The do’s and don’ts of having a puppy bouquet

Puppies! No matter whether you’re a dog, cat or a fish person, you know they’re cute. You know they’re cuddly. But do they have a place in your wedding?

The trend of having pets and animals at weddings has massively taken off over the last 12 to 18 months. Dogs, cats, alpacas, cows, horses and every animal in between have been involved in recent weddings. But one trend we’re in love with is puppy bouquets.

puppy bouquets

Image by Discover Love Studios – Brittany Boland

What is a puppy bouquet?

We know you’re asking the question! A puppy bouquet is where a couple swaps out the floral bouquet for holding a puppy instead. This is usually done for the photoshoot rather than the actual wedding and can make for some absolutely gorgeous and stunning photos.

The kicker? Most of the puppy bouquets that have been promoted in the past are all for charity or adoption purposes! If you’re passionate about promoting pet adoption and want to help your local shelter, then this could be the perfect way to add that into your wedding day. Plus, it’ll make for memories and photos you’ll cherish for years to come. And give your favourite adoption centre amazing photos to use for adoption collateral down the track!

If you are thinking about jumping on board this trend, do keep a few things in mind.

puppy bouquets

Image by Caroline Logan Photography

Puppy welfare should be number one

We know that it’s your wedding day, but you are working with live animals here! Their safety, health and wellness should be your top priority. This means making sure that there’s someone with them at all times and they’re being handled appropriately on the day.

Whether you’re using the puppies of someone you know, or dogs or puppies from an adoption centre, make sure you do a welfare check with them first. Are they old enough to be comfortable being away from their mother? Does the mother need to be nearby? Have they all been vaccinated so they’re not going to be at risk outdoors? Do any of them have any injuries or anxieties to be aware of?

Consider puppy bouquets as the opportunity for your photos rather than your wedding. A puppy shouldn’t be held throughout the entire duration of your ceremony. Some might fall asleep, but others may get anxious in front of all those people.

The same goes for any other animal you’re using (like a kitten bouquet!)

puppy bouquets

Image by Marina Claire and Co.

Make sure they’re being handled properly

If you’re getting photos with your wedding party make sure that everyone knows how to properly hold a puppy! Scooping their tail under their bum and supporting their puppy tum properly is a good way to go. They might be playful and ready to wriggle in your arms, but you need to make sure that everyone is supporting their puppies properly and no one can wriggle out!

You also want to make sure that no one is being too rough, and that the puppies aren’t being handled too much or unnecessarily. Wedding photos can sometimes take a while so consider whether they need to be there for the whole time or can just come in at a certain part.

Try to minimise handing puppies between one another or having more than the set wedding party coming to play with the puppies. The typical wedding has 97 guests which will be too overwhelming for a small pup!

puppy bouquets

Image by Samantha Clarke via Facebook

Consider loud noises and music

It’s a big wide world out there and puppies are still trying to get an idea of what is or isn’t a threat. Trams, trains, car horns, loud music, robust guests, and even general traffic might be a bit much for them.

If they’re scared a puppy could get anxious and even have an accident so make sure you’re in an area where they can feel comfortable. Consider bringing the puppies in a bit before they need to have the photos taken so they can get used to their environment.

puppy bouquets

Image by Caroline Logan Photography

Have someone on standby for runaways

Puppies are mischievous and there is the chance that your pups are going to try and make a break for it. If this is the case, make sure you have someone on standby to chase after any stowaways! You might not be able to move too quickly in your wedding dress.

Also look at having a penned area for the pups to chill out in their downtime, and making sure you’re not too close to any busy roads.

puppy bouquets

Image by Discover Love Studios – Brittany Boland

Give them the chance for a potty break

Babies will be babies! When you’ve got to go you’ve got to go and puppies just can’t hold it in when they’re young. Make sure you have a handler who is ready to watch whether they’ve recently had a potty break to make sure there aren’t any accidents on your good clothes.

If you are worried, consider factoring blankets or baskets into your photoshoot to give yourself that extra barrier.

puppy bouquets

Image by Caroline Logan Photography

Try to work your trend into a good cause

Puppy bouquets are a different trend than having animals at your wedding. While there are many things to consider with animals at weddings, puppies are much younger and shouldn’t be used just as a prop for your wedding. If you are thinking of having a puppy bouquet try to pair this with a shelter to promote adoption for the puppies you feature.

You can still get the amazing pictures you want for your big day while knowing you’re also contributing to a good cause. By making sure you factor in any of the above, plus any tips from your shelter or handler, you’ll make sure you get the (wait for it) purrfect photos while making a difference.

Because who wouldn’t want to adopt one of these adorable faces?

puppy bouquets

Image by Discover Love Studios – Brittany Boland

Find the perfect photographer to take your puppy (or kitten!) shots here. 

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