How To Include Your Dog on Your Elopement Day

Are you just as obsessed with your furry friends as we are? Can you not imagine eloping without your pups by your side? We’ve got you covered! This is our entire guide on how to include your dog(s) on your elopement day including all of our tips and tricks that we’ve gathered over our years of capturing and planning elopement experiences. From what parts of the day you should bring them to, what parts you want may to leave them back in the Airbnb, what locations you can’t bring your dog to, and so much more. We know that every pup is different and has their own personality, so it’s up to you to decide if you want to include your dog on your elopement experience 🙂

bride and groom reading their vows with the dogs next to them in a field

Here’s everything you need to know about including your dog on your elopement day!

Choosing to include your pups on your elopement day comes with a few other logistics to consider during the planning process.

  • Is your elopement location dog-friendly?
  • Will your dog cause a lot of distractions and stress on your elopement day?
  • How long do you want your dog to be a part of your day?
  • Who will take care of your dog when you’re busy?
  • What activities do you want to do with your dog?
bride and groom hiking with the dogs in the mountains on their wedding day

Where you can and can’t elope with dogs:

As a fellow dog lover you’ve probably already encountered some options that don’t love your dogs as much as you do. All national parks have very strict guidelines for dogs, and it’s usually not a good idea to try to bring them. If you’ve dreamed of eloping at your favorite national park, we suggest leaving Fido at your hotel or Airbnb. Some state parks also can be strict so it’s always important to consider this when choosing an elopement location. 

Some great options for places to bring your dogs for your elopement include forest service land, bureau of land management land, other public lands, as well as some state parks. Every state, county, and city has different rules so I always recommend calling a local park ranger.

If the particular location that you’ve chosen has lots of rules about dogs one great option is to have your ceremony at a dog friendly Airbnb or VRBO! This would save a lot of hassle with logistics and you can always leave your pup at home when you go on your adventure.

What parts of your elopement day that you can include your dogs:

This is totally up to you! You can choose to have your pup hang out with you throughout the entire day, only during the ceremony, or for bits and pieces. We always think it’s super adorable to have your pup “stand by your side” during your ceremony. If your dog is pretty well behaved (and you can trust them haha!), a fun idea is to have them be the ring bearer! You can do this by tying the ring box to their collar and have them run up to you when it’s time for the ring exchange. Another cute idea is to have their dog bed by your table during your reception so they can hang out with you two!

If you love to bring them while hiking or on adventures, bring them! Some areas require dogs to stay leashed so keep that in mind. We personally love to go off-roading and finding off the beaten path locations for our pups to be able to run around freely away from people. Some activities you can bring your dog along include hiking, off-roading, kayaking, picnicking, and so much more!

Bride and groom petting their dogs at their wedding at a cabin near Mt Rainier National Park

When you should leave your dog at the Airbnb/Hotel

If your elopement location isn’t super dog friendly, it may be best to leave them back at where you are staying. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to include them. We can always get adorable portraits with your pups before heading off on the day’s adventures. 

Another reason you may want to consider not bringing your pup along is if they are easily stressed out when exploring. Trust us, you do not want to worry about your pup when you’re on your elopement experience! It may be the best for all of you (pup included!) so leave them at where you are staying. 

bride and groom holding their small dogs at their elopement in sedona, arizona

Put someone in charge of your dog on your elopement day

Unless you have a perfectly chill and trained dog, you should consider putting one of your guests in charge of your pup on your elopement day. This should be someone who’s familiar with your dog and their needs, and someone you fully trust so you won’t be worrying about them. This means if your pup starts acting up during the ceremony or is starting to get a bit too crazy during the adventure, that guest can always take them back to the cabin! It’s hard to fully predict how your dog will act so this is a great option! 

Bride with her dog on her wedding day in Zion National Park

Dog Friendly Elopement Lodging:

One of the most important aspects of bringing your dog along for your elopement experience is lodging! We highly recommend using the pet filter on Airbnb/Vrbo and confirm with the rental that they allow dogs, as well as ask if there are separate fees associated! If you’re looking for dog-friendly hotel accommodations, we suggest using BringFido! BringFido is by far the most seamless way to book a dog friendly hotel that is upfront about fees.

We hope that y’all have an awesome time on your elopement experience with your dog by your side!

Happy adventuring!

-Caitlyn, Chad, Max & Harry

Ready to start planning your dog friendly elopement? Contact us here!

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