Your pet is there for you and your significant other through thick and thin so making them part of your special day is only normal. Not to mention that when your guests see your cute dog wearing a bow tie, there will be an audible "aww" in the room.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to include your four-legged best friend in both the ceremony and the reception. Your venue doesn't allow pets? No problem. We've got a solution for that as well.
We talked to three wedding planners and got their best and most creative ideas on how to make sure your pet is with you, either in person or in spirit, when you say "I do."
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1. The Stationery
Seriously, what better way to make your wedding stationery unique and more personal than to customize it with a photo or illustration of your pet?
"For a recent save-the-date card, a photo of the couple’s beloved cat, Gus, was featured on the custom postage stamps and inside the envelope liner," says longtime New York-based event designer Lindsay Landman. "This way they could be whimsical and fun on the envelope by including their pet, but then still have the beautiful, more elegant card for guests to keep and that represents their wedding style," she adds.
"It’s all about customizing these days so some couples have made custom-inspired cartoons or monograms to go on their invitations, place cards and menu cards," says Brit Bertino.
2. The Ceremony
First things first: If you'd like your dog to walk down the aisle with you, make sure they are dressed for the part. Then, the options are endless.
"I have seen couples include them as a sign-holder, a ring bearer, flower girl, an escort, and the latest trends as the bridal bouquet," adds Bertino. "If they are really good and well behaved, they can actually stand at the altar with the two of you as you exchange your vows."
Just have a designated pet sitter whose only job is to take care of your pet on your wedding day, Landman suggests. "The bride, groom, and immediate family should not plan to be responsible for the pet. Assign a more distant relative or friend to work on getting the pet dressed, dealing with 'bathroom breaks' and monitoring behavior."
3. The Cocktails
If there's a strict no-pets policy at your reception venue, you could always include them by naming a specialty cocktail after them, suggests Miranda Tassi of the Peridot Collective.
"Last year, one of our couples wanted to have their dog acknowledged at the wedding, so we created a signature cocktail named after her and printed the name (The Luna) and recipe on the cocktail napkins that guests were handed when they chose the drink. It was a great way to allow all of the guests to really notice both the personalization and the dog," adds Landman.
She also remembers a couple that had a sugar piece that resembled their puppy placed on the base of their wedding cake. Aw!
4. The Registry
Nowadays some couples choose not to have a traditional registry and instead they suggest donating a certain amount of money to a charity of their choice. Bertino says that this is also a great, albeit indirect, way to include your pet in your most special day.
"I am a supporter of the Nor Cal French Bulldog Rescue non-profit group and the day that I get married in lieu of gifts and wedding favors, I would donate funds to the French Bulldog Rescue and let my guests know about the donations going to the rescue," she adds.