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Monday, June 3, 2013

How to include your pet in your wedding

Tis the season for weddings and it is no surprise that quite a few couples decide to include their pets in their weddings.  Pets are part of our families and there are many ways you can include them in your upcoming wedding.

As a pet sitter one of the services I offer is a Pet Taxi.  We have been hired in the past to pick dogs up after wedding ceremonies and take the pets home.  I always love doing this particular service because it is so cool to see these dogs all dressed up and part of the ceremony.

If you plan on including your pet in your upcoming wedding there are a few things you should think about first.  Below are some tips on including your pet:

Consider your pets personality:
  • A pet can be a guest of honor and simply stand with the wedding party during the ceremony, or your pet can have a specific role (ring bearer or flower girl are common roles) in the ceremony. But before giving your pet a starring role, think about whether this will be an enjoyable experience for him. Will your pet feel comfortable around your guests? Is he obedient and well behaved? There’s no guarantee that your pet will behave exactly how you want him to on the day of the wedding. Even the most outgoing and friendly pet can be overwhelmed by a crowd of guests, according to NAPPS.  
  • To make sure that your pet has enough time to develop a level of comfort around your guests, consider hiring a pet sitter, who will act as your pet's guide. And if your pet is especially skittish, consider having someone carry him or letting him ride in a wagon. And if he’s overly affectionate or easily distracted, be sure to use a short leash.
Make Sure That Pets are Allowed in Your Ceremony Facility:
  • With everything else on your to-do list, it’s easy to forget this simple—yet important—step. You don’t want to show up on the day of your wedding, four-legged ring-bearer in tow, only to be told that he needs to get off the property.
  • Can’t bring your pet? You can still include them in the wedding! Include your pet in your portraits after the ceremony.
Don’t Jeopardize Safety for Style:
  • Planning on dressing them up? Make sure the outfit fits properly and doesn’t create any discomfort for your pet. Keep the accessories simple—a bow tie or flowers attached to the collar or leash is a fun way to dress them up. Ensure that any accessories won’t come loose and pose a choking hazard to your pet. Be sure to check if any flowers or plants being used at your wedding are toxic to your pet.
Inform Your Guests:
  • Make sure you inform your guests that your pets are going to be part of the ceremony.  It's no fun for your guests to arrive and find out there are dogs or horses or other animals part of the ceremony and they may suffer from allergies or even fear of certain animals.
Notify Your Photographer:
  • 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.
Hire a Pet Sitter:
  • You have enough to worry about on the day of your wedding—hire a pet sitter to be responsible for bringing your pet to the ceremony, taking him home after, or watching him during the reception. That way, you won't need to worry about who’s feeding the dog (or keeping him away from the chocolate).
If you follow the above steps, including your pet in your wedding can be fun for you and for everyone who attends.  

We would like to congratulate all couples on their upcoming weddings this year and we hope that they do include their pets.   

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