How to include your pet in your wedding
Let the wedding planning begin! The question was asked, you said “yes!” Now you want your wedding day to be uniquely yours, surrounded by all those you love. For many people, that includes their four-legged companions.
Wedding planning with a fur baby
There are considerations to be made before you decide to include your furry friend in your wedding plans. First, how involved in the ceremony do you want your animal to be? And, is your venue pet friendly?
If your pooch is social and doesn’t get fazed by new situations, you might consider having them walk down the aisle with you, be your best “man,” “maid” of honor, or ring bearer. You may want to do some extra training or hire a trainer to be more confident when you take the stroll down the aisle with your pup, or other companion.
Some wedding planners have even included cats, horses or rabbits in the wedding ceremony. But as a Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) blog explains, be prepared … you could be upstaged by the cuteness or the unpredictability of the day.
Is your furry companion the right temperament to partake in your wedding? Remember, this will be a new environment for them. There will be noise and people they don’t know.
Be sure to inform your guests and vendors beforehand that you will be bringing along furry family members. Your photographer will be able to prepare fun shots and your guests will appreciate a warning if they have any allergies.
If your four-legged friend is nervous, shy or anti-social, you might want to consider what would be safest and most comfortable for them, the RSPCA advises. That might include staying safe at home.
Your companion animal can still play a role by being included in photos or attending the ceremony with a pet caretaker. A designated animal handler ensures your furry friend is looked after so you are free to enjoy your day. If your furry friend is not up to staying for the duration of the ceremony, you may also want to try having a friend or handler that brings your animal in before or after the ceremony. This way, that can still be captured as a part of the day but are not subject to any stress.
Photos with your companion animal can also play a role in your engagement photos, having them appear in your engagement announcement or on “Save the Date” stationery.
Even if your animal companion won’t be attending your wedding, or if you don’t have a furry friend just yet, you can show your commitment to animals in need by choosing donations in lieu of wedding favours. The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society has a package that includes:
- A full-colour, 8×10 personalized certificate for your gift table (frame not included)
- Table cards for each table OR place cards for each place setting
- A personalized thank you video for you and your partner
- Or if you are a DIYer, there is an option for you to make your own cards!
Or, instead of wedding gifts (who really needs another crystal bowl?), you can request that donations be made to the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society with your own personalized wedding donation page.
Whether you decide to have your companion animal by your side, or keep them safe at home, there are many opportunities for your furry friend to be a part of your wedding.
I stand behind SPCA with my monthly gift
I stand behind SPCA with my monthly gift. I am so happy there are folks like you to care for those who can’t help themselves. My family and I have had animals all our lives and know what a comfort they are. Thank you SPCA.