Wedding season is in full swing! And, when planning the big day, many of us can’t imagine it without our beloved pets. After all, we might be tying the knot with our favourite human, but our faithful furry companions have also been with us through some of the most important events and milestones in our lives.
With this in mind, our latest blog lists some adorable ways you can involve your dog in your special day – including creative ways to include them if they can’t be there ‘in person’.
We’re focusing on dogs as they tend to be the most common furry wedding guests (if we don’t count the Best Man’s lockdown beard); however, many of these tips would work for other pets too.
So, let’s dive in. Dearly beloved…
1. Guest of honour
Whether your dog is able to attend your wedding depends on a number of factors (from his/her personality to the venue’s rules, and even details such as having pet-friendly flowers). But if you’ve got all this sorted, and don’t mind the odd bark during the ‘I do’s’, there are lots of exciting ways you can include your furry friend in the ceremony. Why not make them ‘Best Dog’, ‘Pup of Honour’ or chief ring bearer? They could even be a flower girl or trot with you down the aisle if you so please!
To help everything run smoothly, we suggest giving your pooch a ‘plus one’, i.e., a pet-sitter or a guest who’s happy to watch them during the ceremony. Familiarity is key in keeping your dog calm, so if you’re using a sitter, make sure they’ve spent some time together before the big day.
2. Reception cameo
If you think your canine companion might feel a bit overwhelmed by the ceremony, or will struggle to keep quiet during the objections (after all, they loved you first!), you could ask your dog sitter to bring them along after the ceremony, especially if the venue has an outdoor area for them to explore.
This way, they can take part in the less formal part of the day and pose for some family photos. (Be sure to tell your photographer if you’re planning to do this, as they might have some tips and tricks for helping your dog relax and look at the camera.)
If your pup is going to be at the reception for a couple of hours, it’s worth providing a safe space where they can relax and take some time out, for example their bed and favourite cuddly toy or chew.
3. Mention them in the ceremony
However, if having your pet at your wedding is a no-go, fear not – there are still lots of ways you can include them, so they’re there in spirit. You could give your beloved pet a shout-out in your vows or during the speeches. Bonus points for telling a funny story that involves both your new husband/wife and your pet.
4. Get creative with your wedding décor
Another adorable way of including your pet at your wedding is by featuring them in the décor. You could put some photos on display, use their paw prints on your table plan, or create some bespoke cocktails named after them. And don’t forget to include them on the cake topper…
5. Get the DJ to do a shout out
If you want to reserve your vows/speech to your human life-partner, then why not get your DJ or wedding band to do a tribute to your pet? “And they called it puppy love…”.
6. Give out doggy bags
It’s traditional to send your guests home with some wedding cake – a doggy bag, if you will – so consider taking the term literally and create some fun designs featuring your pup. That way, your guests will get a cute reminder of your furry best friend and some cake – win, win.
7. Make a charity donation to an animal shelter
And last but not least, if you and your animal-loving spouse adopted your pet from a shelter, then it might be a nice idea to request donations to the shelter as a wedding gift option, helping them to continue their amazing work. And, if not, donations to your favourite animal charity are still an all-round great way to show your love for your beloved pet.
So, to summarise, whether your pet is there or ‘there in spirit’ on the big day, there are plenty of ways for loved-up pet owners to make it a memorable day for everyone.
We’d love to know if you included your pet at your wedding. Maybe your dog was with you at the altar, or your cat had a starring role on your cake topper? Let us know on social media… #WeAreCloserPets