"I do!" to Pets at Weddings

We've noticed a wedding trend that we absolutely love: pets that help you say, "I do."

Adorned in flower wreaths, stepping in as ring bearer or flower girl or simply as an indispensable guest, pets (particularly dogs) are becoming more common at weddings. (Note the burgeoning industry of "pet wedding attendant/chaperone" services!)

Even though your furry family member may will challenge the notion of a "perfect" wedding day, they will certainly remove some of that pressure. And if you're lucky, provide comic relief in the form of background noise as you say your vows. A couple had just that happen, as recounted in a recent New York Times article about including pets at weddings:

My uncle is trying to start the ceremony, and there’s Rusty whimpering and whining and howling, a mix of all three really. Then he just plopped down and started chewing the fringe of the Oriental rug.

The article points out that including a pet as you walk down the aisle is certainly "a leap of faith," but the emotional payoff is immeasurable. One bride said, "The moment they walked in, I thought, ‘My family is here.’”

Indeed, that sentiment is the reason why couples can't imagine leaving their pets at home on their wedding day, especially given the rise in popularity of non-traditional and/or outdoor wedding venues that make it easier to include pets. Jeff Woodward, a photographer in Vermont, had an impressive estimate when interviewed by The New York Times: “I bet you 50 percent of the weddings I’m going to do this summer are going to have some dog involvement.”

For Los Angeles-based wedding planner Lisa Gorjestani (of Details Event Planning), pets have been a part of her work for the past dozen years. She told CNN that, aside from providing food and water and other basic necessities, she uses peanut butter as a special treat to keep dogs in line on the big day.

If only the answer were as simple as peanut butter for every one of your guests!

Martha Stewart has some quick tips for including pets in your wedding.

Buzzfeed has an amazing gallery of photos showing different couples with rabbits, pigs, and snakes. Yes, snakes!

And please read more about how Cattus Quartet donates to organizations dedicated animal welfare.