How to include a pet in your wedding
Pets are an intimate part of any family and it is not surprising that many people want them to be a part of important events, such as a wedding day. Here are some ideas of how to include your beloved pets in your wedding.
- Before you make any sort of decision, check with the location where the wedding ceremony and reception are going to be held: do they allow animals? You should also speak to the person who will be performing the wedding ceremony – make sure to ask if they are allergic to the animal.
- Once you’ve determined that there are no restrictions regarding animals and it is possible to include your pet in the wedding ceremony, speak to one or two of your guests, ideally family or friends that love your pet as much as you do and that are used to being around him/her. Ask your guests if they would be willing to take care of your pet during the ceremony, putting on his leash and taking him outside or for a walk whenever necessary. This way, you won’t have to worry because your pet will be in good hands. Don’t forget to thank your guests: even though you know that your uncle loves your pet, that doesn’t mean that this will be an easy job for him.
- Be certain that your guests are comfortable with your pet. Speak to them beforehand, and don’t forget the flower girl and the ring boy – it is important to know if anyone is allergic or even afraid of the animal.
- Decide what role you want your pet to play in your wedding, always taking into account his/her temperament. If your pet is a bird, does he/she have to be inside a cage the whole time or will the bird be perfectly fine sitting quietly on someone’s shoulder? If you have a cat, it might be difficult for him/her to sit still because of a cat’s natural temperament or simply because he/she will be in the presence of many strangers. If we’re talking about a dog, especially a puppy who still has to be trained, it is not fair to expect him/her to stay still.
- Include your pet in all the preparations for the big day: whenever possible, take your pet with you when you visit the ceremony and reception locations, so that they may familiarize themselves with it. If that is not possible, take your pet to a variety of new places so that he/she may grow accustomed to being in very different places and away from their natural habitat.
- If your pet is going to wear an accessory, such as a bow or a ring pillow, help him/her get used to these items – train your pet and reward them for their efforts by giving them a treat that they love and praise them for their good work. Make this a positive experience, not only for you, but for the animal as well.
- Be prepared for unexpected situations and try to be as flexible as possible. Even if everything is planned right down to the very last detail, nothing is certain when there is a pet involved. Be prepared for little “accidents” and be prepared to clean them up! You should also be prepared to exclude your pet from the ceremony or reception if he/she feels uncomfortable – be prepared to take your pet home, where playing with his/her favorite toy he/she might be happier.
- If your pet shows sign of discomfort and has to be taken home or if it is impossible to include him/her in the ceremony for any other reason, ask the photographer to snap some photographs of you and your pet – even if you do it at home – and have him include the photos in the wedding album, they will add such a sweet touch!
- A wedding day is a day where all eyes are on the bride and the groom and that’s the way it should be. However, if you decide to include a pet in your big day, be prepared for him/her to occasionally steal the spotlight.