Make sure that your four-legged best friend can play a part in your big day…
Your wedding day can be one of the most incredibly nerve-wracking experience and having your pet by your side might make all the difference as you deal with missing flower girls, late caterers and inevitable weather situations. But it is important that you make sure they are comfortable being a part of it.
First consider their personality. Do they get anxious in crowds, nervously wee-ing in excitement? However much you may want them with you, it isn’t worth making them feel uncomfortable or scared. Instead, maybe consider having them there for your ‘getting-ready’ or include in a photo shoot before your big day. There’s plenty of ways to include them, without stressing them out.
If you think they will be happy sharing your day, then a good rule of thumb is to limit the time to two hours and have a nominated chaperone who they adore (and who is not part of the ceremony and who can take them on a lovely long walk before), so they can join in the fun without getting stressed and you can too. Note: Male dogs do tend to want to mark their territory, so distract them from the lovely looking pews and Auntie Ethel’s coat, with a discreetly hidden but all-encompassing treat as you walk down the aisle! Speaking of impending toileting disasters, it’s a good idea to equip said chaperone with an emergency carry pack for quick clean-ups.
Of course, this assumes that your venue is pet-friendly. It is worth checking just how pet-friendly they are and making all your suppliers aware so that they can plan ahead and make it as safe and friendly as possible. There’s no point having a photographer who is allergic!
Most importantly, if you want your four-legged BFF in your photos make sure your wedding photographer and/or videographer knows in advance so they can think of some creative ideas of how to get them involved. It is also worth getting your pet used to the camera beforehand give them a treat so they associate it with something positive and practice poses if you can.
But be treat conscious. Typically, a time for you to overindulge give guests a heads up that treating your pet with human food isn’t a good idea.
Having your pet at your wedding isn’t for everyone. Even if they will be fine, perhaps you don’t want the added stress of making sure that they will be ok on one of the biggest days of your life. Don’t feel bad. Find them something special to do, or book them in with a sitter who will spoil them rotten with long walks and even longer strokes. Maybe they could join you on your honeymoon instead?
First featured in The Cheshire Magazine, September 2021