about your wedding and answer all of your questions. Just click on the wedding button below, fill out the form and hit submit 🙂



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"The day went by so fast and we now understand how valuable wedding photos are. The photos managed to perfectly capture the fun energy of our big day." 

Asher & Mel

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