Weddings bring together our most cherished loved ones, and for many couples, that group wouldn’t be the same without their beloved pets—even if they don’t set paws on the ceremony grounds. Hoping to incorporate yours into the big day? We asked a few wedding pros to share the ways they’ve seen dogs and cats help their parents say “I do.”
Making your pet a part of your nuptials can begin long before the wedding day itself. For Francesca DiSalvo-Follmer, owner of Pure Luxe Bride, a favorite way for clients to celebrate furry friends is by designing them into invitation suite artwork. “It’s a fun, slightly whimsical way for couples to make invites incredibly personal to them,” she says. Even if your invitations favor formality, consider incorporating your pet into a detail card, envelope liner, or RSVP card, she adds.
Mac & B Events owner Carri Tanner notes that the same custom crest, monogram, or other illustration can easily be carried through to day-of decor. “Guests always love it because they know how much the couple loves their pet,” she says. Tanner and her team have helped transform art into everything from menus and place cards to bar decor and even an emblazoned dance floor.
Day-Of Dos & Don’ts
If you’re planning to have your pup guest star on your wedding day, keep these pointers in mind.
Check With Your Venue - Not all are pet-friendly. First things first: confirm with the on-site manager that they allow pets on the premises.
Hire a Dog Nanny - They handle everything from transport to timeline, grooming to boarding. It’s a great alternative to asking a guest or wedding party member to take the reins.
Consider the Crowd - Pets can get day-of nerves too! Even normally social pups might become overwhelmed being surrounded by so many people.
Inform Your Vendors - Let vendors know in advance that your pooch will be in attendance, and communicate any special measures you’d like them to take, be it creating a floral collar or snapping special photos.
Schedule a Practice Run - Bring your dog to the ceremony site before the big day so they can explore and get familiar with the setting. If participating in the wedding, they should also attend rehearsal.
Get Ready Together - Even if you don’t incorporate your pet into your ceremony, they can hang with the wedding party as you get ready for the main event.