Getty ImagesWeddings are a time to celebrate with family, friends and all the ones you love - and for many happy couples, that group wouldn't be complete without Fluffy or Fido.
Making pets part of your marriage ceremony can be a lot of fun, and tiny tuxedos on furry little guests can certainly make for a memorable big day. But, as with any aspect of wedding planning (not to mention, pet ownership), it takes a little bit of patience - and some planning to make sure things run smoothly.
Following these handy tips can't hurt either:
Don't expect perfection. In other words, be a little flexible. Your pup might get distracted while walking down the aisle, and you should be prepared for that possibility. Before you decide to include your pet, make sure you're ok with certain aspects of your ceremony not necessarily going as planned.
Evaluate your pet's personality. If you've got a dog or cat that gets overwhelmed around crowds, consider a low-key role in your pictures or ask your baker to make a cake-topper likeness. If you're getting married outside and your dog likes to chase errant squirrels, make sure to have a leash - and a handler - handy. Evaluating these things beforehand and putting a plan in place ensures less stress the day-of.
Plan for a pet attendant. Speaking of handlers, make sure you have a dedicated attendant whose sole job is to keep an eye on your pet - especially if Fluffy or Fido will be around for the reception. Pets and copious amounts of people food don't mix well.
Confirm your arrangement with the officiant. Not all officiants will preside over a wedding that includes pets. And some ceremony locations flat-out won't allow it. If this happens to you, have no fear. There are plenty of roles your pet can play outside the ceremony - in pictures or at the reception.
Practice, practice, practice. If your pet will need to wear an outfit for part of the ceremony, make sure he's used to it. If he has to walk down the aisle alone, take him on a test run. And don't forget to include him at the rehearsal!
Get spiffy. All the other guests will be decked out in their finest. Don't leave out your dog or cat. Plan a trip to the groomer a few days before your wedding.
Got all that? Good. I now pronounce you ready to plan the perfect, pet-friendly wedding.
Was your pet a part of your wedding? Tell us all about it below!