Destination I Do
Thursday, June 3, 2021

Including Your Dog in Your Wedding

Words by Bridget Levine
Photos courtesy of Amy & Stuart Photography

As a devoted dog mom and owner of Frenchie Bulldog, a pet supply company, having my French Bulldog Leo be part of my wedding day was a must. After all, before I met my husband it was just Leo and I. This past summer, I married the love of my life Justin at the Rancho Valencia Resort in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Although the day was focused on Justin and I getting married, it was also about Leo, Justin and I officially becoming a family of three. From the ceremony to the cocktail menu, Leo played a huge role in our big day. I am so thrilled to share some ways you can incorporate your favorite four-legged friends when you say ‘I Do.’ 

Have your dog get ready with you!

Although my wedding preparation took a bit longer, I made sure to set aside time to make sure my best man was dressed to impress. Leo’s presence definitely calmed my nerves and made me feel at home. It was so special getting to dress him in a collar and leash set that I designed specifically for the wedding. The set featured white vegan leather and gold hardware to match the wedding party (we’ll be launching this on the Frenchie site later this year!) Additionally, the collar was adorned with a bow-tie and Justin and I’s initials.

Share the ceremony aisle with your dog.

Leo and I love to go on walks together so it was a no brainer to include him in the biggest walk of my life. With the help of three groomsmen, Leo led the way down the aisle in a floral throne fit for a prince. The trip down the aisle, with all of the attention on him, proved to be tiring and he took a nap during the ceremony. However, he was ready to go when it came time for Justin and I to say ‘I Do.’ After our first kiss as husband and wife, the three of us walked down the aisle together as a family.

It’s all in the details.

Leo, also, served as a source of inspiration when creating our signature cocktail menu. In addition to the “Bella Bridge” and “Give it to me Just Right”, the Spicy Leo drink was a favorite among guests. The Spicy Leo consisted of Mandarin tequila with cranberry, orange and lime juices spiced with a Serrano chili slice. We also had an illustration of Leo done by my friend Valeria of Fine Frenchie, dressed in a tux with a drink in hand, on the corner of the drink menu. The menu was definitely one of my favorite details.

Let’s dance.

We included in Leo in our first dance as he is an essential part of our family unit. Having him on the floor with us was a special moment I will never forget.

Let them eat cake too!

An easy and sweet way to make your wedding dog-friendly is to serve a doggie cake. We enlisted Petisserie, a Las Vegas-based pet bakery, to create a replica of our three-tier cake by Susie Cakes so Leo could participate in the cake cutting. With Leo in my arms, Justin served Leo a piece of the cake, too.

Like many, my wedding day was the most special day of my life, and having Leo there was truly the icing on the cake. I hope you find these ideas helpful as you plan your big day with your favorite animals in mind. Lastly, I am so excited to announce that Leo’s wedding day collar and leash will be available for purchase on later this fall, so your dog can blend in with the rest of your wedding party.

Vendors: Photographer: Amy and Stuart; Wedding collar, bow tie and leash: Frenchie Bulldog; Floral Design: Tam Ashworth of Isari Flower Studio; Leo’s Cake: Petisserie; Human Cake: Susie Cakes; Custom illustration: Fine Frenchie; Venue: Rancho Valencia; Bride: Bridget Levine

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