Karryn - The Wedding Sitter
9 Ways To Involve Your Pets in Your Wedding
Updated: Jan 21
Hello married couple-to-be! With your wedding day fast approaching and planning in full swing (or if you‘ve unfortunately had to postpone due to COVID and now have a little extra time on your hands) you might be wondering how best to involve your pets, or pay tribute to them, on your wedding day.
Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit, lizard, or even a horse that’s a special part of your life - read on and find the perfect way to ensure they’re a memorable part of your special celebration.
1. Walk Them Down the Aisle
Make your pet the star of the show in their own right by having them walk the aisle. Best suited for dogs; enlist the help of a dedicated pet chaperone to assist them. A professional will ensure they are on their best behaviour and if they lose focus, will bribe them with their favourite reward to get them to their destination at the altar. Another option would be to assign a member of the wedding party, or even the flower girl or page boy, to take the lead - this makes for some gorgeous photos and video footage. Bucking tradition - we have also seen horses carry the bride down the aisle instead of their Father!
2. Give Your Pet a Role in the Wedding Party
Best Dog, Dog of Honour, Groomsdog, Bridesdog, Ring Bearer, or Flower Dog - let your imagination take over! Have your dog stand at the altar and be a witness to you both saying your vows and having your very first kiss as a married couple. To really make them look the part; have them dressed in a matching tuxedo or flower collar to the human wedding party (we have these available for hire as part of our package). Don’t forget to have someone on standby to take them away for a quick wee-walk, or for some time out if the festivities get too much (this is something else, we as your pet’s wedding assistant, can help with!)
Photo by Love And Other Photography
3. Mention Them in Your Vows
A beautifully personal way to honour your pets is to mention them in your vows. Chances are yourself and your partner share a deep bond and many memories with your fur-babies - they might have even played a part in how you both fell in love!
4. Have a Pet “Witness” the Marriage Certificate Signing
Although they can’t legally be a witness - the gesture of having your beloved pet be next to you while the certificate is signed is a pretty big honour. Again, it makes for some pretty amazing photos!
Photo by This Wild Love Photography
5. Get Ready With Your Pet
Well-suited to dogs that might be overwhelmed or overstimulated at a wedding ceremony, or for animals like most cats, rabbits or guinea pigs that would be frightened outside of their own environment (there are exceptions!) - this is a fabulous way to sneak in those wedding-day cuddles and photo-ops. You might choose to get ready at home, or to have a friend, family member, or pet chaperone bring them to your accommodation. Make sure you line it up with the photographer‘s arrival, as the professional pics are a must-have keepsake.
6. Arrange a Portrait Session
Most, if not all couples, choose to have their pets involved in a portrait session after the formalities have concluded. This can be a standalone event for those pets where it isn’t practical to have them as part of the ceremony, or a natural progression for the “Dog of Honour” to jump in a few photos before heading back home for the evening. The photo location can be at the wedding venue itself, or a short walk or drive away in a quieter spot, for those pets more on the shy side. With a dedicated pet wedding assistant, they will work together with your photographer to get the perfect poses using treats, your pet’s favourite words, or a clicker (you might even see us tangled up together, bouncing around looking like crazy-people!)
Photo by Nic Stephens Photography
7. Have Them Join Your ”First Look”
Not all couples will choose to, but a growing trend in weddings of recent times is a “first look” where the couple arrange to see each other privately before the ceremony. This is a touching way to get out those pre-wedding nerves and spend some time alone in the midst of the exciting whirlwind that is your wedding day. Many couples report this as being their favourite part of their day, with lots of emotion and beautiful photos capturing all the feels.
8. Do Your “First Dance” With Your Pet
For those pets that are a bit more on the outgoing side - having them tag along to the reception and join the first dance, is a fun and unique idea! You can practise at home in the lead-up with some dance lessons - there are a heap of cute videos on YouTube for inspiration!
9. Greet Your Guests on Arrival
Have your pets ready to greet your guests as they arrive at your ceremony venue. Confident pets will love this, just as much as the humans will! A lot of dogs want to get pats from as many people as possible and will find it difficult to relax if they haven’t sniffed around - just make sure your pets are well-handled in case of dirty paws or fur on people’s clothing! We come pre-prepared with lint rollers and baby wipes if there are any accidents.
Photo by T-One Image
There you have it folks, just a few of the many different ways your beautiful fur (feathered or scaly) -babies can be a part of one of the most important days of your life, your wedding day. Hopefully this has sparked some inspiration for you and has got you imagining Bella or Milo in their little wedding outfits with a goofy-happy smile next to you!
Your wedding day is just that, yours, so make it your own and do it the way YOU want to!
Get in touch with us today to chat about how we can bring your wedding day dreams to life! Because after all, your pets are your family
I’ll leave you with a photo of us on our wedding day with our gorgeous boy, Theodore (before we adopted our beautiful whippet girls!)
Tail wags and face licks,
Karryn - The Wedding Sitter
Photo by Jake Hogan Photography