As couples seek to infuse their weddings with personal touches and unique experiences, many are choosing to include their beloved pets in the celebration. Whether it’s a dog or a cat, pets bring an extra layer of joy and love to weddings. Is it an ingenious idea or a pain in the rear?

It’s important to carefully consider the logistics and practicalities involved, to ensure the best for you and your pet.

 dog at a wedding

Pet-Friendly Wedding Venues

Before deciding to include your pets in your wedding, it's crucial to ensure that your chosen a pet-friendly wedding venue. Not all wedding venues allow animals on the premises, particularly if it is an old or listing building, and those that do may have specific guidelines and restrictions in place. Speak with your wedding coordinator early in the planning process to confirm their pet policy and discuss any requirements or limitations that may apply.


Will your pet be calm at your wedding?

Consider your pet's temperament and comfort level in social settings. While some pets thrive in crowds and enjoy being the centre of attention, others may feel overwhelmed or anxious in unfamiliar environments. Take time to assess how your pet responds to new situations and determine whether they would be comfortable participating in the wedding festivities.

If your pet tends to be shy or easily stressed, it may be best to find alternative ways to incorporate them into the celebration that are less overwhelming. Perhaps a pre-wedding shoot with your pet? Or some venues allow pets to come along just for the wedding photos, and then be chaperoned away again.

 dog with bride and groom

Can a Dog Walk Down the Aisle?

Some dogs make great ring bearers and are comfortable and confident to walk down the aisle, while others may become anxious and panic or misbehave. It much depends on your pets temperament and how they handle crowds and unfamiliar situations.

Decide on the role you envision for your pet in the wedding ceremony or reception. Whether they'll serve as ring bearers, flower pets, or simply make a special appearance, it's essential to plan their involvement thoughtfully. Assign specific responsibilities to designated handlers who can oversee your pet's care and well-being throughout the event.

Make sure your pet is well-trained and comfortable with their assigned role and consider conducting a rehearsal to familiarize them with their duties and surroundings.

Pet Safety at Weddings

Prioritize your pet's safety and well-being during the wedding festivities. Ensure they are properly supervised at all times and have access to food, water, and a quiet space where they can retreat if they need a break from the excitement. Keep potential hazards such as toxic plants, candles, and electrical cords out of reach, and consider using a secure leash or harness to prevent your pet from wandering off or getting into mischief. Don’t forget about escape routes! If your venue has large gardens or grounds, don’t let them off the lead unless it’s an enclosed space and they have a good recall.


Communicate with Guests

Inform your guests in advance that pets will be present at the wedding, especially if any attendees have allergies or phobias related to animals. Consider including a note on your wedding invitations or website to notify guests of your pet-friendly celebration. Provide clear instructions and expectations regarding how guests should interact with your pet, such as refraining from feeding them table scraps or approaching them without permission.

 dog at outdoor wedding

Including pets in your wedding can add a special and memorable touch to your celebration, but it's essential to approach the decision thoughtfully and responsibly. By considering factors such as pet-friendly venues, temperament and comfort, roles and responsibilities, safety measures, and communication with guests, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Other Ways to Include Your Dog at Your Wedding

wedding stationery with dogs  custom pet portrait

If your dog is unable to come to your wedding, there’s lots of other ways to incorporate them into your special days – such as…