It’s Puppy Love: Dog Theme Weddings and Bridal Showers

These days, canine companions are playing a larger role in our weddings. Starting in California and Colorado, and now heading east, more and more couple are drafting a four-footed family member as a ring bearer.

With the rise of less formal, “anything goes” second weddings, dogs aren’t just trotting up the aisle with the rings, either. They’re showing up in the wedding theme, too. Maybe the lucky couple met at “101 Dalmations,” volunteering for the local animal shelter, or walking their dogs in the park. Maybe they just never got over the spaghetti scene in Lady & The Tramp.


Whatever their reasons, dogs are stepping out when it comes to weddings. Here are some tips for some canine style at yours:

Dog Theme Wedding Ideas. Adorn a regal white cake with sugar pawprints, and top with a dog cake topper.

Dog Cake Toppers. We’ve found a blown glass dog cake topper and a Lady & The Tramp cake topper.

Dog Decor. Instead of a “wishing well”, you’ll want a wedding-ready dog house. Make or buy an inexpensive wooden doghouse. Paint white; cut slot in the top for cards. Create simple wooden “gingerbread” accents for the dog house using a jigsaw or scrollsaw (borrow a friend’s), or buy ready-made dog shapes from the craft store; glue along roof. Finish by hot-gluing white fabric rosebuds beween the wooden ornaments. Fill the doorway with bunched-up tulle.



For centerpieces, grow wheatgrass in shiny stainless steel bowls. (How to grow wheatgrass — it’s easy.) Top each bowl with a substantial gingerbread bone wrapped in cellophane and curly ribbon, and attach balloons from the bone.

Or, paint large terra cotta pots white, tie off with silver ribbon, and fill with dog cookie bouquets (bone-shaped cookies dipped in dog safe yogurt, decorated with sprinkles and tied off with ribbon). Write the table name on each pot with black permanant marker.

For placecards, buy a simple silver place frame, and one silver pawprint or dog bone charm for each frame. Loop a shimmery ribbon through each charm, tie into a bow, and hot glue to the top-center of each frame.

Buy inexpensive pewter or silver-plated dog charms . Hot glue these to wooden napkin rings, and to white satin ribbons (or ribbons in your wedding colors). Wrap around and glue satin ribbons to white pillar candles. Adorn with other accents to your taste: ribbon roses, crystals.

Pour ice into paw print molds and float in the punch.


AttendantsInstead of just having a miniature bride in the form of flower girl, go the “whole dog” — dress a comely canine couple of your choice in full wedding regalia. Don’t forget where the dog theme all started, though — the trusty ring bearer. Give him his moment in the limelight with a handsome get-up.

Dog Wedding Favors

  • Dog wedding wine charms
  • Dog bone sugar cookies or dog bone cookie cutters
  • Dog bone gingerbread sandwich cookies, with lemon or cream cheese icing
  • Bone-shaped rice crispy treats (use bone cookie cutter); dipped in chocolate
  • Donation “in lieu of favors” to local animal shelter or humane society

Dog Theme Shower Ideas

It’s a bridal shower — get wild!

Shower Decor. Start by placing an enormous white bone over the door of the hostess’ house. Make yourself of thin plywood or heavy cardboard; paint white; sprinkle with white glitter and tie with a tulle bow. Or buy a white dog bone pinata for gleeful bashing and sweet treats later on.  Dress for a wedding with silk rosebuds and big tulle bow. For centerpieces, buy small stuffed dogs or autograph dogs, deck out in homemade bridal finery, and tie balloon bouquets to each.

Shower Food. What’s the main course? Hot dogs, of course! While the dogs are plumpin’, serve finger-food snacks in new plastic or stainless steel dog food bowls from the dollar store. Dogalicious snacks include:

  • Cocoa puffs
  • Chex Mix puppy chow
  • Kooky Chew treats (for humans)
  • Pastel Candy Bonz
  • Cupcakes topped with a chocolate bone or dog toppers.
  • Chocolate Scotty dogs

Shower Favors. Hand out red rhinestone dog tags for each of your loyal guests.

MusicMusic for Dog Lovers

  • Who Let the Dogs Out – Baha Men
  • Puppy Love – Paul Anka
  • Gonna Buy Me a Dog — The Monkees
  • Hound Dog – Jerry Lee Lewis
  • Selections from Lady & The Tramp