Wags at the Wedding: Planning Tips for Pet Parents

Dog Guests at WeddingsIf you and your fiancé consider your pets your first kids, you probably can’t imagine your life – or your wedding day – without those most faithful, furry friends by your side. Luckily, it’s never been more in vogue to highlight their presence at your wedding. Just make sure you do some important planning to make the experience comfortable and enjoyable for both your pets and your guests. That way you can spend the day surrounded by their love, without the stress of unhappy pet babies.

Honor Their Presence, But Respect Their Personalities

Many brides want to make their pets a prominent part of their wedding ceremonies, whether as honorary ringbearers or simply by accompanying the bridesmaids or groomsmen down the aisle. But before you decide to make your pets a part of this special part of the day, consider how well your pups will handle that much attention.

If your dogs do not do well with crowds, or they get easily distracted or inconsolable under stress, you might not want to make them an integral part of the ceremony, for their sake and safety as well as your guests. A less-stressful alternative perfect for skittish friends, would be to bring them along under the watchful eye of a petsitter until it comes time to take formal pictures. That way you can still honor their presence, but without putting undue pressure on them to perform.

Think Safety and Comfort, First and Foremost

Whether you do choose to hire a petsitter for the wedding, or ask a friend to handle that special task, make sure you have someone on hand who is designated as your pets’ caregiver for the entire day.

Keep in mind that both you and your bridal party will be occupied through much of the night, with dancing, toasts, greeting guests and more, so in many cases it is wisest to hire someone whose only job is caring for your pets. (While your cousin might know and love your pet babies, you might feel bad asking her or any other guest to be relocated as pet supervisor, instead of enjoying the party.)

Of course, it will be your job, not the petsitter’s, to prepare for the event with plenty of food, water, and anything else your pets will need during the day. Take into consideration the entire time you’ll be on site, especially if your wedding venue is far from home, and pack accordingly so your dogs can stay comfortable and well-fed throughout the wedding.

If it’s going to be incredibly hot, or you’re worried about inclement weather, let this weigh in as well. As much as you want your best friends there, make sure you can bring them safely and comfortably.