Having Pets at your Wedding
Would you want your pets at your wedding?
Pets play an important role in their owner’s lives and for many family get-togethers would not be complete without their pet’s involvement. As a result, it’s becoming more common for couples to include their furry companions in their big day.
But if you’re looking to include your pets at your wedding, there are a few precautions you need to take. Here are some tips on how to keep your pet safe and happy during the wedding festivities.
Consider Your Pet’s Personality
A pet can be a guest of honour and simply stand with the bridal party during the ceremony, or your pet can have a specific role like ring bearer or sign wearer. However, before giving your pet a starring role you will need to be sure that they will behave exactly how you want them to on the day of the wedding.
If your pet is especially skittish, consider having someone carry him or letting him ride in a little truck. And if he’s overly affectionate or easily distracted, be sure to use a short leash.
Confirm That Pets are Allowed in Your Ceremony Facility
With everything else on your to-do list, it’s easy to forget this simple yet very important detail. You don’t want to show up on the day of your wedding with your four-legged ring-bearer in tow only to be told that they are not allowed in!
Even if you can’t bring your pet to the venue you can still include them in the wedding. You could include your pet in your photographs after the ceremony or in your engagement photos.
If you really wanted to have reminders of them with you on the day you could have your invitations themed around them, including photos of them on your table number cards, make your wedding favours in tribute to them or have a cake topper made to include them.
Read More: What NOT to DIY for your Wedding
Don’t Put Style Before Safety
Planning on dressing your pooch in a tux? Make sure it fits properly and doesn’t create any discomfort for your pet. Keep the accessories simple, a bowtie or flower attached to the collar is a fun way to deck out your pet. Ensure that any accessories won’t come loose and become a choking hazard.
Also be sure to check if any flowers or plants being used at your wedding are toxic to your pet.
Inform Your Guests
Ensure your guests are aware that your pet will be in attendance so that anyone with allergies can be prepared.
Notify Your Photographer
This is a must as your photographer will need to know in advance what photographs you want your pet included in, it will also allow them to prep for those unplanned moments, like when your dog leaps up to kiss you during the vows.
Read More: Choosing a Wedding Photographer
Book a Pet Sitter
You have enough to worry about on the day of your wedding so if possible hire a pet sitter delegate one of your friends to be responsible for bringing your pet to the ceremony, taking them home after, or watching them during the reception.
That way, you won’t need to worry about who’s feeding the dog (or keeping them away from the cake).
Dogs Aren’t the Only Pets You Can Include!
Whilst dogs would be the most common four-legged wedding guests they are not the only ones that can be included:
Do you have a horse that is your pride and joy? Then why not ride into the ceremony on her or head over to the stables after the ceremony for some photos.
If you are having a winter wedding how about having a reindeer for some stunning photographs. Also if you have a pet owl, train them to fly in with the rings tied to their leg (Or hire one already trained), can you imagine your guests’ reaction to this?
Whatever way you decide to include your pets at your wedding, make sure they are safe and comfortable and being looked after by that designated someone so you can enjoy your day too.
Paul is married to Patricia (who helped him write these Wedding Hints & Tips posts!!) and the proud Dad to 2 fantastic sons.
He has been a full-time professional photographer since 1990 and been privileged to have been asked to photograph well over 1300 weddings since then.
He worked in his own High Street Photography Studios up until December 2010 when he decided to downsize and work from home. He now splits his time between running Photography Courses and Workshops and Wedding Photography, limiting himself to 30 weddings a year to maintain the quality and high level of customer service to each of his couples.
Based in Ballyclare, Northern Ireland