If you love your dog as much as I adore mine, I understand how important and exciting it is to include them on your special day. The good news? There are many opportunities for an amazing dog-friendly elopement or intimate wedding experience.

couple kissing for Ouray elopement with dog wearing flower collar looking at couple
Ouray, Colorado; Among the Pines Photography

As an elopement and wedding photographer, I love working with couples who want their sweet pup to join. In this article, I’ll discuss helpful tips for having your dog attend your wedding and fun ideas for how you can include them. I’ll also share my favorite dog-friendly elopement and wedding locations.

Can my dog attend my wedding?

Dogs are family, too, and are the best addition to a special wedding day experience. There are many ways your dog can attend your wedding, whether signing your license as a witness for a Colorado wedding, standing by your side as your dog of honor, or joining you for epic wedding day adventures.  

Tips for a Dog-Friendly Elopement or Intimate Wedding

Your wedding day should be an authentic experience that perfectly highlights what’s most important to you and your partner. Use these tips to have your dog join your adventure elopement or intimate wedding for a stress-free, fun experience.

  • Decide how your dog will participate
  • Find a dog-friendly elopement or wedding location
  • Consider your dog’s activity level
  • Book a dog-friendly accommodation
  • Have a pet sitter
  • Pack accordingly
  • Check the weather
  • Practice Leave No Trace
  • Hire a dog-friendly photographer

Consider How Your Dog Will Participate

There are many unique and special ways your dog can participate in your wedding, including joining you to:

  • Get ready at your accommodation: Your dog can hang out while you get ready and take photos. This is an excellent option if your venue or elopement location isn’t pet-friendly or your dog isn’t up for a full-day adventure.
  • Enjoy your elopement adventure: If you’re having an adventure elopement with hiking, chasing waterfalls, or other adventurous experience, bring your pup along for the fun.
  • Sign your marriage license: Colorado is one of my favorite dog-friendly elopement or wedding locations because your dog can legally witness your marriage and even sign your marriage license. You can use ink on their paw to let them stamp and sign your license as a witness. This makes for such a cute photo and special memory!
  • Be a wedding guest or dog of honor: Whether you elope or have a traditional wedding, your dog can join you as a guest or stand by you as your dog of honor. You can even let your dog dress up with a special collar or bow tie.

Find a Dog-Friendly Wedding Location

If you want your dog to join you at your ceremony, you’ll want to make sure your wedding location is pet-friendly. Most larger wedding venues aren’t pet-friendly, but there are many stunning elopement and small wedding locations where pets are welcome.

An outdoor location is ideal for dogs because it lets them, you, and your partner enjoy and play in nature together.

My favorite dog-friendly elopement and wedding locations include:

  • Crested Butte, Colorado:  An adorable, secluded mountain town with stunning mountain scenery and many beautiful locations for an outdoor elopement or intimate wedding
  • Ouray, Colorado: An adventurous mountain town with many fun activities, breathtaking views, and a cute downtown area
  • Brainard Lake, Colorado: An easily accessible elopement or small wedding location surrounded by alpine forests and high mountain peaks
  • Yosemite National Park, California: A gorgeous World Heritage Site with many dog-friendly ceremony locations

If you have a location in mind or want to brainstorm other dog-friendly places to get married, contact Among the Pines Photography. I love helping couples find their dream wedding location!

couple with back facing camera and dog looking at camera
Ouray, Colorado; Among the Pines Photography

Consider Your Dog’s Activity Level

While you might have your dream day in mind, you’ll want to consider your dog’s activity level when choosing your location and experiences. For example, if your dog is energetic and loves to run, you might choose an outdoor area with hiking trails.

If your dog is older and likes to lounge, it’s best to choose an easily accessible, mild-weather location. You can also let your dog participate in some activities while staying at your accommodation while you and your partner enjoy other activities.

Book a Dog-Friendly Accommodation

If you’re traveling for your elopement or wedding, don’t forget to book a dog-friendly accommodation. Most of us pet parents do this naturally, I know, but it can be easy to overlook when busy planning a wedding!

If you plan to leave your dog at your hotel and vacation rental some, you’ll want to be sure the space looks suitable for them to be alone in. 

Something else to consider for your dog-friendly elopement or wedding is to have your ceremony at your Airbnb or hotel. Many rentals and hotels have beautiful places for a ceremony, whether it be a specific event area or an outdoor space.

Have a Pet Sitter

Whether you’re having an adventure elopement or a traditional wedding, you’ll be busy getting ready and enjoying the experience with your love. Of course, you’ll want to spend time with your dog, but a pet sitter can come in handy when you need an extra hand or want another person to have eyes on your dog so you can stay in the moment of your special day.

You can have a guest who’s ready to step in when needed or use a pet-sitting service like Rover to find a trusted pet sitter in the area where you’re getting married.

couple with two dogs on their leashes and dogs looking at camera
Among the Pines Photography

Pack Accordingly

Pack the essentials and some helpful extras to ensure your dog-friendly wedding goes smoothly. Many of these are especially useful if you’re having an adventure elopement.

  • Extra water (bring more than you think you need, just in case)
  • Collapsible dog bowls (for convenience and easy packing)
  • Poop bags
  • Leash
  • Cooling vest (especially if you’re eloping somewhere warm)
  • Dog first-aid kit
  • Towel and brush (for cleaning up and grooming if needed)
  • Treats (especially useful for pictures)
  • Toys and other items to make your dog feel at home in the accommodation

Check the Weather

Weather is always unpredictable, even if we research and try to plan ahead. However, you can check weather trends when planning your wedding and check closer to the time of your wedding to get an idea of what to prepare for. 

If your dog is attending your wedding, especially if it’s an adventure elopement where you’re spending time outside, you’ll want the weather to be suitable. For a specific location in mind, plan for a time of year with pleasant weather. If you’re less flexible with timing, try to choose the location accordingly. 

If the weather looks like it might not cooperate once you get closer to your wedding date, pack accordingly. For example, bring your dog a rain or cooling jacket if needed. You can also tweak your plans by having your dog split time between the wedding and your accommodation. 

Practice Leave No Trace

As a Leave No Trace Aware photographer, I always encourage couples to keep this in mind with pets too.

The Leave No Trace principles focus on preserving outdoor spaces by:

  • Planning ahead to understand regulations and prepare for emergencies
  • Traveling and camping on durable surfaces
  • Disposing of waste properly
  • Leaving what you find
  • Minimizing campfire impacts
  • Respecting wildlife
  • Being considerate of others

Follow Leave No Trace principles with your dog by making sure pets are allowed at places you visit, picking up their waste, and keeping them on a leash in public spaces.

couple posing with two dogs smiling at camera in front of Brainard Lake
Brainard Lake, Colorado; Among the Pines Photography

Hire a Dog-Friendly Photographer

A dog-friendly photographer can help you have your dream wedding experience with your pup. A photographer who loves pets and knows how to work with them (like myself!) can capture your special day and ensure your dog enjoys the experience, too.

I adore taking my sweet dog, Charlie boy, on adventures, and love working with couples who like doing the same!

As a dog-friendly photographer, I focus on creating a fun, carefree experience for couples. My main priority is capturing the authentic moments of your special day – those where you’re smiling at your love, playing with your dog, and appreciating all the small and big moments on your wedding day.

All of my elopement and wedding packages include all-inclusive planning resources and a custom online gallery with high-resolution images. I also help with location scouting, timeline planning, and vendor recommendations.

Client Praise

kinsley + caden

“Brooke was the perfect choice for our wedding day! We had a micro wedding at Sapphire Point in August. I had never been to Sapphire Point and Brooke was so helpful suggesting vendors, picture locations, parking, marriage license info etc. She was so kind and helpful before and during the whole process and was a large part of why the day went so smooth. She does so much more than just show up and take pictures, Brooke will truly go out of her way to make your wedding day perfect! The photos are gorgeous and I keep getting so many compliments! I truly cannot recommend her enough!”

"Brooke was a large part of why our day went so smooth and will truly go out of her way to make your wedding day perfect!"

We chose Brooke to capture our Colorado elopement and she did exactly that and more. She made it easy to plan our day out with locations and timelines so that we could focus on ourselves. We decided last minute to change our afternoon/evening elopement to a 6am sunrise one so beat the heat of the day. Brooke accommodated us without hesitation and even created a new timeline for us so that we knew where to be for the perfect sunrise. She was kind and understood what we wanted in terms of our elopement and we are so grateful to have her capture the day. Our photos turned out beautiful and truly helped us relive the day. I would recommend Brooke to anyone wanting their special day photographed.

"Brooke accommodated us without hesitation and even created a new timeline for us so that we knew where to be for the perfect sunrise."

erica + stacy

kirstie + colin

Brooke not only photographed our mountain elopement beautifully, but she put so much thought into the details and knew all of the answers the questions I didn’t even know to ask. She really puts a lot of thought into each photo and brings her expertise while still remaining very open to what we wanted and ideas we had. She even helped pick the perfect spot for us and advised us on the logistical details like securing a reservation at the mountain lake where we wanted our ceremony. She is SO easy to work with and very friendly and chill. My husband and I are super awkward in front of a camera but she made it so natural and easy - and the shots came out better than we could have imagined.

"She really puts a lot of thought into each photo and brings her expertise while still remaining very open to what we wanted and ideas we had."

amanda + jace

Brooke is many things; talented, calm, flexible, experienced/ knowledgeable, patient, incredibly responsive, organized, resourceful in a pinch, supportive, creative, professional yet a blast to work with, and goes above & beyond w her clients. Our wedding was a spectacular dream and we couldn't be more grateful that she made that single day last forever. Whether she's photographing nature or an intimate event, her pictures tell a story of peace, love, whatever your vision may be. We couldn't recommend her more and we look forward to booking with her for all of our vow renewals, seasonal and family pictures for as long as she'll have us.

"Whether she's photographing nature or an intimate event, her pictures tell a story of peace, love, whatever your vision may be."

linden + brent

Working with Brooke was a dream come true! Before we even met, my husband Brent and I were impressed by her portfolio. After meeting, we were even more convinced that her photography skills and knowledge, and her fun and easygoing personality were exactly what we were looking for in an elopement photographer. Brooke was able to take our vision and facilitate everything so that it worked out beautifully, especially when it came to finding the perfect location (the incredible mountains surrounding Ouray). Throughout the entire planning process, she was honest and flexible, and made it clear that her goal was for us to be 100% happy. In the end, her creativity and our happiness totally shine through in every single photo.

"Throughout the entire planning process, she was honest and flexible."

lauren + branden

I can't begin to express my gratitude for the intimacy and beauty behind Brooke's photographs. In capturing our wedding day, she went above and beyond to document our story, our families, and the depths of our love in ways that I'll forever be grateful for. Brooke has an eye for not only capturing the adventure and magic of your love, but deeply connects with your personal story, understands your relationship, and then gives that back in the most incredible way. She is truly an artist and tells your story in an authentic and creative way for you to look back on for years to come. We are forever grateful to Brooke for spending the time to get to know us, our story, and capturing the memories that we'll relive for years to come.

"Brooke deeply connects with your personal story, understands your relationship, and then gives that back in the most incredible way."

heather + jedd

“If you're contemplating which photographer to go with, THIS IS YOUR SIGN TO CHOOSE BROOKE!!!! She is so so so talented and was able to capture our elopement exactly how I pictured and wanted! We eloped in Ridgway, CO this past September and she was so helpful figuring out picture locations, recommendations of timeline for the day, and just made the whole day feel so smooth. She schedules multiple check ins, phone calls, etc., leading up to the big day to ensure everything is as you want it. Brooke has such a calming, down to earth presence and is one of those awesome people you feel like you've known forever after just the first time of meeting."

"Brooke has such a calming, down to earth presence and is one of those awesome people you feel like you've known forever."

christy + austin

Brooke is the absolute best. She truly went above and beyond for my fiancé and I to be able to get our engagement photos taken with the fall colors. Brooke is so sweet, fun, personable and incredibly talented. We could not be more in love with our engagement photos! Our engagement session with Brooke was such a special experience and a memory we will cherish forever.

"Our engagement session with Brooke was such a special experience and a memory we will cherish forever."

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