Dog Friendly Wedding Venues in Staffordshire + My Top 5 Tips
I LOVE dogs being at weddings. It’s just so much fun and the couples I photograph never look so at peace and natural than when they’re with their dog/s. For this reason I’ve created a blog wholly dedicated to dogs and weddings. I’ve set out my Top Tips for having a Dog Friendly wedding whilst also taking the time to research and compile a list of Staffordshire wedding venues who allow dogs to attend wedding days.
Mans best friend is just that and there is no reason why you can’t include your furry companion in your plans for your special day. Whether they’re a Collie, a Shitzu, a Schnauzer, a Retriever, or a little Doxie they can enjoy your day as much as anyone else if introduced in the right way.
If you’re looking for a wedding photographer who loves dogs as much as you then feel free to take 5 minutes to drop me a message about your plans and I’ll drop my pricing and a pile of information over to you.
Enjoy the blog;
Why I’m Including My Dog in My Wedding
Introducing My Miniature Dachshund, Juno
It’s no secret. I LOVE DOGS! It never used to be this way though. I used to be terrified of them.
When I met Cera I was forced to overcome this fear and have grown to love them. I now have my own 7 year old miniature dachshund bitch called Juno. I often describe her as the best thing I’ve ever brought. This is why I’m super keen to make my dog as big a part of my wedding as possible. I just couldn’t imagine the day without her.
A lot of the hints and tips have come from planning our special day with Juno in mind. Pips Pet Care will be taking care of Juno on our wedding day and Sweetpea and Boo will be making her lead, harness and bow tie.
My Top 5 Tips for a Dog-Friendly Wedding
I’ve compiled my Top 5 Tips for you to have a great dog friendly wedding day. Whether you’re having a wedding day of 100+ guests or a more intimate day of just 30 close family and friends, there is always a way to incorporate your dog into it.
Enjoy my tips and please let me know if you have anything useful to add as I’d love to hear it.
Tip #1 | Inform Your Guests of Your Dogs Attendance and Role
As a child I was truly terrified of these four legged fluffy friends. I was unfamiliar with how to behave around them and would often do the wrong thing when around them. Having now had my own dog for 7+ years I can confirm it was never the dogs fault and was always mine. Not everyone has taken this life changing path which I have though. Some people are still unsure of how to behave around them.
To try and avoid any concerning doggy moments I would not only tell your guests your dog will be in attendance but I’d go into as much detail as possible. For example Juno, my dog, has a very temperamental personality therefore I will be letting my guests know she likes her own space and doesn’t like to be stroked or held by someone who she does not know. This is really important as my dog is often described as cute so people don’t see any problem in approaching her.
Tip #2 | Check Your Wedding Venue is Dog-Friendly
When you first thought about including your dog within your wedding day plans you probably realised there was no way they could be there from the start to the finish so immediately cast the decision aside. You’re right; it’s very rare a venue would let your dog be in attendance for the whole of your wedding day. They usually have guidelines and specific rules around including them so be sure to start the conversation early with your venue.
If you’re just this minute beginning to think about the possibility of including your little canine in your day then do not fear it’s never too late to start considering your pet. Most people worry their traditional venue with all it’s majestic history will not allow their dog to attend but you may be surprised. The tide has changed quite a lot in recent years and the the thoughts behind animals being equal rather than less than is pretty much public opinion now.
If your venue is not dog friendly then you may want to explore a pet chaperone, also called doggy-sitter, for your day.
Tip #3 | Get A Pet Chaperone aka a Doggy Sitter
With the fast paced action of your wedding day it’s really important you relieve the pressures of looking after your dog for the day. Your first thought is probably to ask a family member or friend who knows your pet to look after them. I would avoid doing this as although they’re friendly with the dog they’ll end up missing a lot of the day and will be out of a lot of photographs whilst they’re in the nearby grass with the pooper scooper.
Doggy Sitters are chaperones who’s sole job is to look after your best friend. They will take care of the need for intermittent walks, feed them, pick up their deposits and just genuinely be their best friend for the whole day. It’s really important your dog isn’t just dropped off with a Doggy Sitter they don’t know on the day. Most Doggy Sitters offer boarding or walk options as part of their normal routine so be sure to book a few of these in advance of your wedding day so your Doggy Sitter has chance to make friends with your pup.
Tip #4 | Dressed to the caNines
With everyone else making such an effort to look presentable on your wedding day it’s only right your dog pulls out all the stops to avoid looking ruff. A fresh clean, cut and brush will reduce the possibility of your dog marking your wedding dress or suit. Let’s face it though, they’ll be so excited to see you it will prove difficult to keep those paws away.
If you want to you can buy special leads, harness’, bow ties, bows and many more accessories to match your colour scheme. For my wedding, Juno is having a harness, bowtie and lead made out of the same material as my bowtie and my groomsmen’s ties. We intend to have a lot of photographs with her so it’s important she’s representing the pack.
Tip #5 | Pack Your Doggy Essentials and a Bit More
If you’re anything like us your dog doesn’t travel light. We often feel like Juno’s entourage as we bring her many bags and big bed with us whether we’re going to a dog friendly place or not. It’s important your companion has all of the comforts they usually enjoy at home to make them feel as little stress as possible.
As well as all of the usual bits and pieces like food, water, their bed, etc I would suggest buying a second of their favourite toy. Our miniature dachshund Juno loves this fluffy ball within a larger rubber ball within it and anytime we give it to her she settles and removes her attention from anyone else. We also stuff her Kong toy with treats when we need to. The design means she has to work hard to get everything out of it thus keeping her busy for a long time.
If you’re planning to take your little compadre on a Doggy-Moon post wedding then make sure you’ve enough supplies to last the trip.
Dog-Friendly Wedding Venues in Staffordshire
Some wedding venues within Staffordshire and the outskirts encourage couples to bring their four legged friends along so I’ve piled together a small list of the ones I know of for you to take a look at.
Stoke-on-Trent | The Ashes Barns
This rustic barn dog friendly wedding venue just on the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent regularly encourages couples to bring their dogs to their weddings. Set on a private stunning 50 acre estate it really presents a relaxing environment for your dog to relax within. As most wedding venues would, The Ashes wouldn’t allow a dog to be off lead and also aren’t allowed to stay over in the onsite accommodation. They also stress you only allow your dog to attend the day and no dogs can be left in cars on the site car park.
Burton on Trent | Hanbury Wedding Barn
The new kid on the block Hanbury Wedding Barn is family run dog friendly wedding venue in the beautiful National Forest. Opening their doors in June 2019 they’ve designed a wedding venue with your dog in mind creating a safe space for them to relax during your wedding day.
Congleton | Alcumlow Wedding Barn
A dog friendly Dutch Barn conversion on the Staffordshire Cheshire border which has a stunning outdoor skeleton wedding chapel. Catering for alternative wedding couples looking for a super stress free day which they can customise themselves.
Stafford | Sugnall Walled Garden
This 18th century Walled Garden built upon a traditional 1,300 acre country estate in the rolling fields of Staffordshire boasts a small micro climate which helps them grow all manner of fruits and vegetables to serve in their tea room. Not predominantly a wedding venue Sugnall does offer dog friendly weddings so bring them along to enjoy this stunning predominantly outdoor venue. You can also have your dog stay over the night in the accommodation on offer.
Burton on Trent | Alrewas Hayes
A historical country estate in the heart of Staffordshire. Alrewas Hayes’ Grade II listed Queen Anne residence has been hosting weddings for the past decade. With their pet labradors Bridget Jones & Hula Groove the owners of this dog friendly country house wedding venue often encourage couples to include their dogs in their wedding days.
Stoke-on-Trent | Moddershall Oaks
Having photographed amongst this private country spa before I’ve seen many weddings with the inclusion of dogs. Having one of Staffordshire’s premier outdoor ceremony spaces your dog can often be a big part of your service but usually are not allowed indoors throughout the day.
I Love Dogs & You Love Dogs
There’s nothing better than not only having a dog friendly wedding venue but also having someone who understands them take your photographs. Feel free to drop me a bark and we can talk about your day a little more.