Let's face it, a pet is just as important as most of the guests you're inviting to your wedding. I've been to several ceremonies where a pup was a ring bearer, best man, or maid of honor. It's absolutely adorable, but a lot of work. Here are the most common challenges I've heard from my couples who planned to include their pets at their wedding:
There's a lot of pup-management before, during, and after the ceremony. One of my brides had a beautiful wedding at a mountain-side inn in New Hampshire, and really wanted to include her best pup friend in her wedding. Several of the bridesmaids were on "pup patrol" while the bride got ready. A groomsman walked the dog down the aisle as his bridesmaid, and transferred her leash to a bridesmaid at the end of the aisle. The dog was absolutely not interested in sitting during the ceremony, the the bridesmaids didn't really know what to do with her. The dog kept trying to explore, and absolutely didn't want to stay on site after the ceremony ended. We had a hard time getting all of the wedding party for photos because at least one person was on dog duty, walking the curious girl around the property.
The venue allowed pets for the ceremony, but had no room or boarding option for the remainder of the day. For this wedding, the bride and groom really wanted to include their two dogs, but didn't have a way to transport them back home (roughly 2 hours away from their ceremony/reception venue). They ended up choosing not to include them in their ceremony, and really regretted it, as they felt as though their babies were missing from all the photos.
Pets can get nervous with everything that's going on, and even if the venue is accomodating, they might need lots of breaks and interaction. Another couple was able to include their small dog in their wedding, and had planned to let her rest in a pet-friendly suite after the ceremony until the reception was over. The pup needed someone to check on her every half an hour, which added stress to the couple's day.
I reached out to Furever & Fur Always, a dog care provider that makes including a pet in your wedding simple, to learn more about their services. Turns out, they're pretty much what every couple planning a pup-friendly wedding needs on the day-of. Here's more info!
Q: Can you summarize your services? What's typically included?
A: Furever & Fur Always is here fur all your wedding day doggie needs! They handle everything to make sure your pup has the pawfect day. Their services include transportation to & from the venue; styling & dressing in wedding attire; photo & ceremony assistance; pup chaperoning with lots of treats, love & belly rubs. As a wedding planner ensures your day is going smoothly, the Furever Team ensures your pup's day is going just as great too!
Q: What is something you wish your prospective clients knew about including a pet at a wedding?
A: Pets are going to be pets and still engage in their normal behaviors! They will still need to go outside to relieve themselves, they will want pets/love and attention like normal & there definitely might be a bark or two along with your "I do's". Sometimes it's just good to know that the script or how you envisioned it might not go exactly as planned.
Q: What's the challenge of not using a professional at a wedding for pet care?
A: It definitely poses a lot of challenges not using a wedding day dog care professional! Everyone you would normally ask is going to be at the wedding, dressed nicely & ready to celebrate you! When a family member/friend is on doggie duty your pup most likely won't be attended to at all times fur walks, potty breaks, love, water & attention. Not because they don't love them--just because there is a lot going on! Furever & Fur Always will always be giving your dog 100% of their focus to ensure they're taken care of & entertained. Having a family member or friend to try and get the dog situated fur pictures is not as easy & may not be an option at all times. Furever & Fur Always runs in and out of shots to make sure they are sitting nicely & stands behind the photographer with treats/squeaky toys to get their attention. If for some reason your pup decides the ceremony is the best time to start barking/whining, then someone who you love who wants to witness you & your partner tie the knot might have to miss it to take your pup elsewhere. The Furever team is standing close by ready to swoop in and take your pup on a walk if need be. And the biggest challenge of having a friend/family member verse a wedding day dog care professional is getting your four-legged friend to & from the venue fur just the pictures and the ceremony. With a wedding day dog care professional no one has to leave and miss some of the day!
If you're interested in contacting Furever & Fur Always, you can reach them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out their website at: http://fureverandfuralways.com/