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November 4, 2019

How to Elope and Include your Dog

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Everything you need to know about bringing your dog to your elopement <3

sedona-elopement-photographer

So you are thinking of bringing your pup along to your elopement! Welp my friends you are in the right place.In this blog post I am going to share with you everything you need to think of before the elopement day and on the day of when it comes to having your four legged family member tag along.

Where can you elope with your dog?

National Park Elopement with your Dog

The National Parks are some of the most iconic places to elope within the United States, but not the most dog friendly elopement locations. Most National Parks are very strict about where dogs can and can not go. If you are wondering why, a lot of this has to do with protecting the wildlife within the park, safety for your pet and protect plant specifies within the park. A good rule of thumb is to only bring your dog in paved areas like parking lots, campgrounds, etc in parks, but always double check the rules or ask the ranger when you apply for your special use permit. Advice we have given couples in the past that want to elope in National Parks that are not dog friendly, but want to bring their pup is to book a pet friendly airbnb nearby and include them in the first look or getting ready moments. You can also consider Forest Service or BLM land near the parks for a ceremony or portraits rather than being in the park. This is what Bill and I did when we eloped in Mount Rainier, we spent the next week back packing with your cat, Indy, on National Forest land where we could still see Rainier. These are the most dog friendly National Parks to consider eloping at if you want to bring your dog for the whole event:

Joshua Tree Pet Friendly Elopement

The Most Dog Friendly Places to Elope

While the National Parks are amazing, there are many places to elope outside of that like State Parks, BLM, Forest Service and more that are extremely dog friendly. Here are some of the best places to elope that we have found, that are also super dog friendly.

Sedona is full of stunning red rock views to get married at and all of the trails are dog friendly! Many of the resorts and Airbnbs are also dog friendly. Most of the trials you are allowed to elope on are less than 6 miles making it that much easier to bring your pup along. We recommend eloping here Fall to Spring.

While Moab is really known for off roading, base jumping and National parks there is also a ton of BLM land here that is all dog friendly. You can elope here with your pup overlooking a canyon, in a slot canyon, off road and more! There is a ton of camping options here or many pet friendly hotels and Airbnbs. The best time to elope here is Fall and Spring.

Bend is a mecca for adventure, shopping, eating and more! Some awesome places to elope within this area is the forest which has hot springs, the mountains or Smith Rock State park home of some epic climbing. All of these places, dog friendly!! On top of this, many of the bars, coffee shops and restaurants are even dog friendly. The best time to elope here is year round, depending on where within the region you want to go.

A lot of coastal areas are pet friendly, but we chose to tell you about Oregon because of its diversity and amazing cliff views. You can have sandy shores, rocky shores or be in old growth forest. We love how pet friendly a lot of the towns are and the trials. Did I mention some of these beaches even allow camp fires, what an awesome way to end your elopement day by a fire with your love and your pup! The best time to elope here can be year round, but summer is just perfect!

The entire state of Colorado is truly like a dog owners place to be. There are dog friendly breweries, parks, trails and more. Great Sand Dunes is a super dog friendly National Park as well. However, there are tons of National Forest lands you can take your dog with you for your elopement. Colorado is unique in the fact it is one of the few places you do not need a witness for your elopement, so you can have your dog witness for you!! Outside of the Great Sand Dunes some epic locations are in Northern Colorado, The Garden of Gods or Western Colorado! The best time to elope in these regions are summer or fall!

How to include your dog at your elopement

Your pup is your family, you kiddo and an important part of your life. Including him in your day can be so special and a great way to document your family. Besides just having your dog there for the day there are many ways you can include them in the events if they are present or even if they are not present! Here are a few of our favorite ideas!

Sometimes thinking about the logistics of having your pup present can get confusing. Here are a few tips we have come up with for past couples who have brought their dogs to their elopement.

Traveling with your dog for your elopement

Also when planning you want to consider if you have to travel to your location. Has your dog flown before? I highly suggest if flying with a pet to try to get them on board the plane with you and not put below. Please, please call your airline to book your flight and get all the info you need to be prepared. Most flights can only have two pets per flight on board, but can put more below. Be sure to visit your vet prior to your flight for the proper paper work or any medicine they may need. If you are driving to your location, just plan for any extra time you may need for bathroom stops or stretching stops. If you are stopping along your drive be sure to book pet free Airbnbs or consider camping options.

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Hey! That’s me (Traci ) and Indy at the Great Sand Dunes National Park…

Bill and I have a cat and a dog that we travel with full time in our van. Our pets are truly our kiddos, we love them dearly. I could've never imagined getting getting married without Indy there and I am so glad we made him apart of our elopement. We can cont wait to chat with you two about your vision for your elopement day and help you include your own pets! We work mostly in the Arizona, Utah, California, Oregon and Washington region. We are both ordained, offer photo, video and assist with planning!

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44 comments on “How to Elope and Include your Dog”

  1. STOP! <3 The way to my heart! haha Puppiess!!! I seriously love getting to read your blogs, you always have such amazing info and stunning photos!! =)

  2. These are beautiful pictures and great tips! Our dog is a wild animal, plus we have horses and goats and a cat. I couldn't include one of our pets and leave out the others but this is good information!

    1. Awh I totally get that! It would be super cute to do a couples shoot on your property with all of your pets!

  3. What a precious guide! I never thought about including furry friends in one of the most important days in our lives.

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