How to Include Your Pets on Your Wedding Day | Grand Rapids Weddings

A few weeks ago, I posted some advice on how to include your pets at your engagement session. Well, today’s post is all about how to include them on your wedding day! It’s much easier to have them around for photos, but so much happens on a wedding day that it might not be feasible! Not to mention there might be muddy paws making a mess of your new and expensive attire! So what are the best ways to include your pets on your wedding day?

Get ready with them

On the morning of your wedding, whether I’m with a bride or a groom, there’s usually some hanging out involved before everybody gets dressed. Having your pets underfoot is a great way to get some images of them without worrying about them making a mess! Or, if you have a Tide pen or lint roller handy, grabbing a few after you’re dressed works great because they’re already in a place where they are comfortable. So theoretically, they should be on their best behavior!

Make them a part of the ceremony

Now I will say, this next tip comes with a HUGE grain of salt. I think I’ve been to three weddings where pets have been included as the ring bearers. At the first wedding, I was nearly taken out by the dog’s leash wrapping around my legs. At the second wedding, the bride desperately wanted her beloved “flower pig”, but it bit the flower girl right before going down the aisle. And at the third, the couple gave their ring bearer dog the actual rings. Don’t do that. It didn’t go well. (In defense of that one, the dog would have done just fine, but the rings happened to fall out of the box on her collar.) If you are considering this tip, use it wisely.

Really decide if your pet can:
a) tolerate the attention
b) stay calm enough in a crowd of 150 people and
c) not get struck with sudden nerves and poop in the aisle before the bride

Include them in a few portraits

The best way to actually have them at your wedding is to have someone bring them to the portrait spot! It is still important to follow the same guidelines of having them at your engagement session, and have them arrive early to get used to the spot. You don’t want muddy paw prints on your white dress! If time and locations allow, stopping at your home works well too! That way they’re already comfortable with where they are at!

Reference them in your details and decor

If it’s not feasible to have them physically at the wedding, it’s great to have them there in spirit! One couple had their pups greet the guests before the ceremony in the form of a cardboard cut-out! They later reappeared at the bar by having some signature drinks in their honor. They also offered a “doggy bag” of treats for guests to take home!

This wedding had a simple nod to their fur-babies on their cake topper!

If all else fails, refer to the previous post

If none of these options work, the engagement session is a low-key way to have your first family portrait together! Then those images can be used on display around the reception. It’s a great reminder that they are part of the family too!

Thanks for reading about how to include your pets on your wedding day! Don’t forget to follow Jessie Silva on Facebook and Instagram for more updates, tips, and wedding inspiration!