Friday, March 3, 2017

Is There a Place for Your Pet in Your Wedding?

Let’s be honest – we don’t just love our pets. Many a great love story starts with “we met because of our dogs,” and lots of couples genuinely consider their four-footed friends their children. Our pets are hugely important in our lives, so finding a place for them in a wedding is an understandable priority.
Some pets are better suited to weddings than others, of course. Well-behaved dogs in particular tend to be the best honorary attendants (i.e. best dog or flower dog). There are exceptions to every rule, but when considering whether or not it is a good idea to include your pet in your wedding, take into account how your animal friend reacts under stress in large crowds and in brand new places. Your added excitement on the wedding day is a factor that is hard to test in advance, so it’s necessary to really know your friend’s temperament well.
If you plan to include your pet in your wedding, follow these tips for the best possible day:
  • Consult with your venue management in advance. It’s not just a courtesy – sites rules and local laws may play a role. If you are working with separate ceremony and reception venues, contact both for approval. Get it in writing as venue management has a tendency to change frequently.
  • Recruit a “handler” for your pet - someone responsible, familiar with your pet and able to address emergencies on the wedding day. No matter how comfortable you are with your friend, wedding days are different, and you need someone to back you up when you’re needed for a photo or to greet your guests. Depending on your vision, it may be a handler disguised in one of the burgundy bridesmaid dresses your party is wearing, or someone who sits subtly by ready to jump in if needed.
  • Alert your photographer in advance that your pet will participate.
  • Don’t bring your pet too early – much like a child, most animals behave better when they are not tired or strung out. Leave enough time to acclimate but not enough time to become bored (frankly, it’s pretty good advice for small children too!).
  • Do feel free to dress your pet to the nines. He or she is part of your wedding party. While you might not put your furry pal in an identical copy of the burgundy bridesmaid dresses, pick up a fancy collar, a canine tuxedo or order a special corsage if you can safely attach it. If you choose live flowers, consult carefully with your florist to ensure that the blooms you select are not toxic to animals. Practice with the outfit in advance.
  • Speaking of practice, do include your animal attendant in the rehearsal. Not only is it good for building his or her comfort, it is necessary for the other wedding party members, the handler, and the vendors working the ceremony to understand what is needed to make the plan successful.
  • Consider an early departure for your pet – if you can arrange to allow your buddy to go home after the ceremony, you’ll have a chance to party and your pet will get to chill in a comfortable environment.
If you find that actually including your pet on the wedding day is impractical or inconvenient, you can still incorporate pictures in your displays, mention him during your ceremony, or even incorporate a motif that pays homage to your buddy.
No matter how you choose to include him, there is definitely a place for your pet in your wedding.

Author Bio

Wendy Dessler
Title: Super-Connector at OutreachMama Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition. You can contact her on Twitter.

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