If you’re a bride, you’ve probably thought a lot about who you should invite to your wedding—like, to the point where you’ve lost sleep or gotten into a fight with your MIL over it. What’s much easier is deciding who is absolutely not on your guest list: your mom’s creepy coworker, your anti-vax aunt, your partner’s clingy ex who won’t stop liking your pics from 2017. While I can’t help you decide on every single member of your guest list, I can give you advice on who else to add to your do-not-invite list: your dog.
Before you roast me for being a heartless animal-hater, hear me out. I love (love, love, love!!!) my dog, Benji. The day I adopted him, I looked into his tiny puppy eyes and knew in an instant that I would literally kill for him if he needed me to. At least once a day, I find myself staring at him, watching him breathe, wondering if there are any other ways I could possibly give him a better life than what he already has. He sleeps on top of me every night. My Instagram is basically a shrine to him. Even his health insurance plan is better than mine.
You get the point. There are very, very few things I would not do for my dog. But having him in my wedding is one of them.
People have been shocked when I tell them this. Because I am so vocally obsessed with my dog, everyone from my parents to my coworkers to randos in my DMs assumed Benji would be front and center at my wedding, walking down the aisle in a cute little bow tie and witnessing his parents finally make their relationship official. They’re visibly disappointed when I tell them that will absolutely not be the case. In fact, Benji will be on a nice little vacation for not just the wedding night, but the entirety of our wedding weekend.
Call me Cruella, but I’m here to tell you that you, too, should have a dog-free wedding. Here’s why:
1. Fido’s Law
Everyone planning a wedding should know about Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Add a canine into the mix, and you’ve got Fido’s Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and it’ll probably involve dog shit.
Listen, I know you think your dog is the goodest boy or girl in the world, but wedding etiquette just isn’t part of the typical obedience school curriculum. There will be chaos.
2. Your Anxiety Will Be High Enough As Is
You’ve been planning this day for months (or years, especially if you’re a covid bride). You’ve been daydreaming about it for even longer. Even if you’re a ~chill bride~ there’s a lot riding on your wedding going smoothly, and you’re going to feel the stress. Having your dog around is just going to add to the list of what ifs that’ll be running through your mind all day: What if someone forgets a water bowl? What if Aunt Sally leaves the door open and the dog runs away?
You’ve already got a missing bouquet and a drunk uncle to worry about; don’t give yourself any more reasons to stress-drink and accidentally black out before you cut the cake.
3. Dogs Get Anxious Too
My decision to blacklist my dog from my wedding isn’t just for my benefit; it’s for his as well! In a Finnish study published by Scientific Reports in 2020, 72.5% of the 13,715 dogs examined showed signs of anxiety. And this was observed in their normal, day-to-day lives. Imagine them being taken to an unfamiliar location filled with loud noises, strange people, and so many interesting-smelling things they’re not allowed to pee on. You’d be pretty freaked out, too!
4. The Spotlight Should Be On YOU (And Your Partner, I Guess)
No one is supposed to look cuter than the bride on her wedding day, and, no offense, if your dog is there, you may run into some competition. Everywhere I go with Benji (which is most places, TBH), people always stop to tell me how adorable my dog is. Usually, I eat that shit up. Hell yeah, my dog is precious! But on my wedding day, if I’m not the one getting all the compliments, I just might flip the sweetheart table.
Yes, I’m a little sad I won’t have a true family photo at my wedding if my dog’s not there, but at least I know I’ll be the best-looking one in every shot (sorry to my fiancé).
5. Who Would Watch Them, Anyway?
Having your dog at your wedding may sound cute in theory (if you’ve ignored all my previous points up until this), but once you think about the actual logistics of having them there, I can’t see how you would still want to do this. Obviously, you and your partner are going to be way too busy reveling in your new legal marital status to make sure your dog is fed, watered, and not humping the cater waiter throughout the day. So like, who would be watching your dog? If you say a friend or family member, you’re tacky and I hate you. Regardless of how much your MOH says she loves your pet, there is absolutely no way she wants to babysit them all night instead of sneaking off to make out with the groom’s hot cousin. And sure, you could hire a professional dog sitter to watch your pup which would ensure everyone who actually knows you is having a good time, but that’s not super ideal either. No one wants to be the rando at a wedding who’s awkwardly watching two people they don’t know well enough to get a real wedding invite share the most vulnerable parts of their lives, while not being able to get drunk or talk to anyone else but the dog.
6. There Are Other Ways To
Remind People You Have A Cute Dog Honor Your Pet
Despite not wanting Benji to be at my wedding in-person (in-dog?), I definitely plan to incorporate him into some fun details, like printing an illustration of his face on our cocktail napkins or using photos of him as table decor. You could also give your dog a shout-out in your vows, name your signature drink after them, or use a figurine of them as your cake topper. I mean, the options are kind of endless, and if you need more inspo, I would love to direct you to a little site called Pinterest. They’ll take good care of you over there.
Look, I’m not telling you how to plan your wedding. OK fine, I am, but only because I’m right about this. And while we’re at it, you should probs make sure the kids stay home too.
Image: Leah Flores /Stocksy.com