How to include your animal friend in your big day

The majority of us have a four legged friend. A cat, a dog, or even more exotic pets! They are a major part of our lives and a full time commitment. So when it comes to your special day why shouldn’t you include them? (PS we’re going to concentrate on cats and dogs in this blog, however, the same principles do apply to other pets).

Now let’s deal with the potential downsides first

  • Behaviour – of course, not an issue with a well-trained dog but if yours are anything like my Dad’s Labradors they’d be jumping up the whole wedding party! So think about where and when you want the photos taken and adapt it to your pet. Unless your pet is sociable, taking photos beforehand with the bride, or, after the ceremony with the bride and groom might be the best option.
  • Muddy paws – A total ‘no no’ with your gorgeous wedding dress (unless your dog is joining your ‘trash the wedding dress’ shoot – now that’s an interesting idea!).
  • Patience – depending on the photogenic mood of your pet it may take a while to get the right shot. Make sure you schedule lots of time if you are taking the shots on your wedding day to minimise the stress.
  • Practicalities – it’s often not practical to have your pets around for the whole wedding day. So arrange for a friend (or a dog walker if you use them) to look after them and take back to their home for the night.

If you can get around those, the upsides can give you some amazing photos with your best four-legged friend

  • Work out in advance the shots you might like. There are lots of options;
    • Your cats with your engagement or wedding rings (as our feature photo shows).
    • All paws and hands together taken from above.
    • As you take your vows sitting next to you both.
  • Allow your dog to be your ‘four legged’ best man or even your ring bearer.
  • Consider matching accessories to your theme, for example, a new collar, a bow tie, flower garland, …… (make sure it’s comfortable).

cat with ring edited

It’s worth setting up a pre wedding shoot with your pets as it can take the stress out of the day itself. Of course, if you want photos in your full wedding attire this is not usually an option. So where this is the case, try and take some shots in advance to get your pets comfortable. Involve them in your wedding rehearsal for example. And always check your venue will let your pets in!

It goes without saying only do whatever your four legged friend is happy with. I know it’s obvious! But we have never got a photo of our cats Sooty & Betty together and I wouldn’t expect to get one when it’s our wedding day.

Linzi x

Also featured on Plans and Presents

Lulu and Neil Wedding_0103
rabbit on hands of the bride
Cake (Feature photo) and Labrador Photographs courtesy of First Hand Photography (HTTP://WWW.FIRSTHANDPHOTOGRAPHY.CO.UK/)

‘that black and white cat’ is a bespoke wedding planner and events coordinator which embraces being different. Original, creative and distinctive with a dash of fun! Attention to detail whilst bringing your ideas to life. Bearing the load while you enjoy getting married (or party!). Contact Linzi for your complimentary consultation.

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