10 Top Tips to Have a Pet-Friendly Wedding

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Numerous couples consider their pets as beloved family members and can’t imagine getting married without them. If you’re one of these couples reluctant to leave your furry friend at home during your big day, here’s some good news – you don’t have to! There are many pet-friendly and dog-friendly wedding venues and planning services out there. Yet, if you’ve decided to have a pet-friendly wedding, there are crucial aspects that require your careful consideration. Continue reading to discover the top tips to successfully plan a pet-friendly wedding.

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1. Look For Pet-Friendly Wedding Venues

Use the search queriespet-friendly wedding venues or dog-friendly wedding venues near me’ to find the venues that allow animals on site. Don’t solely depend on the pet-friendly statements on the venue websites; instead, reach out to the site managers directly to confirm their policy regarding allowing animals on the premises. Communication is key to planning a pet-friendly wedding.

2.  Ask about their Pet-Friendly Policies

When searching for pet-friendly or dog-friendly wedding venues, it’s essential to consider the venue’s pet policies. Ensure that the venue not only allows pets but also has facilities for them. Some venues go the extra mile by providing water stations, designated dog-friendly areas, and even on-site pet attendants to take care of your furry friend during the festivities. 

Clear communication with the venue staff about your pet’s type, size, breed, and temperament is crucial to ensure a seamless experience. Ask the following questions besides the other essential questions from your wedding venue’s manager to ensure a smooth pet-friendly wedding:

  1. What types of pets are acceptable in your venue? 
  2. What parts of the venue are the pets allowed to use?
  3. Should they remain outdoors, or are they allowed throughout the entire venue?
  4. Is there any designated area where our pet can go for some quiet time?
  5. Is there an on-site pet attendant to take care of our pet during the ceremony?
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3. Consider Your Pet’s Personality

The idea of leaving your pet at home while you and your partner exchange vows might be too much to bear. However, it’s okay to leave them at home if it makes things easier for everyone. Before deciding on a pet-friendly wedding, consider your pet’s personality. 

Ask yourself if your pet really wants to be there, if they are comfortable in crowds, can sit quietly during the ceremony, and adapt well to new environments. Consider how they respond to strangers, loud sounds, and large gatherings. How are they in front of the camera? Think of it like you would consider having children at a wedding.

  • Decide How Your Pet Will Be Involved in the Celebration

If having your pet at the wedding causes stress, consider leaving them at home with a caretaker. Decide together which parts of the wedding you want your pet to be involved in. You could have your pet present for your getting ready photoshoot and outdoor ceremony and then have them go home with a pet sitter. Let them participate in a way that enhances your joy and their comfort without causing stress on your big day.

  • Consider Your Pet’s Abilities and Endurance 

If your pet tires quickly, plan on only having them at the wedding for a short time, then having a pet sitter pick them up and bring them home. Or if your pet is shy or scared of people, perhaps only have them there for pre-ceremony photos, since it might frighten them to be there for the big ceremony. Arrange for a pet sitter in advance to drop off and pick up your fur baby at the appropriate times on the wedding day.

4. Talk to Your Photographer and Other Wedding Vendors

Inform your photographer and other service providers about the presence of your pets. Your photographer needs to be aware of your pet’s involvement in the wedding to plan shots effectively, while your celebrant should know if they have a role in the ceremony. Likewise, your caterer, band, florist, and other vendors will appreciate the advance notice about your pet-friendly wedding.

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5. Alert Your Guests Your Furry Friends Will Be There

Make sure to give your guests a heads-up about your pet-friendly wedding celebration. Including a note in your wedding invitations or creating a dedicated section on your wedding website can help inform them. 

This way, your guests can prepare accordingly, especially if they have allergies or concerns. Providing this information in advance ensures that everyone is aware and can fully enjoy the occasion.

What If Some Guests Want to Bring their Pets? 

Informing your guests of your pet-friendly wedding may generate interest in some of them to bring their four-legged companions. If you decide to let them bring their pets, first you need to obtain consent from your venue and ensure they have ample outdoor space to accommodate your furry guests. 

You also need to provide some pub tables for pet owners to eat without their pets being disruptive. Designating a separate dining area would also be a thoughtful gesture for those who prefer dining without animals present.

6. Take Your Pets to Your Venue before the Day

Making sure your pet is comfortable and happy at your wedding involves getting ready beforehand. Take your pet to the venue a few times before the wedding so they can get used to the place. When you visit for planning, include your pet and let them explore where the ceremony and reception will be. 

This helps them feel more at ease and reduces stress on the actual day. You might need to visit a few times, and a final visit close to your wedding can help you identify anything that might bother or distract your pet.

7. Ensure Pet Comfort with Adequate Supplies

Ensuring your pet’s well-being during the wedding festivities is crucial, so be sure to have an ample supply of food, water, and other necessities on hand. Set up a designated area with their favourite treats and fresh water to keep them content. Having familiar items, like their favourite toy or blanket, nearby can also provide comfort in the midst of the celebration.

Don’t forget to bring waste bags for easy cleanup, ensuring a seamless and stress-free experience for both you and your furry friend. Designate a specific resting area for your pet and strategise their location at each stage of the wedding to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. 

Remember, a well-fed and cared-for pet is more likely to be a joyful and well-behaved participant in your special day.

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8. Hire a Pet Sitter 

Entrusting your pet in a bustling environment with food, new faces, and heightened activity can yield unpredictable reactions. Given the busyness of wedding preparations and unforeseen tasks, it’s advisable to hire a pet sitter or designate a responsible friend or family member to oversee the well-being of your pet during the ceremony and reception.

While you may desire your pet’s presence throughout your wedding weekend, logistical constraints may limit their participation in every event, especially if certain areas of the venue don’t permit pets. 

Even in pet-friendly wedding venues, leaving pets unattended is often restricted. Ensure there’s a designated space at the venue for your pet and their sitter to relax, and if necessary, coordinate with the pet sitter to transport your furry friend home at a scheduled time.

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9. Keep the Food at a Safe Distance

Pets often love to snatch table scraps. So on your wedding day, it’s crucial to ensure your furry friends don’t indulge in the food, especially before your guests have had their share. 

To avoid any dinner mishaps, have your pet sitter or assigned supervisor keep them engaged so they aren’t tempted to sneak a bite from someone’s plate. Set aside a designated area with water and pet-friendly treats to keep them away from the main dining space. This way, you can enjoy your celebration without worrying about your pets and their interactions with the food.

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10. Ensure Pet Safety in Your Wedding Decorations

Opt for pet-friendly floral arrangements, steering clear of toxic plants that could pose a threat on your pets. Additionally, be mindful of other decor elements such as candles and ornaments that might put your furry companions at risk. 

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After you’ve carefully considered whether to have a pet-friendly wedding or not, don’t worry if you decide against the idea after all. There are lots of lovely ways you can include your pet in your wedding without them actually being there. For example, have them featured in your engagement photos, save the dates or include them somehow in your wedding decor. It’s going to take a little more strategic planning to make sure that all of your guests – both human and furry – are safe and having a good time.

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