Furry Friends at Your Wedding
Anyone who’s a pet owner knows, a pet is part of the family. It’s hard to resist including your pets on your special day, in some way or another. Logistically speaking, although well intended, including pets in your wedding can be a challenge. Here are some ideas and tips to have your perfect day with your furry friends - stress free!
Save the date, engagement photos, bridal party/bride and groom photos.. These are all great alternatives to actually having your pet walking down the aisle. Bridal party photos can take up a good portion of the day, so it is best to get the photos in with your pet right at the beginning when they have the attention span for it. If you have a pet that is not or cannot be trained, such as a cat, take engagement, save the date, or getting ready photos with them!
Marching Down the Aisle
A very popular option, for dogs in particular, is to have them strut down the aisle as the ring bearer or flower girl. You can even coordinate their outfits with that of the bride and groom and/or bridal party! This is a great option to include your pets as it just takes a few minutes, it’s relatively straightforward to train them on the performance, and they can be sent home right after the ceremony is over.
If you’re a horseback riding gal or guy, how about getting the bride to walk down the aisle on horseback! This can fit well into a western or rustic barn themed wedding. It can also be played off as a whimsical fairytale themed ceremony as well.
Photo cred: HD Photography (now Monarch Weddings) - Paula and Joe, July 2013
But before you tie that bowtie on your little friend... some things to consider!
Do they behave well in large crowds?
Many animals do not react well to large crowds of people, especially in environments outside of their home where they can be uncomfortable. If you have this type of pet, you should definitely reconsider having them present at your wedding. This will cause unnecessary stress for the animal and be distracting to your guests.
Are they well trained?
Animals pick up on the excitement and energy around them. Your pet must be well trained and obedient in order to prevent any incidents from taking place. If they are walking down the aisle or posing for photos, they need to be able to take direction and follow orders properly.
Do they take orders from people that aren't their owners?
Being the bride or groom, you will most likely have a jam packed itinerary from the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to bed. Needless to say, your pet will not be with you for the majority of that day, because you just won’t have time to give them the attention they need. It is important that you find a sitter for them and make sure that your pet will obey that sitter.
Does your venue allow pets?
Some venues have strict policies that prohibit pets from being inside. This is predominantly due to health reasons. If you wanted to get around this issue, an option is to have an outdoor wedding or perhaps a wedding on private property such as in a backyard!