Eloping with Your Dog in Wales - The Ultimate 2024 GuideFor outdoorsy souls who don’t want to be without their loyal friend(s) by their side on their elopement day
Croeso I Cymru – Your 2024 Guide to eloping with your dog(s) in Wales
I’m an elopement photographer & planner based in Wales and since the pandemic, I’ve helped to plan and have photographed dozens of beautiful elopements with dogs here in Wales. It’s proved to me that our furry companions are definitely so much more than just pets; they are valued & treasured family members and including them on your wedding day adds a whole lot of emotional value and a sense of completeness to what is meant to be the best day of your life. A wild elopement in Wales can be an option if you want to get married with your dog(s) by your side so that you can cherish the moments shared with them for years to come. For those worrying about feeling a little stressed or anxious on their wedding day, I always find that dogs can give us some much-needed comfort, calm us down, and never fail to bring joy and playfulness to the day. Plus who wouldn’t love taking their dog(s) on a wedding day walk, just imagine how exciting exploring a new location together could be!
If you’re dog parents like us, the thought of having to leave the dog(s) behind on your wedding day can sometimes freak you out a bit. No need to worry though. If you don’t fancy a restrictive wedding day that doesn’t allow your dog(s) to be fully present or truly themselves throughout, eloping could be for you and I’ve written this 2024 Guide to eloping with your dog(s) in Wales especially to help couples just like you.
5 Good reasons why eloping with your dog in Wales is a brilliant idea:
- Making unforgettable memories with your best friend right by your side: Your dog has been there for you through thick and thin, sharing in both your happiest and most challenging moments. By including your furry friend in your elopement, you’re ensuring that one of the most memorable days of your life is spent with all of your loved ones;
- Stunning Welsh Landscapes: Our scenery is lush and the people are super nice – Wales is a country of unparalleled beauty. From rugged coastlines and majestic mountains to thriving valleys and ancient forests – plenty of glorious backdrops for intimate, nature-inspired ceremonies here. Your photos will not only capture the love between you, your partner, and your dog but also the undeniable charm of the Welsh countryside;
- A totally stressfree experience: Traditional weddings can end up being a little overwhelming and stressful. By eloping, especially with your dog by your side, you can sidestep many of the typical wedding hassles. There’s no need to worry about extensive guest lists, expensive decorations, or forced entertainment. It’s just you, your partner, your dog, and the wild beauty of Wales;
- Endless ways to put your own stamp on your wedding day: With no set rules or societal expectations to stick to, you can design your elopement to be just as unique as you are and plan your entire day to fully suit your dog’s needs and abilities. Want to exchange vows on a secluded beach watching your dog playfully splish-splashing in the waves? Or maybe you dream about an early hike with your dog for a magical sunrise ceremony atop a mountain peak? The possibilities are endless.
- It’s a *Good for the soul* and eco-friendly wedding day: Wales is home to some of the most beautiful natural habitats the UK has on offer. By choosing to elope here, you can celebrate your love while respecting nature. Eloping often has a smaller carbon footprint than a traditional wedding, especially if you opt for eco-friendly practices. This aligns perfectly with the ethos of many nature-loving couples.
Now that you know that you have options when it comes to getting married with your loyal friend by your side and that planning a super scenic elopement with your dog right here in Wales is actually really easy, here’s how:
Research dog-friendly ceremony venues and locations: we have lots and lots of dog-friendly elopement venues here in Wales and perhaps quite surprisingly, most register offices love (LOVE!) seeing (well-behaved, leashed) dogs at ceremonies, just ask about your fluffy wedding guest when you check if your date is available. From Pembrokeshire’s dramatic coastal paths to Snowdonia’s awe-inspiring landscapes, Google will quickly help you find places that are not only beautiful but also welcoming to pets. I always enjoy photographing dog-friendly elopements at Penarth Fawr, where Carron & Gwyn not only welcome them with open arms but always go the extra mile with lots and lots of cuddles and letting the dogs(s) enjoy the ceremony in their often chaotic, high energy way. No need for them to sit still or be quiet during the ceremony here :)
Not sure where to start or in need of some elopement location & timeline inspiration? WhatsApp me – always happy to help if I can!
Check Regulations for Dog Restrictions: For more general info on what paperwork humans need to complete to plan your elopement in Wales, read my post on how to elope anywhere in the UK, should cover most of your questions. Do bear in mind that some areas might have restrictions on dogs, such as the beautiful beaches on Anglesey – especially during certain times of the year like summer holidays. Always check in advance to avoid disappointment and be considerate. If you’re not sure – I’m here to help and have a little black book full of locations that are suitable for dogs of all ages and abilities.
Choose the right season & time to suit your dog’s breed and fitness levels: Consider the best season and time of day for your elopement. Times of sunrise and sunset provide the best lighting for photos and are usually cooler for your canine companion, too. Consider the typical weather conditions of the location where you plan to elope. For instance, if you’re eloping in a mountainous area in Wales, hiking uphill with an elderly dog in summer may turn out too hot for them, while small or thin-furred and short-haired breeds will generally need a winter coat if they’re out and about in winter.
Book pet-friendly accommodation: Absolutely, ensuring that your accommodation is dog-friendly is a crucial step when planning to elope with your furry companion. Websites that specialise in pet-friendly travel can be very helpful; here’s a selection I found doing a very basic & quick Google search:
Canine Cottages offers a wide selection of dog-friendly cottages across the UK. From Scotland’s striking landscapes to Cornwall’s golden sands, they have nearly 9,000 properties suitable for families with dogs. Their accommodations range from holiday homes with enclosed gardens to pet-friendly lodges and coastal cottages with extra amenities for dogs.
PetsPyjamas provides a variety of dog-friendly holiday options including hotels and cottages in various UK locations like Wales, Suffolk, Surrey, North Yorkshire, and more. They focus on ensuring a great experience for both pets and their owners.
Paws & Stay where dogs are welcome and not just tolerated. They focus on properties that provide an excellent experience for dogs, including cottages in town and countryside locations, remote cottages for nervous dogs, cabins, and luxury holidays. They also look for accommodations with extra features like enclosed gardens and outdoor taps for muddy paws.
Feather Down offers dog-friendly glamping on a farm; take your pooch to your favourite places from England to Scotland to Wales. Share some breathtaking walks through the meadows, woods and fields that surround your cottage under canvas. Your dog is bound to feast and rejoice on all the scents and sounds, unique to the British countryside!
These websites should provide a good starting point for finding the perfect dog-friendly accommodation for your elopement in the UK. Remember to check each property’s specific pet policy to ensure it meets your needs.
Other things to consider when planning a dog-friendly elopement in Wales
- Plan for Your Dog’s Needs: Think about what your dog will need during the stay. This includes food, toys, a comfortable bed, lead, poo bags, and any medications. Also, consider how you’ll manage your dog’s care during times when you can’t be with them, such as during the actual elopement ceremony if it’s not in a pet-friendly location. If you plan on trekking, ensure your dog’s comfort and safety with suitable gear and always carry some water for them, you never know when you might need it.
- Find Nearby Services: Look for nearby veterinary services, pet stores, and dog-friendly activities. Knowing these locations in advance can give you peace of mind and convenience during your stay.
- Prepare for Emergencies: Have a plan in case of emergencies. This includes knowing the location of the nearest veterinary hospital and having a first-aid kit for pets.
- Respect the Rules: To ensure a pleasant stay and to maintain the availability of pet-friendly accommodations for other like-minded travellers, always adhere to the rules set by the accommodation regarding pets.
- Training and Socialisation: Ensure your dog is well-behaved and can handle staying in a new environment. This is especially important if the accommodation has specific requirements regarding pet behaviour.
- Leave No Trace: Always clean up after your dog, both inside and outside the accommodation, to show respect for the property and future guests.
- Consider Your Dog’s Comfort: Travel and new environments can be stressful for some pets. If your pet hasn’t travelled much or you worry that they won’t settle, tring familiar items like blankets or toys to help your dog feel more at ease.
By taking these steps, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable elopement experience for both you and your dog.
Planning an elopement with an elderly dog
How to elope with a nervous dog
Knowing Your Dog’s Temperament: If your dog is a little anxious, feels insecure around strangers, or unsettled in new environments but you do want them with you on your wedding day – you may want to consider a Just Us Elopement in a private ceremony-only venue such as Penarth Fawr on the Llŷn Peninsula. If you’re planning a small ceremony with only a handful of people (you, your witnesses, the registrars and your photographer, no hustle & bustle), your dog will be able to feel safe. You may even be able to bring your dog for a short visit before the day of your ceremony so that they can become familiar with the environment.
Exercise and Mental Stimulation: Allow your dog to exercise before the ceremony to help them relax. This could include a walk or playtime. Mental stimulation like favorite toys or comfort items can also help in keeping your dog calm. Don’t be tempted to give them a role that could turn out stressful for them, such as carrying the rings and avoid anything noisy & sudden, such as throwing confetti which could catch them off guard and make them feel anxious.
The key is to know your dog’s personality and needs and to plan accordingly. If at any point you feel that a part of the elopement might be too stressful, it’s okay to make spontaneous changes that prioritise the comfort and well-being of your dog.
There are so many beautiful locations that are perfect for a relaxed elopement with your dog here in Wales; do let me know what your perfect location would be (think secret waterfalls, beautiful coastal vibes or those ruggedly charming mountainscapes Snowdonia is famous for) when you enquire about my availability and I’ll happily send you some suggestions.
The importance of hiring a dog-friendly wedding photographer with local knowledge for your elopement in Wales
Start Your Welsh Elopement Journey Here
Are you dreaming of running away to Wales for a once-in-a-lifetime elopement experience here? Whether you’re enchanted by the rugged coastlines of Pembrokeshire, the mystical charm of the Llyn Peninsula, or the serene beauty of the Vale of Llangollen, I’m here to make your dream a reality.
I’m a UK elopement photographer based in the Berwyn Range and specialise in crafting bespoke elopement experiences that are as unique as your very own love story. With my deep knowledge of some of Wales’ most stunning locations and my passion for offering you a very personal experience and not just a bunch of random photographs from your wedding day, I want to make sure that every detail of your special day is handled with care and professionalism.
If you’d love to go on a once-in-a-lifetime wedding adventure with me – simply contact me today and you could be planning the elopement of your dreams in almost no time at all.
Your Welsh elopement awaits!
I’m an experienced and professional North Wales Wedding & Elopement Photographer based not far from Llangollen in the Clywdian Range. I photograph weddings, elopements, vow renewals, anniversaries and proposals in the local area and further afield, throughout Wales and the whole of the UK. I specialise in photographing raw & natural moments – perfect for destination wedding & elopement photography in Eryri (Snowdonia).