Austin wedding ideas

How to Plan Your Dog-Friendly Wedding in Austin

If you’ve visited Garden Grove Austin, you will have noticed by our five pint-sized greeters that we absolutely adore dogs. Shon and I understand that they are important members of the family for many people just like us — which is why we welcome our couples to include dogs in their weddings. It is such a joy to witness furry children hang out with mom or dad while they get ready and then accompany them down the aisle!

Are you thinking about including a four-legged attendant in your big day? Here are a few things to consider first.

Photos by Leighanne Herr

Calm in a Crowd

Is your dog comfortable around a lot of people, or do they suddenly stop listening to you and get over excited or anxious? If you aren’t sure, it’s important to find out as far in advance as possible. If Fido isn’t a fan of crowds, but you have your heart set on including him in your wedding day, start working with an experienced trainer ASAP. A trainer can help get your pooch prepared in plenty of time, and ease both his and yours anxiety as he gets acclimated to being in busy environments. If a trainer isn’t in the budget, but time is especially on your side, there are lots of great resources online. Just make sure that when the big day does arrive you are 100% confident it will be stress free for both of you. If not, there are still other ways to include Fido in the wedding like naming a signature cocktail in his honor, or setting up a family photo display the venue.

Either way, wedding planning can get hectic, so training sessions are also a great way to ensure you and your partner have some quality time set aside to spend with him!

Photos by The Mill Photography Studio

Paw-fect Attire

You may have already said “yes” to the dress, but what should Rex or Roxy wear?! Spend some time scrolling through #weddingdogs on Instagram and you’ll discover just how many ways there are to dress your four-legged best friend. Can’t decide between a tux, tutu, bow tie or floral collar? Whichever you choose, it’s important to remember that comfortable attire is just as important for them as it is for you. If opting for garb of the floral kind, make sure that it’s of the non-toxic variety. Also, be realistic when it comes to how long you expect Roxy to rock her tutu and/or flower collar. Brides will often change into more comfortable shoes after the ceremony and photos, and your furry maid of honor might also require a wardrobe change too. We’ve also had several dogs proudly join mom or dad down the aisle in their everyday wear -- nothing! If your pup is more comfortable in just her collar, then that’s perfectly fine too. Let’s face it, if your dog is in your wedding they are likely to steal the show no matter what they wear!  

Photos by Whitewood Photography

Sit. Stay. Dance?

There will be a lot of activity on your wedding day, and you’ll be pulled in a lot of directions. The last thing you want is to do is spend it worrying about where your dog is, who has him, whether or not he is behaving himself, and if he’s eating something he’s not supposed to. If you can trust your pup to stay dutifully by your side all evening without getting distracted by all of the hustle and bustle, great! (Believe it or not, we’ve witnessed this more than once!) If not, ask one of your human groomsmen or bridesmaids if they would consider this part of their duty. Make sure it’s someone who both you and your dog trust. It’s not a small request, so first ask yourself it’s a duty you would be comfortable taking on if the roles were reversed. If you can’t find someone in your wedding party or a trusted guest to take on the responsibility, there are actually pet sitters who will come to weddings! If it’s in the budget, this might even be the best option. A dedicated pet sitter’s attention won’t be split between taking care of Rufus, while also trying to enjoy the festivities. Their only focus will be on the happiness and safety of your pup, so you and your spouse can enjoy the night worry-free.

Photos by Local Embers

Location. Location. Location.

Last but definitely not least, make sure your wedding venue not only welcomes your dog, but is also an ideal setting for them as well. Garden Grove Austin has over 10,000 square feet of interior spaces set on 12 gorgeous acres. (Not to mention our lower green, which is the perfect place to play a quick round of fetch to get the jitters out before the festivities!) Contact us to schedule your tour of the property today!

Photos by Leah Jeffers

All four-legged wedding attendants must be friendly and current on all vaccinations.