Ways to Include Your Pet in Your Wedding Festivities
Planning a wedding, and thinking about how you’ll include the most important people in your life, is exciting. But if pets are a part of your family, you might be wondering if they can be a part of your celebration, too. The answer is yes!
If you’re one of the many people who want to include their pets in their wedding, keep reading for a few tips and ideas that can help you plan the perfect day.
Find a Pet-Friendly Wedding Venue
A lot of couples are opting to have their pets be a part of their wedding ceremony and/or reception. To do this, you need to find venues that allow dogs and cats. If you’re planning on getting married at the same place where your reception will be held, it can make things easier; otherwise, you’ll need to confirm with multiple venues that pets are allowed. Ask them about any restrictions that are in place for animals, whether you’re planning on having your event indoors or outside.
It’s also wise to talk to your vendors about keeping your companion safe from potential hazards, such as toxic flowers from your florist. And, if possible, you might want to take your pet to the venue ahead of time so they won’t be in a brand-new place on your wedding day, distracted by all the unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells.
Include Your Pet in Your Wedding Ceremony or Reception
There are various roles that your pet can fill on your big day. Your guests are sure to get a kick out of seeing your pooch or kitty, and you’re guaranteed to make unforgettable memories as you celebrate love.
Here are a few examples, but you can certainly get as creative as you’d like to include your pet in your wedding:
Walk down the aisle with your pet – Make your dog or cat a central part of your event by walking down the aisle with them. A bride might choose to walk down the aisle with her pet at her side, or a groom might lead his pet to the altar and then wait there for the bride, as a couple examples.
Have your pet be the ring bearer – Want your furbaby to carry your rings to the altar? Have someone in your wedding party walk your pet down the aisle, and rehearse this well in advance to be sure your furbaby will know what to expect. They could wear a stylish collar or harness that holds rings securely – there are options like bowties, or you could opt for something like the La La Pet® Detachable Pet Wedding Collar with Ring Box, which is available in multiple sizes for dogs and cats.
Have your pet walk with the flower girl – Imagine your adorable pet walking down the aisle with your sweet flower girl – how cute would that be?! Fill a basket with flower petals (again, make sure they aren’t toxic) and have your dog carry it while the flower girl scatters the petals.
Let your pet celebrate with everyone at the reception – Whether or not your pet is a part of the ceremony, you might want them to join you for the reception, especially if it will be quite relaxed, without loud music that could stress them out. And when you’re introduced as bride and groom, involving your furbaby can make it even more entertaining. Just be sure to prevent them from eating table scraps that might be harmful.
Take Photos with Your Pet on Your Big Day
Whether or not your pet is involved in the ceremony, consider taking photos with them – after all, you’ll be able to display those pictures throughout your home to remember your special day with your furbaby.
If your cat or dog is comfortable with wearing an outfit, there are options like the Frisco Formal Dog & Cat Tuxedo – with something like this, your pet will fit right in with everyone in your formal wedding party. Just make sure your pet tries it on before your wedding day so you can be certain it fits right and isn’t bothersome.
If your pet doesn’t like wearing outfits that cover a lot of their body, another example is the Rubie's Pet Shop Celebrations Tuxedo Dog & Cat Costume, which includes a cuff set and bowtie that your furbaby might tolerate wearing.
Something simple like a bandana is another good option if your pet isn’t keen on wearing costumes. You can find those that are designed to look like tuxedos, as well as those that have fun phrases for weddings, like the Pup of Honor (Maid of Honor) Bridal Party Wedding Dog Bandana.
Showcase Your Pet in Your Wedding Stationery and Décor
Not all pets will be okay with being an active part of such an elaborate event, or you might be concerned about the safety of your companion or the risk of losing them. Rest assured that there are other cute ways to include your pet in your wedding.
For instance, when it comes to save-the-dates and invitations, you can customize them to include your furry friend, whether you use an illustration or photo. And, for the day of the wedding, there’s décor that can be designed to include your companion (e.g., welcome sign, centerpieces, napkins, place cards, program). You can even find wedding cake toppers that feature pets.
Careful Planning Is Key
Before deciding to include your pet in your wedding, keep their personality in mind. Consider how they’ll react around a lot of people in a new environment. And only dress them up if it isn’t a problem, as some pets won’t even tolerate wearing little accessories.
Choose someone you trust to watch and guide your furbaby at all times, and ensure they’ll have what they need throughout the day. Also, have a plan for where your pet will go if they get stressed.
Once everything is in place, you can focus on having the time of your life on your big day, and the best part is that your beloved pet will be right there with you.
Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. An advocate for better treatment of all animals, she enjoys producing content that educates others, helps them understand animals better, and inspires them to help, whether that means volunteering at a shelter, fostering strays, or simply giving their own pets a safe and happy home to live in.
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