How to Have a Dog Friendly Elopement
When your dog is a part of your family, it makes sense that you simply can’t imagine having your wedding day without them! Read on to learn more about how to include your dog in your elopement or wedding.
- How to Have a Dog Friendly Elopement
- How to incorporate your dog into your wedding
- Ways to include your dog if they can’t be with you
- Adventure elopements with your pup
- Dog friendly elopement locations by state
- Colorado dog friendly elopement locations
- Washington dog friendly elopement locations
- Oregon dog friendly elopement locations
- California dog friendly elopement locations
- Tennessee dog friendly elopement locations
- Florida dog friendly elopement locations
- Michigan dog friendly elopement locations
- Georgia dog friendly elopement locations
- Arkansas dog friendly elopement locations
- Las Vegas dog friendly elopement locations
- New Orleans dog friendly elopement locations
- Want more help planning your elopement?
- Get in touch and let’s chat about your vision!
As a devoted dog mom, I could never imagine getting married without my little floofer. Does that sound like you too?
Luckily, there are tons of ways you can include your pup in your elopement, regardless of whether they are present with you when you have your ceremony.
I’ve put together a list of ways you can have your dog be a part of your special day.
How to incorporate your dog into your wedding
If you’re lucky enough to be able to have your dog present with you on your wedding day, here are several ideas for how to give your furchild a special role.
Get ready together with your pup
Your time spent getting ready on your wedding day is very special, and often you’ll have lots of photos from your photographer of this time.
Including your pup in this part of the day can also be very special if they can’t be with you during the ceremony.
Include your dog as your Best Man or Maid of Honor
A.k.a. Best Dog or Dog of Honor!
Aside from your partner, your dog is basically your best friend right? Your dog supports you and is there for you when you need them. Dogs are as loyal of friends as they come.
So it makes sense to have them in a role typically held by the bride or groom’s best friend.
Even if you aren’t able to have your dogs with you at your ceremony, you can still give them the title and get some adorable photos with them before and after!
Include your dog as your Ring Bearer or Flower Girl
This is another adorable option for formally including your pupper in your wedding.
You can have your dog carry the rings or deck them out in flowers! Bonus points if you can train them to carry a basket of petals!
Get your dog wedding attire
Nothing will melt your heart like seeing your pup in their adorable dog wedding outfit!
It’s like a first look, but possibly even better!
Here are some ideas for how to dress up your pup in wedding attire that will make them look and feel extra special!
- Bow Tie
- Flower Collar (Learn how to make one here)
- Custom Dog Leash
- Best Dog or Dog of Honor Bandana
Include your dog as your witness
If your state doesn’t require a witness or officiant, you can have your dog be your witness instead!
For example, when you elope in Colorado you are allowed to self-solemnize your marriage, which means you don’t need either a witness or an officiant.
Bring an ink pad and stamp their paw print on your marriage license, and then die of cuteness overload.
Have your dog wear a GoPro for a special wedding video
You may or may not decide to hire a professional videographer to capture your day, but either way, having your dog record your wedding is sure to result in some adorable footage.
Sure, you might also get some video of them sniffing their butt or chasing a squirrel, but in between those hilariously awkward shots, you’ll get to see your wedding day from their point of view. How magical is that?
Ways to include your dog if they can’t be with you
Sometimes your dog won’t be able to join you for either some or all of your elopement day. There are still several ways you can honor them and include them!
Include your dog in your vows
If you’re writing your own vows, I can guarantee they are going to be so personal and completely heartfelt.
One way to personalize them even further, is to mention your furchildren in your promises to each other! Very few, if any, people get this honor so it is a beautiful way to include your dogs.
Bring a picture of your dog with you
Keeping a picture of your doggo with you on your wedding day can help you keep them in mind and in heart during your wedding.
This could be something as simple as a framed or unframed photo. Another idea would be to have a locket with their photos attached to your bouquet, or have custom cufflinks made with their photos.
Having your dog’s picture with you is also a great way to honor pups that have sadly passed on.
Skype your pup
If you’re in a location with wifi or cell service, you can Skype or Facetime your pup to be with you on your wedding day! Even if it’s just for a small part of the day, giving your dog a call will definitely make your day even more special.
Have a photo session before or afterwards with your dog
Another way to include your dog if they can’t be with you for your wedding day is to have a photo session with them either before or after your wedding.
This could mean having your engagement photos done including your dog, or you could even have a post wedding session with your dog!
Adventure elopements with your pup
If you’re planning to bring your dog along on an adventure elopement, here are a few considerations to think about while you’re planning everything out!
Confirm your location is dog-friendly
Of course you want to make sure your elopement location is dog-friendly.
Keep in mind that most national parks have very strict rules about dogs. For example, Rocky Mountain National Park does not allow dogs outside of the paved parking areas or roads, and campgrounds or picnic areas.
If you need some ideas of dog-friendly elopement locations, keep scrolling to check out the list below!
Prepare your pup
This probably goes without saying, but make sure your pup has the experience and physical ability to join you on whatever activity you’ve chosen to include them in.
For example, if you’re planning to have a 10 mile hiking wedding at 14,000 feet elevation, make sure you know your dog can handle this! A doggy rescue situation is not what you want on your wedding day!
Leave No Trace information
Leave No Trace is one of the most important parts of engaging in outdoor activities!
Here are some friendly reminders of Leave No Trace principles that apply to our furry friends:
- Pick up your pet’s waste! Pet waste can cause harm to plants or other animals in the area, so of course we always want to clean up after our pet!
- Know the leash rules of the area–and follow them!
If you’re planning on an activity for your adventure elopement, you want to make sure that you stay hydrated and nourished throughout the day. This same goes for your pupper!
Make sure to bring plenty of extra water for your pup’s hydration needs and plenty of treats to keep him going!
Wedding Day Dog Gear Checklist
Here’s a gear checklist to hopefully help you with packing for your pup:
- Water bowl
- Treats/Doggy snacks
- Dog waste bags/waste holder (to help with the smell!)
- Paw protection
- Dog safety glow lights
Assign a friend to help
If you’re planning to have guests at your elopement, consider asking one or two of them to be a designated pup helper!
That way if you need to turn your attention elsewhere temporarily, you will know your pup is in good hands!
Dog friendly elopement locations by state
Colorado dog friendly elopement locations
Washington dog friendly elopement locations
- Rattlesnake Ridge
- Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest
- Ross Lake (Diablo Lake)
- San Juan Islands
- Leavenworth (Icicle Creek)
- Lake Cushman
Oregon dog friendly elopement locations
- Smith Rock State Park
- Oregon Coast
- Tamanawas Falls
- Willamette National Forest
- Mt Hood National Forest
- Columbia River Gorge
- Wahclella Falls
California dog friendly elopement locations
- Alabama Hills
- Mt. Whitney
- Tahoe Paradise Park
- Muir Beach
- Sunset Cliffs Osprey Point
- Sunset Cliffs Luscomb’s Point
- Zephyr Farms Vineyard
Tennessee dog friendly elopement locations
- Fall Creek falls
- Ely’s Mill (Gatlinburg)
- Honeysuckle Hills (Gatlinburg)
- Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook
Florida dog friendly elopement locations
- Ponte Vedra Beach
- Palm Beach
- Orange Beach
- Pensacola Beach
- Phipps Park
Michigan dog friendly elopement locations
- Turnip Rock (Port Austin)
- Miners Falls (Munising)
- Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
- Noquemanon North Trails (Marquette)
- Sugarloaf Mountain
Georgia dog friendly elopement locations
- Jekyll Island
- Fort Mountain State Park
- Mount Yonah
- Cloudland Canyon State Park
- Providence Canyon State Park
- Toccoa Falls
- Tallulah Gorge
Arkansas dog friendly elopement locations
- Devil’s Den State Park
- Petit Jean State Park
- White Rock Mountain
- Kings River
- Hawksbill Crag
Las Vegas dog friendly elopement locations
- Red Rock Canyon
- Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
- Valley of Fire State Park
- Mount Charleston (South Loop Trail)
- Fortification Hill
- Frenchman Mountain
New Orleans dog friendly elopement locations
- French Quarter
- City Park
- Audubon Park (Tree of Life)
Want more help planning your elopement?
Hi I’m Kim, a Denver, Colorado based photographer specializing in Adventure Elopements in Colorado and worldwide! Photographing couples on the most special day of their lives is a true honor for me. But I’ve made it my mission to take it one step further than that. When you work with me, you’re getting more than just a photographer. I’m here to help you with all of the planning resources you need to have the most amazing elopement day ever! That includes everything from assistance with location ideas, timeline planning, and lots more free resources. So you can forget the work, and focus on having fun!