An increasing number of couples are requesting to involve their prized pooches in their special day. TTG shines a light on the craze with examples of bookable product.
As a nation of dog lovers, it’s no surprise a growing number of couples are choosing to have their dog at their wedding day.
Booking agent PetsPyjamas, which specialises in dog-friendly weddings and honeymoons, has seen a 10% increase in enquiries in the past year.
The agent recently launched a number of new services, including a curated collection of hound-friendly honeymoon getaways in Europe and the UK.
“We’re experiencing first-hand the growing trend of people wanting to involve Fido in their big day and beyond,” says PetsPyjamas co-founder Karen Hanton.
If you are booking a dog-friendly wedding, PetsPyjamas stresses the importance of placing the pet’s wellbeing front of mind – it might be more suitable for them to attend the ceremony and then be taken home or to a dog-friendly hotel room before the party to be looked after, for example.
Dog charity Dog’s Trust has more advice on planning a dog-friendly wedding on its website (dogstrust.org.uk).
Also ensure clients know that even if the wedding venue is dog-friendly, they’ll need permission from the registry office for them to be present.
Here we take a look at some of the mutt-friendly wedding venues to recommend to your clients.
Armathwaite Hall in the Lake District is a popular wedding venue for guests with dogs, and the luxury hotel recently introduced two new dog grooming packages for weddings to ensure clients’ canines look their best on the big day.
Couples can choose from the standard Furry Guest package (from £60) which covers a bath, blow dry and tidy-up with a fragrance spray of clients’ choice, or the I Do package (from £150), which includes an additional full breed style, nail trim, ear cleanse, blueberry facial scrub and paw-hydrating balm.
With the second package, dogs also get a handmade neck collar made by a local florist, which will incorporate colours and flowers to match the clients’ wedding scheme.
Simon Steele, general manager at the hotel, explains the introduction of the new packages: “It is becoming more common to have a family dog included in the ceremony, and part of this is having them look their best for the photographs.
“This is difficult to achieve days in advance, which is why we introduced the dog grooming package for the day of the wedding.”
Cotswolds bolthole Foxhill Manor and its sister hotels Dormy House and The Fish are all dog- friendly and can arrange pet-friendly nuptials, with Foxhill Manor being the most popular of the three for such requests.
“We’ve had a pug who had its own place at the dinner table, a little dachshund who was featured in the wedding vows and barked relentlessly when he heard his name – but he was so cute he got away with it – and a retriever who acted as the ring bearer and took the couple’s wedding bands down the aisle on his collar,” says Hannah Roberts, operations manager at Foxhill Manor.
The hotel’s chefs can create dog-friendly meals, and the staff are well versed in dealing with canine wedding requests, she adds.
PetsPyjamas recommends Oakley Court in Windsor as one of its leading dog-friendly properties.
“It’s a popular and experienced wedding venue, which paired with their caring attitude towards dogs makes it a perfect choice for a dog-friendly wedding day,” says PetsPyjamas co-founder Denise Elphick.
The hotel has a Woof’s Welcome package (from £237 for two adults and one dog), which includes
a dog bed, blanket and bowl, toys and treats, and information on dog-friendly walks.
The hotel is also set across 33 acres of parkland and gardens, making it perfect for pre-wedding strolls with four-legged friends.
Flying long-haul with a dog can be stressful for the owner and traumatic for the pet, so Preferred Hotels member Montage Deer Valley in Utah has come up with a solution.
Instead of taking their own dog to their wedding, clients can enlist the help of the hotel’s two Canine Ambassadors for their big day.
Bernese mountain dogs Monty and Summit can make special cameo appearances at weddings, donning clients’ wedding colours, walking down the aisle and posing for pictures before or after
The hotel charges a $500 appearance fee, which is donated to US-based charity Big
Dogs Huge Paws.
Clients who want to bring their own four-legged friends with them are also welcome.
The hotel offers beds, toys, custom-baked treats and a special gourmet menu for dogs. Prices for a dog stay start at an additional $100 per stay.