I have an anxious dog and I’m getting married. With the wedding coming up, we’ve been getting the question “will Callie be there!?” and as much as I’d melt at the sight of Cal walking down the aisle as our Flower Dog, we’ve decided to leave her at home. I know my dog, and I respect her limits. She’s anxious in crowds, barks at strangers approaching, and absolutely HATES being able to see us (her mom & dad) but not be able to be with us. During an already hectic day, I don’t also want to be worrying about Callie’s wellbeing.
But fret not! Callie, and our cat Floyd, will still be a part of our big day without being physically there. Here are some creative ideas (with tons of links for inspo) for how to include your pets in your wedding.
Let Them Eat Cake!
…well, not your pets. But let them be ON your cake! There’s so many ways to incorporate your pet in your wedding cake, like:
- Cake topper: get a custom silhouette or an “I Do Too” topper that includes your pets.
- Edible art: is your pet so cute you could eat ’em? Now you can! Ask your baker if they can create a fondant model of your dog to go on your cake.
- Custom figurines: get custom figurines of your pet(s) to feature on your cake and have as adorable keepsakes. BONUS: have your baker stage your dog so it looks like he/she has taken a bite out of your cake like this (because you know they totally would given the chance).
Host a Dog Biscuit Bar
Got lots of fellow dog lovers or cat people in your life? Set up a table with “doggy” bags so your wedding guests can bring home treats for their own pets! You can arrange custom treat bags filled with cookies for grab & go, or get a couple cookie jars for guests to scoop themselves.
Signature Cocktail Salute
Cheers to your fur babies! Name your signature drinks after your pets and create custom drink accessories (like these cocktail napkins, drink stirrers, & coasters) or adorable signage for the bar menu. On a budget? Buy a downloadable template with an illustration of your pet to print & frame yourself. Or splurge on an acrylic sign that will last a lifetime.
Wear Your Pet On Your Sleeve
Or on your feet! Imagine flashing your socks and surprising everyone with your dog’s face, or keeping your cat close to your heart (literally) by having them embroidered on your handkerchief, pocket square, or veil. They even make cuff links that look like your pet!
Do Your Guests a Favor…
…and give them the gift of your pet’s precious face. There’s so many fun wedding favor options out there that you can put your pet on:
In Lieu of Favors
Consider donating to an animal rescue organization or non-profit instead of giving out favors. Donating $2-3 per guest can make a big difference in the lives of animals while honoring your own pets.
Your pet CAN make an appearance at your reception! Dance and take photos with a life-size cardboard cutout of your pet, like this Father of the Bride brought for his daughter’s destination wedding. Or make a DIY pet head prop for your photo booth!
And of course, the ultimate way to involve your pets in your wedding is to have them there. First, truly consider your pet’s temperament. Then, pick the right role for your pet. This blog is a great resource for deciding if your dog is “too crazy” to be at your wedding and how to ensure a smooth day.
If your wedding budget allows, there’s now “wedding pet attendants” who will make sure your dog is exercised, relaxed, and well taken care of before, during, and after the I Do’s. Just remember many venues don’t allow pets at the reception, so you’ll need someone to escort them somewhere after. And don’t forget to:
- Dress your dog up in a flower crown, dress, or tuxedo/bowtie
- Walk your dog down the aisle as Flower Dog or get a carriage for your cat to stroll down in as Cat Ring Bearer
- And of course, take lots of photos with them getting ready, at the ceremony, in formal photos, etc.
Final Tips, as a Bride
- Try to buy things you can reuse (like cookie jars you can use at home or photo frames you can repurpose) or resell to another bride-to-be to reduce wedding waste.
- Don’t break the bank trying to incorporate all these things. Pick a couple of your favorites, price shop (Etsy is amazing), and work within your budget.
- Buy EARLY – shipping and production times are longer than usual and you won’t want to be stressed in the last few weeks before your big day.
Please note: Ethos Veterinary Health is not affiliated with the links provided.
Written by: Rachael Gillis