Can I have my pets at my wedding?

Can I have my pet at my wedding?

People often have pets as ring bearers by fixing a pillow with the rings on the pet’s collar or back, or they have the pets act as attendants, walking down the aisle and standing up front with the bride and groom. This can make for a precious memory, but it can also be a huge hassle.

What should you consider before including your pet in your ceremony?

  • Does the venue allow it? If you’re going to have an animal in the wedding, make sure the venue is okay with this. There may be extra fees, or it may not be allowed at all. Before you get your heart set on anything — venue or pet attendant — make sure this is allowed.
  • Is your officiant okay with it? Maybe the venue is on board, but your officiant isn’t. Be sure to run it by him or her, too.
  • Who is going to watch the animal? Weddings make for a long day. Be sure you have someone to take care of the animal, or take it home after the ceremony.
  • How does your pet behave around crowds and strangers? You should definitely keep your pet on a leash to keep it from running wild during your ceremony, but even with the leash, if your pet is inclined to freak out around crowds, it could still create quite a disturbance.
  • Does your animal have a place to stay? If you’re traveling for your wedding and staying in a hotel, make sure there are accommodations for your pet. A few hotels allow animals, but most do not, and if there’s no kennel nearby, you may find yourself in a bind.
  • Be careful if your dog is trained to respond to the command “speak.” It would be pretty funny, though, if Fido piped up when the officiant said “speak now or forever hold your peace.”

If you’d love to include your pet in your wedding, but you just can’t make it work, you don’t have to have the animal there at the ceremony to include him or her. You can do bridal portraits with your pet, or put your pet’s picture on your invitations, as I have seen done before. You may feel bad about leaving your beloved pets out on your big day, but trust me, they really won’t mind.

Have you ever seen a wedding with an animal in it? How was it done?