How To Use Your Dog As Your Ring Bearer In Your Wedding

Using your dog as your ring bearer in your wedding doesn't have to be a disruptive mess, and is easily pulled off with a little planning and ingenuity.

The young boy solemnly carrying your ring down the aisle on a plump cushion is one of many wedding ceremony traditions receiving a little bit of spice lately.The custom is being adapted by couples across the nation to allow the family dog to be the ring bearer, by those who just can't leave their beloved best friend at home for the joyous day.There are reasons that actors hate to work with animals though, and when you decide to include your favorite dog in the ceremony you will be inviting fate to hit you with every canine related problem it can come up with.After you decide to use your dog as your ring bearer in your wedding ceremony, take a few minutes to start planning, because planning is what stands between you and big wedding day disruption.

Location

Can your dog even enter your chosen ceremony site?Pets are rarely allowed in churches.If you are marrying at a small local church, you could try explaining the situation and asking, but be prepared for an emphatic no.Park, beach and wooded area weddings are much easier to work with (just check the posted signs closely for parks, and keep the dog on leash).Outdoor weddings at some hotels or country clubs can usually allow a dog, but indoor arrangements can be hard to make, as local food safety laws usually forbid the presence of dogs in dining areas.

A Keeper

You're going to be busy, and probably wearing clothing worth a significant amount of money, so make sure you appoint your dog a watcher for the wedding day.He will need transportation to and from the wedding, and will need to be taken home after the ceremony but before the reception (or will need a room to set aside for him to hang out in, unless he's very laid back and likely to nap under the bridal party's table instead).Between greeting guests, gazing adoringly at each other, and overseeing last minute details, the bride and groom just aren't going to have time to give their ring bearer the belly rubs he deserves, and a dog trying to catch the brides attention by jumping or running between her legs can cause an expensive accident involving delicate tulle.

Car Sickness

Does the dog get car sick?Tell the keeper if he does, and plan to have him there early to get cleaned up.You can also talk to your vet about over the counter medications which can help combat car sickness in canines.

Led or Not Led

Most dogs won't be able to get down the aisle while surrounded by distractions and confusion, no matter how much you train them to be ready for the moment.Appoint a member of the bridal party to lead the dog.For a cute twist, appoint a young boy and your dog as co-workers in the ring bearer position, and ask your nephew to lead the dog down the aisle.

Fake Rings

It hurts to think about it, but you're about to entrust your dog with something that probably cost you a significant amount.Whether your rings cost 60$ or 6,000$, it was probably a significant portion of a paycheck, and more than you'd be willing to let your dog play with under normal situations.To combat stress induced high blood pressure, consider using fake rings in the ceremony.For 20$ you can get gold-looking metal rings for your dog to carry.Once the ring bearer reaches you, you can either use these rings in the ceremony, or have the real rings palmed and ready to use.If you're going to switch rings, remember that the bride will need some sort of pocket, and practice the slight of hand a few times before the big day.

Pillow Placement

If you use the traditional silk pillow to hold your rings, make sure they are securely fastened to the pillow in at least two ways.Tie decorative ribbons around the rings, but also expertly hide a garbage bag twist tie or something of equal strength.After that, make sure the pillow is securely fastened to your dog.You can do this easily yourself by purchasing a securely fitting harness from the pet store (not a mere collar), and sewing your pillow to the harness.

Training

Even if you think your dog knows come and stay inside and out, make sure you construct a fake aisle in a similar environment and walk your dog down it repeatedly.If you expect your dog to walk down it on his own, he'll need even more repetition.Make sure your dog will come to you in crowded places, and on unexpected surfaces.Even a calm well meaning dog might think walking under the high pews, or avoiding the slippery silk, is a good idea.

Pillowless Tricks

Your dog can't hold two rings in his mouth, but he is probably well acquainted with carrying ropes, sticks, and balls.If you'd like to skip the pillow and have your dog deliver the rings and drop them in your hand, incorporate one of these concepts.Teach your dog to "find momma" and "drop" the object in her hand reliably, then for your wedding day put your rings in a plastic ball which you can break apart, or tied to the ends of a decorative stick. Don't try this with a dog who likes to get a few tugs in before releasing, at the risk of vastly amusing your wedding guests.

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