Want to include all of your family members in your wedding day, even the furry ones? We say, go for it! Here are our tips on how to safely incorporate man’s best friend in your wedding day celebration.
1) Check with your wedding venue. Remember to ask your ceremony and reception sites for permission first before bringing along your furbaby.
2) Think about your pet’s personality. Do they have the right temperament to be around dozens of people? Will they enjoy all the added attention? If your pet has not previously had obedience training, consider enrolling in some classes in the months leading up to your wedding day.
3) Designate a petsitter. This can be a family member or guest who is great with animals, and is willing to watch and manage your pet for as long as they are attending the wedding. There will be several times throughout your wedding day (ceremony vows, dancing, etc.) where you just won’t be able to keep an eye on your furbaby. This petsitter can make sure your pet is ready for their walk down the ceremony aisle, and then take them somewhere safe while you celebrate.
4) Bring water and treats. Think of all the things that you would need to keep a human baby happy and comfortable at a wedding. You’ll want to bring all of these things for your furbaby too! Water is essential to keep your dog hydrated, especially if you have them dressed up in their own tux or dress, which can add a lot of heat! Also bring along their favorite treats, to keep their energy up and to perk up those ears when it’s portrait time!
5) Watch out for items toxic to your pet. There are a lot of poisonous hazards at weddings that could harm your pet--chocolate, flowers (lilies in particular), and alcohol to name a few--so make sure Fido is on a leash and supervised at all times.
6) Accessorize your pet rather than dressing it up. Pets don’t perspire like their human counterparts, so a lot of extra clothing can really raise their temperature. Instead, try a silk flower, tiara, special collar, or bowtie.
7) Bring grooming tools. This can be their favorite brush or comb, which serves the dual purpose of keeping them looking sharp, and also soothing and calming them around the dozens of extra humans they don’t normally interact with.
8) Bring clean up supplies. Pack plastic baggies to clean up after any unexpected "accidents." And maybe even a cloth or paper towel if your pet is prone to a queasy stomach with all the added excitement.
9) Consider taking your pet home after the ceremony and group photos. Your pet most likely won’t have the same stamina as you do to dance the night away, so it might be a good idea to have your petsitter run them home quickly before the reception begins. If home is too far, bring along their crate/kennel, and set up a quiet place for them to sleep, either inside your wedding venue or at your hotel. Just keep in mind that an idle pet can be a destructive one, so make sure your furbaby is safely and comfortably contained!