We aren’t going to lie. We got a wee bit giddy when we saw this puppy love with the blushing beauty of a Hayley Paige knockout gown. It certainly got us thinking too! With more and more couples including pets in weddings, this gorgeous feature by Ella Farrell Weddings gave us one prime way to spur some ideas for you too. Trust us. You will be totally entertained with this fab gallery breaking down the top 15 ways to include your pet in your wedding. But first let’s give a shout out to a few key players like Vintage Charm Event Design, Market Floral Studio and of course For the Love of Paws for these fur babies. Of course, we had to ask the effervescent Miss Hayley Paige what her favorite way is for couples to include their pets. “Not all couples have flower girls and ring bearers,” she says. “I think it is particularly adorable when fur babies make a surprising cameo down the aisle fulfilling these roles. I’ve also seen incredible charming wedding photos where the dog or cat is centerstage in full support of their humans’ union.” Get ready for some doggy heaven you will fall head over heels for with this fun styled shoot.
Top 15 Ways to Include Your Pet in Your Wedding
Including pets in weddings has long been a trend we have been one-hundred-percent behind. Fur babies are most likely your best friend, your first child and one of the favorite members of the family all rolled into one unconditional love. A day this important should include all your loves – even the four-legged, fluffy or feathered kind. Do keep in mind, not all wedding venues allow pets – so we are covering more than one way to make them a special part of day when thinking about including pets in weddings.
1. Save the Date
Bring them along to your engagement photo sesh. You might end up with the perfect image to use as your “save the date” card. It’s a great option for pets who won’t be able to attend the ceremony. Image framing that first family portrait for the wall too.
2. Bridal Portrait
Some brides schedule a separate portrait shoot before the wedding ceremony. This creates another opportunity to your pet who might not make your nuptials. Puppies and other pets are a lot easier to manage for a few hours rather than a full wedding day – especially if you’re shooting outside. Here’s an added tip – have your florist incorporate flowers from your bouquet into a matching wreath or leash adornment like these adorable cuties.
3. Sign Bearer Another role for a relaxed pet is to hold a sign outside the ceremony or down the aisle. “Here comes the bride and groom” and “my humans are getting married” are popular choices for pets who strut their stuff down the aisle.
4. Ring Bearer or Flower Girl Escort
Little ring bearers or flower girls will have a much easier time walking down the aisle with an escort and help create some playfulness into your wedding day. For cuteness overload, dress your well-behaved pet in a matching tux, tutu, flower wreath, or ribbon leash in your wedding colors. Practice in advance, and appoint a member of the wedding party to step in with treats if necessary – and don’t forget to give them a potty break before taking to the aisle.
5. Recessional Escort
It can be hard for some pets to perform under the pressure of a ceremony. If you can’t imagine exchanging vows without them, have a handler waiting in the wings. Right after “you may kiss the bride,” the pup can run in to join your jog back down the aisle. Just think of how much more excitement a smiling dog will add to those happy pictures!
6. Bridal Suite Shoot
Another low-stress option. Have a friend or family member bring your pet during your getting ready moments with your besties. You can share in some fun and casual shots with your whole squad before and after you put on your dress. After all you already consider your pet your best friend, which basically makes them part of your tribe anyway.
7. Wedding Pictures
Even if your pet skips the ceremony, she can always join for post-ceremony pictures. A few snaps of her with her humans and the wedding party will ensure she’s included in memories of the big day. You might want to take this chance to get a solo shot with your pet. It will look so cute framed in your office or art studio!
8. Swizzle Sticks or Cocktail Napkins
Not all weddings are conducive for pets. If that’s the case, give your pooch a nod with stirrer sticks in the shape of your pet or personalized cocktail napkins. Creative tip: have the outline of your pet embossed with your new last name and the date underneath. It’s a subtle and classic way to show your love for a girl’s best friend.
9. Signature Cocktails
If you’re going to have a signature cocktail at your reception, consider naming it after your favorite pet. “Spike’s Sazerac,” or “Lucky’s Lemon Drop” has a nice ring to it. Frame names with the ingredients on each bar. If you want to get fancy, include a watercolor or sketch of your pet.
10. Place Cards and Table Numbers
Incorporate your pet into the table card design or the holder itself. Print black and white pictures of your pet and paint or print the table number overtop in gold (or one of your wedding colors). There are a lot of animal options for paperweights, photo holders, and place card holders. If you find one you like, you can always DIY by spray painting it in a metallic color, or one of your accent colors. Then pop the table number or name card into it. This will elevate the look of the table, while still paying homage to your special friend.
11. Cake Topper
Custom cake toppers are so in. Whether it’s a silhouette of you, the groom, plus your pup – or a caricature or your little family. You can select a topper that matches the look and feel of your wedding cake – and includes the last member of your family
12. Party Favors
Puppy chow, anyone? Send your guests home with a “doggie bag” of goodies after your reception. Go the extra mile with custom cookies in the shape of your pet. You can also order bags or paper containers with your pet’s face printed on them. Your guests will leave with a smile on their faces!
13. Reception Send-Off
When life settles down, it will be you, your husband, and your pet. Set the tone by leaving your reception arm in arm with your groom and your dog – or cat, or bunny, etc. This is the start of your new life together! And the pictures will be precious.
14. Custom Thank You Notes
Your venue might not be pet-friendly, but your pet is always a friendly face on thank you notes! Have custom cards printed with your pet in a starring role. With some advance planning, you could have them wear a “thank you” sign during the engagement photo shoot to use later for the stationary. It’s another way to add a personal touch to the end of your wedding celebration.
15. Make Your Lounge Area Paw-tastic
Some subtle or not so subtle props in the lounge area like throw pillows or even a photo booth with props can easily add some paw-tastic flair.
However you chose to include your pet in your special day, don’t forget that there is a lot going on for you and them. If in the end it just doesn’t work out you can always take a new family selfie as united parents with your own new “collars” for those ring fingers featuring your fur baby too.