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Including Pets in Weddings and Life Events

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border collie balancing a wedding ring on her nose

Our pets play significant roles in our lives—they are roommates, running buddies, hiking partners, companions, and, above all, best friends. Throughout the time that we are blessed to have our pets, chances are, they will be with us through some major milestones.

Including Pets in Weddings

Even before you are married, pets can already play a role in this happy occasion by being involved with your engagement. However, if you think your four-legged friend may be a little too energetic or unpredictable to be a part of the big ask itself, they could always join in later for engagement photos.

Talk with your photographer about including your pet, and they can help brainstorm some fun and creative ideas. To help your photoshoot go off without a hitch, invite a friend who can take your pet off your hands whenever they are not needed for photos.

You can also consider including your pet in your engagement announcement—a pet engagement announcement, if you will. This can be a fun way to get them involved from the get-go, and it’s a nice compromise if you would like your pet involved but don’t think they are quite ready to be a part of the actual wedding ceremony. If you include your pet in your engagement photos, those could be used for your big announcement. Some pet parents have also done photos with their engagement ring on their pet’s paw.

Ways To Incorporate Your Dog in Your Wedding

Having your dog(s) be a part of your big day is a no-brainer for some pet parents. Though that decision may be easy to make, you and your to-be spouse will need to brainstorm which role you’d like your dog to have during your ceremony.

If you previously had your dog before you even began your relationship, then you could consider having them be one of the bridesmaids or groomsmen. They can be dressed up with a little bow tie or ribbon on their collar and walk down the aisle with the other wedding party members.

However, if you and your partner adopted your dog together, you may want them to have a more mutual role. An option could include being the ring bearer. That said, before trusting the safe transport of your wedding bands with your four-legged pal, consider whether your dog is up for this role. Though they may only have the rings on them for a short while, not every canine is quite ready for the responsibility.

Another option is that your best pal can accompany the flower girl(s). You can accessorize them with a floral collar and leash. This is also a great choice if you don’t want your pup to stay at the front for the whole ceremony. After their turn walking down the aisle, they can sit with a trusted friend in the audience.

Suppose your canine is a little too rambunctious to be a part of the wedding party but too nervous around groups of people to sit through the ceremony. In that case there’s another wonderful option to consider—wedding photos. Who doesn’t love dogs in wedding pictures?

Before inviting your dog to be a member of the wedding party, you may want to ask each of your bridesmaids and groomsmen if anyone has a dog allergy. You don’t want a bunch of sneezing attendants during your ceremony!

How To Host a Dog Wedding

If having your dog present at your ceremony is not the best option for you and your pup, there are still many ways to have a dog-themed wedding, or at least include dog elements. For instance, you can have dog-themed centerpieces on your reception tables or a cake topper with a dog.

You can even include customized items with your dog’s face. These can be anything your imagination could think of, including cookies with an edible photo, chocolates with specialized wrappings, or party favors that can have a sticker with your pup’s face.

Try including dog paw decorations or naming a cocktail at the reception after your canine friend if you’d prefer more subtle elements. For the bride, you can have custom jewelry with your pup’s name or face etched into it, and for the groom, you can have your socks or pocket square customized with your dog’s face.

What To Do With Your Dog on Your Wedding Day

It’s no secret that your wedding day can be rather busy and hectic, but your dog will still want to stick to their schedule. While you and your partner will most likely not have time to watch after your dog on your wedding day, there are a few options of what you can do with your pal on your big day.

  • Board your dog. This can be a great option, particularly if you will immediately be heading on your honeymoon after your wedding. Plus, this option would allow you to drop your dog off the day before your wedding if you don’t want to worry about that task the day of your ceremony.
  • Hire a professional. There are many dog-sitting services now available. If all your closest friends and family members, who you’d typically have watch your pet, will be at your ceremony, your best option could be to hire someone for that afternoon.
  • Ask a friend or family member. If your home, or close acquaintance’s home, is near your ceremony and reception location, this could be an ideal option. You can rest assured that your dog will be with a responsible and trusted person while you are busy throughout the day. Plus, your friend can check in on your dog periodically. This may also be a more budget-friendly option.

When you are busy planning your wedding, making plans for your dog may not be at the top of your to-do list, but don’t wait too long to create a plan for your pup.

How To Include Your Cat in Wedding Ceremony Elements

Since your cat may not be able to be physically present at your wedding ceremony, there are many other fun ways to include them, even if it’s just in spirit. One great way to keep your cat with you throughout your wedding day is to get customized jewelry, socks, or pocket squares with your cat’s face on them. If you are wearing sneakers instead of heels or dress shoes, you can even get those customized as well.

Another fun but subtle item is to include your cat’s photo on the seating chart, guest book, or somewhere on the table centerpieces. Depending upon your feline friend’s personality, you may also find it fitting to draw inspiration from your cat for custom cocktails or specialty desserts.

gray cat resting head on blue baby shoes

Including Pets in Pregnancy Announcements

Apart from the wedding day, one of the other most important life events for couples is having a baby. Adding another member to your family is major news, so it only makes sense that you’d want your four-legged family member to be a part of the big announcement.

Baby Announcement Ideas With Dogs

Here are three fun ways to include your fur baby in the big announcement that you’ll be welcoming a baby baby.

  1. Have them pose with a sign.
    Whether you buy a cute sign from the store, use a chalkboard, or make a sign, having your dog sit or lay down next to it can be a fun idea. Some pet parents will even include the sex of the baby, the due date, or an ultrasound photo on the sign.
  1. Bring your dog to the maternity photoshoot.
    If your dog joined you for your engagement or wedding photoshoot, then they will be seasoned pros. This can be a fantastic way to include multiple dogs and may work better for some pups that’d rather be outside than sitting still inside for a photo.
  1. Get them some big sister or big brother apparel.
    A new bandana or shirt with the title of their new sibling status can be an adorable way to announce your big news.

It can be an amazing experience watching your dog grow up with your baby. Why not begin capturing those memories as early as possible?

Pregnancy Announcement With Cats 

If you happen to have a feline family member, it can be fun to include them in your pregnancy announcement too. Three options to consider:

  1. Tie the announcement in with a holiday.
    Depending upon which holiday is near when you are ready to announce your big news, you can make your announcement themed while still including your cat. The fun part about this option is that it allows you to be extra creative with ideas.
  1. Pose them with a baby accessory.
    A simpler but just as adorable announcement option is to have your cat pose with a baby accessory for a photo. This accessory or baby item can include baby shoes, a onesie, or a bib.
  1. Have them join your photo.
    If you were already planning a maternity photoshoot, and your feline family member isn’t the biggest fan of sitting still for a photo, this may be an ideal option—instead of posing them, you can just hold your cat. You can talk with your photographer about including your cat for a few photos.

You know your cat best, so if you’d like them included in your pregnancy announcement, first consider their personality and temperament and which option may work best.

Do you ever wonder what’s going on inside your cat’s mind or your dog’s mind? Can they pick up on our emotions during significant life events?

Other Life Events and Milestones To Share With Your Pet

Besides weddings and pregnancy announcements, your pet can be a part of many other significant milestones throughout your life. Other life events include:

  • Graduation. Include your pet in your commemorative photos, whether it’s for high school, college, or trade school graduation.
  • Big purchases. Buying a new car or house or moving to a new apartment are all significant life events, plus these are all important decisions that can affect your pet’s life as well. Don’t forget to include your dog or cat in your first photo with your new home, or take a video as you two go for your first ride in your new car.
  • First-Day Photos. Just like your first-day-of-school photos from elementary, middle, and high school, why not continue this fun tradition as an adult? Whether you are attending college or starting a new job, take your ‘first-day’ photo with your pet by your side.
  • Monthly Updates. These are an especially fun option if you adopt a puppy or kitten from a young age. We all know that they grow up so quickly, so keep track by taking a photo together weekly or monthly.
  • Pet-Friendly Vacations. If you’re a fan of weekend getaways or your family takes an annual trip, try looking into some pet-friendly vacation options.
  • Birthdays. Whether it’s your birthday or your pet’s, it can be fun to celebrate together. Your dog can join you at a pet-friendly restaurant for your birthday, and your cat can join you for a fun photoshoot. On your pet’s birthday, spoil them with a new toy and a pet-safe birthday treat.

With pets being such an important part of our lives, it’s nearly a no-brainer for pet parents to want to include their best buds in all their major life events. Keep in mind, though. You don’t need a milestone to have a reason to celebrate life with your pet.

The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.


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