Bringing your dogs to your elopement can be a wonderful way to include them in your special day. As fellow dog lovers we can totally understand why you’d want to bring your furry friend to your wedding! We brought our dog Harry on our 25 hour road-trip to Washington for him to be able to attend our wedding. Over the past six years we’ve had tons of couples bring their pups along for their adventure so we’ve learned a thing or two to make it successful!
Here are some steps to help you plan for a dog-friendly elopement plus one of my favorite dog friendly elopement story!
Opt for a location that is conducive to pets. Most national parks have strict rules against dogs being allowed on trails so if you want your pup a part of your adventure, consider elsewhere! Most forest service land and bureau of land management areas are dog friendly. Make sure you pick trails for the day that fit your dog’s accessibility needs as well.
Sedona Elopement Planning Pro Tip: Sedona is one of the most dog friendly locations in the country! You can bring your dog on most trails no problem. Honorable mentions include Moab, Utah and the San Juan Mountains in Colorado!
Before finalizing your elopement lodging, make sure to check whether they allows pets. Some places have restrictions or specific rules regarding animals. I like to use Bring Fido for dog-friendly accommodations!
Let your photographer, officiant, and any other vendors know in advance that you plan to have your dogs at the elopement. This allows them to be prepared and potentially make accommodations.
Consider asking a friend or family member to be in charge of your dogs during the ceremony and other important moments. This way, you can focus on each other while someone takes care of the dogs.
Bring items to keep your dogs comfortable, such as water bowls, treats, and a comfortable resting area. If the weather is too hot or cold, plan accordingly to ensure your pets are safe and comfortable.
If you like, consider dressing up your dogs for the occasion. Just be sure that any accessories or clothing are comfortable for them. We’ve seen couples get special leashes and collars, as well as flower collars!
Dogs may not have the same attention span as humans, so plan for breaks during the event where they can stretch their legs and take care of their needs.
Work with your photographer to include your dogs in some of the photos. Capture candid moments with them to cherish as part of your elopement memories. I know as a photographer I absolutely love capturing my couples with their pups in a variety of posed and candid moments!
If you’re eloping in a public space, be aware of local regulations regarding dogs. Make sure your pets are on leashes where required and that you clean up after them.
Sedona Elopement Planning Pro Tip: Arizona does have a dog leash law so keep that in mind when adventuring with your pup here!
Have a backup plan in case your dogs become stressed or if the weather takes a turn. This could include a nearby shelter or a comfortable, secure area where they can wait during the ceremony.
Remember that every dog is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Consider your dogs’ personalities and how they react to new environments and people when planning your dog-friendly elopement.
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Hello!! We are the Wilder West Team! We are a husband and wife photo video team based in sunny Sedona, Arizona. Caitlyn is the lead photographer and your personal elopement guide aka elopement wizard, question-answerer, location scouter, and designated hype woman. Chad is the lead videographer who you can expect to supply all the dad jokes, carrier of the Mary Poppins backpack, and mountain goat to get all the rad shots! We’ve been lucky enough to call this place our home for the past 5 years, going on 100+ adventures with couples from all over the world.
We’d love to show you around our home & help you plan your dream Arizona elopement experience.
We believe that all couples deserve to have an adventurous and meaningful wedding experience that reflects them and their love. Let’s work together to design your “best day” from start to finish. We can’t wait to hear all about what you are dreaming for your elopement experience so we can work together to make it happen seamlessly and care free.