To some people, their pet is their closest companion. I even heard on Animal Planet that most single people, if forced to choose, would pick their pet over a lifelong human companion. Whether that’s true or not, it is obvious that pets are a very important part of the American family. For some, that doesn’t change when they get married. Many people want their critter to be a part of the wedding. Here are some tips if that’s what you are planning.
For several weeks before the wedding, have your pet practice his part. Start with treat rewards when he is successful, then move to just praise, then treat him how you would in the real thing. If he is the ring bearer and you don’t want to bend down and say “Good boy!” in the middle of your ceremony, then just pat him on the head or simply give him eye contact. Also, involve other crucial people in the rehearsals. If your pup is expected to stand next to the best man, have them practice together so that the pup knows where to go. Also, practice it with other people around so he gets used to ignoring distractions.
For the wedding day, designate one person (preferably someone not in the bridal party) to be in charge of your pet. Have them make sure the pet takes care of business right before the wedding so that there are no embarrassing interruptions. Also make sure the person will provide food and water for the pet and keep him clean before the show.
No matter how much you love that little guy, DON’T TOUCH HIM! You don’t want a furry dress in your pictures and smudged mascara is not cute, even if it comes from a kiss.
This photo was taken by a photographer friend of mine who used to do weddings on the east coast. I have no idea how he got this dog to stand like that, long enough for a picture.