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Pets-Romantic: How People Bring in Their Pets & Melt Hearts

Weddings are such special days in people’s lives, and pets are such special animals in people’s lives, at some point, people are going to want their pets at their weddings.  And of course, they have!  Instead of a fussy or forgetful child as a flower girl or ringbearer, a well-mannered pooch has been chosen to be the best dog for the job.

But well-mannered is the KEY phrase.  Inviting some pets onto the guest list might be inviting chaos, disaster, or just, well, watch the video…

But, well, dog-gone-it! Some animals are just so cute or bizarre, why not let them have a wedding of their own altogether!

Here are some tips and ideas if you are tempted to make your pet a part of your wedding party!

How Animals Can Be Best-Dressed for Your Wedding

When you search around the web for ideas, you’ll notice that  just something as simple as a well-groomed pet with a satin bow in your wedding’s signature color is usually enough, but when it comes to pictures, you can go into more elaborate dress.  They don’t have to wear it for the whole event.  I think it might even be a great idea to have them NOT there for the whole event as this could stress them out too much.  Having a handler for your precious pet is probably best.  Someone needs to be looking after just them.  But while everyone is looking at just them, consider some ways to dress them up.  If a vest is best for your shorthaired Yorkie or a dress for you pup-cut poodle, wonderful.  But there is nothing more dignified looking than a short-haired in a checkered bow tie or collar.  For photos, consider a wreath of flowers or a corsage.

  • A bow tie for the best dog.

  • A waistcoat for a petite pooch.

  • A ring of greens or flowers for a medium or large family pet.

  • A fashion collar and leash for the party animal.

  • A personalized collar and leash for the guest of honor.

  • A tutu for even the less than fru-fru.

  • Simply themselves without any adornment.

Types of Animals Featured in Staged Photos

In 2016, ANYTHING GOES as far as pets and animals at weddings.  People go as far as to rent tigers, although I don’t feel like animals ought to be adornments or decorations.  I would, however, find having my best friend on four legs a great comfort at times.  And some animals might even enjoy it.   But even if they weren’t in the wedding, which really might be best, having some staged photos could be a wonderful answer.  Photos define who we consider family and who we consider special.  Photos, however, may more accurately define who we are at the time the photos are taking, like with the woman who cared for elephants at the zoo and the man with a bird rescue operation.  Their photos featured the unusual animals who were an extension of who they were as people.  And can you image people looking back at those photos generations to come?  They would inspire stories and promote a heartfelt cause.

  • Dogs

  • Horses

  • Rabbits

  • Cats

  • Parrots

  • Goats

  • Pigs

  • Llamas

  • Elephants

  • Mules & Donkeys

  • Owls

Animals and Their Roles in Weddings Beyond Staged Photos

IF your animal is social, and IF your animal is well-behaved, and IF your animal is easily taught, then you might have a great opportunity to have your pet participate in your wedding.  However, if your pet is less than perfect (like nearly all of ours are except in our hearts) then consider that a ring pillow can be attached to a collar or that a person can lead your pet on an ornate leash.  If there is a buffet table in snout distance, or really any distractions in earshot, a leash might be a safe precaution unless you want to wind up on YouTube of course!

  • As Ringbearers

  • As Escorts for the Bride  (a horse on a lead with wreaths of flowers is a beautiful site)

  • As Bestdog

  • As Bridesmaids 

  • In lieu of a bouquet  (a woman carred her bunny down the isle!)


However they come, animals at a wedding or reception or just in pictures are delightful.  There will always be people who scoff at the impropriety, but I’m not one of those people.  I might prefer the pets to the guests in some cases!  And so you might, too.

Have an auspicious and precious pet-friendly wedding if you so choose!

The author: Dawn Van Ness

Dawn Dickson Van Ness grew up at the beach and has published her work in print and online. With a BA in English and a MS in Mass Communications, she has used writing and multimedia to promote artists, art shows, writers, small businesses, and other self-employed individuals by building websites and maintaining social media pages. She feels most fulfilled when she is helping others achieve their dreams, which includes writing self-help and steps-to-success articles for various websites. It seems a natural fit for this wife and mother of two to write features that help soon-to-be wed couples. For more about Dawn, go to


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