23 States Allow Dogs to Be Wedding Witnesses · The Wildest

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Want Your Dog to be the Witness at Your Wedding? It’s Possible in These 23 States

One lucky pup gives us a first-person account of their experience in this official role.

by Sean Zucker
Updated May 7, 2024
Happy Wedding Couple Holding Dog
Leah Flores / Stocksy

Hey, bud. It’s me — the light of your life — your dog. I was honored, though not entirely surprised, to be chosen as your official wedding witness. Can you think of anyone more qualified? I’ve seen you at your highs and lows. (Thank God the Bumble days are behind us. But let’s be honest, I’m probably the one who sealed the deal.) Sure, your partner likes coming home to you, but coming home to my happy dance? Game changer. After all the relationship milestones we’ve been through together, it only seems appropriate that I’m here for this one. 

The inexperienced observer might ponder: Can a dog really serve as a wedding witness? And to that I answer, throw me a bone. Despite our unique bond — and my stellar attributes — I was far from the first four-legged superior being to be enlisted with the task of bearing witness to vows.

Twenty-three states have already legalized the process, as well as Washington, D.C. Who knew bills got passed there ? Even my first and third favorite celebrities, Chelsea Peretti and Jordan Peele, recruited their pup for the duties (my second fave is Air Bud — RIP). 

Here are the twenty-three states that know what’s up: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia — plus Washington, D.C.

In these states, all that’s required is a signature confirming the ceremony — but a paw print is also acceptable (and, honestly, should be encouraged). As more people begin to explore the extraordinary idea of involving pets in their wedding ceremonies, having them as witnesses can make for a solid addition. Just please don’t come at me about dogs as flower girls because that is so far below our pay and cuteness-grade it’s insulting. 

Look, should I have been in the actual wedding party? Absolutely. But I am OK to settle for the responsibility of witness. So I will summarize what would have been my tear-jerking masterpiece of a best pet speech here: Cheers to the newlyweds, I wish you nothing but a lifetime of happiness and love. And if it doesn’t work out — two Christmases!

Sean Zucker

Sean Zucker

Sean Zucker is a writer whose work has been featured in Points In Case, The Daily Drunk, Posty, and WellWell. He has an adopted Pit Bull named Banshee whose work has been featured on the kitchen floor and whose behavioral issues rival his own.

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