With more and more people opting to include their dog in their wedding party, the AKC has put together a list of tips to help things run more smoothly.

According to an American Kennel Club Dogs and Interpersonal Relationships Survey, 18 percent of dog owners said they either have included (or would include) their dog in their wedding ceremony. That trend is likely to continue as those under 30 years of age are 17 percent more likely than those 60 and up to say “I do” with their dog by their side.

The AKC offers the following tips for those who are considering including Fido in their wedding:


-Consider your dog’s temperament. If your dog is unnerved by changes in environment or social situations, the crowds, attention and strange noises involved in a wedding may cause them undue stress.

-Select a pet-friendly location for the ceremony and reception.

-Ensure everyone playing an important role in the wedding welcomes your dog’s involvement – the groom, of course, but also the bridal party, officiant and wedding planner.

-Let invitees know a dog will be attending the celebration. Your wedding Web site is a great place to share this news. But, prepare yourself – disapproval from some guests is inevitable, and people with allergies may be unable to attend.

For more tips, see Weddings go to the dogs: Tips on making your dog part of your wedding celebration.

And, of course, if you want someone to be your full-time dog wranger during the wedding, professional pet sitters are a great option. Since they likely won’t know many (if any!) people at the wedding, they can devote all of their attention to your dog.