There is nothing sweeter than a dog at a wedding. Who wouldn't want to see a friendly golden retriever in a bow tie or an adorable border collie with a beautiful flower crown walking down the aisle to greet their owners? We can't think of a better guest to help you celebrate your wedding day. 

Sitting on the banks of the Little Truckee River is Dancing PinesDancing Pines is not only a gorgeous outdoor wedding location but also a dog-friendly venue! Owners Liz and Bryan Mettler feel that having your dog at your wedding makes the day even more special. 

If ever there was an ambassador of Tahoe wedding dogs, it would have to be Blue, the resident rescue Heeler at Dancing Pines. Blue regularly patrols his 20-acre riverfront property, acts as lead parking attendant when wedding guests arrive, and, along with Liz and Bryan, maintains the dog-friendly policy at Dancing Pines. 

We spoke with Liz about her top tips for including your dog in your wedding and she also shared with us photos of some four legged friends at Dancing Pines on their humans' very special day.

 

1. Make sure you have help! Simply put, you and your newlywed will not have time to cater to your dog's needs throughout the day. Make sure you have a friend/relative ready to keep an eye on the dog and handle them if they can't roam free. 

 

2. Think about a dog sitter. if the dog might not last the whole night, look into a dog sitter who can pick the dog up and bring them back to wherever you're staying - or even dog sit overnight. (Check out rover.com) Your pooch could be much happier and you won't need to worry about them. 


3. Make sure they're not nervous. Don't expect your dog to all of a sudden love a big crowd if they don't already. A family/friend/handler is even more important in this case to make sure they can tend to the dog if it starts to get overwhelmed and needs to go for a walk. 

4. Have a ceremony plan. If the dog is part of the ceremony, where will it stand during the proceedings? Will they stand with the bridal party or groomsmen? If that's the plan, make sure your dog can stay calm! If it can't, make sure you designate a guest who can confidently handle the dog during the ceremony and practice that handoff during rehearsal. 


5. Don't forget food and water. Our venue is always happy to offer water, but don't forget to ask (especially before the ceremony if it's hot). Dogs can get dehydrated and get sick more easily than you think! And don't forget to have some treats on hand - unless you want to risk a roaming dog begging for scraps. That might be OK with you but keep in mind you won't know what they're being fed by well-meaning guests.

 

6. Dress them for the party! Bowties, flower collars, festive leashes - it all works! 

 

7. Kids and dogs are cute, but not guaranteed to go well together. If you're thinking about having your flower girl or ring bearer walk the dog down the aisle, make sure your dog is up for the job. It can go sideways quickly and that's the last thing you want. A small hiccup can be cute and funny, but tears and a loose dog are not! 


8. Is your dog extra friendly? If so, make sure your guests are too. There will be more than one woman who will not be pleased if your dog jumps up on their well-pressed wedding attire. 

9. Include your dog in the photos. You may need that helping hand again, but boy will your dog make for some very memorable photos. Don't forget to mention it to your photographer so they can be ready to coordinate the shots and expect the unexpected (and capture it)! 


10. Let your pooch be part of the party. But only if they're a party animal, of course! If your dog loves people and loves to roam, then let them. Some dogs enjoy crowds and greeting people and even being on the dance floor. So, if you can trust your dog not to stray, let them hang! 

Including your furry friend on your big day may seem like a no brainer, but Liz's helpful tips will make it even easier to feature your four legged friend as you say "I Do." If you are looking for a dog-savvy wedding venue, be sure to visit Dancing Pines' vendor profile.