For many couples, pets play an integral part in their relationships – so it makes sense to include your furry friends on the most important day of your life!
Incorporating pets into your wedding can make your special day feel even more memorable, personal, and unique. Whether you want them to play a starring role in your ceremony or simply be celebrated from afar, there are countless ways to honor your fur baby.
From signature drinks to custom cake toppers, read on as we share 10 creative ways to include pets in your wedding – plus, some essential tips for a smooth, stress-free experience.
Include Them In Your Engagement Shoot
Before the big day comes around, consider including your pets in your engagement photo shoot. Not only will the photos become beautiful keepsakes, but the experience will also help your pet get more comfortable in front of the camera – particularly if they’ll be joining you on the day.
For best results, choose a location that your pet is already familiar with such as your local park, beach or very own home. Choosing a photographer who has experience working with pets would also be a bonus.
Have Them Walk You Down The Aisle
One of the most heartwarming ways to involve your pet in your wedding day is to have them walk you down the aisle! Of course, this idea works best for dogs – but it can also be adapted for other animals, too.
To pull this off seamlessly, it’s a good idea to assign someone to be responsible for your pet during the remainder of your ceremony. It’s also important to note this idea is only suitable for pets who have a calm temperament and don’t mind being the center of attention. If your fur baby is on the shy side, you may want to involve them in a different, less stimulating way!
Mention Them in Your Vows
Incorporating your pets into your wedding ceremony doesn’t always require their physical presence – you can also honor them with a heartfelt mention during your vows. Share a memorable story or funny anecdote about your pet, and touch on the positive impact they’ve had on your relationship.
You can also give them a special shout-out at your wedding reception, or even raise a toast in their honor.
Dress Them Up in Wedding Attire
Let’s be honest – pets in wedding attire are undeniably adorable! Whether it’s a dapper bow tie, a cute tutu, or a floral garland, dressing up your pets will create some memorable photo opportunities. Just be sure to keep your pet’s comfort in mind, and choose an outfit that won’t restrict their movement or cause them to overheat.
Create a Signature Cocktail
If your pet isn’t comfortable with the hustle and bustle of a wedding ceremony, why not celebrate them with a signature cocktail at your reception? Come up with a clever name that reflects your pet, and pay tribute to your furry friend with a customized drink. For extra cuteness, create a personalized sign with an illustration or photo of your pet to sit at the bar.
Design a Custom Cake Topper
Another subtle yet meaningful way to include your pet in your wedding celebration is by creating a custom cake topper that resembles them! Guests will appreciate the personal touch, and it can also double as a special memento you can keep long after the wedding.
Create a Cardboard Cutout
For couples whose pets can’t attend the wedding due to logistics or temperament, one creative solution is to create a life-sized cardboard cutout! These cutouts can inject a sense of humor into your wedding reception, allowing your guests to take funny photos with your fur baby. Have them sit at the bridal table, take center stage at your photo booth, and even join you on the dance floor!
Make a Charity Donation in Their Honor
If your pet is no longer with you or isn’t able to attend your wedding, consider honoring them with a donation to an animal shelter, rescue organization, or wildlife conservation group. This sweet gesture can also double as a wedding favor for your guests. Simply make an announcement at your reception letting guests know you’ve made a donation in their honor to celebrate your beloved pet.
Similarly, you can also request your guests make a charity donation in your pet’s honor, in lieu of a wedding gift. Simply outline your request on your wedding website with a link to your preferred charity.
Read our guide on gift registry wording ideas (including charity donations) here!
Add Illustration to Your Stationery
Your stationery details are another opportunity to incorporate your furry friend. Have an artist create a custom illustration of your pet, and feature this in your wedding day stationery and signage. Think table numbers, napkins, and even cocktail stirrers!
Add Their Photos to Your Wedding Website
Why not create a dedicated section on your wedding website to share a few adorable snaps of your pets? You can even introduce them to your guests with some anecdotes and funny memories, just like you would write your wedding party bios.
Not only will this add a personal touch to your wedding website, it also allows your guests to get to know your furry family members – especially if they’ll be joining you on the day.
Tips for Including Your Pets in Your Wedding
Incorporating your pets into your wedding day can be a wonderful experience, but it may also present some additional challenges!
With this in mind, here are some essential tips to ensure a smooth and successful pet-friendly wedding:
Check Your Venue is Pet-Friendly
First things first, you’ll need to confirm your venue is actually going to be suitable for your furry friends. Not all wedding venues are pet-friendly, so it’s crucial to discuss your plans with the venue coordinator in advance.
You’ll also want to ensure they have pet-friendly amenities, such as designated spaces for pets to relieve themselves, or fences around restricted areas.
Take Them To Your Venue Before The Day
Before the wedding, it’s a good idea to visit the venue a few times with your pet to familiarize them with the surroundings. Walk them around the ceremony and reception spaces so they can get comfortable with the environment, helping to reduce stress and anxiety on the day.
Hire a Pet-Sitter
On your wedding day, you’ll have a lot on your plate, and it may not be feasible to personally attend to your pet’s needs. With this in mind, consider hiring a professional pet sitter to take care of your pet during the celebration. This will ensure your pet is fed, comfortable, and happy throughout the day – without having to burden a family member or worry about it yourself.
Pack the Essentials
When creating your wedding day packing list, don’t forget about your furry friend! You’ll want to make sure you include food, water, medication, and anything else your pet will require throughout the day. Make sure you stash their essentials somewhere safe and easily accessible at the venue.
Create a Pet Comfort Zone
If you think your pet may be overwhelmed by the festivities, designate a quiet, secure area they can retreat to. This “comfort zone” should include food, water, and a comfortable place for your pet to rest. Make sure your pet is introduced to this area before the wedding so they recognize it as a safe space.
Inform Your Photographer
Don’t forget to let your wedding photographer know in advance about your plans to include your pet at your wedding, especially if you want them to feature in your photos. This allows your photographer to make suitable preparations and capture the best moments with your furry friend!
Practice Makes Perfect
If you’re planning to involve your pet in specific aspects of the ceremony (such as walking you down the aisle), be sure to practice with them in the weeks leading up to the wedding. Consistent and gentle training will help them feel more comfortable and confident knowing exactly what to expect on the big day.
Personalize Your Wedding
Incorporating your pets into your wedding day is not only a beautiful way to honor their role in your relationship, but also adds a totally unique touch to your celebration! Looking for more ways to customize your special day? Read 14 of our favorite ways to personalize your wedding right here!