Should Your Pet be in Your Wedding?

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Wedding petTwenty years ago this would have sounded stupid, but these days it is becoming increasingly common for couples to bring a pet to their wedding!  Ok, I lied – even today it sounds stupid, but the trend is growing nonetheless.  There are several reasons why people might choose to do this…and plenty of pitfalls as well.  But the bottom line is that you must first ask yourself; is it ok for my pet to attend my wedding?

The answer is that yes, it is ok for your pet to be at the wedding.  Most of your wedding guests will get a kick out of this, especially if your pet has some sort of role in the wedding like being the ring bearer.  If you are even considering this, then you clearly have a very strong bond with your pet – as if he or she is a member of the family.  And as with any close family member, you’ll want them to be able to be there during your big day.  Plus, even if some of your guests view this decision as taboo, it doesn’t matter – it’s your big day, and therefore you should be able to do whatever you want!

Possible Pet Pitfalls

Of course, there are a few pitfalls of having your pet at the wedding.  One is that animals can be unpredictable around crowds and/or loud music.  Some dogs in particular might get “happy feet” which can lead to bad pet behavior.  So you must be absolutely sure that your pet will be able to handle all the excitement.  Additionally, having a pet at the wedding will undoubtedly irk a small percentage of your guests – although I say “who cares,” it’s still worth considering.  You should also make sure that none of your guests are allergic to animals.

Tips for Having a Pet at the Wedding

Obviously the first thing you must do is to make sure the venue is pet-friendly.  It goes without saying that not all wedding venues will allow this, so as you are shopping around, ask the question and remove the non-pet-friendly venues from consideration.  Never simply show up unannounced at the venue with your pet on the wedding day.  This will likely cause problems.

It’s also a good idea to do a bit of a dry run with your pet to see how he/she reacts.  Take the pet to a crowded and loud venue, park or party and make sure he/she can handle the excitement.  If your pet seems receptive to the situation, you’re good to go.  If on the other hand your pet growls at everything that moves, runs away, or hides under a car, you might need to rethink the idea!

You should also assign a “pet keeper” to be in charge of your pet during the key points of the day.  This person should obviously be someone you trust – like the best man, mother of the bride, or even the grandmother of the bride.  Arm this person with lots of treats so he or she can reward the pet as needed.  Instruct the keeper to make sure that the pet has access to food and water as required.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to use the wedding invitations to communicate the fact that your pet will be in attendance.  The bottom line here is that you want to set the expectation so no one is shocked when they arrive.


In the final analysis, if your pet is like a close family member and you really want him or her to share in your big day, then by all means bring your pet to your wedding.  Just make sure you avoid the possible pitfalls, and make sure the venue and the pet itself is receptive to the idea.  Good luck!

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