For many Millenials, having a pet means that pet is a trusted and loved member of their family and including them in the wedding makes sense to them. Recent trends include bars, coffee shops and even restaurants adopting ‘pet friendly’ policies for their guests to attract more young professionals as customers. Including all types of pets in weddings is becoming more common as well.
If you just can’t imagine your special day without your beloved four-legged bestie, with a little creativity and planning there are plenty of ways to make it happen. From dogs to horses, cats and cockatoos, you’ll be surprised at some of the creative ways couples are incorporating their pets into their wedding day!
“DON’T – Trust your dog to make it down the aisle on his own initiative!”
One great way is to include your pet during the ceremony. A well-behaved dog can be adorable as the ring bearer or flower girl, especially when outfitted with a special top hat or decked out in a flower crown.
DO - Check with your venue first on their pet policy, and be specific, particularly if you’re hoping to include a non-typical pet, like your beloved elephant. It is wisest to check prior to booking your venue and making sure your pet has permission to attend included in the contract. Venues with no pet policies may have those rules because of local health and government regulations and be required to enforce them.
DO – Consider your pet’s personality and temperament. Realize asking your pet to behave well in a crowd of people with the accompanying distractions and noise, is asking a lot of your pet. Even the best trained dog may react to the crowds and unusual surroundings. But if your dog is typically wary of strangers and strange places, you may want to rethink having them as a key part of your wedding. It really isn’t fair to stress out your pet or your guests.
DO – Assign or even hire a professional handler specifically for your pet, so that you’re free to enjoy every moment and your pet is competently and confidently managed. Professional animal trainers or handlers are often the best for this position, don’t assume one of the bridesmaids or groomsmen will take the time to be a full-time dog sitter for your entire event. It might be wise to practice with your pet in crowded situations with this chosen handler before the wedding so your pet has some of idea of what is expected of him or her and learns to listen to your chosen pet parent designee.
DO - Create a wedding day schedule specifically for your four-legged friend, including who is assigned to handle and care for your pet, how they will arrive at the event, where they will be kept during the different times of your event, bathroom breaks, food, and water. If it’s an outdoor summer wedding, be sure to plan for hot weather and have some shade for your pet as well.
DON’T – Forget the treats! It is highly likely that some one unfamiliar to your pet may have to give him or her commands during the day and a little bribery does go a long way to convincing any animal to behave well.
DON’T – Attach your real rings to your dog as ring bearer! Far better to have your mischievous fur child bolt off with imitation rings than to interrupt your wedding ceremony with an all-out hunt for those precious rings as your dog runs off thinking it’s a game of hide n’ seek
DON’T – Trust your dog to make it down the aisle on his own initiative! There are far too many distractions to expect even the best trained animal to not stop and check them out or wander off to investigate them. Whether its your assigned handler, the human ring bearer or flower child or even one of the attendants, someone should accompany your pet’s procession down the aisle for everyone’s sake.
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