Five Ways to Include a Pet in Your Wedding

New Pet Owners  •   Pam Karkow  •   Jan 17, 2020

In a culture where we’re taking pets to work, adopting a dog to keep us more active, and planning pet-friendly vacations so we don’t have to leave furry family members behind, it seems natural that we would want to include our pets in our celebrations. Pets are frequent attenders of summer backyard barbecues, often play a starring role on holiday cards, and accompany their families on road trips.

So, what about your wedding celebration? If you are getting married and cannot imagine a ceremony without your beloved pet, here are five ways to include him or her.

Allow your pet to attend your wedding ceremony.

This is the simplest way to include your pet in the festivities, but there are things to consider before you do. Does your venue allow pets? Is your pet well-behaved enough to sit through the ceremony? You may consider taking a training class with your dog or practicing some essential cues at home.

Beware of potential dangers or threats to your pet such as party favors, foods, and/or other animals. Also, make sure your pet is up to date on his or her vaccinations. Weddings are expensive, and some of these preparations can be costly. Luckily, PetPartners wellness plans make it easy to provide preventative care for your pet without breaking the bank. If all these considerations have been taken into account and you still want to include your pet, make sure to let guests know your pet(s) will be involved in case anyone experiences allergies or is fearful of animals.

Have your pet sitter bring your pet for a visit.

If having your pet attend the entire ceremony seems overwhelming but you still want to include him or her in the festivities, ask a pet sitter to bring your pet to visit. This way, your pet can take part in the day, but your sitter can be prepared to take him or her home if it seems to be too much. Your pet can participate in photoshoots and be admired by your guests--you may even consider dressing him or her in a bow tie or bandana for the event--and still catch his or her afternoon nap in the comfort of home sweet home.

Include your pets in spirit.

If having your pet at your ceremony “in person” is just not possible, have a life-sized rendition of him or her made or print several high-quality pictures to include in frames. If you are showing a slideshow at the rehearsal dinner or reception, include some of your favorite photos of you, your spouse and your pet.

Use a picture on your stationary.

Include your pets in the photoshoot announcing your wedding date. One great idea we saw granted the fur babies the privilege of announcing the date via wooden signs around their necks with the words, “Our Humans Are Getting Married,” and “Save the Date.” If you prefer a more traditional invitation, ask an illustrator to draw a picture of your dog to incorporate into your invite.

Donate to your local shelter.

Candles and matchbooks make cute favors, but wouldn’t you rather make a lasting statement with your wedding favors? Make a donation to a local shelter in honor of your guests and then find a fun way to let them know about it. You may want to have cards printed that read, “In lieu of a traditional wedding favor, a donation has been made in your name to...” or just have a large sign at the wedding to let guests know! Many animal charities will print up cards for you using a picture of your pet.

Make it a day to remember!

When my husband and I got married, our pooch was essentially our first child. We called her the baby because she was our baby. Our world centered around her and we busied ourselves taking care of her needs. We involved her in anything and everything we did, especially celebrations! If you have this kind of sweet relationship with your pet and you want his or her presence at your wedding celebration, you can easily find a way to make it happen!

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