Hounds Of Love
Are pets at weddings a disaster waiting to happen, or a match made in heaven? Paw-prints on the wedding dress, loud panting as the groom says his vows, and guests with appalling allergies: there are a few potential pitfalls to getting pets involved in your big day. And it’s not just dogs - I think we’ve all seen a ‘hilarious’ video of a bride on horseback being run away with, or even unceremoniously dumped on the floor. But with the right planning, there’s no reason why a beloved family pet shouldn’t be included in your wedding ceremony. A smart-looking pup can produce some totally adorable wedding photos, so long as he doesn’t upstage the bride! Here’s a fun(ish) fact: dogs have been pictured in portraits to represent love and fidelity for hundreds of years, and there’s still no better symbol of loyalty. And brides and grooms with service dogs often have a uniquely special relationship with their pet, who helps them with their everyday lives - they couldn’t possibly be excluded from such an important occasion.
Titian’s famous and beautiful Venus of Urbino depicts a newly-wed woman, symbolised by the wedding casket in the background and the dog curled by her feet. Who needs wedding photography when you’ve got a Renaissance painter on hand?!
So if you're thinking of having your pet pooch, cute kitty or gorgeous goldfish involved in your big day, here are a few crucial tips to get you thinking.
Tips for including animals in your wedding:
- Before you start planning, don’t forget to ensure that animals are actually allowed in your ceremony facility. If not, don’t despair! You can always include your pooch in engagement photos or your wedding shoot.
- Get in some practice. Even the best-behaved animal can be unnerved or overexcited by a big crowd or new location. Before your wedding day, take them to the venue so they can become familiar with it. If, as many couples do, you fancy having your pup trot down the aisle bearing the rings, you will want to be confident that they won’t be too distracted.
- For added cuteness and reassurance, have your pet join your flower girls or bridesmaids.
- Consider hiring a dog handler or give a wonderful, animal loving friend the job. With someone qualified and experienced to bring your dog to the ceremony, take care of him throughout, and make sure he’s kept fed, watered, and far away from the cake, your day will be made far less stressful.
- Lint rollers and instant stain remover pens will prepare you for the shed hair and muddy paws that come with even the bestgroomed pet.
- Make sure your guests, supliers, wedding party, and so forth are aware that there will be an animal at the wedding, so that anyone with allergies can plan ahead.
- Finally, don’t forget to make your dog - or any other pet - as well-groomed and handsome as possible! Keep it classy with a floral collar or a sweet bow-tie - but remember, YOU should be the centre of attention on the day. So don’t go overboard, and please, please, don’t try to stuff your cat in a tux for the occasion. It just won’t work out. We love this super cute, simple kerchief from Oh Squirrel .
Who needs a Bestman when you can have man’s best friend!
Written by Isobel Campbell