Here’s How To Include Your Furry Friend In Your Wedding.

pet weddings

Off Beat Bride

Choosing people to be part of the wedding party usually means going through long lists of close friends, brother, sisters and distant relatives. For many people, that list also includes a beloved furry friend. Whether it is a dog, cat, guinea pig, or gecko, pets are part of the family and deserve to be a part of the wedding festivities. The question is how should you include them and what should you do.

Consider the venue and guest list.
In a perfect world everyone loves your pet just as much as you do and wants nothing more than to frolic with your furry friend no matter the occasion. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. Before making any plans to celebrate your wedding day festivities with pets make sure the wedding venue will allow it and does not create potential hazards for the pet or guests. Are you having a casual outdoor wedding? Than your pet may feel right at home. But if you are having a very formal wedding at a castle, including a pet of any kind may not be appropriate.

Having a lot of guests? Take into consideration who may be allergic or scared of animals. Let guests and vendors know prior to the wedding you will be including your pets to allow ample time prepare in the avoidance of hazardous situations.

Remember your pet’s personality.
The type of pet you have and it’s disposition will most likely dictate how to include it in the festivities. A small hamster or guinea pig may be just fine as a guest, where as a friendly dog may make a great escort for the flower girl riding in a wagon. If your parrot is aggressive you should probably leave it at home rather than training it to perch on bridesmaids’ shoulders weeks before the wedding.

Never leave your pet alone.
While having an obedient pet is a plus, choosing someone to be a “pet-sitter” can only make things run more smoothly. Pets need someone available to take them outside if they are getting antsy, calm them down if they are playing to rough with the children, or even to simply keep them company if they are feeling lonely.

Keep it simple.
Tuxes, jewelry and bells on pets are always fun and cute. However, the pets don’t always see it that way. Try to keep all accessories to a minimum and don’t make them wear their outfit for longer than they can handle. Otherwise, your pet will be uncomfortable and may get restless.

Have an open mind.
Regardless of how much you rehearse with your pet and how lengthy your spectacular plans are, your pet may still not do as you expected. In the event that happens be prepared with a back up plan and try to roll with the punches. Be relaxed if your pet’s performance doesn’t go perfectly. After all, pets do the darnedest things!

About the Author
Team Wedding, founded in January 2000, is a network of wedding related directories and niche wedding websites designed to alleviate wedding planning stress and to give brides and grooms the one-stop-shop experience they need in this busy, modern world. Top Wedding Sites, is the Internet’s first directory of the top ranked wedding sites, voted on by brides, grooms and others interested in hosting a wedding. Plan your wedding fast, easy and in the comfort of your own home, office or anywhere you can get an internet connection.

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  1. Franz

    Hehe that last photo is funny!

    Anyway, I love the post. And I agree that one must have a back up plan. I once covered a wedding where the groom wanted his best man to be his dog (he had two best men, the other is a human). During dress rehearsals, the dog was fine… well behaved and perfect even. During the wedding, all seemed well but suddenly a stray cat ran across the aisle, the church had gates instead of doors… as you expect, all hell broke loose hahaha… it’s funny now, not during 🙂 The dog tore through the decorations, knocked down the flowers and started barking loudly… calm was restored when the other best man cooly blew a dog whistle and took his co-bestman out the door…

    Sorry for the long comment 🙂

  2. Wedding Etiquette

    Yeah, pets can be a bit like having little children in the wedding – very unpredictable. Also, you really have to consider guests who may be allergic or afraid of animals.

  3. Laura

    I LOVE the picture of the dog peeing on the bridesmaid’s chair. That just made my day! Anyway, we used pets (llamas, actually) as the ring bearers in our wedding! There is nothing more adorable than a llama carrying the rings down the aisle of chairs we had. Our wedding was outside, so the llamas were able to fit in nicely, were decorated delicately, and the outside location prevented anybody from smelling them! To say the least, it was definitely a site!

  4. Top Wedding Sites

    No need for apologies. We love comments that add value for our visitors, and yours sure gave them something to think about. Thanks for the info!

  5. Paul Andrews

    Allergies might be an issue but I think as long as pets are well behaved (ie, not in that last photo!!) then there shouldn’t really be a problem as long as the guests know. After all family or friends would be used to visiting the pet in one of the couple’s houses.

  6. Top Wedding Questions

    I have to respectfully disagree with you Paul. First, just for the record, I have been a dog lover all my life and have had a series of pets since childhood. But not everyone who loves me (and visits me) loves my dogs – and they are very well behaved and, as Bichon Frise they are naturally hypoallergenic. When pets, especially dogs, are in unfamiliar surroundings, much like small children, they don’t always behave as they would at home and can be unreliable. And, unless the wedding is really small, it would be difficult to know who might feel uncomfortable or allergic in advance. I’m not saying it’s out of the question to have pets in the wedding, just that it would take a lot of thought and additional planning, including having a possible pet sitter on hand. That’s another added cost that most weddings just don’t need. I love my dogs, and I think they’re so cute, but I’d choose not to have them in or at my wedding for the comfort of my guests and, really, for the dogs well being too. If you really love your pets and want them in the memories perhaps consider taking photos with them beforehand or including them in the wedding the way my son and daughter-in-law did. They took pictures of their bull dog in various “poses” with a blank sign around her neck. Then they Photoshopped the table numbers on to the blank cards, printed and laminated them and used them on the reception tables. They made for some good conversation and some giggles during the reception.

    Bulldog Wedding Table Number

  7. Paul Andrews

    That’s very true, I do agree with you in that it may also be unfair to them in new situations and make them agitated with lots of people around. I love the idea about photoshopping the dog’s photo onto the table numbers, though!

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