How to best include pets in your wedding

Increasingly, couples tying the knot want to share moment with furry companions

Photo by Brenda Valdovinos (Pexels)

Summer is often the peak season for weddings, which means endless planning for brides, grooms and their families.

One big component of wedding planning for animal lovers involves their pets.

How feasible is it to include a beloved pet or pets in a wedding?

What are concerns that need to be addressed?

Kate Jaffe, a trends expert at Rover, offers insight on pets at weddings and tips on how to best incorporate them into a wedding ceremony or reception.

Why are people increasingly wanting pets to be a part of their weddings?

Jaffe said pet parents feel their loved ones have been a part of their love story, and thus want to incorporate them into such a meaningful life moment like a wedding.

“I think the trend really speaks to the unique and enduring bonds between people and their pets,” she said.

What are the most popular ways people are incorporating pets in their weddings?

Jaffe said if you go to a wedding this summer, don’t be surprised to see a dog or cat accompanying a pet parent — who also happens to be a bride or groom — down the aisle.

“Pet parents tell us they incorporate their pets into their wedding photography, acknowledge them in toasts, offer pet-friendly menu options, name specialty cocktails after them, and even invite them out on the dance floor,” Jaffe said. “We’ve even heard of pets serving as a third-party witness, which is legal in the state of Colorado.”

What are the biggest precautions people have to take when having a pet a part of a wedding?

Jaffe said the biggest consideration when including a pet in any celebration is its comfort, as well as your own.

“If you’re including your pet at the wedding, hiring a pet sitter to help take care of them can relieve some pressure off of the wedding party and ensure your pet is well-cared for while you’re celebrating,” she said. “You know your dog or cat best, so take a step back and consider how well they’ll handle the crowd and excitement of a wedding. If you think your pet may be overwhelmed, consider including them in other ways, like making an appearance at the photo shoot or mentioning them in your wedding vows.”

Are there any dos and don’ts for having a pet in a wedding?

Jaffe said in addition to having a reliable pet sitter or watcher during the celebration, having someone other than the bride or groom as the point of contact is important.

“That way, if there are last-minute questions, they can quickly and easily help,” Jaffe said. “Remember, your pet doesn’t have to be there for the entirety of the big day. You can always arrange for a sitter to bring your pet to the parts where they’re needed and then get them back home for belly rubs and naps.”

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.