November 4, 2019

How to Elope and Include your Dog


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

Sedona, Arizona Elopement Photographer


So you are thinking of bringing your pup along to your elopement! Welp my friends you are in the right place. I hike with my cat every chance I get, so I am here to tell you YES you can bring your dog along for your wedding day! 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.

Planning an elopement when you are bringing your dog…

So if you have decided to bring them along and you’re still in the planning stages you need to decide a location! This is super important when it comes to bringing your furry love with you because some places will not allow pets. Here in Sedona you can bring your dog almost anywhere you want to elope. Although, you will find almost all National Parks will have restrictions on dogs. Some may not allow them in the park at all, some may only allow them in the parking lots and some may have specific areas or trails they can be on, leash only. So you will want to do your research on the specific National Parks page that you are considering eloping at. Most state parks are a little more tolerable with pets, but the same rule would apply looking to the parks rules on their specific site. If you can not find the answer you are looking for you can always call the park ranger to ask! Mostly only BLM or National Forest land you have the best options of being in the clear for bringing your pup. If you are looking for some recommendations on BLM or National forest land this blog post will give you a lot of great options.

So you know you want to bring your pup, but are you bringing any other friends or family?? In most states (not Colorado or Idaho) you will need an officiant and 1 to 2 witnesses to legally get married unless you are doing the legal aspect before the actual elopement. I suggest if you are eloping and bringing the pups to go ahead and bring at least one friend that can help with the dog for any photos that they may not be in or any part of the day they may not be apart of. For example, one of my couple that booked an 8 hour elopement day did a longer hike in the morning for their first look and letter ringing. They opted to leave the dogs at home with their friends and family during this since it was dark out for our hike in, an unsafe cliff if the dogs got too close and a long off road drive. They did bring their dogs for the ceremony which was a shorter hike near sunset and they had friends there to help them wrangle the pups during the couples portraits. A different example would be Izzy and Garrett who had a four hour elopement where we did a short hike to the location and the dogs were in most of the pictures and the rest of the time was spent around the camp site. They still had several friends at there elopement day there were able to just help with the logistics of moving the dogs along from spot to spot.

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. 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.

The day of your elopement with your dog…

For the day of your elopement not only do you yourself want to be prepared, but you need to be prepared for your dog too! Be sure to bring water for your dog and a bowl for him or her to drink out of. I recommend the collapsible ones you can buy almost anywhere. I also recommend bringing snacks for any photo reasons, but also in case we are on a longer hike for the day. Do not forget your doggie bags for their bathroom breaks. Leashes are a must! Most places will require your dog to be on a leash, but if not that is up to you to decide if you are letting your pet off of leash. I recommend bringing one no matter what because you just never know. Be sure the morning of when you are getting ready or if you are traveling the week before check the weather for any other things you may need or the terrain of the trail for feet protection.

Having a friend to help throughout the day will give you so much peace of mind and allow for some time with just the two of you outside of pictures and moments with your furry loved one. If you plan to not have the dogs with you the entire day having a plan ahead of time with the person that will be watching them is best.

Some fun ideas for your pets on your wedding day would be to give them a bow tie or flower collar to wear. There are many other creative ways to include your dog on your wedding day other than them just being there just get creative and do you! Maybe your pup can’t be there, but you can still include them! You can always facetime your pet, have a cake topper made of the all of you together or recall a memory in your vows.


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

I may not be a dog owner, but I am full bled dog lover! As a pet owner though I totally understand wanting to have your furry pal by your side, they are apart of the family. I could never imagine getting married without Indy, he is with me on every adventure and my child. As an elopement photographer, but also planner I am so excited to help you two figure out the perfect way for your pup to be involved on your wedding day!


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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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