Your Day, Your Way: Including Your Pets in Your Wedding

More and more couples are including their pets (often considered members of the family!) in their nuptials. Some couples choose to have their dogs walk the rings down the aisle or stand by the groom at the altar. Other couples have their cats or even pot belly pigs in attendance.

Recently The Wall Street Journal’s Sarah Needleman wrote about just this topic. Read the whole story here:

Wedding planners and business owners are catching onto this trend and offering services to help.  Trainers are offering special programs to help your dog be on his best behavior and retailers are offering outfits to match your bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Read about a few other entrepreneurs who are filling this niche:

Here are a few ways to include your pet in your wedding:

Have your pet be the ring bearer. Attach the rings to a pillow or small pouch, and then attach that to your pet’s collar (you can use fake rings if you have any concern). Make sure the rings will stay attached as the pet walks down the aisle (or is carried down the aisle), but also make sure the best man can easily untie the rings. Run through the ceremony with your pet a few times so they get used to the setting and the process. Keep in mind there will be a lot of people around and some flashing cameras, so if you’re pet is skittish, it may be better to include him or her in some other way.

If you’re pet isn’t up to performing for the ceremony, you can choose to include him or her in wedding photos. Hire a dog sitter or dog-walker to be in charge of bringing the pet out for the photos and then taking him or her home so the bride and groom don’t have to worry. You can also have these photos taken before the ceremony, especially if you’re getting ready at your home or your parents’ home.

If you want your pet to party into the evening with you, include your pet in your reception. This works especially well with outdoor receptions. It’s still a good idea to hire someone to keep an eye on your pet. Some couples that have outdoor receptions include others’ pets as well. If your dog is friendly, feel free to invite others (especially those who are traveling and don’t want to leave their furry friend at home) to bring along their pet as well. Your designated pet sitter can keep an eye on all of them and they can enjoy your special day with you!

Just remember: if you’re going to include a pet, be flexible if everything doesn’t go as planned. Even if you’re pet doesn’t perform exactly the way you want him or her to, it's special to have them share the day with you!

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