A large number of the wedding ceremonies I officiate in the greater Palm Springs area are celebrated in breathtaking venues. With palm trees, snow-capped mountains in the background, golf course greens, acres of seasonal flowers, lakes, and wonderful desert vistas, couples often feel they are featured in a movie-style backdrop. Naturally, they want their families and friends included in this destination paradise.
Although I am recognized for the special ceremonies I do to include children in the Vow portion, lately, I have had the fun and challenge of incorporating several couples’ pet dogs. They are their “children,” so it is very important to have the dogs play a role in their wedding. I understand this since I have two very small rescue dogs I adore; and my friends no longer carry photos of their children or grandchildren—only their pet dogs!
If you want your dog(s) in your wedding, here are some suggestions for you to consider:
- Is your dog used to loud music and crowds of people?
- Is your dog well-trained to obey commands like sit and stay?
- Does your dog like to be dressed up in flower garlands, dog tuxes or frilly dresses?
- Is your dog leash-trained enough that you could have it walked in with just a fancy ribbon lead instead of the leather or canvas one?
- Are you willing to have your fairy tale Big Moment stolen by the cuteness of a puppydog tail? (It is similar to seeing all eyes on the two-year old flower girl instead of the bride!)
- Are you willing to be unbothered if your sweet pet decides to take off after some critter or goes to the bathroom on the groom’s shoe?
At a recent wedding, one of the pair of dogs was a large bulldog. She wandered away from the maid of honor’s side and finally lay down between the couple and me and promptly went to sleep snoring loudly. The microphone picked up the snores drowning out the couple’s responses somewhat. I had to check that I hadn’t put the guests to sleep as well as the dog! It was a memorable and funny moment in that ceremony. It could happen to you.
A great alternative to consider is to wait until the post-wedding photos are taken with the bridal party and include your dogs. It will eliminate a lot of stress if you are not sure your pets are up to the walk down the aisle; and they will look adorable in your wedding album and add to the memory of your perfect fairy tale wedding. Contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org for more tips on how to make your wedding exceptional and stress-free.
Rev. Patty Spicer
An Exceptional Wedding Ceremony (website)