Your furry friend is more than just a pet—they're a member of the family, so it makes sense that many couples want to include their pet in their special day. Before you make the final decision to have your dog or cat play a part in the festivities, you’ll want to take these factors into consideration.
Confirm it’s allowed at your venue.
Not every locale is going to be open to having an animal—no matter how cute or well-behaved—in attendance. So before you make any plans, reach out (or have your planner do it for you) to the venue to make sure your pet is welcome. Even if it’s permitted, there might be an extra fee or security deposit to ensure nothing gets damaged by your pet during the event.
Be honest about your pet’s personality.
While some pets might love being on display, others get jittery around lots of people. In fact, even pets that are used to large crowds can still feel uneasy at such a big event. This can result in bad behavior, such as barking, jumping, or even nervous peeing, which you definitely don’t want to deal with on your special day. If this is a concern, you might want to think twice about having your pet there with you.
Give others a head’s up.
Let your photographer know ahead of time that your pet will be a part of the wedding, as well as included in photographs with the bridal party. In addition, you’ll want to notify your guests so that anyone with allergies (or simply afraid of animals) can figure out what's right for them. You can simply put a note on the save the dates and on the wedding website.
Assign your pet a special role.
Whether it’s performing ring bearer duties, walking the bride down the aisle, or being the most adorable greeter ever, be sure to give your pet a featured role for your special day. You might even want to mention your furry friend in your vows, as both the bride and groom vow to love each other—and their pet—for the rest of their lives.
Dress them up.
It’s not just the humans that need to look their best on the big day! Find some pet-friendly formalwear, such as a bow tie, a floral garland, or even a cute tutu. Whatever you choose, make sure your pet is comfortable and that it's safe for them to wear. Things to consider include choking hazards and any flowers or plants that are poisonous to animals.
Hire a sitter.
You're going to be much too busy to take care of your pet throughout the day, so it’s a good idea to hire someone who can make sure they have enough water, don’t get overheated, and keep a close eye on them during the ceremony and reception. This person can also drive your pet home after the vows if they won’t be staying for the party.
Hero photo courtesy of Soft Hearts & Stills