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One of the core values we have at K9 Nation is that your dog is a member of your family, so to us the trend of including your dog in your wedding day makes perfect sense and a wedding chaperone is a great way to do this. Weddings are about being with the ones you love and celebrating a relationship, and so it stands to reason that people are increasingly wanting their four-legged friends to take part in the celebrations and particularly get involved in the photographs as a memory of the big day.
If you’ve decided to include your dog in your big day it’s important when planning that you try and think about things from the dog’s point of view. We recently interviewed the lovely Emma from Precious Pets Micro ID to get her valuable insight into what people should be thinking about if they want to involve their dog in their wedding, and how a wedding chaperone can help.
Emma is just one half of the husband and wife team that make up Precious Pets Micro ID. They are life-long animal lovers and pet owners with 10+ years experience in the Pet Care & House Sitting Industry. With over 30 weddings under their belt, it’s no wonder they know a thing or two about being a wedding chaperone and with their ethos to look after your pets as if they were their own, it’s will come as no surprise to hear they were the West Midlands regional finalist in the 2020 Wedding Industry Awards “SPECIAL TOUCH” Award!!
Here are Emma and Ade’s list of key things to think about for your big day:
- If you wish to include your pet, ensure that you book a dog friendly wedding venue or one with an outside area for photographs.
- Ensure that all guests will be aware that a dog is attending the wedding, in case of allergies. A lovely idea is to send out a ‘save the date’ card featuring a photo of your dog.
- You may wish your dog to simply be a guest of honour at your wedding but if you would like them to play a specific role in the ceremony, think carefully about how this will work. Popular choices are a dog ring bearer or a dog flower girl but ensure that your pet has the right temperament to cope with all the attention.
- Rehearse as much as you can with your dog before the big day and leave ample time to practice during the actual rehearsal
- If you are considering a special dog wedding collar or accessory, make sure that it is safe and comfortable for your dog. Certain flowers or foliage can be poisonous to dogs so it is vital to check
- Let your wedding photographer know that you are planning on bringing your dog to your wedding. This will ensure that they are ready to capture your adorable pet in action and come up with some great fun ideas for wedding photos
- At busy times our wedding chaperone service is very much in demand. To avoid disappointment we would advise getting in touch as soon as possible. We would love to chat with you about your exciting plans and how we can help you have a real furrytail wedding!
Precious Pets Micro ID wedding chaperone service covers the West Midlands region including Staffordshire, Shropshire, Cheshire and Derbyshire.
We all know that weddings tend to be busy and often hectic events. The chances are your dog will be interacting with and meeting lots of people. Take a moment to think about how they are with people. Do they jump up? Do they get overwhelmed easily or will they just take it in their stride?
Some dogs are often nervous in new places so it’s worth thinking about how you can try and minimise any anxiety they might have. Perhaps you can take them to the venue/location a few times before the big day to get familiar with it. If possible try and find a ‘safe’ space for them to have their crate or bed in an out of the way corner they can retreat to when they need a time out.
If you do decide that you want your pooch present for your nuptials the easiest way to alleviate any of the stress is to hire a wedding chaperone such as Precious Pets Micro ID for the event. They and other businesses like them are specialists who can take all the worry out of the day relating to your dog and can be on hand solely to look after the welfare of your dog meaning you can relax more. As part of our research for this feature we spoke to other chaperones from all over the country to find out some of their top tips and which venues they recommend in their area.
House of Hound Hydrotherapy
Victoria runs House of Hound Hydrotherapy which as it says on the tin is a hydrotherapy facility for dogs but as well as her core business she also offers a range of other services, one of which is as a wedding chaperone. With a whole range of qualifications as a qualified hydrotherapist, scent and mantrailing UK instructor, dog parkour instructor and perhaps most importantly, as a qualified dog and human first aider, it’s clear your pooch could not be in better hands.
Victoria’s main principle at House of Hound is ‘your wedding, your way!’ She loves dogs, and understands that they are a fundamental part of the family. Her main principle is to help couples enjoy their special day with the knowledge and security that their family members (the dogs) are cared for fully whilst the couples and guests can relax.
- Your wedding is your special day. Many couples choose to integrate their dog into some part or all of their day. Try to relax and let the wedding chaperone care for all your dogs needs. There is no replay of that one day.
- If your dog has any funny quirks or dislikes don’t forget to let your wedding chaperone know. For example, if they like to jump up, or dislike the colour red, or bark when they see a certain family members. It will help the chaperone preempt their behaviour and defuse any situation before it occurs.
- Don’t forget to let your wedding chaperone know any commands your dog has. Ie if you give them an instruction to eat before they start. Also remember to inform your chaperone of any medication or allergies your dog could have.
- If you have any family members or guests who have anxiety or fear around dogs, let your wedding chaperone know.
- Assist with collecting the dogs, walking, bathing, brushing, drying and for those who want their dog in a token collar or costume, can prepare them in this.
- Transport dogs to the location and liaise with both photographers and venues.
- All the dogs needs are catered for. Fully ramp accessed vehicles and can specialise in any dog with injury, mobility or health issue alongside any healthy dog.
- Alongside your chosen package, each client receives a voucher for either a session in the pool or treadmill (unless health prevent this) with a fully qualified NARCH registered Hydrotherapist. This is redeemable at the House of hound hydrotherapy centre in Huddersfield.
- All owners will be taken through a comprehensive care plan which would be tailored to each couple and each pet. They strive to give your dog the care they would want for their own dogs
Recommended Venues: Badgen Hall Huddersfield and The Venue, Storthes Hall Park in Huddersfield.
Cheryl McElderry runs Wishbone Weddings and covers the whole of the North East of England regionas a wedding chaperone. Cheryl’s main focus is wanting the bride and groom’s pup to enjoy the big day too so she focuses on making them happy whether that is achieved by giving them lots of cuddles and treats or perhaps taking them on walks if they become overwhelmed. She is on hand 100% to take care of their needs and offer food, water and comfort breaks and with a background as a qualified veterinary nurse you can relax and know your pooches are in capable hands.
Top Tip: “Make sure your dog has the right temperament, as much as you want them to be part of your day If they are very nervous they won’t enjoy it. Also choose a dog friendly venue and hire a dog chaperone so the worry is taken away for you as you know they are in safe hands.”
- Collect your pet on the morning of the wedding from desired location.
- Walk your pooch prior to the wedding to get rid of any nervous energy so they are happy and content when they arrive at the venue.
- Take professional photographs of your pup enjoying their Wishbone Wedding Adventure. The edited photos are sent to you via a link at no extra cost.
- Spruce up your pup and accessorise them ready for the occasion.
- Wait with your pup so they can be part of the photographs and let them mingle with guests.
- Drop your dog back off at desired location.
The South Causey Inn at Beamish, Co Durham: the hotel and wedding venue is super dog friendly. In fact you will often see some of the owners dogs wandering around the grounds. The venue holds doggy social events like group walks and even afternoon tea with your dog and the dogs are allowed to stay overnight at the hotel.
Le Petit Chateau, Otterburn, Northumberland: not only is the venue gorgeous but they also are incredibly dog friendly.
Pip's Pet Care
Pip & Brett are the animal loving husband and wife team behind Pip’s Pet Care. Since the start of 2017 they have walked, visited, chaperoned & helped train 100’s of your dogs. The dynamic duo’s service is tailor made around you and your day and they do as little or as much as required by you on your special day.
Top Tip: “Work with a photographer that you know will get some amazing shots of you and your dog. In our experience, the dog really is the guest of honour and everybody wants to see them and say hello. After all that excitement, getting the dog to sit calmly for a photo can sometimes be a challenge. So a photographer that can capture some great ‘in the moment’ natural shots is always a winner.”
- Complete pet care service from dog walking to home boarding
- Wedding Chaperone.
Recommended Venues: “There’s quite a few dog friendly venues now and it’s something that more and more venues are looking to do. One that really stands out for us though is Combermere Abbey in Whitchurch. We’ve done a few weddings there now and not only is it a stunning venue and location but they offer one of the best truly dog friendly options we’ve seen to date.”
Scrub a Dug Dug
Stephanie runs an award winning business in central Scotland and has a real passion for working with dogs. Her business is based on providing a true holistic service to her canine companions. Her wedding chaperone service is just one of the many strings to her bow and her holistic approach to all things dog has attracted a considerable amount of media attention in the region.
Top Tip: “Allow your dog the time to bond with your chosen chaperone prior to the big day! Book some mini meet and treat sessions to make sure your dog is happy being escorted. Ask your chaperone to take your dog to the chosen venue to get used to the environment there.”
- Stephanie provides holistic dog grooming services specialising in fearful and/or aggressive dogs.
- Wedding Chaperone Services.
- Mobile Microchipping.
- Low Stress Handling Sessions.
- Luxury Spa Treatments.
Recommended Venues: A venue I would recommend for beautiful doggie shots is Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire Coast, Scotland. This beautiful place overlooks the Firth of Clyde. It has a lot of history behind it and has been featured on television more than a few times too.
Rove Pet Services
A newcomer to the wedding chaperhone game is Alex Graves. She loves working with all animals, horses, cattle, sheep, chickens, hedgehogs, cats and most importantly for us, dogs! Her core business focus is the day to care care of your four legged friends with group dog walks and puppy visits as well as cat visits, small animal care and equine care however she has recently branched out into the world of weddings.
When Alex got married she wanted nothing more than to have her dog with her on her special day and her personal experience is what drives her passion for this new service offering. She sees herself as your pet’s plus one wedding guest and offers tailor made packages because she knows that no two weddings are the same. She believes in keeping your dog as comfortable as possible for photos and allowing them to do what comes naturally, so they can be themselves and not become anxious. Speaking to Alex she says she is very excited for this new part of her business and can’t wait to start being a part of so many happy memories for people.
Having your dog be part of your special day would be amazing but if for some reason you find you can’t have them their either due to their nerves or the venue not allowing them there are some other ways you can include them. Why not use images of your lovable pup on your wedding stationary or table decorations? Instead of traditional favours why not give guests miniature doggie bags? Of course if you are getting engagement photos done then why not include your pooch in some of the pictures so the moment is captured forever.
Whatever you decide we wish you the very best for your special day and we hope you will be kind enough to share some pictures of your big day and your four-legged guests on our K9 Nation newsfeed!
House of Hound
07377 335475/01484 218062
Pips Pet Care
Precious Pets Micro ID
07768 917150 / 07818 890497
Rove Pet Services
0777 225 5897
Scrub a Dug Dug – Canine Spa & Boutique
The North East
The South Causey Inn, Beamish Burn Road, Stanley DH9 0LS
Le Petit Chateau, Jedburgh Road, Otterburn, Newcastle upon Tyne NE19 1NR
The Venue, Storthes Hall Ln, Huddersfield HD8 0WA
Bagden Hall, Wakefield Rd, Denby Dale, Scissett, Huddersfield HD8 8SZ
The Upper House, The Green, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST12 9AE
Alrewas Hayes, Alrewas, Burton on Trent, DE13 7DL
01283 791 625
Alcumlow Wedding Barn, Chance Hall Ln, Congleton CW12 4TL
The Oaktree of Peover, Back Ln, Lower Peover, Knutsford WA16 9SG
The Hundred House Hotel, Bridgnorth Rd, Norton, Telford TF11 9EE
Combermere Abbey, Combermere, Whitchurch SY13 4AJ
01948 871662 firstname.lastname@example.org