While some couples round up their favorite friends and family members to escort them down the aisle, others opt to have a four-legged friend be part of the wedding ceremony. Looking for venues that welcome pets to be part of the wedding? We found eight properties that have no bones about dogs joining in the wedding celebration. Learn how these venues not only welcome dogs to be part of the wedding day, but offer all sorts of perks and pampering for your beloved pooch.
“At Willowdale Estate it’s most common to see the furriest family member participating during the ceremony and for photos just before or after the ceremony. We’ve seen flower-dogs, and dog-bearers wear bow ties and flower crowns – but however they are dressed, dogs always add a lot of joy to an already celebratory day! The advice we typically give our clients – is to think of your pet in public before deciding if it’s a good idea to involve them in the ceremony. Hire a dog walker to walk and tend the dog when his or her moment in the spotlight is over so that the couple doesn’t have to worry about the comfort and needs of their dog during the reception,” says Kim Crawford, Marketing Coordinator.
See the flower dog at Willowdale Estate along with other precious pooches that will have your heart go thump. Enjoy the puppy love!
“For guests who want to walk down the aisle with their pooch, the ‘Wooflands’ Resort and Spa offers top-of-the-line grooming services, including expert haircuts, bathing and special treatments like scented facials. Pets can also enjoy a happy and safe stay overnight at the pet resort, with 10,000 sq. ft. of outdoor play areas, comfortable boarding facilities and veterinary services, affording couples peace of mind throughout the festivities,” Christina Augustine, Director of Special Events at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.
Pawprints in the sand
“ We find that our other resort guests love seeing the little ones walking down our water walkway. We are very lucky to have a dog beach just around the corner from the resort for couples seeking pet-friendly activities for the weekend,” says Blaire Blechinger, Assistant Director of Catering, Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort & The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton. A couple who getting married next spring has attended several planning meetings on-site with their sweet little Frenchie. “She has already approved of the couple’s selection of the Beef Tenderloin over the Short Ribs,” says Blechinger. The couple is planning a custom sand sculpture featuring their furry family member! They plan on taking a photo of the sculpture with their little one and making that their thank you card. “This couple’s fur baby is a special part of the couple’s family and they could not imagine saying ‘I Do’ without her there,” notes Blechinger.
Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, the Caloosahatchee River and San Carlos Bay, pet-loving brides and grooms tying the knot at The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village can treat their four-legged ring bearers to indulgent entrees at the reception from the resort’s exclusive pet menu. Featuring items like grilled filet mignon and veggies and decadent desserts with berries and bacon, puppies can party along with their beloved owners and enjoy room service the next morning along with Westin’s signature Heavenly Pet Treatment.
The lush mansion and grounds at Willowdale Estate welcome brides, grooms, families, and friends to treasure the happy couple’s day, including four-legged friends. For adventurous lovebirds, Juliet & Evan, having their rescue pup Sadie at their special day was a must. Hailing from Washington DC, this trio has enjoyed a life of “eating Thai food on the couch at night, walking Sadie around their favorite neighborhoods and coming home to way too many Amazon Prime boxes.” Sadie served as their loyal flower dog during their autumn nuptials.
Toast of the Town
Boasting two spacious rooms for intimate nuptials, the Crowne Plaza HY36 is the ideal wedding venue for couples looking to include their pet brood. Home to the hotel’s resident four-legged mascot, Wellington the Frenchie, the pet-friendly property caters to brides, grooms and pets too.
Behind the Scenes
Valerie Amenta was kind enough to share her wedding story with us. “My husband was adamant on including Brody, our slightly grouchy puggle, in our wedding day. As much as we loved him, we also knew he wasn’t the friendliest pup and had a tendency to bite people – not the type of behavior we were looking to include on our wedding day. I loved the thought of him being our ring bearer with a little pillow attached to his collar, but I also had visions of him biting someone’s ankle as he walked down the aisle, so we nixed the whole idea. Unbeknownst to me, my husband coordinated with our dog walker to bring Brody to his suite while he and his groomsmen were getting ready. He had brought Brody a tux and was able to take photos with him as an honorary groomsman! Luckily, no one as bit, and Brody was on his way home by the start of the ceremony. I didn’t even know about his cameo until my husband told me during our first dance. I’m so glad he did it. The photos of them getting ready together are some of my favorites from the day,” says Amenta.
Stacey Marcus is a Boston-based freelance lifestyle writer, publicist and content strategist. Her work has appeared in Boston magazine, Boston Common, Bride & Groom Magazine, Destination I Do, Modern Luxury Weddings Boston and Chicago, Ocean Home and playboy.com among others. A former senior editor at New England Bride Magazine, Stacey is also a publicist for non-profit organizations and small businesses. She is the author of a children’s book, A Bed for Every Bear: Tuck’s Tale. Stacey enjoys writing about travel, trends, and romance.