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Wedspiration > Advice > How To Plan A Pet-Friendly Wedding
Advice
How To Plan A Pet-Friendly Wedding
You know what they say about people and their pets (loyal companion, best friend etc.). It’s a relationship like no other and for many engaged couples, planning a pet-friendly wedding feels like a logical choice. If this is you, here’s some things to consider.
pet-friendly wedding
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Words by Karina Lowndes
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10 April 2024
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The relationship between people and their pets is like no other. For some couples, it’s as important as the one they share with each other and the idea of tying the knot without them feels… wrong. After all, they’re an integral part of the family (some with their own Instagram account and Christmas stocking). 

Planning a pet-friendly wedding can add a personal touch to your special day and create memories you’ll cherish forever. If you’re considering including your pets in your nuptials, this post will help you plan an event that celebrates love of all kinds.

The allure of pet-friendly weddings

Pet-friendly weddings have been a rising trend, and for good reason. They offer a unique opportunity to have a celebration that truly reflects what’s important to you as a couple. For many, pets are not just animals; they represent a deep emotional bond, loyalty and joy. Including them in your wedding can be a natural extension of who you are as a couple.

The presence of pets can also enhance the joy and the celebratory feel of the day. Their inclusion can be heart-warming and their cheeky, child-like mannerisms often set a playful tone that will make your day even more special. Plus, who wouldn’t want to capture photos with their beloved pets in adorable outfits?

Preparing your pet for the big day

While the thought of your pet being a part of your wedding is exciting, it’s essential to consider whether it will be a positive experience for your pet. Here’s how to decide if your pet should take part and prepare them if they do.

Is your pet right for the part?

Choose a role that suits your pet’s personality. Not all animals enjoy crowds and noise, so it’s important to consider whether the experience will be too overwhelming for your pet and make a decision that has their best interest at heart. If your pet is shy or skittish, a smaller, more private role in the ceremony may be best.

Getting your pet ready

Preparation for the day may include training, grooming and outfit selection. Work on basic obedience skills, like sitting and staying on command. Ensure your pet is comfortable with their collar or harness, and if you’re planning on dressing them up, get them used to wearing their wedding attire in advance.

pet-friendly wedding
pet-friendly wedding
pet-friendly wedding

Finding the perfect pet-friendly wedding venue

Selecting the right venue is crucial when planning a pet-friendly wedding. The space needs to be not only pet-friendly but also accommodating for all your guests and event needs. Here are some we recommend

Characteristics of pet-friendly wedding venues

Look for venues with open spaces, grassy areas, and nearby facilities that cater to pets (read: places they can stretch their legs and do their business). Beaches, gardens and countryside locations are generally good options. Confirm with the venue that pets are allowed and discuss any restrictions or necessary paperwork. It’s usually fairly straight-forward, with the main restrictions being around food service and hygiene. 

Communicating your pet plans

Clear communication with your vendors and guests is key to ensuring a smooth day for all involved.

Choosing your wedding vendors

When choosing your wedding vendors, inquire about their experience with pet-friendly events. From photographers who are swift and experienced with capturing furry friends to florists who can create pet-safe arrangements, your team should be on board with your pet plans.

Communicating with your wedding guests

Provide your guests with advanced notice that pets will be present. This way, those with allergies or fears can make any necessary arrangements. Consider creating a designated area for pets and their minder, complete with amenities and refreshments.

pet-friendly wedding
pet-friendly wedding
pet-friendly wedding

Safety and legal matters

The safety of your pet and the legal requirements of your venue and local area must be taken into account.

Pet protocol

Create a clear plan for your pet’s welfare on the day. This should include feeding, walking, and a pet sitter to give them some quiet time or shade if needed or to take them home if they become overwhelmed. 

Navigating legalities

Be sure to research local regulations about pets at events or ask your wedding planner. This may involve obtaining permits or ensuring your pet is up to date with vaccinations and microchipped.

Trends in pet-inclusive weddings

There’s no hard and fast rules when it comes to including your pet in your wedding, but there are several trends that couples are loving right now.

Pet accessories

Incorporating your pet into your wedding doesn’t just stop at attendance. Personalised pet attire –  from floral collars to bow ties – are popular choices and make for some seriously cute photos. 

Pet-inspired decor

Incorporate pet motifs into wedding decor, such as using paw-print stationery or featuring their name in a signature cocktail. These touches can be subtle nods to your pet’s presence. This is also a nice way to honour your beloved pet if you decide it’s best to leave them at home. 

pet-friendly wedding
pet-friendly wedding
pet-friendly wedding

The Wrap-up

With some careful planning, a pet-friendly wedding can be a celebration of love and companionship in its truest form. As long as your venue and vendors are on the same page and there is a responsible person on-site to ensure your pets safety and comfort, there’s no reason your favourite fury friend can’t be involved in your special day.

Want to see how other couples have included their pets in their wedding? Check out these real weddings here and here and be sure to check out our favourite pet-friendly venues.

 

Photo credits (top to bottom): I Got You Babe, Fox and Kin, Lauren Campbell, Fox and Kin, Jessica Mary Photography, Bird and Boy Photography, Lauren Campell, At Dusk.

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