Paw in mar­riage

In­clud­ing Fido in spe­cial day? Con­sider fac­tors for pres­ence

The Republican Herald - - WEDDING GUIDE -

Pets are full-fledged mem­bers of many fam­i­lies and even, ap­par­ently, fam­i­lies-to-be. In its 2016 Amer­i­can Wed­ding Study, Brides magazine found that 8 per­cent of wed­ding cer­e­monies in­cluded pets. While the cou­ples of yes­ter­year might have left Fido at home, many of to­day’s cou­ples want their four-legged friends to be there on their big day.

Al­though no stud­ies to date have ex­am­ined which an­i­mals are most likely to make an ap­pear­ance at cou­ples’ nup­tials, it’s fair to as­sume that dogs, which tend to get out of the house more than most other types of pets, are the most com­mon furry brides­maids, grooms­men or ring bear­ers.

Be­fore in­clud­ing dogs in their wed­ding plans, cou­ples may want to con­sider a few fac­tors to en­sure ask­ing Fido to be there come the big day is what’s best for cou­ples, their guests and, of course, their beloved pooches:


Some venues do not al­low pets that are not doc­u­mented as­sis­tance an­i­mals on the premises. Con­firm a venue’s pet pol­icy be­fore pur­chas­ing any wed­ding day at­tire for your dog.

Cou­ples who are in­tent on in­clud­ing their pets in their wed­ding cer­e­monies should only con­sider pet­friendly fa­cil­i­ties, which may be hard to find. Cou­ples who plan to take a li­mou­sine to and from their wed­ding also should con­firm that the cars al­low pets be­fore book­ing.


No two dogs are the same. Some dogs might love peo­ple and at­ten­tion, while oth­ers might pre­fer one-on-one time

with their own­ers. Dogs that are so­cia­ble and un­ag­gres­sive may make per­fect ad­di­tions to wed­ding cer­e­monies, while an­i­mals that ex­hibit anx­i­ety around strangers or seem un­com­fort­able in noisy set­tings should be kept out of the cer­e­mony.


Dog own­ers also must con­sider their pets’ health when de­cid­ing whether or not to in­clude them in the wed­ding cer­e­mony. Cou­ples who bonded over a love of their dog may re­ally hope to in­clude their furry friend in the fes­tiv­i­ties, but should not do so at the ex­pense of the an­i­mal’s health.

Out­door wed­ding cer­e­monies un­der sunny skies may pro­duce po­ten­tially un­healthy con­di­tions for cer­tain breeds or older dogs. Dogs that have dif­fi­culty get­ting around may need a red wagon (and at­ten­dant) to make the rounds at the wed­ding.


Cou­ples will be busy on their wed­ding days, so they may need to ar­range for a care­taker to look af­ter their dog dur­ing and af­ter the cer­e­mony. Ask­ing a guest or guests to play this role may be ask­ing too much, as guests will no doubt want to cel­e­brate with­out hav­ing to take care of a dog.

A pro­fes­sional pet sit­ter might work, but that can be costly, as cou­ples must pay for the sit­ter and will likely need to pay for the sit­ter to have a seat and a meal dur­ing the re­cep­tion.

Dogs can make great ad­di­tions to wed­dings, but cou­ples must con­sider a host of fac­tors be­fore de­cid­ing to have Fido join them as they tie the knot.

Some cou­ples want to make their pets a part of their spe­cial day, but con­sider the an­i­mal’s tem­per­a­ment and your venue’s rules be­fore do­ing so.

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