How to incorporate non-traditional pets into your wedding

Don’t we all just love seeing those fur-babies popping up in weddings? At the beginning of the year, you could see more and more small dogs make their appearance in weddings as ring-bearers or just with cute accessories that would fit the whole wedding style. But how could you incorporate other pets that may not be as domestic or as easy to handle as a small dog?

Well, these three wedding and engagement sessions have been able to incorporate their favourite pets despite the fact that they are not the most traditional ones.

Gaelle + Juan

To start, we have a lovely engagement session featuring two beautiful horses. Aside from dogs, horses have also been making an appearance in weddings lately, especially in the styled shoots* you see on the big wedding blogs and in the wedding magazines.

* A Styled Shoot is a photo shoot where several wedding suppliers collaborate on recreating their vision of a perfect wedding day. Usually, there is a decorated table, a bouquet and one or two models who act as bride and groom. This allows the suppliers to showcase their best work, independent of the personal style of their clients and independent of the client’s budget.

Incorporating your favourite pet into your wedding is a lovely idea any day, but why not start during the engagement session already? If you choose to hold an engagement session, having another living thing to capture the attention of the photographer might also help to release some of the tension that you might feel.

A small word from photographers Nick + Danée about this engagement session:

Photo credits:  Nick + Danée Photography

"Gaelle grew up around horses, so one thing that she was sure of when it came time for her engagement session, was that they were going to be involved. The horses in the photographs are not hers, but she did grow up taking care of them at the stables.  Their names are Beau and Jet, and we now have a new found obsession with horses.  They are such loving creatures.  The session could not have gone any better. Gaelle and Juan were such a joy to work with, and the weather was perfection.

There ended up being a pink hue in the sky, and when I made a comment that they looked like they were straight out of a fairytale... Gaelle responded with, "I feel like I'm in one".  That just goes to show how at 'home' she felt with her fiancé, Juan, and her favorite horses by her side." 

Amelia + Charlie

With all the horses appearing in wedding sessions lately, I almost feel like they are becoming less non-traditional lately. But let me tell you, the same can definitely not be said of this next wedding pet.

Here is how photographers Catherine and Andy of White Stag Wedding Photography introduced the wedding:

"When even the registrar sheds a tear, you know you’re witnessing a very special and beautiful ceremony! Amelia & Charlie celebrated their wedding day surrounded by their friends and family at Chilston Park in Lenham, Kent. Amelia got ready in the Star Room at Chilston Park, whilst Charlie was at home with the boys – this gave Andy the opportunity to include their tortoises Zeus and Hermes into the wedding photographs!"

Did you read that? Turtoises! One of my personal favourite pets and boy do they make this wedding look even more beautiful than it already is. When these lovely animals caught my eye, I just knew I had to share them with you!

Since hauling around turtoises is not very pet-friendly, and also not very handy in general, I would propose doing something similar as Amelia and Charlie and make sure they are included in the pictures at home.

The same can be said for your cute little bunny, your indoor cat, or even your hedgehog. Make sure your pets are able to enjoy the lovely calm environment of your home and please don’t drag them into a ceremony hall if you know they will be out of place there.  Incorporating pets into your wedding is a lovely idea, and a great memory at that, but let’s keep it a nice moment for your pet as well right :-)

If you want to see the rest of the wedding pictures, you can catch the whole wedding right here.

Savanna + Brett

When your pet is slightly bigger, and more at home in a busy atmosphere, you can consider using your pet as your ring bearer like Savana + Brett did.

Here is a small introduction from photographer Stefanie from SMM Photography:

“This wedding was full of personal touches. A Bo-berry biscuit cake, a Krispy Kreme Donut stack, a gorgeous cake from Cakes by Melissa, handmade bowties, the best guest sign-in I've ever seen, and the couple's pet pig, Gumdrop, as the official ring bearer."

You can check out the rest of the wedding right here.

Photo credits:  SMM Photography

Photo credits: SMM Photography

Yes, you heard that right. Savanna & Brett had one of the most original ring bearers I have ever seen: a pig! Don't you just love that idea? If you would like to incorporate a similar pet, make sure you have one person who is dedicated to take care of the pet all day. This person can make sure your pet doesn't wander off or starts to get bored and eat the draperies (just an example).

The two of you will be so busy all day, it will be quite hard to dedicate yourself to keeping track of your pet at all times on top of everything else. So make sure you have one dedicated person whom you can trust to make sure your lovely animal gets the attention it deserves.

A nice idea is to schedule some cuddle-time right after the ceremony before you send your pet back home. Then you can spend a few minutes revelling in the fact that you two just got married (I mean, how awesome is that!) and you can spend some quality time cuddling with your favourite pet.

Another paragraph about this wedding caught my eye, that I feel is critical to share here:

"Savanna & Brett laid out a rug that will go in their home at the alter, and setup a mantle that will be installed at their first home together as the alter backdrop. Each thing they incorporated was personal and heartfelt.”

This last paragraph reminds us all again of the one thing a wedding is about, sharing your heartfelt love and appreciation with the people you care about the most. Just like I said in my post about giving yourself some grace a few days ago, you need to make sure that your wedding feels natural to you.

If having your pet as a part of your wedding feels natural to you, then do it. However, if doing so makes you even the slightest bit uncomfortable, no matter the reason, then don’t do it! This day is ultimately a reflection of your love for each other and your relationship, and you both need to be fully supportive of everything you want to include.

Share the craziest animal you've ever seen in a wedding in the comments below :-)