Pets at Weddings, namely dogs, are becoming increasingly popular. Pets are considered a family member in most households and for some couples exchanging vows without their fur babies present or somewhat involved is just simply out of the question.
Your pet can be involved in your special day in many different ways, some couples like them to be amongst the guests while some prefer them to play a physical part in the ceremony, in most cases this being the ring bearer or flower girl/boy. There isn’t anything much sweeter in the world than your beloved companion walking down the aisle to present the rings, is there?
Including your pet in the ceremony runs the risk and will require plenty of planning and training to ensure your big day doesn’t result in a complete disaster from it.
There are some important questions you need to ask yourself once you get approval from the venue that pets are allowed.
The first being ‘is my pet-friendly towards people?’ Chances are children or babies will be at your wedding and the last thing you want on your wedding day is a screaming child after it has been bitten by your pet.
The next question to ask yourself is ‘is my pet obedient and will it co-operate on the day?’ For some pets, being around lots of people gets them very excited similar to how dogs get when they are running free in an off-leash dog park. This results in disobedient, naughty uncontrollable behaviour which is hard to contain.
The final question to ask yourself is ‘will they feel comfortable with the crowd and enjoy themselves or be terrified the whole time with their ears down and tail between their legs as they are too overwhelmed by it all’? You need to consider their feelings as well as yours.
If including your pet in the ceremony is the only option, then a few trial runs may be required, you will need to remain calm and patient. If trial runs aren’t successful you could look at other options such as having a family member or friend walk with them down the aisle on a short leash while they have the rings attached or alternatively have someone carry them down.
Regardless of how you include them, you will need to nominate somebody to be the pet sitter for the day. This person will be responsible for picking them up from home, giving them treats throughout the day to aid in good behaviour, provide them with water, pick up any accidents which could occur (hopefully not down the aisle) and finally returning them home safely after the ceremony. If nobody is willing to do this on the day, you could consider hiring a pet sitter. That’s right, there are businesses out there who offer pet sitting for weddings as a service and will chauffeur your pet around for the day.
Once the ceremony is over and photographs have been taken, it is recommended that you return your pet home and not take them onto the Reception as you run the risk of your guests feeding them foods that are unsafe and the guest pet sitter doesn’t get an opportunity to fully relax the whole day.
When choosing an outfit for your pet, it is important to make sure they will be comfortable. Bells, as an example, can often irritate your pet and clothing can cause them to overheat so choose an outfit wisely. Also select something that won’t cause too much of a distraction and make them want to rip it off and chew it, such as a bow tie. Position this behind their head or under their chin so they can’t reach it.
Finally, remember to bath your pet the day before the wedding if possible. Your guests will be more inclined to pat them if they smell good and are clean.
Can’t bring your pet along to the wedding? There are other ways to include them in your ceremony without having them physically there on the day. Consider having a photograph charm hanging from your bouquet with a picture of them inside or reserve a seat for them at the ceremony and put a picture frame of them on the chair. If including them in your Reception is more your style then have a picture of them on your wedding favour boxes or get a cake topper designed which has your pet in it and pop it on top of the wedding cake.