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How To Include a Pet In Your Wedding: Tails & Vows

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Pets can get nervous with everything that's going on, and even if the venue is accommodating, 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 interviewed Lindsay, owner of Tails & Vows (, to learn more about including a pet at your wedding or event.

Q: Can you summarize your services?  What's typically included?

A: Rather than having a friend or family member care for your pet, I'll relieve that stress by spending the day with them as their +1. I'll ensure that they get the love and attention that they need and deserve, while also incorporating them into your day exactly how you envisioned. My services include providing walks, helping with including your pet in important events, and even transportation to and from the venue.

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: Your wedding is a major life event, and your pet is going to feel that something big is about to happen. There might be new people walking in and out of your home, new foods and sounds, and lots of new smells. This can overwhelm a pet even in their own home, but is especially stressful for them at new venues. Having a friend or family member helping care for your pet(s) means their attention is taken away from you and your needs, and focused on your pet, and that's a lot of pressure for that person. They may not know your pet's needs or understand their behavior the way professional will. Furthermore, the logistics of pet transportation, walks, or administering medication might be a lot to ask from a family member or friend.

If you're looking to book a pet attendant for your celebration or event, Tails & Vows is *the* preferred pet attendant in the PNW.


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