Managing a Dog at a Wedding (and Last Minute Details)

Remember Baxter? He's my little golden retriever, who has been my sidekick for the last five years.  Very early in our wedding planning, I debated having Baxter in our wedding.  I feared that he'd be uncomfortable or the logistics of getting him to and from our venue would prove too difficult.  Almost every comment from my original post about this encouraged me to include Bax in our big day.  One bee even photoshopped an image of our little guy with a bride and groom to encourage me.

We settled on including Baxter pretty soon after that.  Marc and I wasn't exactly in agreement about what Bax should wear, though.  Marc thought the bow tie collar was have was the perfect outfit for our Little Bear.  I put it on him for holidays and special occasions.

I had a slightly different idea. I had seen floral wreaths that my florists, Pat and Sherry Spencer of Pat's Floral Designs, had made for dogs on a few wedding blogs.  I thought Baxter would look adorable with a floral wreath around his neck.

In the end, I was a bit more passionate about the floral wreath than Marc was about the bow tie, so the wreath wins.  I bought Baxter a black collar, lead, and Gentle Leader harness to be the foundation for his look and I think he looked very sharp.

Of course, now we had to deal with the logistics of getting Baxter to the wedding and returning him home after our ceremony.  We considered asking a few of our friends to do this, but we didn't want anyone to miss out on part of the day because they were ferrying a dog around.  We considered asking a few neighbors who are students, but our wedding day is their moving day.

I almost gave up on Baxter being in the wedding, but as luck would have it, I saw a Living Social email about hiring an errand running company, based in Charlottesville, that operates in Virginia, DC, and Maryland called Vivacity to do all kinds of tasks, including pet sitting.  I quickly emailed the company to ask if our "task" fit into their pet sitting parameters and got a lovely email back from the owner, Ashleigh Ward, saying she'd be happy to help us.  I quickly purchased the Living Social deal and felt relieved that we wouldn't be burdening a guest with the role of chauffeur for Baxter.

I recently met Ashleigh for coffee to talk about our time line.  I brought Bax along so they could meet, in case she wasn't a "dog person."  It turns out that she has two dogs herself, so she's completely comfortable with taking care of Baxter on our wedding day. She put me at ease almost immediately.

I decided that I might also hire her to do some of the last minute jobs that come up just before the wedding.  I'm not sure I can juggle dropping welcome bags off at area hotels, transporting linens to the venue, picking up my dress (from where it'll be steamed) and other tasks on the same day as our rehearsal.  It might be nice to have someone else to help us on the day before the big day.

How are you planning on handling last minute wedding tasks?


  1. Please tell me where you got that ADORABLE bow tie and collar for Baxter!  It so so cute, and funny, I MUST get some for my boys:) When I got married we decided not to include our basset, Cash, in the ceremony.  He is a mellow guy and it was hot, and in the end it seemed like he would not have fun.  BUT, I have to say, I wish he had been there.  Touches like that really make the wedding special and personal and I'm sure your guests will love that he is there!


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