With the wedding season in full swing this summer, Animal Fair went to the experts to find out how couples can include a very special family member, who is often overlooked, in their wedding celebration. Modern Bride Magazine provided insight on why more couples are welcoming canine pals into their bridal party and share essential tips on how to incorporate Fido in your nuptials without ending up in the doghouse!
AF: Why would a bride and groom choose to include their dog when they say “I Do?”
MB: People love their pets and consider them to be a part of the family. Many couples wouldn’t dream of getting married with out all family members present, Fido included.
AF: Why are more and more couples starting to include their pets in their weddings?
MB: This is not necessarily a new trend but is part of the overall trend of couples going to greater lengths to personalize their wedding.
AF: Do you believe celebrities like Adam Sandler and Gwen Stefani, who have included pets in their weddings, have an influence on other brides & grooms to do the same?
MB: Yes. Our readers are definitely inspired by celebrities. That’s why we devote pages of our magazine to what celebrities are doing on their big day.
AF: What do you recommend to couples who fear a guest may be allergic to their beloved furry friend?
MB: If you know of a guest who is extremely allergic, certainly give him the heads up prior to the big day so he makes sure to have allergy medicine on hand.
AF: What important advice would you give to future husbands and wives who want to include their dog and make their wedding day a success?
MB: If at any point during the day, your dog starts to misbehave, don’t hesitate to send him home. Your dog’s presence should be a joy, not a distraction.
MODERN BRIDE SAYS…INCLUDING YOUR DOG
IN YOUR SPECIAL DAY DOESN’T HAVE TO BE RUFF!
Location, Location, Location…
Many churches, synagogues or other religious establishments may prohibit animals. Before deciding to include your pet, you must clear it with the site manager. Ceremonies that take place outdoors provide a more likely chance for your pet’s participation.
Important Dog Duties
Consider your dog’s personality to determine what kind of role your canine pal will have in your wedding. Dogs who are well behaved can make adorable ring bearers, carrying the ring in a snazzy tux jacket or on a pillow tied around the back. If your pet is of the female persuasion, she can be a flower pup and carry a bouquet of flowers in her mouth. Just make certain the flowers are not harmful to her. Another option is to have your pet sit (or lay) by your side as an attendant, after being walked down the aisle on leash.
If you would prefer for your pooch to have a less active role, consider having your furry friend toted down the aisle in a shiny red wagon. Another option is to have your pet at your event “in spirit” by displaying his picture on the cake table, mentioning him in your toast or including him in your wedding “pawgram.”
Having hair & make-up done is not only for brides! Your pet should look his best on one of the most important days of your life. Start with a full grooming session (shampoo, haircut and nail trim) a few days before your wedding. To make sure your dog looks simply divine on your special day, add a hot oil treatment or a “pet-i-cure.” Lastly, don’t forget to banish your pet’s doggie breath! Products like Petrodex breath spray and Pedigree Breath Buster Biscuits can do the trick.
Best in Show
This is not only an occasion for you to look your best, but for our pet also! You can purchase pup-size tuxedos, gowns, and accessories including tiaras and necklaces on the Internet that make your dog look like a million bones. Websites catering to canine formal attire are www.QuintessentialPet.com, www.PInkBellyGifts.com, and www.CallngAllDogs.com.
If you know your pet doesn’t have the best fashion sense and will tear off any clothing shortly after it is put on, you can still make your Fido beautiful with ribbons, decorative clips for the fur, collars adorned with flowers, jewels or bow ties. Even nail “paw-lish” in the wedding-day colors can be festive—anything goes!
If your dog will be in your ceremony, give him a run-through during the rehearsal. It is not recommended to send your dog down the aisle solo, so make sure his leash is in good hands, whether it is yours or an escort’s. Have treats and water on hand to reward your pet for good behavior and make him comfortable. Select a guest to be in charge of your dog in case he becomes restless. Most importantly, make certain to use common sense in planning your special event – for example, dogs and a dove release do not mix!
With all the festivities and socializing during your event, your dog will have worked up an appetite. Anytime people are eating at the reception, your pet should have his own food too. Plan to have your dog’s favorite food served in a fancy bowl. Assign a responsible family friend or relative to “dog duty” to make sure all paws are kept off of the reception fare.
Say “Cheese Treats”
Capture your pooch’s participation in your celebration with photographs. Ask your friends to catch Fido doing something cute with their cameras. An adorable photo opportunity you can set-up is to have your furry friend munch on a special K-9 cake while you cut yours.