Pets can be your best friends, so there is no reason why they shouldn't celebrate the big day along with you. We completely understand how happy you'll be if you can shoot your pre-wedding or wedding photos with their cute faces all over the frames. But pets are more than mere props, and as they have minds of their own, they can end up causing you a lot of trouble instead. Before you make a decision, consider the questions below.
If you've answered "Yes" to all the questions above, great news! It's the first step to make sure that your pet can join your wedding celebration. But your work isn't done yet, as things can still go wrong. We won't promise that your wedding will be trouble-free, but the following precautions can help you ensure that your big day goes well.
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Tips for involving your pet in your wedding
Tip #1 Be flexible
Nobody can expect a wedding to always go as planned, especially if fun-loving pets are involved. If you decide to bring along your lovely dog, for example, there might be a chance of your cake being stolen or some of your guests getting drooled on. Just have a good sense of humor about it and cherish the moment as a sweet wedding memory you won't soon forget.
Tip #2 Hire a pet sitter
We're sure you love your pet so much, but still, it is your wedding day and you will be needed in so many places at a time so you won't have time to take care of your pet. If you've asked your friends to be pet-sitters, divide these duties to several people: taking care of your pet before the ceremony, during the ceremony, and after the ceremony as well as taking them home. We suggest avoiding all the trouble altogether and just hiring an experienced professional pet sitter.
Tips #3 Make sure your pet is in good condition
Condition here concerns every aspect of your pet: physical, mental, and emotional. Get a check up at the veterinarian at least a week before your wedding day and make sure you bring all their favorite toys and treats along to your wedding to keep them behaving properly. Another way is by taking your pet to your wedding venue few times, when possible, in advance, to make them familiar with the place.
Tips #4 If possible, held an outdoor wedding
Throwing an alfresco wedding is a great idea when you want to involve your pet, because some indoor venues might not even let you have them around the area. Having your wedding out in the open air would be a great thing for your pet, as a spacious venue gives them a spot to play around in.
Tips #5 Order their outfits in advance
Although this sounds easy as you can simply buy a ready-made pet's outfit, it's still better to do it way in advance. Who knows, the design you want might suddenly be out of stock and getting one custom-made will require a lot more time. By ordering your pet's outfit in advance, you can also ensure that your pet is completely comfortable wearing it.
How to make sure your venue is pet-friendly
This might go without saying, but the first thing you should do when bringing your pets along to your actual wedding is making sure that they're allowed to be there. As we said above, outdoor venues are more like to allow pets, but it never hurts to ask. To make sure you won't encounter any venue-related problems, ask them these specific questions.
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Ways to involve your pet in your wedding
Now that you've gone through all the basics, here comes the exciting part. We've browsed through some amazing pre-wedding and wedding photo shoots, and found these irresistibly adorable ideas for taking pictures with your fluffy best friends and making the best memories with them. A little heads-up, you might find yourself wanting to bring these cuties along for your own photo shoot.
Firstly, here is some pre-wedding and wedding photo shoots ideas involving your pets.
Photography: Camio Pictures
Photography: Jacky Suharto Photography & Videography
Photography: Paper Cranes Productions
Photography: Clayton Austin
Photography: Lindsay Midden
Photography: PICTUREHOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY
Photography: Flawless Pictures
Secondly, how to involve them in your invitation or save the dates.
Lastly, make them as a part of your big day.
Dos and don'ts of including your pets in the wedding
At this point, you might already be quite determined to have your beloved pet dog, cat, or even pony, take part in one of the biggest moment of your life, your wedding. After you've made sure that all the matters above have been taken care of, consider these dos and don'ts before the big day.
Do: Make sure your pets are well-trained
Pets, if not trained well, can show a little wild side when it dealing with crowds, especially strangers. They can experience stress or even get overly-excited, so make sure you train your pets well so that they can behave and get along with your guests.
Don't: Let your pets waste around your wedding site (or anywhere, really)
It's always risky to have pets in your wedding because they might end up making your venue dirty, and it will be a mood killer. However, you can always train them to waste only at particular spots and let them sit pretty on your wedding area.
Do: Know exactly what you want them to do in advance
If you clearly know what your pet should do in your wedding early, you can train them more. This way, you will have a more proper and well-trained pet in your wedding.
Don't: Forget to tell the key persons
When dealing with anything wedding-related, we always suggest discussing it with your wedding planner first before making any major decisions on your own. If you've reached an agreement, tell your family, relatives, and also your bridesmaids and groomsmen just to give them a heads-up.
Do: Make sure your pets get plenty of exercise beforehand
No matter how well-behaved your pets are, they still need some exercise to take care of their excess energy. If you do this properly, your pets will be more calm and submissive on your wedding day.
Don't: Let your pets roam free
Remember, not everyone is a "pet person", especially if you have unique type of pet like a snake, iguana, or something more exotic. Your guests may not be up for the idea of having to share the event with your pet.
Do: Put someone trustworthy in charge of your pets
Make sure you have someone who knows your pet well, and isn't a key player in your wedding day. They should be able to keep the pets quiet and comfortable, pick up any mess as needed, and get the pets where they needs to be at the right time. At last, this person should never leave the pet alone.
Don't: Dress your pets in fussy, overly-adorned, or uncomfortable outfits
You might be tempted to put your canine in a cute little tux, but remember how that would make them feel in an outdoor wedding party in the summer. There's nothing worse than dressing them excessively on this big day and costing them their comfort.
Do: Make sure you get the permission from the venue
Most venues have a strict "no pets allowed" rule, so before you even start planning, you should always ask your venue first. Even if your venue said pets are allowed, make sure you get a written permit to avoid any extra charges afterwards.
Don't: Simply bring them without notice
If you're planning to have a very laid-back, pet-friendly wedding, where you actually allow your guest to bring their pets along, you have to do some thorough research about this matter. Limit the number of pets allowed by giving permission to certain guests you know well and asking them to make sure that their pets will be taken care of.