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How to plan a pet-friendly wedding

pets-at-wedding

How to plan a pet-friendly wedding

It’s time to tie the knot in front of your friends and family, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include your pet too! Your furry friend is as much a member of your new family as anyone else, so there’s no reason they shouldn’t be there on your special day.

Whatever the situation, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to have your pooch or cat at your wedding, but before you buy that cockapoo-sized tuxedo, allow us to offer some advice on how to throw a successful pet-friendly do’!

1. Check with your venue.

pet-friendly-wedding

This is the most important factor to consider, as not all venues will allow animals on site! before your book in your ‘ring dog’ or ‘flower goat’, consult with your point of contact at the site. Perhaps there will be an area where your animal can relax and nap during the reception, or maybe you can have an outdoor ceremony with your pet present until it’s time to send them back home with a sitter.  Communication is the key factor at a pet-friendly wedding, so make sure you double-check with your venue first!

2. Consider your pet’s feelings.

pet-friendly-wedding

Before assigning a starring role to your furry friend, consider your pet’s personality and whether they’d be suited for your wedding. If your dog is shy and anxious around large crowds of people, a ceremony full of guests might not be the best environment for them. Likewise, if they’re coming down the aisle with the rings attached to their collar, a hyperactive animal might not be best suited for the role. It might be a better option to include them in your engagement photos than have them there on the big day. There are plenty of ways to get your pet involved in your wedding, just make sure they’re suited for the job!

3. Choose a role.

pet-friendly-wedding

Once you’ve considered your pet’s feelings, it’s time to decide what role is best for them. If you want to put them in a costume, suit or bowtie, make sure they try it on several times before the ceremony and check that they’re not uncomfortable in it. It’s also important to consider the length of time they’ll spend hanging around – if you’re planning on having them at the altar with you, it might be best to take a toy or treats with you to keep them happy. If your pet is a bit more active, it might be best to let them greet your guests and have a run about before the “I dos.”

4. Inform your guests and wedding planners

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Some guests might have allergies to dogs, cats or horses, so it’s always best to mention on your wedding invitation beforehand that you’re having a pet-friendly wedding. It’s also worth considering whether or not you want other people’s pets there on the big day. A dozen dogs running around at your wedding might seem like heaven to you, but not to all the other guests! Your photographer will need to know that you’re having a pet at your wedding in order to plan shots accordingly, and your florist, caterer and other vendors will be grateful for the heads-up about your pet-friendly wedding. Either way, give people plenty of notice beforehand.

5. Hire a pet sitter.

pet-friendly-wedding

It goes without saying that this is a must! Neither you or your partner will have enough time to look after your pet’s needs on the day, so you need to make sure you have someone on hand to do it for you. Whether it’s a professional pet-sitter, a member of your family or a close friend, be sure there’s someone there to take care of your furry friends throughout the day. They can also be there to make sure they can take your pet home later on in the evening. Of course, it’s also important to make sure your pet-sitter has plenty of water, food and waste bags to keep your pet happy and comfortable.