Man’s Best Friend to Man’s Best Man

7th July 2017

Family, Home

Your wedding day is one of the most special and memorable days of your life, and spending it with family and friends is the perfect way to celebrate. For many pet owners, their four-legged friends are members of the family too, so it’s not surprising that more and more people are choosing to include them in their big day.

 From flower girls to ring bearers, and even pet friendly honeymoons, here at Asda Money we’ve looked at some of the ways you can include your beloved companion in your wedding.

Getting Prepared

Whether you choose to give your pet their very own role in the ceremony, or simply want to include them in your photos, make sure you have somebody there on the day who will look after them. Whilst it’s lovely to share your day with your animal friends, it’s vital that you allow yourself time to relax. Designate a trusted family member, a friend, or even hire a pet sitter, so that they can keep them fed and watered, and make sure they’re not getting up to mischief.

Before you make any specific plans, always check that the venues for the ceremony and reception are animal-friendly. It’s recommended to take your pets there a few times before so that they’re familiar with their new surroundings.

It’s also worth letting your guests know in advance that your pet is going to be at your wedding. Provide some information on your invites, so that anyone who might have allergies, or could be uncomfortable around animals is aware. This way, they can plan ahead and avoid any potential issues on the day. 

The Ceremony

 If you’re keen on the idea of your pet walking down the aisle with you, then there are plenty of opportunities for them to have their own special part in the ceremony. These roles are best suited to dogs and cats, although if you did want to include a smaller pet such as a rabbit, this could always be arranged!

It’s also worth keeping in mind that even the most well-trained pets are likely to get excited or stressed at these types of events. So, if you have a dog that barks a lot or a particularly lively cat, maybe consider including them in a different part of the wedding day instead so that they don’t cause any problems for your big moment.

When it comes to ceremony roles, flower girls are a popular choice for female furry friends. Ask your florist if they can provide some extra flowers for you to entwine into their collars, so they can match the theme perfectly. An alternative would be to get your flower girls or bridesmaids to lead them down the aisle, and attach a flower garland to their leads.

A ring bearer is also an important job that would be great for a well-behaved pet. Dress them accordingly, perhaps in a tuxedo for a dog, or a bow tie for a cat. However, make sure that their outfits fit properly, so that they’re comfortable and happy. Of course, your pet doesn’t have to have a specific role in the ceremony, you could always carry them down the aisle instead of a bouquet of flowers, so long as size permits!  Having them sat by your side whilst saying your vows would also be a nice touch.

The Reception

Bringing your pet along to the wedding reception is a nice way to share your day with them, in a more relaxed environment than the ceremony. Ask your designated sitter to bring them at a time that works well for you.

The reception is also the ideal chance to get some photographs with your four-legged friend. Let your photographer know in advance, so that they can start thinking about fun ideas to capture the picture-perfect moment between you and your pet. Some photographers might not be used to photographing animals, so it would be recommended to find one who has worked with them before. 

Although dogs and cats are the most popular pet wedding guests, it’s also been known for people to have pictures with their horses, rabbits, and even goats! So, if you’ve got the arrangements in place, there are plenty of opportunities to involve your furry companions.

If your pet can’t physically be at your wedding, there are still other ways to include them. Some fun ideas include ordering or making your own customised topper for your cake, or have life sized pictures that can be used as props for the photo booth.

Pet-Friendly Honeymoons

If you’re including your pet in your wedding, then why not take them on your honeymoon too? Although staycations here in the UK are popular for animal-friendly holidays, there are plenty of ways you can take them abroad* with you as well. Always check the exact rules and regulations beforehand, but you’ll require a pet passport, microchip, rabies vaccination, and if you’re taking your dog, a tapeworm treatment. Make sure you plan well in advance so that you can get everything arranged in time for your departure.

 When booking your honeymoon, check that your accommodation is pet-friendly too. Having your own self-catered apartment or villa would be the best option, so that your fluffy pal can roam around happily. Also, remember that they won’t be used to the heat, so it might be best to travel in spring or autumn depending on where you’re going, rather than in the hotter months.

It’s really important to make sure you have pet insurance for your special four-legged friend. If the unexpected happens and they become unwell or have an injury, paying for expensive vet bills is the last thing you want to be worrying about. Here at Asda Money we have a range of pet insurance cover types available. Find out more about Asda Money Pet Insurance provided by Legal & General here.

All information is accurate as of the published date 07/07/2017.

*Travel rules may be subject to change from 29/03/2019. If travelling after this date please check for any changes.

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