~by Abigail Hodgson, Corolla Classic Vacations' Wedding & Private Event Specialist / (252) 453-5022 / firstname.lastname@example.org Your bridesmaids (and groomsmen) are there for a reason. To support you, help you, and share your special day – even if on four legs. More and more men and women are insisting that their dog be a part of their wedding party. Recently, a wedding held at Another Sea Esta (OH1 in Ocean Hill), the bride had her Petite Bichon Frise sitting proudly on a stool beside her as she recited her vowels. Decked out with a crimson adornment around her neck, she witnessed her parents tie the knot – and she never barked once! Remember to dress your dog for the occasion. I have seen pearl necklaces, silk ties, even party dresses on the furry wedding party members. To eliminate stress with your pet on the big day, I suggest following these tips. My best friend was married last year in the beautiful mountains of Virginia and her tiny Jack Russell was in attendance – because of me. Here’s what I learned from being the dog-manager during her wedding weekend. First, if you are planning a destination wedding (anything outside of your home state), and your dog will be in or at the wedding, enlist the help of a friend. This friend should know your dog well and the dog should feel comfortable and safe. At least a month before the wedding, include the friend on walks, trips to the park, and just have the friend around your dog as often as possible. Familiarity is the key. Secondly, if your friend is traveling with your dog, it’s important that the meals, bathroom breaks, walks, play time, and bed time are consistent with what your dog is used to - eliminating any chance of nervousness or anxiety. Lastly, the day before the wedding or the morning of, have your friend take your dog to the ceremony and reception site so that your dog can sniff around and become familiar with the area before all of the guests arrive. Feed and walk your dog at least an hour before the ceremony so that bathroom breaks and extra energy are at bay, at least temporarily. Sharing your wedding with your pooch is easy as can be with our pet friendly event homes. We have over 30 homes available to rent that gladly welcome your dog as an occupant and a guest. You can pick up special treats at Salty Paws Biscuits and a toy for good behavior at Outer Barks! Corolla Classic Vacations is proud to represent Sea Esta, Another Sea Esta, Sea Cure, Key Largo and many more! Call Abigail at 252.453.5022 today to find the perfect pet-friendly event home!