When you get married, you want all your loved ones by your side – including your furry friend! Dogs are truly the best kind of friend, and eloping with your dog by your side can make for a special and meaningful day.
I’m going to let you in on a secret: I’m not just an elopement photographer…. I’m low key a dog portrait photographer. It’s true: one of my weird side hobbies/secret expertise is dog photography! I’m that person that brings my camera everywhere and takes photos of all my friends’ dogs, so much so that my friends have put my dog portraits on blankets, calendars, mugs, pillows…. You name it!
I love love love dogs, and I’ve been taking photos of my wildly excited and super cute German Shepherd Zucchini for years now. I take my pup to breweries, dog friendly hikes, outdoor restaurants…even Home Depot.
All that to say: I love dogs, and nothing would make me happier than planning the perfect dog friendly elopement wedding for you and your loved ones! Dogs are not allowed in every location, so it can be tricky to figure out exactly where they can go and how they can participate in your big day. But never fear – you’ll have this dog lover by your side, planning out all the best dog wedding ideas.
Read on to learn more about how to create the perfect dog-friendly elopement wedding and check out all my dog wedding ideas.
How to Include your Dog on Your Elopement Day
Your dogs can take part in your elopement day in many ways! For example, your pup can walk down the aisle next to you as your best man, or maid of honor. If that position is taken, check out some of these ideas to include your pets in your elopement.
- Have your dog act as your best man or maid of honor
- Have your dog with you when you get ready
- Ring bearer or flower girl
- Dress your dog in doggy wedding attire: a cute wedding bandana, bow ties, or flower wreath (see more ideas below!)
- Put a GoPro on your dog for your elopement
- Doggie cake toppers
- Get your puppy a cute new leash and collar that matches your flowers or color scheme
- Celebrate your wedding at a dog friendly brewery
Dog accessory ideas for your dog friendly elopement wedding
If your furry best friend plans to come dressed up for your elopement, check out these adorable outfits and accessories:
- Custom Dog Koozies
- Dog Bow Tie
- Dog Flower Collar or Greenery Collar
- Dog of Honor Dog Tag (This one is so cute!)
- Dog Bandanas
Can your dog sign your marriage certificate?
Of course! Though allowing your dog to sign your marriage certificate will depend on the location.
In Colorado, your dog can sign your marriage certificate. All you need to do is bring an ink pad and find a flat surface for their official paw print signature to seal the deal!
How do you find dog friendly elopement locations?
Finding a dog friendly elopement location can be tricky, especially if you don’t have much experience.
Eloping with your dog just requires some advance research and a dog-friendly expert in the outdoors (me!). As a fellow dog lover myself, I can help you find the perfect dog friendly hike or dog friendly elopement location.
Helping my couples find the perfect spot is part of my package, and I have a lot of experience finding the best dog-friendly spots.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Avoid National Parks: Most National Parks are not dog friendly, so during your search, look outside of National Park boundaries.
- Check Out State Parks and Forests: Many state parks and state forests are dog friendly. In addition, check out the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property as well.
- Use AllTrails: Use dog friendly filters on sites like AllTrails to find hikes that will allow dogs, like below.
What to pack for your dog on your Elopement Day
Bringing your dog along on your elopement day requires advance notice and preparation. You’ll need to pack a dog knapsack, or reserve a little extra space in your own bag. Here’s what you will need:
- Water and food
- A collar and leash
- Elopement attire and any other accessories
- Paw protection, if needed
Tips for eloping with your dog
Eloping with your dogs can be a lot of work, too. It’s important to prepare properly for your elopement day and take the necessary steps to ensure your pup is comfortable. Check out these tips to include your pets in your elopement:
- Find amazing dog friendly lodging by using the Airbnb filter for dogs
- Bring a ball, toy or treat that your dog will love, for the time when we’ll need their attention
- Consider bringing along a close family member or friend that will come with you on your elopement day and act as your dog handler.
- Remember to pack out any and all dog waste to follow all Leave No Trace Principles (I’m Leave No Trace certified!)
Consider me your elopement photographer AND your dog portrait photographer all in one!
I’d love to meet you and your best buddies to help you celebrate your wedding day in the best way possible.
If you need help picking out the perfect elopement spot or just have questions about how you can include your pets in your elopement, shoot me an email. I’m happy to help your figure out how to best celebrate your love, your way.