Pets at Your Wedding
Do's and Don'ts
By Natalie Tsang
July 18, 2011
You love your pets. They are part of your family, and should be part of your special day. Your beloved pooch in an adorable dress matching your bridesmaids or a tux bib that matches the groomsmen can make an otherwise memorable wedding even more magical. However, animals in wedding ceremonies are often disastrous in romantic comedies and here are some Do's and Don'ts for successfully including your pets in your wedding.
- DO take into consideration the personality, health and size of your pet. A wedding is a long affair and your pet may not have the patience to sit quietly through the entire thing. Is he or she surprised by loud noises or large groups? Should your pet have a formal role (ring bearer, flower dog) or act as an honored guest?
- DO consider the venue. Do they allow pets? Outdoor venues are usually much more understanding, but don't rule out indoor venues completely. Be open to compromise.
- DO be creative. There are many ways your pets can participate. They can attend just the reception or ceremony. Their image can grace your invitations.
- DO have a backup plan. If your pet is performing in the ceremony and departs from his assigned role, make sure you have a plan B.
- DO practice. Even if your pet is just attending the wedding ceremony, bring him or her along for the rehearsal. You may be able to identify and defuse potential problems.
- DON'T forget to inform people. A guest or a member of your bridal party may be highly allergic. If there are young children at your wedding, your pet can provide an unwelcome distraction. Some officiants will also refuse to preside over ceremonies with a pet.
- DON'T let your pets wander around. No matter how well trained your pets are, weddings are a flurry of activity and you don't want anyone stepping on or tripping over your dog, cat or iguana. They can also ingest toxic or dangerous things that may be lying on the ground.
- DON'T leave your pets alone. Have a knowledgeable person or even hire a handler to be with your pet at all times. Well-meaning guests may try to include your pet in the celebrations, but certain foods might be toxic like chocolate.
- DON'T forget the beauty treatment. Have your pet groomed before your big day so he or she is looking and smelling the part of an honored member of your entourage.
- DON'T forget to have fun!