Here Are the States Where Your Dog Can Marry You

By Published On: July 10, 2024

Dogs are not just furry companions; they are cherished family members who hold a special place in our hearts and deserve inclusion in such an intimate celebration of love and union. It is no surprise that many couples want to include their beloved pups in their wedding day festivities, and there are a few states in which your pup can play a more active role in your ceremony. In this guide, we’ll explore which states allow dogs to officiate or serve as witnesses at weddings, as well as creative options for including your pup in your special day.

States Where Dogs Can Officiate or Serve as Witnesses of Your Marriage

While most states require a licensed officiant to solemnize marriages and sign marriage certificates, there are a few exceptions where dogs are allowed to play a ceremonial role in weddings. There are several U.S. states that don’t require officiants, which creates space for your pup to unofficially serve as your wedding officiant. These states include:

  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Nevada
  • Pennsylvania
  • Wisconsin
  • Washington, D.C.

Additionally, some states allow dogs to serve as witnesses at weddings, adding a unique and playful touch to the ceremony. While dogs may not be able to sign marriage certificates in all of these states, some states like Colorado allow dogs to sign a marriage license with their paw print, and it’s perfectly legal! Regardless, having your pup present as an honorary witness can be a heartwarming addition to the celebration. The following states allow dogs to serve as witnesses to your wedding:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Washington, D.C.

Creative Options for Including Your Pup in Your Special Day

Even if you don’t want your dog to serve as an officiant or witness, there are plenty of creative ways to incorporate your pet into your wedding day festivities. From serving as ring bearers to walking down the aisle as flower girls (or boys!), dogs can participate in a variety of adorable roles that add charm and personality to your ceremony. Here are a few creative options for including your pup in your special day:

  1. Ring Bearer: Dress your dog in a dapper tuxedo or a floral collar and attach the wedding rings to a decorative pillow or pouch secured to their collar. As they walk down the aisle, your furry friend will steal the show as they deliver the rings to the altar.
  2. Flower Girl: Adorn your dog’s collar or harness with delicate flowers or petals and let them walk down the aisle, scattering petals along the way. Their playful antics and adorable appearance will add a touch of whimsy to your ceremony.
  3. Best Dog: Instead of a traditional Best Man or Maid of Honor, consider appointing your dog as the “Best Dog” or “Paw-some Pal” of honor. Dress them in a special outfit or accessory and let them stand by your side as you exchange vows.
  4. Greeter: Have your dog greet guests as they arrive at the ceremony or reception venue, offering cuddles, kisses, and wagging tails to welcome them to your special day. Their friendly demeanor will help establish a warm and welcoming atmosphere for the celebration.
  5. Photo Booth Pup: Set up a photo booth with props and backdrops and invite guests to take photos with your dog. Whether dressed in wedding attire or sporting funny accessories, your pup will be the star of the show as guests capture memories and share laughs.

There are plenty of creative ways to include your pup in your wedding day festivities. From serving as officiants, witnesses, and ring bearers to walking down the aisle as flower girls or boys, dogs can partake in a variety of special roles that add charm, personality, and joy to your special day. Whether they’re greeting guests, posing for photos, or simply spreading love and happiness, including your furry friend in your wedding celebration is sure to make your day even more memorable and meaningful.

For tips and professional advice on having your dog at your wedding, read our interview with Ally Fuhs of Captivated Canine.

 

you might also like

Check Out The Latest on Instagram

Check Out The Latest on Instagram

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more tips, resources, and inspiration!

Wedding Vendor Directory
Nearlywed Magazine
michigan wedding vendors
Nearlywed Magazine
michigan wedding vendors
michigan wedding vendors
michigan wedding vendors
Nearlywed Magazine
wedding vendor directory