Thursday, May 5, 2016

Involving Animals in your Wedding | Practice Makes Perfect

Alright folks, this is a topic that needs much discussion.  Everyone loves their pets.  And more often than not, they want to involve the animals in the wedding day.  Here are some things you'll want to consider before committing:

1.  What is Your Animal's Temperament?
If you have a naturally anxious animal, please consider how a large crowd will affect the pet.  Just imagine how YOU feel getting up in front of a crowd of people.  You can't expect a shy or timid animal to walk down the aisle on its own.  Also beware, if your dog has the tendency to get "snappy" if it's stressed, this is NOT an animal to bring to a wedding.  Only the most laid back, docile, well behaved animals should be part of the wedding.  Even THEIR behavior may become unpredictable with that many people in one place.

2.  Animals in Guest Rooms
Just as we said in #1, an animal who is under pressure can act different.  We're heard horror stories of brides leaving their pets in the guest rooms after the ceremony, and the dog rips up all the pillows.  Know your animal, and come prepared.  Bring a kennel for the guest room, toys, food, and water.  Help the animal feel comfortable in an unfamiliar place.

3.  Who is Watching Your Pet?
Think about it - you'll be busy on your wedding day.  You're getting hair & makeup done, taking photos, talking to guests, and dancing.  Where is your pet going to be?  Make sure you've found someone who will "pet sit" the animal until it's necessary for the pet to be involved.  This shouldn't be someone in the wedding party, typically.  It should be someone the pet already knows, loves & trusts, whose sole responsibility it is to care for the animal that day.

4.  Grooming
You are NOT brushing your dog or horse in your wedding dress.   Just don't do it.  Pay someone, or ask a friend to make sure the animal is prepped and ready for the big day!  The added responsibility of having to make sure your pet looks its best is just another stressor you don't need.

5.  Practice Makes Perfect
Have your dog walk down a practice aisle on it's own.  Put a giant fake floral collar on your dog.  When you put real flowers around its neck on the wedding day, it may hate them otherwise!  Also, ride your horse in a long white skirt, which swooshes in the breeze.  Training an animal is a big part of having success on a wedding day!  No one wants to get bucked off their horse because the dress touching its behind spooked it.  There's plenty of YouTube videos out there.  Don't be a YouTube video.

6.  Do Not Tie a Ring to the Dog.
Just as you shouldn't entrust a wedding band to a toddler ring bearer, you shouldn't trust an animal with that responsibility either.  Tie fake rings to the dog, if they're going to be your ring bearer.  Have the best man actually holding the rings at the altar.  This ensures the dog doesn't run off with your investment tied to its neck.

Make a wise choice when it comes to your pets.  If you can't commit to 1-6 above, you might want to consider leaving the animals at home on the wedding day.  And most importantly, have a sense of humor.  If your pet gets nervous and poos at the altar, it will be something you'll laugh about for years to come.  They're animals, and although you may practice till you're blue in the face, you need to just enjoy their company on the big day, no matter what happens!

photo courtesy of Stella Kelsie Photography
Photo Courtesy of Stella Kelsie Photography

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