If there’s one story I’ve been dying to write about since starting Dog Furiendly, it’s about my dog friendly wedding! Back in 2015, I got married in the wonderfully dog friendly venue Rosedew Farm and have plenty of advice to share on planning a dog friendly wedding.
Where it all began…
It was the holiday of the lifetime road tripping across the USA. James got down on one knee and popped the question by Sleeping Beauties Castle in Disney California. Now there wouldn’t be much of a story if I had said no would there? Of course, I said yes and with plenty of excitement we immediately started planning. The first thought that popped into the forefront of our mind was our little Jackhuahua Charlie. We were missing him terribly while away and thought there’s no way we’re having our wedding without him too.
As we got home to the reality of the soggy Welsh weather, we were itching to be reunited with our little pooch Charlie to tell him the big news. Charlie greeted us half annoyed that we left him and half excited to see us. We told him straight away and asked him very nicely with some American dog treats if he would be our ring bearer. We read the wagging tail and taking of the treats as one big YES. So planning our dog friendly wedding commenced.
Planning with Charlie
Now, planning a dog friendly wedding with a limited budget wasn’t as easy as we initially thought. We had to do a lot of research and reaching out. There were plenty of no’s and a couple of venues saying yes to the reception only. We wanted him there for the whole day and we wasn’t going to settle for less, he was to be our ring bearer after all!
As we pulled a shortlist together of those who said yes, including Craig Y Nos Castle we decided to take Charlie with us. After all, he had to approve of the venue just as much as us!
After lots of viewing, we found it, our dream venue. A beautiful dog friendly barn, complete with dog friendly accommodation, acres of field and the ability for us to create the wedding of our dreams on a small budget. That venue was Rosedew Farm at Llantwit Major.
The venue took our breath away and with Charlie already making himself at home. We knew instantly that this was the venue for us! Rosedew Farm couldn’t have been more accommodating allowing our special boy to be by our side throughout the whole day.
Other things we had to think about
The thought on everyone’s lips was how will Charlie walk down the aisle? Initially we were going to let Charlie to walk down the aisle on his own. Then we remembered the BBC were filming on the day and Charlie likes to show off in front of the cameras. So we thought let’s ask one of our special friends to bring him down the aisle. There was no doubt in my mind who I was going to ask.
My friend Amy is dog mad like me. She was the only person on my level when I initially told her about having Charlie as our ring bearer at the wedding. I knew that Amy would completely understand the importance of the role and would act like Charlie’s second Mam throughout the day.
Walking down the aisle, Charlie had his very own yellow bowtie from Etsy to match the groomsman. We tied a ribbon through it to hold the rings. That wasn’t the only way we took care of our special pooch. We made sure there was plenty of dog treats, food and water available for him, including his very own tipi bed, filled with his favourite blanket and toys from home. Our groomsmen and bridesmaids helped to take care of Charlie throughout the day, but Charlie was just loving life playing off-lead in the acres of grass.
I couldn’t imagine not having Charlie by my side on our wedding day. After all, he’s my little boy, my fur-baby and my best man. He did us so proud on our wedding day, and I would encourage everyone to think about including them in some way, shape or form.
Advice planning a Dog Furiendly Wedding
Find the pawfect venue. You want a place that’s going to be just as accommodating to our four legged friend as they would be for our two-legged friends! We’ve pulled a list together of some of our favourite dog friendly wedding venues.
Assign a dog-sitter. We know that you love spending quality time with your pooch, but you’re going to busy with so many other things on your wedding day. So we suggest you outsource this task to a trusted friend or family member. We assigned this to the bridesmaids and groomsmen!
Photographer. It’s important that your photographer or videographer is down with dogs, with the level of interaction that will take place on the day. We had Owen Mathias photograph our wedding day and he was beyond excited to spend the day with our pooch. We also recommend pet photographer Tom Harper. He knows how to photograph our four legged friends, and will pop your pooch in the centre of all the photos.
Food and water. Make sure you have enough dog food and a bowl of fresh water. Stock up on plenty of dog friendly treats, maybe even order a doggy cupcake. Or make your dog feel like a VIP and create their own doggy wedding breakfast.
Give them a break. Dogs are used to spending their days chilling at home and going for walks. A wedding is a long day with new experiences and, as a result, it will likely tire them out. So make sure there is a quiet, safe space for your dog to chill whenever you think he needs it. Also ask a close family member or friend to give them a little walk around the venue to give them some time away from the noise.
Have you ever had a dog friendly wedding?
We would love to hear your story! Get in touch.