Weddings that include pets are becoming more and more popular. In fact there is so much information out there on pets and weddings that I promised to take a closer look. Voila!
It seems that the first time occurrence of pets at a wedding seems to have occurred about 15 years ago when a high-end wedding planner inNew Yorkwas approached by his client to include the couple’s dog in a prominent role in the wedding ceremony. Since then the interest in including pets at weddings and we has taken off. It has become very acceptable to have a cherished pet play a key role in the wedding such as ring /flower bearer or just for some couples to have the pet present as a guest of honor.
Often these pets are decorated or dressed up in some way to attend. While it is common place to see man’s best friend, the dog at many events and not too uncommon to see the odd feline there are many instances of rare and exotic pets who as “family members” of the wedding couple make an appearance. This can cause a wide range of reactions. Pets often being unpredictable can steal the show with their cuteness, or wreck the event with their behavior but most couples are hoping to enhance their special day with the attendance/presence of a very important part of their lives, their pet. Most pet lovers can understand. For those who are not pet lovers the introduction of a pet at the Wedding ceremony (or later at the reception) is more reminiscent of a zoo/circus atmosphere.
A wedding planner inLos Angelesconservatively estimates that approximately 30% of her business in planning weddings includes a pet of some kind. The same holds true for many stars and singers. Gwen Stefani (singer) was escorted down the aisle at her wedding by her faithful sheepdog Winston. Actress Tori Spelling had her pug “Mimi” as part flower girl /ring bearer and had the pooch’s outfit created by a professional designer. Comedian Adam Sandler had his two dogs go down the aisle and referred to one as his “best dog” complete with the dog wearing it own yarmulke on his head.
Pet boutiques that specialize in formal wedding wear for pets are becoming very popular.
If your plan is to include your pet in your wedding ceremony and/or reception there are many things to consider. You will need to obtain permission for the animal to attend whatever venue is involved, i.e. church, hall, reception facility. Another thing to consider is how the members of your wedding party might feel or react. It is possible that some of your guests or attendants may be allergic to your pet and this could pose quite a problem. Check with all the wedding attendants and guests of honor first. You cannot hope to second guess the rank-and-file wedding guests (or accommodate them) but it would be terrible to have one of your attendants sick for your wedding because your pet was in attendance.
Other things to consider are how your pet behaves around crowds of people and excitement. Is your pet prone to marking its territory (could be a showstopper if your pet is very territorial)? Sometimes it is a good idea to hire a pet-handler for the wedding whose express task is to care for your pet, keep them safe and calm and basically pet-sit them for the time periods on the Wedding day that the pets are not involved in. Sometimes this pet-sitter may be engaged to whisk Fido off to the boarding kennel once the ceremony has concluded and the reception is underway. Many couples work with the wedding caterer to ensure that there is a special pet-friendly repast available for the wedding pet.
The types of pets known to attend weddings are as varied as the kinds of weddings. There have been parakeets on perches with handlers who walk down the aisle, hamsters in cages, snakes and tarantulas (a little freakier from the general guest perspective I would imagine), horses, and many exotic pets including rare monkeys, lizards and ferrets.
Be sure to let your entire wedding team know that you plan to have your treasured pet in attendance at the ceremony and/or reception as service providers such as photographers, musicians, caterers will appreciate the heads up. You may find some providers delight in including pets while others may not want to and the same varied reactions among your wedding guests. All in all if you are a pet lover you may very well want your pet at your wedding and what makes the day special for you and your soon-to-be spouse is what really matters.
These are a few tips for involving and handling your pet at your wedding.
How to include your pet in your wedding
Dog Ring Bearer
Owl Brings the Rings
Bourbon, the Ring Carrier