September 24, 2023
If you’re ready to elope and want to bring along your pup, but have no idea how to elope with your dogs in Florida, then I’m here to help! Florida is largely a pet-friendly state with many options for ways to include your dog in your elopement day! This resource will walk you through things to consider for your dog on your elopement day, pet-friendly elopement activities, the most dog-friendly cities in Florida, and more!
When deciding if you should or shouldn’t include your dog on your elopement day, there’s some things you should consider ahead of time. Here’s a list of things to consider for your dog-friendly elopenent based on my experience as a Florida elopement photographer:
1. Choose a Pet-Friendly Location: Before you begin planning your elopement, it’s crucial to find pet-friendly accommodations and location. Many beaches, parks, and even some resorts in Florida are welcoming to dogs. Look for places that have dog-friendly policies. Some dog-friendly cities include Key West, Tampa, Clearwater, and Saint Augustine.
2. Check Local Regulations: When it comes to your elopement location, double check that dogs are allowed. Different locations might have varying rules and regulations for dogs. Some beaches may have restricted hours or leash laws, so make sure you research and comply with all local ordinances. The last thing you want is any unexpected surprises on your elopement day.
3. Consider Your Dog’s Personality: When planning your elopement, take your dog’s personality into account. If your dog is social and well-behaved, a bustling city elopement or a beach ceremony might be a great fit. However, if your pup is shy or easily overwhelmed, a quieter garden or a more secluded spot could be a better choice.
4. Get a Dog Handler: There will be plenty of times when you’ll need help with your dog during your elopement. Hiring a professional dog handler or a trusted friend/family member who knows your dog well can help take care of your dog ensuring they are comfortable, well-behaved, and stress-free throughout your elopement.
5. Plan for Comfort: Florida’s climate can be warm, especially if you’re eloping in the spring or summer. Make sure your dog has access to fresh water, shaded areas, and a comfortable spot to relax. Consider bringing a dog-friendly sunscreen if your pup has light colored fur or exposed skin.
6. Pet-Friendly Accommodations: If you’re traveling to Florida for your elopement, ensure that your accommodations are pet-friendly. Many hotels and vacation rentals cater to canine guests, so you and your dog can have a comfortable stay. Keep in mind that if you’re staying at a hotel, you might not be able to leave your dog unattended at any time during your stay.
7. Celebrate with Treats: After the ceremony, celebrate with a dog-friendly wedding cake or special treats that both you and your pup can enjoy. It’s a fun way to conclude the celebration and include your dog in the celebration!
8. Contingency Plans: Be prepared for unexpected situations. If your dog becomes stressed, agitated, or unwell during the elopement, have a backup plan in place. This might involve a quiet area for them to rest, a designated handler, or even the possibility of bringing them back to your accommodations if necessary. Keep in mind that many hotels don’t allow you to leave your dog unattended. Check the hotel policies ahead of time.
9. Photographer Familiarity: Make sure your elopement photographer is comfortable working with dogs prior to booking. This will ensure that you get all the amazing shots and everyone is having a good time! Need help finding one? I might know someone 😉
If you’re wanting to include your pup in more than just the ceremony and portraits, here’s a list of dog-friendly elopement activities you can do together!
1. Beach Day: If you’re eloping near the coast, a day at the beach can be a fantastic option. Let your dog enjoy the sand, surf, and sunshine.
2. Walking Down the Aisle: Include your dog in your ceremony by having them walk down the aisle with you or your partner. Attach a flower crown, bowtie, or floral collar to make them feel extra special.
3. Ring Bearer: Train your dog to carry the rings down the aisle. This can add a sentimental touch to your ceremony. Just make sure you’ve practiced beforehand.
4. Picnic Celebration: After the ceremony, have a picnic celebration with dog-friendly treats. Share some dog-safe cake, biscuits, or special homemade treats with your pup.
5. Witness Your Marriage: Incorporate your dog’s paw prints into the ceremony. Use non-toxic paint or ink to have your dog sign as a witness on your marriage certificate.
6. Hike with Your Dog: Plan hike with your dog to a cool spot or along the beach.
7. Dog-Friendly Dine-In: If you’re having a small post-elopement meal, choose a dog-friendly restaurant where your pup can join you for a celebratory dinner.
8. Brewery Stops: Many breweries in Florida are pet-friendly! Bring your dog along for some post-wedding beers.
9. Boat Ride: Rent a boat and bring your dog! Go island hopping or booze cruising with your pup by your side.
Want some more help figuring out how to include your dog into your Florida elopement? Reach out and let’s plan something that you and your pup can both enjoy!
Florida is a great destination for traveling with your dog, offering numerous cities with dog-friendly attractions, parks, and accommodations. Here are some dog-friendly cities in Florida that you might consider for eloping with your baby doggies:
1. Miami: Miami is known for its vibrant atmosphere and beautiful beaches. Many of Miami’s beaches are dog-friendly during certain hours, allowing your pup to enjoy the sand and surf. You can also explore the Wynwood Walls art district, which often welcomes well-behaved dogs, and enjoy outdoor dining at dog-friendly restaurants.
2. Key West: This charming island city is a paradise for both humans and dogs. Take leisurely walks along the scenic streets, visit dog-friendly parks, and enjoy pet-friendly boat tours. The Key West Dog Beach is a popular spot for dogs to play and swim.
3. St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg offers plenty of dog-friendly parks, including North Shore Dog Park and the waterfront Vinoy Park. Many restaurants with outdoor seating welcome dogs, and you can also take your pup on a dog-friendly brewery tour.
4. Tampa: Tampa has various dog-friendly attractions, such as the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and the Tampa Riverwalk. You can also explore the Davis Islands Dog Beach or enjoy a day at the dog-friendly Picnic Island Park.
5. Fort Lauderdale: Fort Lauderdale boasts dog-friendly beaches and parks, such as Canine Beach and Snyder Park. You can also explore the city’s Riverwalk area and dine at pet-friendly restaurants along Las Olas Boulevard.
6. Orlando: While Orlando is often associated with theme parks, there are also dog-friendly activities to enjoy. Visit the Lake Baldwin Park Dog Park, explore the dog-friendly Winter Park area, and consider taking your pup to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, which offers dog-friendly accommodations and a play area.
7. Jacksonville: Jacksonville offers a variety of dog-friendly parks and beaches, including the Jacksonville Beach Dog Park and Hanna Park’s dog-friendly beach area. The Riverside and Avondale neighborhoods are also known for being dog-friendly, with shops and restaurants that welcome pets.
8. Sarasota: Sarasota offers dog-friendly beaches, such as Brohard Paw Park in nearby Venice, where dogs can enjoy the sand and surf. The city also has several dog-friendly parks and outdoor dining options.
9. Naples: Naples features dog-friendly beaches like Bonita Beach Dog Park and Lowdermilk Park. You can also explore the Naples Dog Park or enjoy shopping and dining with your dog in the city’s downtown area.
10. Clearwater: Clearwater Beach offers dog-friendly areas and accommodations, making it a great spot for a beachside elopement with your pup. You can also explore the nearby Sand Key Park and Philippe Park.
If you’re considering bringing your dog for your Florida elopement, I highly recommend it! When my husband and I eloped, we opted to not bring our dog and it’s one of my biggest regrets for our elopement. Eloping with your dog in Florida can be an unforgettable experience. By being well-prepared you can have the elopement of your dreams with your dog joining in the celebration. If you and your partner are dog parents wanting to include your baby doggie, then let’s figure out a way to make it happen!
Hey there! I’m Anna, your Florida elopement photographer, planner + dog mom! I’m based in Florida, where the water is always close and the vibes are chill and tropical. Florida is so much more than long stretches of sandy beaches, and I l o v e showing rad folks like you just what makes this place special. In fact, I geek out over discovering what makes every place special when I’m planning elopements. From choosing the perfect location to figuring out those pesky permits to ensuring every detail aligns with your vision, I’ve got you covered. There’s a lot to consider ahead of your elopement and I’m here to guide you through those dos and don’ts. Tell me what you want your day to feel like, and I’ll take the wheel. I legit can’t wait to start researching and planning to create exactly what you want.