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Your wedding is a big day for everyone in your family. It’s a time when two families merge together to form one, and you will likely spend the day surrounded by parents, siblings, grandparents, and all sorts of other special people. For many people, though, it’s not just the humans in our lives that matter. Our four-legged family members are special, too, and they deserve to be there for the big day just like everyone else.
Whether you are a pet parent to a dog, cat, horse, or even a reptile, there are plenty of ways to include them in the festivities. Here are just a few of our favorite ways to involve your pet in your wedding.
It’s important to consider your pet’s personality when thinking about including them in your big day. Unfortunately, not all animals are calm or well-behaved enough to take part in the actual ceremony. In other cases, you may not be able to include them due to “no pet” policies at the venue. In either situation, though, you can still make sure to include them in your photos.
Pose your pets next to your wedding attire or decorations for cute, pre-ceremony pictures. If you are getting ready at home or are able to have pets in your dressing area, have the photographer snap a few shots of you and your companions as you get ready for the day. You can also have your pets’ pictures taken during the reception. How cute would a picture of your dog chowing down on a piece of wedding cake be? Just make sure it isn’t chocolate, which is toxic to your pup.
For most couples, having their pictures taken begins long before the actual wedding day. If you are having engagement photos taken, bring your pets along and include them in a few shots. When you send out your save-the-dates and wedding invitations, choose a photo that includes your companions. It’s a great way to make your pet a part of this special time in your life, and it’s a good way to incorporate them into your wedding if they won’t be able to attend the event.
Well-behaved pets make adorable flower girls and ring bearers. Just like small children, though, they may not do exactly as they are supposed to when the time comes to walk down the aisle. Their antics could end up creating some laughs and making the day even more memorable. Enlist someone to walk your pet down the aisle on a leash or make the ceremony even cuter by having a little one pull a small pet behind them in a wagon.
If you are having your pet as a part of the ceremony, make sure they are dressed for the occasion. They don’t need to wear anything overly complicated or elaborate. Pick up a new collar, and make it wedding-ready by adding beads. A beaded collar with freshwater pearls would be perfect.
It’s no secret that our pets are our best friends. Show the world how special they are to you by choosing them as your maid of honor or best man. Having your four-legged companion standing beside you on one of the biggest days of your life will calm your nerves and up the ceremony’s “aww” factor. And, perhaps the best part … you won’t have to worry about your canine or feline maid of honor or best man worrying about making an embarrassing speech at the reception!
Many couples want to have their pets at their weddings but not have them be a part of the ceremony. The best way to do this is by having them attend as a “guest of honor.” Reserve a spot in the front row where your pet will sit to enjoy the show. Make sure there is a spot where they can hang out during the reception, too. Pick up an inexpensive pet bed and use gemstone beads to make it sparkle for the big day!
Keep in mind that, if you are having your pet as a guest at your wedding, you need to have a trusted family member or a pet sitter who can take care of them. You will be so busy saying your vows and mingling with guests that you won’t have much time for tending to your pet’s needs. Having someone you can trust to take care of them while you are occupied is a must, both for your peace of mind and your pet’s safety.
If your pet can’t be present physically, there are still plenty of ways to symbolically make them a part of the ceremony. Include their likeness on your invitations, thank you cards, and wedding website. Make subtle pet-centric images part of your décor. A silhouette of your dog’s breed or even a paw print works well. You could even have jewelry of cufflinks made with your pet’s photo so you can have them by your side all day even when they are not physically present.
Whether your pet is physically present or not, there are all sorts of ways to include your four-legged companions in your wedding-day festivities. Keep your pet’s personality in mind, as well as the rules at the venue that is hosting your wedding and reception, when deciding whether they should personally attend the event. If you decide to bring them, be sure to have someone to watch after them throughout the day. Also, pack up plenty of food, water, cleanup bags, and favorite toys.
Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event and, with proper planning, you can make it even more special by including your four-legged family members. The ideas listed above are just a few of the many ways that you can make them a part of your big day.
Brenda Kimble is a writer and stay-at-home mother of two daughters and a son, plus their beagle named Duke! She loves blogging, crafting, and spending time with her family. She also enjoys strolling the streets of her quaint neighborhood in Austin, Texas and finding the trendiest hotspots for fashion, food, and live music.
Categorized in: Unique Ideas / Just for Fun