Can Your Pet Be In Your Wedding?
VT Pet Friendly Weddings – Animal Lovers Say, “Yes!”
Man’s Best Friend Can Be Man’s Best Man! Faithful Felines at Family Functions? A Horse is a Horse, unless of course, it’s a ring-bearer! Pets can make your wedding day the most memorable day of your life, and the lives of everyone in attendance. Ask us Vermont Pet Friendly Weddings or share your comments. To feature your Vermont wedding or pet friendly lodging, contact us.
Vermont Pet Friendly Weddings
Animal lovers are charmed by the idea of having pets participate in weddings. Many pet owners consider their pets to be family members, and that bond can be as strong as any human bond, even being compared to the bond between parent and child. So it goes without saying that pets should be permitted, and even encouraged, to participate in the wedding ceremony and celebration with their masters. But, how can you be sure your pet will behave appropriately? You can’t, which is why you must keep your sense of humor, hope for the best, and be prepared for the worst.
Dogs are, of course, the most likely pet to be included in a wedding, and usually serve as the best man or maid of honor. Horses are also a big hit at weddings, and can be used to escort the bride and groom to the service, as well as to stand with them as they exchange their vows. Cats are less predictable than other pets and can be extremely difficult to control in a crowd. But, that’s not to say a cat can’t be involved – just that you may want to limit that involvement to say, observer… Suffice to say that any pet can play a role in your big day, but you must be realistic about how much responsibility you bestow, and always have a backup plan…
For example, if you want your dog to be your best man, he should be trained to sit at the groom’s right side, and cannot be permitted to jump on guests or chase the train of the bride’s gown. A dog as maid of honor can also work, but you should not plan to hand her your bouquet when it comes time to exchange rings. A well-trained dog can also serve as usher and doorman, as long as your guests are equipped with an adequate supply of rewarding treats. A horse being led might make a good ring-bearer, if the ring is attached to a pillow that is attached to the saddle; or a rein could be looped through the ring and tied off… A cat should not be given any real responsibility, unless secured in a carrier or on a leash, as they tend to flee quickly when spooked or enticed.
Here are some basic guidelines to follow:
- Maintain a sensible attitude about your pet’s participation. The majority of aggressive pets will become excited or even agitated in a crowded and festive environment. Timid pets can be skittish and unpredictable when confronted with an unusual situation. Determine your pets demeanor and plan accordingly. If they shouldn’t be involved with the festivities, they could still participate as an observer and be included in a private photo sitting.
- Include your pet in all rehearsal activities so she can get a feel for what to expect. Keep in mind that your wedding attire may smell unusual and your appearance may be disguised in your pet’s eyes. If possible, wear your dress or tux at least once in your pet’s presence before wearing it at the ceremony.
- If your pet will have its own attire, let him wear it often enough beforehand that he is comfortable with the feel and restrictions it may impose. Observe how he acts in his outfit – does he gnaw at it, or try to take it off? You can always adjust the fit if necessary. See if he is able to rest at ease while dressed – that is a sure clue that he is psychologically prepared to wear the outfit in public.
- Your pet will be spoiled rotten by all your guests at the reception, so be alert and don’t let her overindulge on people-food. Keep in mind that every guest may offer a little tidbit to your pet, which when combined, adds up to quite a gourmet meal. Overindulgence of human cuisine could cause your pet to suffer an upset stomach, or much worse – a severe case of pancreatitis which will require an emergency visit to the vet.
- Assign someone to supervise your pet. The pet chaperone should be well-accustomed to pet care and obedience training, and must also know how to react and take charge if your pet misbehaves.
- Even the most well-mannered pet may have an accident and your pet chaperone must be prepared. Exercise your pet, giving him plenty of chances to relieve himself before the ceremony begins. And, while you can hope for the best, your pet chaperone must be prepared for the worst, having clean-up supplies on hand at all times.
Should you decide that your pet can’t be actively involved in your ceremony, they can still be included in the photographs and can highlight the reception in a variety of ways. You could have a bride and dog dance, a bride and groom horseback ditty, or a place setting at the head table for your mild-mannered kitty or pup… No matter how you include them, your pets will be happy to play even the smallest role in the biggest day of your life!