Include the pooch: Make your dog part of your wedding day

C-VILLE WEDDINGS

Big woof: Lola the bulldog wears a flowered collar to a wedding at the Inn at Westwood Farm in Orange. Photo: Elisa B Photography Big woof: Lola the bulldog wears a flowered collar to a wedding at the Inn at Westwood Farm in Orange. Photo: Elisa B Photography

It’s a tale (tail?) of true love. More and more people are including their dogs in their wedding. After all, they’re family (and maybe more likeable than some relatives). From acting as best man to flower dog to ring bearer, Fido’s getting in on the action.

Local blogger Jeannine Lalonde Smith and her husband, Marc, were up for a fun, improvised event when they got married June 1 at North Garden’s Pippin Hill Farm. That meant “a gaggle of children in our wedding, doing whatever happened naturally.” It also meant including their 5-year-old golden retriever, Baxter.

How? Jeannine found a venue that would allow pets, and let her vendors know of her plans. She hired a handler to bring Baxter to the event before the ceremony and take him home afterward (and keep him away from the wedding cake!). She asked the oldest children in the wedding party to be responsible for getting him down the aisle.

But not all canines can handle the attention and stress of a big event, and many of them aren’t behaved enough to participate. If that’s the case, feature your pooch in the invitations, wedding favors, or their likeness on the cake topper. Jeannine’s wedding program included Baxter’s photo, and he was also on a poster for guests to sign at the reception. She even had tiny porcelain golden retrievers glued to her ring bearers’ boutonnieres.

Jeannine said having Baxter in the wedding was a howling success. “It would have been incomplete without him.”

Get a handler on it!
Cville Concierge provides such a service. You’ll just need to provide your pup’s medical history, emergency contact info, and preferences as to where to keep the dog during the event. Call 409-0119 for more info.—Lynn Thorne

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