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Puppy Love - How to include your precious fur babies on your big day!

Let's face it Queens, families come in every shape and size. Most of our families include sweet little fur babies. So what's the best way to include your fur babies on your big day ? We have some tips below and Nashville based animal handlers that will become your best friend on your wedding day!

  1. Check your Venue Contract Our first tip is pretty self explanatory: If you want your dog/cat/frog/etc. to be a part of your ceremony and reception, your first step should be checking with your venue to make sure they allow animals onsite. Most outdoor venues are pretty gracious about having animals, but some venues do limit their animal companions to service dogs only. Give your venue a call, or have your wedding planner make sure there is no additional cost to having your fur baby involved in your ceremony.

  2. Consider your dogs temperament We all know how unpredictable our pets can be. I swear our dog Eva is like four pups in one. Some days she's super hyper and other days she just wants to be a sweet AC princess and take a nap on the couch all day. However, she literally become clinically insane when she's around large groups of people. Eva loves people and attention, so when she's in big crowds she has what we like to call her "15 minutes of moron" before she chills out. Even though she is a very sweet and well trained pup, we know her strengths and her weakness'. If your pup is too hyperactive to make it through a 30-45 minute ceremony, or will rip apart your bouquet, it's probably a good idea to include them in the reception only. Every animal differs, so make sure to cater to the genuine nature of your pet and make their needs a priority as well on your big day, they'll appreciate it!

  3. Consider your own temperament It's no secret that I am a helicopter pet mom. I want to know what's going on with my babies at all times. Sometimes I also have anxiety about how our pets interact with others and act in public and queens, I'm here to tell you that it's perfectly normal to have anxiety over your pets. Are they happy? Are they being taken care of? Are they going to jump on their favorite people while they're walking down the aisle? It's totally normal to worry and stress over how they're going to act. However, if having your sweet baby present is going to cause too much anxiety for you and your future spouse, consider honoring them in a different way. Animals are so very precious to us and members of our family, but don't let their presence deter you from having the best day of your life. Trust me, they'll understand!

  4. Prep your dog and know their role Training your dog ( or animal of your choice ) for your big day is key. Make sure you practice walking down the aisle with them, or teaching them how to perform their role in your ceremony. There are many roles your pets can fulfill: Flower Cat, Pup of Honor, Ring Bearer, Beer Delivery Service or you can have them in the front row as a honored guest. Whatever role you assign for your pets make sure to prepare them and also yourselves. Practice makes perfect and the more they learn what to do the better chance you'll have at success.

  5. Alert your vendors As a courtesy, it's a great idea to give your other vendors a heads up that a animal will be attending the ceremony or reception ( or both ). Most vendors won't care, but you do specifically want to prep your caterer since their #1 concern will be pet hair in the food. DJ's go absolutely nuts over dogs in particular and will 100% include your animal in dances and songs.

  6. Consider hiring a pet handler I highly recommend hiring a pet handler or having a designated trusted family member to take care of your fur baby on your big day. The point of your wedding is for you to have fun, worrying about your pet constantly is going to put a damper on those plans and having one person set aside to babysit your animal is worth every penny. Below are a couple of local pet attendants here in Nashville: Pup Stars Nashville Nashville Dog Walkers Fairy Tale Pet Care The Pet Gal Furry Ventures Pet Care

  7. Anticipate and prepare for chaos One of my favorite stories to tell about Eva is the one singular time we attempted to take her to Lowe's. She was so good with the people and random smells, however, I forgot to walk her before we went into the store which was, in hindsight, the worst mistake I've ever made. As soon as we got to the toilet aisle ( ironically ) she decided to take the biggest poo she's ever had in her life right in the middle of the aisle. Luckily, I had her back pack of puppy/cleaning supplies with me but we were mortified. That being said, animals are extremely unpredictable. Something is inevitably going to happen on your big day. They're going to stop mid aisle to munch on grass, poop right in the middle of the dance floor or steal something off of the buffet table. It's going to happen, so prepare yourself, your planner and your pet attendant for any and all possibilities.

  8. Honoring your dog in spirit If all of this seems a bit too overwhelming there are other ways you can honor your animals without having them physically present on your big day. Have your cake person add on a replica of your pooch as a cake topper. You can also include your pets in your save-the-dates and invitations. I've had a couple of brides include their pups as a signature cocktail as well. Add a couple of framed photos of your pets as a part of your centerpiece for your tables. Wear a charm that reminds you of them day of - the options are endless! Don't feel riddled with guilt for not including them either. Most pets will have no idea what's going on the day of your wedding and will happily stay home and nap the day away.

That's pretty much it queens! We hope the above tips will help you include your precious fur babies on your big day. As always, feel free to send us pictures of your pups of honor to I always enjoy gushing over them!!

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