Having my Pet at my Wedding

People have had their pets at their weddings for years, yet a few years ago the idea of a pet at a wedding still raised a few eyebrows. These days, no eyebrows are raised at all. After all our pets now have their own booming industry, with healthcare plans, insurance, blow-waves, dog friendly cafes, shops and hotels, diamante encrusted collars and outfits, and are carried around in handbags, like accessories; some even have their own facebook page. With all this and more, why wouldn’t they come to your wedding?

But having your pet at your wedding doesn’t have to mean you’re crazy or a celebrity. It might just reveal the immense love you have for your dog. If your dog is your best friend and goes everywhere with you, it’s perfectly reasonable to us that you’d want to have a place for your pooch at your wedding, and this is perfectly doable. What role can my pet have at my wedding?

Pets are increasingly being involved in the wedding celebrations, from walking with the bride ‘down the aisle’, to being ring bearer, Best Man/Dog, or arriving during the ceremony as a surprise. Others feature heavily in the wedding photographs and bring an element of fun to the proceedings. It all comes down to the Individual Temperament of your Pet of course, much of the success of having your dog at your wedding depends on the nature of the dog in question, how well it behaves and receives instruction and handles all the attention. Some pooches wouldn’t be suited to take an active role in the celebration itself, so being assigned a handler would help keep everyone happy and under control.

Though our pet pooches are the most common non-human wedding guests, there are plenty of ways of involving your other favourite members of the animal kingdom in your nuptials. Perhaps you’d like to arrive on your horse or have your cat involved in some way?

From the sensible to the sensational, here are 5 top tips for successfully incorporating your best fur friends into your wedding:

1. Think carefully about the logistics of having your pet at your wedding
Is their temperament suited to such an occasion? Will the stress it puts you/them under, outweigh the benefits of having them there?

2. Assign a handler to manage your pet, from preparing and dressing them, to their arrival, being with them during the ceremony, right through to their departure.
Your pet will need food and water during the day, and may be overwhelmed at being in a new place, not being with you yet being surrounded by so many well wishers. Ensuring there is a quiet secure place for them to rest, is a good idea.

3. Have a very clear plan for your pets’ involvement
Discuss this with your wedding planner/organizer/handler and bridal party, so that everyone understands your wishes.

4. The age old adage of Keep It Simple Stupid applies here
Have a well defined small role for your pet, minimising the potential for mishaps.

5. Practice makes perfect
Having a rehearsal with your pet, in his/her outfit, with his/her handler will ensure that on the big day itself, your pooch is more likely to enjoy the day and all its excitement.

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Gillie St George

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