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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wedding Ideas: Including your pet in the wedding day!

So, you logged onto the wedding blog today and weren’t expecting this double dose of canine cuteness, were you? Today we’re discussing something that is coming up more and more with couples– including your dog in your wedding ceremony.

With all the wrangling that goes into making sure the tiny tots who serve as flower girls or ring bearers make it down the aisle, why not consider including Fido in the wedding party? To those of us who consider our pets to be part of the family, this only seems natural! If you are planning to have your dog walk down the aisle, here are some things you might want to know in order to have a pet-friendly ceremony:

First things first, ensure that the church, hotel, or other venue that you are using for your ceremony allows pets on the premises. They may have a strict no-pooch policy or you could be required to place a non-refundable deposit to cover the cost of cleanup of any “accidents” (this practice is most common with hotel chains).

Next, practice makes perfect! If you haven’t already taken them, consider enrolling in obedience classes to learn the basic commands for sit, stay, and heel. This will benefit you beyond the wedding, but it will also teach your pup good manners when it comes to walking down the aisle. Socialization is important, too. Only you can gage how well your dog does with groups of people and receiving a lot of attention.

Assign a handler to your dog. This person should be in charge of not only escorting them down the aisle, but also making sure they have been walked before hand (this will get a lot of their energy out as well as give them a chance to use the potty) and are provided with water afterwards. Make sure you have a plan for what to do with your dog after the ceremony. Remember, you will likely be moving on to family photos and the reception and your pet will need a safe and comfy place to go, as well.

If you’re planning to make your dog the honorary ring bearer, do not allow them to carry the actual rings (most brides I’ve seen have sewn a small ring pillow to the collar on larger dogs or attached a lightweight pouch for smaller dogs). The last thing you want is for them to get lost, chewed up, or swallowed.

Inform your guests! Put this information on your wedding website as a warning to anyone with allergies so that they can plan accordingly.

Prepare your photographer to capture your pet in action. It'll help your photographer prep for those unplanned moments, like when your dog leaps up to kiss you during the vows. Your photographer can also help you brainstorm fun photo ideas with your pets for after the ceremony.

If you keep these suggestions in mind and your dog will be a comfortable, obedient, and treasured guest at your wedding.

Dogs Aren’t the Only Pets You Can Include!

Love your horse? Ride into the ceremony on her.

Bring your bunny or cat for some pretty bridal portraits.

If you have questions on this or any other wedding related topic, please post for me here on the blog. Also become a fan on Facebook (search: Magnifique Boutique)

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