Many couples these days want their pets to be a part of their wedding ceremony, and understandably so. Our pets are part of our family. And after all, if you and your partner are promising to share your lives together in marriage, part of that commitment also includes your faithful furry companion. Here are a few things to consider and some helpful tips if you’re considering including your pet in your wedding.
Before You Decide
No Pets Allowed – Keep in mind that churches and synagogues may not allow pets, so check with them first before making any plans to include them in your ceremony. Reception venues that serve food may not allow animals (other than service animals) into their venue due to health regulations.
Heads Up – Be sure that your guests, photographers, florists, caterers, and any other vendors are aware of your plans to make your pet a part of your wedding. It may affect the way that vendors service your wedding and whether or not a few of your guests may want to bow-wow out of the ceremony due to their pet phobias (yikes).
Personality Plus? – It’s important that you consider the personality and behavior of your pet in crowds before making plans to include him in your wedding day festivities.
Wedding Attire Tips
• If you have one of those pets that can’t handle wearing a winter sweater, the likelihood that he’ll wear a full-blown wedding outfit complete with accessories is not so good. Even if you regularly dress your pet up in ballerina outfits, don’t be too disappointed if your furry friend’s gown, veil, or bow tie, ends up being shaken off before the event begins. Laugh it off – it will make a great wedding story.
• Thinking of adding foliage or flowers to your pet’s attire? A fresh wreath with flowers that match your wedding theme colors is an easy-to-wear outfit (and also easy-to-remove if your pet gets fidgety). Just be sure the greenery or flowers are not poisonous to your pet.
• If you’re not into fancy frills, keep it simple with a colorful bow tie for your male dog and a bow or single bloom tied to your female dog’s collar. Or visa-versa if he’s gender neutral!
• You can take the ‘go big or go home’ approach by having your pet wear an outfit that coordinates with your wedding party (e.g. vest and bow tie for males or all primped up in a tutu that matches bridesmaids dresses for female pets). Some couples actually have their pets dress up like a bride and groom – but aware that your furry companions just might steal the show.
• A simple bandana tied around your pet’s collar adds the perfect touch for a country or casual wedding theme. There’s something heart-warming when you see a pair of friendly eyes, a wagging tail, and a red bandana.
More Helpful Tips
• Too much noise, people, or food distractions can be overwhelming for some pets. Have a friend or relative who your pet is familiar with be his caretaker during the time he’s with you at your wedding. This will make it possible for your pet to easily be scooted away for a potty break or some quiet time, if necessary.
• Bring a pet bag that contains ‘just in case’ items such as a stain-remover pen for any mishaps, a handy lint roller in if he/she is a shedder, snacks that he loves, a container of water with a lid, and extra disposal bags for those embarrassing accidents (not for you, for your pet)!
• If you plan on having your pet present at an outdoor wedding, bring him to the area several times before your wedding day and rehearse your pet’s part with him so he knows what to expect. He’ll also be able to get familiar with all of the smells and surroundings (and leave a little present or two to mark his territory).
Whether your pet is dressed in an adorable pint-sized tuxedo or donning a red bandana, having your dog or cat participate in your wedding can make it even more unforgettable. Just remember to have a sense of humor since unexpected mishaps are almost a given. The wedding planners at Webster Golf Club have experience including pets in weddings and special events. Call them at (585) 265-1920, x 3.