By Cole Zerboni
We can hear the bells… and the barks!
Unblinded by the popularity of brides and grooms including pups and other furry friends in their wedding ceremonies, some venues have started offering a pet package to help make pets comfortable and to help minimize a betrothed’s stress on the big day. Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa is one of them, rolling out an in-room pet package for your dog so they have a space to escape the chaos with food, water bowls, and a plush bed—of course, in many instances, that’s all for after they’ve resumed their duties in the wedding party.
“The trend is growing amongst couples!” says Monica Cruz-Hernandez, the Sausalito, California resort’s social media marketing manager who’s seen all the riffs before. To that end, we connected with her to bring you six ways to successfully incorporate a pet in your wedding.
1. Bridal Photos
The getting-ready photos are a necessity to capture the anticipation and excitement of the big day. Including your pup in the photo shoot will add a playful element to the moment, not to mention help calm the bride’s nerves.
2. Flower Dog
No flower girl? No problem! Dress your pooch in a flowered collar, crown, or sign and have them wag their way down the aisle to allude to the bride’s impending entrance.
3. Honorary Guest
Although it’s ideal to have every close family member and friend present for your most special moment, scheduling conflicts, illness, or other commitments can get in the way. Let your furry friend fill in when others can’t come to the ceremony! When Grandpa Joe can’t make it, dress your dog in his favorite sweater, and have him walk down the aisle.
4. Ring Bearer
The classic role is perfect for your Pup of Honor. “Make your dog an essential part of your vows and have him hold the rings,” Cruz-Hernandez says.
5. Wedding Portraits
Wedding photos are all about including those who matter most in your life—don’t leave Man’s Best Friend out of the frame!
6. Cake Topper
It may be traditional to have a customized bride and groom sitting atop the main dessert, but what if there’s a third dedicated member to that family? Give your pet a spot next to you on your wedding cake for an even more personalized touch.
“Whether they are merging pet households or may have gotten a dog together, pets can be a fun way a couple can share their love story on their wedding day,” says Cruz-Hernandez. So, what are you waiting for? Mutt as well let them in on the fun!