Pets at your wedding: should you or shouldn’t you? What are some ways you can incorporate your pets into your special day, either by having them there physically or in other ways? 

In today’s post, we will touch on some important things to consider, as well as our favorite ideas for including your pet on your wedding day!

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Making the decision whether or not to have your pet at your wedding.

In making the decision whether to have your pet at the ceremony or not, consider their temperament. You want your dog to be happy and safe throughout the day, but of course, not all dogs are created equal, and you know your dog’s temperament and comfort level best. How will they handle the crowds, noise, and excitement of the ceremony? Are they likely to jump on guests (or the wedding dress!)?

Some dogs are really well-behaved at home when they are in their own space, but once you get them out in public, they get scared and unpredictable. The smells, the new people, and all of the excitement are just too much for them.

If you think your pet will be uncomfortable or scared at the wedding, there are plenty of ways to incorporate them into your day while letting them stay in their familiar space at home; you’ll find our favorites below.

Is your venue animal friendly?

Before deciding anything, ask your venue if your pet is allowed on their property. Some venues prefer not to allow dogs at all, while others will allow them outside for the ceremony but not inside for the reception. 
For more tips on what to ask your venue, read this post for 9 things to consider before booking it!

What are some ways you can include your pets in the ceremony?

You’re including your pet in the ceremony; that’s great! The bond between an owner and their dog is significant, and having your pet be part of your wedding can add a special touch. Here are a few ideas for including them directly in the ceremony:

  • Have your dog be the ring bearer or flower girl: simply tie the rings to their collar or have them carry a small basket of petals down the aisle. 
  • Add them to the wedding party: We have seen some adorable “Best Dog” integrations. They can walk down the aisle with the wedding party, and if they are well-behaved, they can even stand with you at the front!
  • Including your pet in some of the wedding photos is a great way to create lasting memories. You can do these before the ceremony or after. 

We have even seen the couple have the flower girl ride down the aisle on a pony!

Put someone in charge of pet care.

During the wedding, you have a lot going on! As nice as it is to have your pet be a part of the day, you and your partner want to focus on each other, not on the necessary pet care. We recommend passing that responsibility on to someone else so you two can relax and enjoy every part of your day.

There are companies that will send someone out to take care of your pet,  or if you prefer to have someone familiar look after them, you can ask a neighbor or family member. 

This person you choose can be in charge of bringing the dog in at the right time and making sure they are leashed when they are not going down the aisle.

And while it might work well to have your dog hang out for the remainder of the day, it can get stressful. If you think that might be the case for you, arrange to have someone bring the dog back home after the ceremony so they can be in their comfort zone and you can concentrate on the rest of your day!

What are some ways to incorporate your pets without them being there?

You love your dog or cat, but in many cases, it just isn’t realistic to have your pet physically at your wedding. That doesn’t mean that they can’t be a big part of the day, though! We have seen some truly creative and fun ideas over the years, and most of them are fairly simple to coordinate. Include your pet on your wedding day by:

  • Naming a featured drink after them (Fido’s Fizz, anyone?)
  • Having their photo on some of the signage around the wedding. You can even feature them on the drink menu with our custom acrylic pet-themed wedding cocktail menu!
  • Printing napkins or drinking koozies with their photo on them (we’ve even seen pet faces on straws!)
  • Buying custom socks for the groom with his dog’s face on them
  • Printing their photo on the inside of the groom’s jacket or the back of his dress shirt
  • Having doggy biscuit favors in addition to or instead of favors for the humans
  • Providing dog treat bags for guests to take home for their own pets. We have seen this one a few times recently, and it is always so cute. The couple sets up a table with a sign that makes it clear that the treats are for guests’ dogs (Thanks for celebrating with my humans!) and puts the treats in adorable little boxes or bags for them to grab at the end of the night.
  • Incorporating them into the cake. On the main cake, or if you have a groom’s cake, people will get little figurines of their dog and have it sitting beside the cake. We’ve seen it where the dog is sitting on the second tier of the cake, and the baker will put a little frosting on its nose or even poke the nose into the cake a tiny bit, so it looks like the dog took a bite. It’s a really cute way to include your dog in your day. 

We’ve even seen lifesize cutouts of cats at the reception! It was such a cute idea, and the guests used them for some really fun photo opportunities throughout the night.

The only limit to including your pet in your wedding is your imagination! Everyone that knows you will know that your pet is a big part of your life and will love seeing those little touches around the wedding.

Pets at the Wedding! How to Include your Four-Legged Family Members
Photo by Aaron Bond on Unsplash

Including your pet on your wedding day is a wonderful and adorable idea because let’s face it, our pets are part of the family, and leaving them out just feels wrong.

Remember, it’s your day. Don’t let someone talk you out of something you have your heart set on, even your pets. There are so many creative ways to include them; you can find a way!

If you are looking for more ideas on ways to incorporate pets into your wedding, or just want some guidance as you move through the planning process, we offer planning services to make it easier for you. Our packages range from short and sweet to super detailed, so there’s something for everyone. 

Happy wedding planning!

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Pets at the Wedding! How to Include your Four-Legged Family Members

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