Your wedding is an important event, one that is typically shared with your friends and family. Many people consider pets to be members of their family (we sure do!) and want to include them in this beautiful, life-changing celebration. Fortunately for pet parents, there are many ways in which a variety of different pets with different personalities can contribute to your big day.
There are many different roles that your pet can play at your wedding. Still, a few things should be taken into account when deciding which role will best suit your particular pet. The top three things to consider are your pet’s personality, physical capabilities, and the venue that you choose for your nuptials.
Assess Your Pet’s Personality
Your pet’s personality and tolerance for novel situations, as well as their physical limitations, are key factors to take into account when choosing how to include your pet in the ceremony.
Some companion animals may be comfortable playing a central role or interacting with crowds. Still, others may become anxious or overstimulated by the strange smells, sounds, and sights, be untrained, or may have physical limitations that make this kind of participation a challenge for them.
You want this day to be an opportunity for your pet to celebrate as well, so set them up for success by giving them a role suited to their individual temperament.
Including Pets Front and Center
Composed, well-trained animals who are comfortable with larger groups of people may enjoy playing central roles in the wedding. Once at the end of the aisle, they can either sit quietly at your side or be handed off to a trusted friend, family member, or pet sitter to sit in the front row.
Options for pets that have the training and temperament to be in the spotlight could include:
- Carrying the flower girl’s basket of flower petals
- Walking down the aisle with the bride, groom, or the attendants
- Acting as the ringbearer, with the rings securely tied around the dog’s collar or harness.
- Standing with the newly married couple during the reception line
Animals that are typically friendly with guests, but too anxious to deal with larger crowds or fanfare, may prefer roles that are slightly behind the scenes.
While few cats are comfortable enough in crowds or patient enough to handle the previously mentioned roles, they may find one of these ideas to be more their style.
- Set up a photo booth for guests with your pet
- Have your pet sit at the entrance with the sign to greet guests
- Have a special pet-safe cake for them to enjoy at the reception
- Attach a GoPro type camera to your pet using a harness to interview guests as they leave
Out of Sight But Not Out of Mind
Not all of our pets are fond of other people, and some animals might be uncomfortable around so much excitement, while others may not be able to attend the event due to physical difficulties.
While these pets may be happier left at home for the big event, they can still be included in the festivities. Ideas for incorporating reticent pets or pets with other limitations may include:
- Save the date or wedding invitations featuring your pet
- Including your pet in your personal wedding photos
- A specialized wedding topper that features your pet
- Featuring images of your pet on decorations like napkins, place cards, or aisle markers
(No matter which role your dog will be taking in the ceremony, they will likely need a good grooming before their big performance. Save yourself a little trouble and have Space Coast Pet Services bring them to their appointment using our Pet Taxi service).
Choosing a Pet-Friendly Venue in Brevard County
Another point to consider when choosing to include your adored animal at your wedding is the venue. Pet parents who want their pets fully involved in the proceedings will need to be sure the site that they pick is pet-friendly. Many indoor bridal venues around the Space Coast are willing to allow a pet or two. Still, it’s best to check well in advance so that there are no unexpected surprises on your big day.
Another way to avoid having a problem on the day of your wedding is by choosing to have the wedding outdoors. There are many stunning outdoor venues for weddings available along Brevard County’s Space Coast, including barns, backyards, gardens (check out Rockledge Gardens), and of course, beaches.
Keep in mind, not all of our animal companions have the attention span to sit quietly through a long ceremony, and some pets may have physical limitations that keep them from attending the entire service. These dogs may need an escort home or to a nearby doggie daycare or other safe, enjoyable space where they can wait for a little while.
You can ensure that none of your guests miss any of the nuptials by coordinating with a company like Space Coast Pet Services to either transport the animals to a safe space or take them on a nice long walk either during or after the wedding.
No matter what your pet’s personality, physical limitations, or even species, they are cherished friends and family members who add joy to your life. There are many reasons to share the celebration of your union with your pets, and just as many creative ways to include them in your momentous day.
“I once knew a woman who liked to imagine love in the guise of a sturdy dog, one that would always chase down the stick after it was thrown and return with his ears flopping around happily. Completely loyal, completely unconditional. And I laughed at her, because even I knew that love is not like that. Love is a delicate thing that needs to be cosseted and protected. Love is not robust and love is not unyeilding. Love can crumble under a few harsh words, or be tossed away with a handful of careless actions. Love isn’t a steadfast dog at all; love is more like a pygmy mouse lemur. Yes, that’s exactly what love is: a tiny, jittery primate with eyes that are permanently peeled open in fear.”
~ Andrew Davidson, The Gargoyle
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, in 2016 she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, bonded, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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