Weddings are all about family, and if your family includes a fur baby or two, you’re probably already wondering if your four-legged companion has what it takes to join in the celebration! Especially if you and your fiancé are already co-parents to a pet, cute images of matching bow ties are already floating around in your head, right?
But, not just about cuteness, doing what’s best for your pet while enjoying their company on your big day does require some thought. We’ve gathered tips and ideas for including your best buddy on your big day!
- Check with your venue to make sure the space is pet-friendly and, most of all, approved for pets to be in attendance. A site visit for your pup before the big day is also a good idea.
- Let your wedding photographer in on what you’re planning – so they can stage some super cute photo opportunities – and be prepared for last-minute adjustments, props and, of course, treats!
- Is your pup the shy type or does he adore attention? Considering their true personality is an essential first step. If your furry friend suffers from any socialization issues, joining the festivities could traumatize them.
- While it seems obvious, making sure your attendants are comfortable with your pup joining in is another necessary step – as in no allergies!
- If “participating” in the entire day doesn’t suit your dog’s temperament, ask a close friend to sit with them in a place of honor at the ceremony. (If there will be a leash involved, of course, it’s decorated with flowers or ribbons!) You could also plan just a quick “guest appearance” at the reception.
- Couples who include a pet in the ceremony or pre-wedding photos typically forego the reception appearance, as loud music, crowds and the temptation of food can be too much for your pooch!
- While we’re talking accessories, yes, your dog needs that jeweled collar or handsome bow tie at your favorite pet boutique. But, do make sure everything fits comfortably!
- Yes, a well-trained pup can walk down the aisle – perhaps with one of your attendants to “guide” them if necessary – and stand with the two of you.
- If you’re enjoying a long engagement, there’s time to brush up on important commands like sit and stay if you’re planning to include your pup in the ceremony. Learning or reviewing some basic moves will go a long way to keeping this a positive experience for all!
- For pet parents of a truly well-trained canine – or even feline – companion, consider tying your wedding rings to a ring pillow. Shop for a small pillow that can attach to a harness or collar.
- Be sure to include an area where your pet can “escape” for some quiet time if needed, and accompanied by a friend, of course!
- Even if your beloved pet isn’t able to participate in your special day, include a note at your gift registry table – or even on your save-the-date cards – with a cute photo of your pup, inviting guests to donate to the Humane Society or your favorite local animal rescue.