For many couples, their pets are their family. Wedding days are big celebrations marking one of the most important days in a couple’s life. For that reason, it can be hard to imagine that day without their fuzzy family members. Thankfully, there are many different ways to include your pet in your wedding. From being in your wedding ceremony to being a part of your photos, you can find the best way to include your pets in your wedding. Each couple will prefer something different, but rest assured that no matter which type of animal you have, you can find a way to include them in your big day.
The Wedding Party
There are plenty of places for your pup within your own wedding party. They can be your best man, groomsman, maid of honor, or bridesmaid. They could even walk you down the aisle. You can dress them up, have them wear a bowtie, create a flower collar, or dress up their leash. There are even people who work as dog handlers at weddings (1) so that you don’t have to worry about taking care of them or appointing a guest to do this for you. Just be sure your animal is comfortable around groups of people and won't feel scared or overwhelmed. Obviously, some animals are more built for this type of setting than others.
Flower Girl/Ring Bearer
Similar to having your animal in your wedding party, you can also opt to have them in your wedding as the flower girl or ring bearer. They may not be able to drop flowers, but you can have someone walk them down the aisle for you, have them pulled in a wagon, or have them run down the aisle to you. No matter which way you decide to go about it, there’s no question that it will be completely adorable — not to mention the feeling you’ll have by knowing that everyone who is important to you is there to celebrate you, even your fur children.
On Your Cake Topper
There are so many options for cake toppers. It used to be just a groom and a bride sitting at the top of your cake. Now you can have initials, custom bride and groom figures, or allow your theme to come out with your cake topper. One of the many customizations you can do with your cake topper is to include your animals. Some choose to include them along with the bride and groom figurines, while others opt to have little replicas of your animals up there on your cake. No matter which you way you go about it, it’s a great way to make your wedding feel a little more like you without having to put your animals in a situation that might make them anxious.
In Your Photography
Wedding photography is such an important aspect of many weddings. Your wedding day lasts a few hours, but your photography will be there to refresh those memories forever. By including your animals in your photography, you can include them in many different areas of your wedding. For one, your save the dates. Save the dates tend to be a little less formal and really cater themselves to a fun photo with your animal.
There are many different ways to display your photos after you get married (2). You can create a photo book, hang them in your home, or use them to send thank you cards. By taking some photos with your animals, you’ll have those photos to hang or send out and remember them as being a part of your big day.
In Your Wedding Favors
If your animal can't make it to your wedding, consider sending a gift home with your guests from your animal to theirs. One great idea to include your pet in your wedding is to make a small DIY box (3) or treat jar, put a few treats in there, and add a tag that says it’s from Fido to your pets at home. Your guests had to leave their pups to come to your wedding; now they will get to come home to them with a treat. You might even include a photo of your animal on the box. Either way, it’s a great way to include your furry family members and it’s a unique wedding favor for the furry family members of your guests.
Not every pet will enjoy being in your wedding. Weddings are loud and have a lot of people and some animals might not handle that setting as well. For that reason, it’s great to find a way to include your pet — even if they wouldn't enjoy being in the wedding itself. Having a cute puppy or kitty as a bridesmaid or a ring bearer is adorable, but some animals would rather just be in your photographs, depicted on your cake, or used as inspiration to send gifts to everyone’s pets. If your animal is too important to leave out of your wedding altogether, there are ways to include them in your wedding day.
Chelsy Ranard Chelsy is a writer from Montana who is now living in beautiful Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree in 2012 from the University of Montana. She is passionate about animal rights, bad television, and white wine. She is a volunteer at Simply Cats in Boise.