The Big Day: How To Incorporate Your Pet In Your Wedding

Rocklin_iStock_000035674026_LargeEveryone knows that the best part of a wedding ceremony is at the end, when the new couple is joyfully announced to the expectant crowd. More and more, the declaration of “man and wife” falls on more than just human ears, though; as ,many couples are choosing to incorporate their pets into their wedding ceremonies.

At Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital, we couldn’t imagine a wedding without a pet or two involved! But, before you consider adding a furry friend or two to your processional, take a look at our ideas for how to include a pet in your wedding.

Should Your Pet Be In Your Wedding?

Before you launch a weeklong internet search for the perfect doggie tuxedo, it’s important to set the stage for success, so to speak. Ask yourself the following questions prior to beginning your planning:

  • Is my pet’s temperament conducive to a wedding environment? If your pet is overly anxious, aggressive, very high energy, or a notorious food stealer, he or she will be better off at home on the big day.
  • Is the wedding site safe and appropriate for pets?
  • Are pets allowed on-site?
  • Are any of the guests severely allergic to the type of animal I plan on including?
  • Are the wedding officiant and the wedding party aware of my desire to include a pet in the ceremony?

How To Include Your Pet In Your Wedding

Now the fun can begin! Including a pet in your wedding requires considerable planning. Consider the following:

  • Designate a handler – Your pet should never be left unattended, and having one person in charge of him or her will put your mind at ease on the big day. Appoint a trusted friend or family member, or hire a pet sitter if necessary. This person should also be in charge of removing any pet waste from the wedding site.
  • Exercise first – For a calmer, more relaxed pet, make sure he or she has had a walk or other form of exercise prior to the ceremony.
  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse – Decide which role you want your pet to play in the ceremony and practice several times at the venue if possible, prior to the big day.
  • Finery – When it comes to pet clothing, less is more. Many pets do not like to wear clothes, and some “fancy” outfits can be restrictive or include dangerous small parts or strings. A simple bowtie or flowers attached to the collar is lovely, or just let your dog’s natural beauty shine!
  • Obedience counts – Worried that your dog may not always come when called on your special day? Consider enroll him or her in an obedience class ahead of time to brush up some essential skills.
  • Freshen up – Have your pet looking his or her best with a grooming session a few days prior to the event.
  • The Essentials – Food, water, bowls, treats, and favorite toys will help your pet to stay calm and comfortable.

Other Ways To Include Pets

It may sound wonderful to marry your soulmate in the company of your furry friend, but it doesn’t always work out to have pets at a wedding. There are plenty of ways to honor the bond between you and your pet during this important milestone, such as:

  • Including pets in wedding or engagement photos
  • Using a pet cake topper
  • Including images or drawings of your pet on your wedding invitations
  • Incorporating lovely photos of your pet as part of your wedding décor

Whether you end up including your pet in your wedding or not, your friends at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital wish you the best on your big day! We hope to see you and your pet very soon!