A Dog Survival Guide for Weddings

Do you love your dog so much that you think your wedding would not complete without him? Are you so emotionally involved to your pet that you feel you want to bring it when you attend special occasions like wedding? The pet dog has always been dubbed as the man’s best friend. Nowadays, you would even find dogs holding the role of the groom’s best man!

Some people are very attached to their pet dogs that they want to bring him or give him a special role in events like weddings. If you are this kind of person, you would surely love this list of tips on how to include your dog in the ceremony or bring it with you when you attend one.

How to Include your Dog in your Wedding Ceremony

  • Consult with the venue authorities first.

Before appointing your dog any role in the ceremony, it is crucial that you inform the people in charge of the ceremony venue first. In some churches and other wedding venues, pets are not allowed or there may be restrictions about bringing pets, so you have to know about these things before going on with the wedding planning. If the venue authorities would not allow it, consider finding another venue or have your dog stay at home instead.

  • Choose a suitable role for your dog.

It is your pet so you know its behavior and temperament. Basing from its personality, you should choose a role that will be fitting for it. For example, if your dog is energetic and smart, it may be able to do the job of the ring bearer effectively (given that it would be held on a leash by an usher and the ring will be in a pouch to be carried in his mouth).

Practice your dog for its role.

To ensure a smooth flow during the ceremony, make sure that your precious dog knows about its role in the event. Practice several days before the wedding and be sure to reward your doggie for doing it right.

  • Appoint a dog handler.

You have so many things in mind during your big day so it would be ideal to have someone walk your dog or take it to a place to relieve itself before the ceremony.

Tips for Bringing a Dog to a Wedding

First and foremost, you have to tell the couple in advance that you are bringing your pet with you. This way, they can inform you if the dog is allowed or not in the venue or if they are comfortable with the idea of having a pet during their wedding. This will also give them time to make necessary adjustments if ever. You may request to be seated far from children or other guests who are not fond of dogs. Do not have hard feelings if the couple does not say yes.

  • Give your dog a good bath.

Before going to the ceremony, be sure to wash your pup so that guests who have allergies on pets would have nothing to complain about.

  • Ensure that it is well fed and relieved before going to the wedding.

This is important to avoid unnecessary behavioral problems or tantrums that may cause to disrupt the event.

  • Leave your beloved dog at home.

This is the right thing to do unless you can be absolutely sure that your pet can behave well during the event. You do not want it doing something that can ruin the couple’s special day.

Some people may not understand why you would want to give your dog a special role in your wedding or why you would want to take it with you during special events like weddings. But as long as your dog is allowed in the premises and it does not do anything to ruin the occasion, there is nothing wrong in considering these options.

Free Holiday Events in the Washington DC Area

The Washington DC area has numerous ways to enjoy the holiday season for free! See a guide to free light displays, musical performances, community parades and special events in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia. Mark your calendar and get in the spirit of the season.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies Around the Region
Various Dates. Christmas tree lighting ceremonies are a great way to kickoff the holiday season with family and friends. Find free holiday events in Washington DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Holiday Magic at the Botanic Gardens
November 24, 2011 through January 2, 2012. During the holiday season, the U.S. Botanic Garden presents “Holiday Magic”, a unique exhibit featuring model trains and incredible replicas of Washington, DC’s most famous buildings and monuments.

National Hanukkah Menorah
2011 Date and Time to Be Announced. A National Hanukkah Menorah is lit on the White House grounds, at the Ellipse during the eight day Jewish holiday. Festivities at the lighting ceremony include musical performances and hot latkes and donuts. This year’s celebration will feature the US Air Force Band. The menorah will be lit each night of Hanukkah.

ZooLights at the National Zoo
November 25-December 11 (Friday-Sunday nights) and December 16, 2011-January 1, 2012 (every night except December 24, 25 and 31), 5-9 p.m. FREE for the first time this year! The National Zoo presents a seasonal display of thousands of sparkling animated lights, winter-themed crafts, ice sculpting demonstrations, choral groups, and storytellers.

Festival of Lights at the Washington, DC Mormon Temple
2011 Dates and Times to Be Announced. The Washington, DC Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–day Saints, also known as the Mormon Temple, is open to all during the Christmas season. This impressive church and its surrounding grounds shine brightly with more than 450,000 sparkling Christmas lights. Each night, a different local musical group performs a live concert in a state-of-the-art theater.

Bethesda’s Winter Wonderland
December 2-3, 2011. The community holiday celebration features a variety of entertainment and performances, a live ice sculpting presentation and a visit from Santa Claus.

Manassas Christmas Parade
December 3, 2011, 10 a.m. Old Town Manassas. See amazing floats, local celebrities, live performances, marching bands, equestrians, animated characters, giant balloons, and Santa at the Manassas Christmas Parade. The parade route begins at Mathis Avenue and concludes at the intersection of Center Street and Grant Avenue.

Middleburg Hunt Christmas Parade
December 3, 2011. Approximately 100 horses, riders in red coats and dozens of hounds come through the town of Middleburg. Immediately following the Hunt, the Middleburg Christmas Parade features a unique assortment of floats, marching bands, local community groups, antique fire trucks, and a variety of animals including horses, llamas and dogs.

Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk
December 3, 2011. Hundreds of Scottish clansmen march through Old Town Alexandria with their bagpipes in a traditional holiday parade. Also participating are pipe and drum bands, Scottish dancers, re-enactment groups, Scottie dog groups, dignitaries and, of course, Santa Claus.

Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
December 3-4, 2011. A favorite holiday celebration in both Old Town Alexandria and Washington, DC. Festively decorated pleasure boats light up the sky along the Potomac River including 50 powerboats, sailboats and the District’s fireboat, the John Glenn spouting water 70 feet into the air.

Merriment in Georgetown
2011 Date and Time to Be Announced. The street festival showcases the neighborhood’s fashionable boutiques, specialty stores and popular restaurants with a full schedule of live entertainment followed by the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and the Boat Parade of Lights.

Wolf Trap Farm Park Holiday Sing-A-Long
2011 Date and Time to Be Announced. Sing Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs with the United States Marine Band vocal groups from the metropolitan Washington area. The audience is invited to bring candles to light during the last verse of “Silent Night,” the final song of the program. There is also a ‘Jing-A-Long’ during the singing of Jingle Bells, so bring a bell along with your candle. Admission is free and no tickets are required.

National Christmas Tree
2011 Dates and Times to Be Announced. The National Christmas Tree and the Pathway of Peace is illuminated during the holiday season each evening from dusk until 11 p.m. Seasonal displays include a Yule log, a large-scale model train and a Christmas manger. Musical performances by volunteer choirs and dancers are held nightly on the Ellipse stage. Tickets are required for the lighting ceremony.

Leesburg Holiday Parade and Festival
2011 Date and Time to Be Announced. Catch your Christmas spirit and bring the whole family to see Santa and his friends parade down King Street, through the heart of historic Leesburg.

Annapolis Christmas Lights Boat Parade
December 10, 2011. The Annapolis community celebrates Christmas in style with the Eastport Yacht Club Parade of Lights, an annual holiday tradition with boat owners showing off their Christmas light decorations through the Annapolis Harbor.

Waterskiing Santa
2011 Date and Time to Be Announced. National Harbor, MD. This unusual annual event features a water-skiing Santa, flying elves, the Jet-skiing Grinch, and Frosty the Snowman performing on the Potomac River. Join in the Sing-along.

Now that’s Tulle!

Location: Hummingbird Nest Ranch, Santa Susana, CA; Caterer: Sason Catering, Los Angeles, CA; Event Planner: Mindy Weiss, Beverly Hills, CA; Florist: Mark’s Garden, Sherman Oaks, CA; Linens: Roberta Karsch-Resource One, Inc., Reseda, CA; Rentals: Classic Party Rentals, Los Angeles, CA; Lighting: Peterson Event Lighting, North Hollywood, CA; Tuxedo: Dunhill and Tom Ford; Mens Shoes and Accessories: Dior; Hair and Makeup: Byron Williams, Byron & Tracey Salong, Beverly Hills, CA; Veil: Claire Pettibone; Shoes: Christian Louboutin; Wedding Gown: Marchesa; Videography: Forever Films & Cinematography, Los Angeles, CA; Photography: Joe Buissink Photography, Marina Del Rey, CA