5 Ways to Include Pets in WeddingsPublished December 15, 2008
It's your special day, and you'd like everyone special in your life to be there -- including your pet! Here are five ways to include your pet in your wedding, whether or not they can be present at the ceremony. 1. Wedding Party Member One of the more traditional ways to include your pet is as ring bearer or flower dog. This works well if your pet is very well behaved and easy to train. You may choose to use faux rings on the ring bearer's pillow in case they fall off or Smokey heads the wrong way. Practice makes perfect. Be sure to run through the ceremony with your pet a few of times so they get used to their role. You can also make your pet a groomsmen or bridesmaid, but don't expect them to help plan the bridal shower! Tip: Make sure everyone attending the wedding knows a pet will be there. This way any guest who is allergic or afraid of pets can be prepared. 2. A Walk down the Aisle Have a family member carry your pet down the aisle and hold them during the ceremony. This is a good choice for pets that are not easily trained, or get skittish around large groups of people. If your pet doesn't like to be held for long periods of time, you could place them in a carrier where they can watch. Having your pet's favorite toy or familiar bed also may make them more comfortable. Be sure to have a plan B. If your pet gets sick or doesn't cooperate you may have to leave Fido at home or out of the plans. Tip: Have your pet carried in a basket or on a pillow for a special touch. 3. Write your Pet into the Vows If your pet can't be at the ceremony, have the officiator mention your pets or write them into your vows. While talking about everything you and your soon-to-be-spouse will share, include your special pet. Or tell a funny story about when your pet and partner first met or how they learned to love each other. This inclusion adds a personal touch that lets everyone know how important your dog or cat is in your lives. 4. Include them in Wedding Photos Have your pet in the wedding party or family photos on the big day. You can also include them in your official wedding photos taken prior to the ceremony. If your pet isn't allowed at the reception, try putting nicely framed pictures of them dressed up on each of the tables. Tip: For pointers on getting pets to pose like a pro, check out the Petside video Tips on Taking the Perfect Pet Picture. 5. At the Reception At the reception, anything goes! Outdoor parties can be very pet friendly, allowing your pet to have plenty of room to roam. You may want to hire your dog walker or someone who's not attending your wedding to keep an eye on your pet. The "Pet Watcher" can take your pet on bathroom breaks and make sure he stays out of trouble, they can also take him home without disrupting your day. And consider bringing your pet to the reception after dinner is served if he is a little food crazy! Feel free to get creative. One reader told us they had a picture of their pet on their groom's cake in frosting! You can also get your pet out on the dance floor to show off some tricks, or create a slideshow out of favorite pictures of your families and pets. Tip: If you want your pet at your wedding or reception, before you decide on your wedding location, ask the venue if they will allow pets. This may help you decide on which location is best for you. And don't forget the clothes! There are a lot of choices for pets in the wedding party. See Petside's article Pet Wedding Fashions for ideas!