3 Adorable Ways to Include Pets When You Get Married

By all accounts, we love our pets. According to a regular survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association, about 66 million households in the United States include pets. Of those, more than half say they consider their pets to be part of the family.

So, it’s no wonder you might be thinking about incorporating your furry friend into your upcoming nuptials. Just like every other aspect of wedding planning, how you do it is totally up to you. But, also like every other aspect of wedding planning, a little inspiration can go a long way.

See how other couples honored their pets when they got married:


Make Fido the Star of Your Engagement Shoot

dog 2 shaunae teske photography

Photo: Shaunae Teske Photography

One of the great things about engagement shoots is they really capture the personality of the couple. From the location choice, to the casual clothing, to the poses, this shoot is an opportunity to really be yourselves.

For Rick and J, a big part of being authentic is spending time with their dog, Carson, for walks or play dogs. J’s sister even made the couple and Carson matching bow ties!

dog 5 meredith hanafi photography

Photo: Meredith Hanafi Photography

Or, take a page from Craig and Chris, who wanted to show off Washington, DC in their engagement photos before moving to Los Angeles. With their two pups in tow, their engagement shoot was a beautiful tribute to their life in that city.


Elect a Pet to Your Wedding Party

dog 4

Photo: Jason Kaczorowski Photography

This is a great way to include your pet in the wedding in a genuine way. Pups have served as ring bearers, best men/women or honored guests. Steph and Erin gave their dog Subie the honor of serving as Steph’s best man, and even adorned him with a matching tie.

Since many are allergic to pet dander, it’s a necessary courtesy to alert guests they’ll be enjoying your pet’s company prior to the wedding.  


Make Sure Your Pets Are There In Spirit

dog in wedding makayla jade photography

Photo: Makayla Jade Photography

There are a variety of reasons not to include your pet in your wedding ceremony—the venue won’t allow it, lots of allergies in your family, or maybe he or she doesn’t do well in crowds. If this is the case, there are lots of ways to recognize how much your pet means to you at your wedding.

Grooms Bryan and Josh created a custom wedding cake topper with models of not just the two of them, but also their two beloved dogs. Other couples have honored pets in similar ways as other absent family members, with tokens of remembrance that reflect the pet’s personality.


Are you planning to include your pet in your upcoming wedding? Snap a pic of your pet and tag @GayWeddings on Instagram! We can’t wait to see!


Although I've spent the last decade riffing on everything from suburban politics to race in media, documenting love stories as content manager of GayWeddings.com definitely takes the cake. A proud alumna of Howard University's journalism program, I've written for Parents.com, The Huffington Post, xoJane and Essence magazine. When I'm not writing, I'm debating the merits of Drake, obsessing over frozen yogurt or plotting my next international adventure. I want to feature you on GayWeddings.com! Always feel free to drop me a line at community [at] gayweddings.com to share your engagement, wedding and love stories.