As huge animal lovers here at Moore and Co, one of the latest and greatest trends in the wedding industry has got to be one of our favorites…ever. We’re talking about integrating your adorable, furry, four-legged friends into your big day! Whether it be entrusting your pooch as the ring-bearer or simply taking pictures with him after your ceremony, we are in love with it all. We’ve scoured through all of our weddings and have come up with some of the cutest ways we’ve seen the pup (and other fuzzy friends!) incorporated. Oh and while we’re at it, let us help you keep your stress level down – we’ve got a few tips and tricks to make your day run smoothly with the little fur ball’s attendance.
Okay, this may seem obvious, but before having your dog walk down the aisle in front of 15o plus guests, make sure he is comfortable in crowds. How does he do at the local park? Does he get really excited at holiday dinners when there are tons of people in the house? We don’t want any happy pees down the aisle and we definitely don’t want Fido jumping on your gorgeous gown! If he gets anxious or overly active in crowds, we suggest either having someone walk him down the aisle who he trusts (the best man, maybe?) or saving his grand entrance for the post-ceremony pictures. Those photos will look adorable as the excitement of seeing mom and dad hits his face!
Alright, another one that might seem obvious, but may slip your mind on your big day when there are so many other fun things to think about: make sure your pup is fed, had plenty of water, and has gone to the bathroom. We’ve spent many-a-wedding in the extreme heat and we are no stranger to that scorching sun. If you and your guests are warm, your dog is, too. Make sure he has plenty of water before hand and has a full belly (we don’t want any “Feed me!” whining during your vows). And finally, have someone take him to the bathroom just before he makes his debut. I don’t think we even need to explain how awkward THAT would be.
Your fur baby made it down the aisle with no accidents, he sat patiently through your ceremony (looking adorable as ever in his puppy bow tie), and he’s seriously hamming it up in front of the camera. But what’s going to happen next? Is your pooch joining you for the reception? If so, is he going to roam around freely (and is the venue okay with that?) or is he going to be on a leash? These are all things we recommend thinking about pre-wedding day. If you can’t imagine having your reception without him there, we advise that you have someone whose job it is to keep an eye on him the entire night. And we do mean the entire night. Not only are you going to be busy dancing and mingling with guests, but most couples head to a hotel or private location afterwards. Make sure to have a plan for your dog! Another option might be less stressful for everyone involved – have a puppy sitter (maybe your dog walker or a neighbor) attend your ceremony. He or she can keep an eye on Fido during the wedding and can be your pup’s “out” if he gets a little antsy during all those readings. After pictures, your puppy sitter can take your pup back to your house, leaving you to worry about nothing but having fun!
Finally, and this may be our most important piece of advice, remember to go with the flow when it comes to your pet. If the ceremony is approaching and Fido is just out of sorts due to the new surroundings and all of the excitement, it’s okay to make the decision to call it! While it would be super cute to have a furry ring-bearer (or flower pup!), it’s important to remember they are animals and sometimes have their own agenda. While it may not thrill you to nix Fido’s role two minutes before show time, we imagine you’d be happier knowing he was relaxed in the hands of someone he trusts as opposed to causing a stressful moment during your ceremony. And hey, if you decide to keep him in and he takes off running after a squirrel or he lets out a bark during the vows, the most appreciated and genuine response is laughter! It is, after all, a day full of love and joy!
However you decide to incorporate your pet into your wedding, we are total advocates for having these furry family members in attendance. Not crazy about dogs? We also love the idea of integrating larger animals into your big day! While a horse may not walk down the aisle as nicely (or as easily) as your dog, we are crazy in love with the idea of pre-ceremony pictures with these gentle giants. All of the same rules apply to horses as they do dogs, but whichever animal you’re bringing in, we suggest you have fun with it and remember that those memories (and pictures!) are going to last a life time!