Have a Plan
There are many logistics to think about before including your pet in your wedding day. People, location, food, and so much more! To ensure you have the time of your life and your furry friend is safe, healthy and having a good day, here are a few tips on what to realistically consider before your ‘I Do’
If you come to the end of this blog and think a wedding might not be in the near future for your pet… Don’t fret! We have added tips on how to include them in the day’s activities without being present.
Know your Pet
No one is going to know your fluffy friend better than yourself… It is very important to remember this when planning on what your pet will be doing during your Ceremony, Reception, and the remainder of the wedding activities. Is your pet anxious, nervous, or excited around guests? Perhaps a bit overfriendly? These are all good questions to ask yourself before considering adding them into your guest list.
Know your Guests
As much as your fur baby is part of the family, many others still get a little uneasy when around certain animals or could possibly have an allergic reaction. Be sure to consciously consider your guests requirements around your pet so they can still feel welcome to be part of your day. If you are unsure what reaction your guests may have, you can include a simple survey question along with your RSVP. If your pet has already pawed in their RSVP – a courteous reminder to your guests that your dearest friend will be at your wedding will help to prepare ahead of time.
Before considering your furry friend to be part of your Wedding day, it is a good idea to contact your venue to ensure your location is a pet/animal friendly location. Many property and venue owners will make the exception to have your pet stay for your Ceremony and be brought back off location for the reception but its always a positive to know in advance!
Animals have quite the curiosity, especially when it comes to new places! If the moment arises and you are planning on bringing your pet for any of your festivities it would be a good idea to introduce them to the area and have a little trot around. This will give you the opportunity to scout the area out as well, ensure there are no hazards in the area or other animals that might be around during your Wedding day.
If you have decided to include your pet in the celebrations, be sure all your vendors are aware well ahead of time, so they are able to properly prepare… A helpful hint to your photographer will ensure they have a few tricks up their sleeve to plan for some nice family shots. Other vendors will appreciate the heads up before being surprised on site for set up!
The day of your wedding might get a bit stressful, that is why it’s a great to have a trusting friend that your pet knows and loves to take care of them for the day. From picking them up for the Ceremony, bringing them home, ensuring food and water are provided. Here are a few questions to answer when considering this person:
- Who can pick up my pet, bring them to the venue and return them home following the Ceremony or Reception?
- Who can take my dog away from the area if my pet becomes overwhelmed?
- Who will feed them and take them for potty breaks?
- Will this person be required to leave the dog unattended at any point (Example, wedding party taking photos, presenting a speech… ect)
Once you have selected your Designated Handler, be sure they are stocked up and ready with treats and a to-go dog bowl… maybe a few extra thank you gifts for the Handler as well.
Embrace the Outtakes
Not everything can be smooth as a whistle, sometimes a quick moment gets a bit rocky, but the ending can sure turn out sweet! Keep in mind your pet is still an animal, don’t let the little things stress you out of your big day, keep an open mind and be flexible. If your four-legged friend decides to run down the aisle to you instead of gracefully walking for photos like you practiced…. It’s okay! If parrot Polly accidentally poops on Aunt Mary… OOPS! Animals will be animals, we just have to be sure to be prepared for any possibility… You never know what may happen!
They want to feel fancy too… Maybe?
We all love our picture perfect wedding shot, especially if it has the whole family! Take some time to research cute outfits or accents you can give to your pet to distinguish them on our wedding day. Cat? Why not try a cute little scarf? Or a pup-tuxedo? Just remember this isn’t a normal wardrobe for your buddy, so maybe practice for a few weeks or months ahead of time so they’re comfortable in the new gear.
If you wish for your pet to be present during your big day but know they won’t be the happiest of guests… consider a fun Lifesize cut out that can be passed around the event so everyone gets a photo with Lenard the Lizard! You can also create a cute cake topper to include one or all the animals, prepare a specialized Guest Book with some images of your fur buddy or be sure everyone gets a cute print of your precious pooch with a personal invitation prior to the wedding, or Thank You post wedding with their photo!
Having a pet at your wedding certainly is unique but is not always achievable. Remember to think practical when considering your guest list and how everyone will feel and behave! In some cases it might be best to leave your love back in their comfortable bed, just know they’ll love you all the same and can’t wait to hear about it when you return home too.