A guest article by our friends at True Experiences with images by lovely Sheryl at Oobaloos Photography
When the time comes and you’re ready to start planning your wedding, finding ways to include your loved ones becomes a critical part of it all. From finding ways to include your parents and siblings to those long-lost relatives that start popping up, it can be a real juggle!
One way to lighten the mood and bring back the warm and fuzzies is to include your pets in your wedding. After all, they’re a special part of the family and should be included in your big day too!
Of course, this begs the question, how do you actually go about including them?
We’ve got a few ways to incorporate your pets into your special day. It’s really important you consider your pet’s wellbeing over and above anything else. Cats should never be taken to a wedding venue – please, always make sure they’re looked after at home! Some dogs will love a big exciting day out with all of your best people, but some won’t, so do consider your pet’s feelings and make sure they’ll be happy throughout all the excitement!
Naturally, some of the options will depend on the level of self-control your pet has. The last thing you want is to have them causing chaos in the middle of your “I dos”.
Another aspect you need to consider is whether your venue is pet-friendly or not. If you would like to have your dog with you (or another very tolerant furry or feathered friend!), you will need to find a space that is willing to accommodate them or make arrangements with your venue beforehand.
Should your pet be allowed at the venue, you’ll also need to look into using pet-friendly confetti, use decorations that cannot be easily destroyed, and, of course, ensure that they have food, water, and toys to keep them occupied .
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can go about including your pets on your special day.
Here are a few simple suggestions to jumpstart your creativity. The options are endless, it all depends on what you’re willing to do and if your pets decide to cooperate of course! It might not always be an option to have them there in all their glory, but there are ways to work around it.
The Cutest Ring Bearer
The level of trust involved with this is quite high, as your dog will be responsible for carrying the wedding bands.
A simple way of doing so is to tie the rings to their collar. If you’re worried about them running off, you can always have them on a leash and have the flower girls walk them down the aisle.
Front And Center
Have your dog attend your wedding, sitting right up front with your bridesmaids and groomsmen. They’ll be right there as you say your I dos while sitting amongst some of the most important people in your life.
If you know that they wouldn’t keep still, placing a framed photo of them on a seat is another special way to include them. For the more tech-savvy couples, you can also include them via Skype or Zoom.
Including your pet in the photos on the day is bound to make it a memorable experience. This way, they don’t need to be there the entire time, but will still be involved in the day. You’ll need to have a pet sitter willing to watch them while you’re busy and help you manage the chaos when they join the party. Alternatively, shoot a few pictures with them beforehand and have someone take them home afterwards. If you’re getting ready at home, a ‘first look’ (where you see each other in your outfits before the ceremony) is a lovely way to include a cat or other pet who’d rather stay at home!
If including your pet on the actual wedding day is not possible, you can easily include them in the build-up.
You can use them in your engagement shoot, wedding announcement and even include their pawprint or picture on stationery. For example, the save the date, wedding invites, seating chart, or menu – there are so many options!
Upgrade Your Decor
For the pets that can’t be there, you can find creative ways of featuring them in your setup. This can include an animal theme cake topper, a cardboard cutout of them at the photo booth, or even include pictures of them amongst the images featured on the day.
Rethink Your Menu
Instead of the run-of-the-mill cocktail menu or set menu, get creative with the names you use. For example, your welcome drink could be along the lines of “Rocco’s Favorite” and appear in a festive glass.
For menu items, you can look for ways to make them animal-themed. Or simply use creative napkins with funny messages. You can really get creative with this.
Name The Tables
If you have more than one pet, you could use their names to allocate tables instead of table numbers. The seating chart could feature a picture of them next to the table allocations and perhaps a paw print or two. You could even theme each table to fit the pet that it’s named after.
Themed Thank You Gifts
While these are not a must, most weddings tend to have some sort of thank you gift. A doggie bag is a great way to round off a pet-themed wedding – if you have dogs.
You can really get creative with gifts that have an animal association. Perhaps a hair of the dog pack to help guests recover the day after? Or a voucher for a unique animal themed experience?
Preparation Is Key
Another great way to incorporate your pet is while you’re getting ready. They can feature in the photos and help provide hugs and kisses if you start feeling stressed out.
Plus, this doesn’t need to be at the venue, which means that your pet isn’t stressed out or over-excited.
It’s Your Day, Enjoy It Your Way
At the end of the day, it’s your big day and you can choose who to spend it with. If you want to include your pets, you certainly can.
From having them at your side at the altar to having them feature throughout the decor, there are so many creative ways you can go about getting the job done. Of course, a lot of this boils down to what your venue allows, so be sure to get the thumbs up from them before you start planning!