Ideas and Cautions
On your wedding day, you and your fiancé become a legal family, but I have a feeling that many couples out there felt like family long before that, and often because of the addition of their first “child” – their pet! For many of us, these important and cute creatures bring us together and really complete our lives, so leaving them out of the wedding day seems impossible! If you’re thinking about incorporating your pal into your big day, here are some ways to do so, and some cautions to consider before you set any plans in stone:
First look – Let’s face it, pets are unpredictable, so giving them a role in the more structured parts of the day (i.e. the ceremony/reception) may not be ideal for everyone. Instead, you may want to consider having them there for the more private and carefree first look portion of the day. You’ll get some adorable photos of your little family, and your pet should do wonders to ease any day of jitters you may be experiencing!
In place of a bouquet – Of course, this one only works if you have a smaller pet, but having either yourself or your maid of honor carry your pet down the aisle is a great way to include them in the ceremony while still keeping a semi-tight rein on them. Cue the ooh’s and aah’s!
Cake topper – The reception is typically a rip-roaring, loud party, which may not be the ideal situation for your pet (and certainly not the ideal situation for them to be on their best behavior). So, instead of having them there IRL, consider including them as part of your cake topper! Cutting the cake is still a major part of most receptions, so this will ensure that your BFF gets to play an important role even if they’re not there in person.
And now, some cautions:
Sure, having your pet there will make you happy, but will it make him/her happy? Be sure to keep in mind your pet’s temperament and personality before choosing to include them in your big day. Do they like crowds? Are they high-strung? If you answered no then yes, you might want to consider incorporating your pet in a way that doesn’t necessarily require them to be there in person (e.g. our cake topper suggestion above).
Safety first! Is your wedding taking place in a high traffic area or on a particularly hot/cold day? Remember that you’ll be pretty busy, and won’t be able to keep an eye on or tend to your pets needs as much as usual, so if the environment isn’t ideal you may want to opt to leave them at home.
Keep your guests in mind. Do any of them have pet allergies, or even a fear/aversion to pets? The last thing you want is to make anyone uncomfortable on your big day, so be sure having your pet there won’t cause anyone any undue stress!