pets for the wedding?

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Kickadeepi Posts : 18 Registered: 4/20/08
pets for the wedding?
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 5:38 AM

I was wondering if anyone has used their pets in their wedding and what there experiance with it was? Was it challenging or would you do it again? I was wanting my English Mastiff (Kahuna is his name) in my wedding, but I wanted to find out how difficult it would be (at least for the average size dog to smaller size dog) for them to be in a wedding let alone a 200 pound english mastiff. Although for his size he is not hyper and is well behaved, I was just wondering if people had ideas of ways to include him or experiances they've had with pets in their weddings?

Here are some pictures of him for your enjoyment! =) he's a Big boy! lol

myman.jpg picture by kickadeepi

Picture112.jpg picture by kickadeepi
Picture079.jpg picture by kickadeepi

Picture086.jpg picture by kickadeepi

Edited by: Kickadeepi on Jan 4, 2009 5:39 AM
Edited by: Kickadeepi on Jan 4, 2009 5:45 AM

Edited by: Kickadeepi on Jan 4, 2009 5:47 AM

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independant2406 Posts : 58 Registered: 12/8/08
Re: pets for the wedding?
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 7:59 AM Go to message in response to: Kickadeepi

I've heard of people who use their dog to be the ring bearer (they have a special carrier for the rings) I found this one on http://www.doggieclothesline.com/ I think its such a cute idea!!

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: pets for the wedding?
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 9:53 AM Go to message in response to: Kickadeepi

I would skip having the dog in the ceremony. Even if he behaves like an angel, some people are allergic to dogs, and others are uneasy around dogs that they don't know. Considering he's such a large dog, it seems pretty likely that someone might be afraid - or at least, uneasy - around him, and I'm sure you don't want any of your wedding guests to be uncomfortable. On top of that, unless you regularly bring him to places with large excited crowds, you can't be sure exactly how he'll behave. Even the most docile dogs can turn defensive and bite if frightened - I wouldn't risk it.

If you want some photos with the dog, go ahead and have someone bring him over when you're taking photos, but I wouldn't bring him to the ceremony. By bringing him to the ceremony, you'd be forcing guests to be within close proximity to him, which, as explained above, may make some people uncomfortable. If you bring him for a short time after the ceremony (or whenever you want to do your photos), you can enjoy some time with him without forcing potentially allergic or dog-hating people to do so as well.

He's a gorgeous dog, by the way!

DaisypathWedding Ticker

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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: pets for the wedding?
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 10:03 AM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

I'm with ArtBride. Personally, I'm terrified of dogs that fit into the quality of "Bigger than Me" and that one does.... heck, he's bigger than my FH. I'd be extremely nervous -- and they can sense that.

And it has nothing to do with how sweet he is (because he looks like he has a pleasant disposition)....it is all in that he could knock me on my butt without trying just by saying hello.... and if I have put on my nice dress for your wedding, and your dog decided to come greet me, I'd be very nervous .... would he jump up, would I fall down, is my dress that I paid a fortune for about to be ruined at the whim of a horse?

But DO plan a Trash The Dress session with your dog! (TTD doesn't mean you ruin it....it just means you're not concerned if you get dog slobber on it, and you go to incongruous places -- like taking your dog for a walk in the park in your wedding dress. I have a friend who wants to do some TTD shots with me and my cats.)

Misty

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: pets for the wedding?
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 10:13 AM Go to message in response to: Kickadeepi

Dear Kick,

I have seen dogs in weddings, usually as a ring bearer. In all cases (three), the weddings were outdoors.

It would work if:

1. The dog has a dedicated handler. That means someone to hold the leash from beginning to end. Ideally, it would be someone the dog knows and likes already.

2. The dog has some basic training. Sit. Stay. Down.

3. The handler takes the dog to a private place to do his business from time to time, and the handler can recognize signs the dog needs to do his business.

4. You spread the word well in advance that you are thinking of including your dog. Tell people to let you know if they are allergic or have other issues.

5. You have a safe and comfortable place to put the dog away from the guests should thing suddenly go south. Sometimes too many people can spook a dog, even a really mellow gentle dog. The safe and comfortable place should be shielded from noise, have a comfy rug or pillow and an untippable bowl of water. The handler should visit the dog to reassure him and take him out for his business if necessary.

I love dogs, especially the two I have now.

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mrsJLA Posts : 445 Registered: 5/25/08
Re: pets for the wedding?
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 1:42 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride



AOTB - Very good points. However I would like to add a few
to whoever out is really considering it.

    • How is old your dog and has he had any formal doggie training.

Since your wedding is not till 2010 and if you are
seriously planning on having him in it, he not only needs to be able to master
Sit. Stay. Down ... but Sit Stay and Down with DISTRACTIONS. DH and I are doing
the Petsmart training with our dog just finished Intermediate training, where
the big theme is being able to follow commands with lots of distractions (like,
sit and wait while I bounce this squeaky ball in front of you). And wedding day
= TONS of Distractions.

    • A dedicated "Doggie Handler" as AOTB put it, is
a good idea. However, some dogs will only obey commands from certain members of
a family or household - not because they weren't trained properly, but because certain
hand signals/body postures & sounds coming as commands from you may come
off different from another person. Just a warning, when we went on our
honeymoon and left the dog with DH's grandparents, he had a whole new set of
commands we never taught him.

    • My dog is what I call "Stage Five Clinger Puppy"
-meaning, if he saw me at the end of an aisle, regardless of who was holding
him, he would drag the person escorting him to get to me, if not bowl me over. I
love my dog, but a wedding is not the time nor place for jumping doggie love.

    • PRACTICE PRATICE PRATICE. In the weeks leading up to the
wedding, get some friends to stand on both sides of an imaginary isle (or even
just your FH and the person who is walking him is fine) and make sure the dog
can walk a straight line while FH/ Friends are causing distractions. Whatever
you do, don't make assumptions or try to wing it! Never works.

A pic of my third leg... I mean dog... dont let his 35 lb size fool you, he can still knock you over!


Jaime Kiss

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: pets for the wedding?
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 7:21 PM Go to message in response to: mrsJLA

I don't know how I feel about excluding a dog because some people might be uncomfortable. If you are talking him walking down the aisle, it's not like he's going to be on people's laps. It's not that I'm unsympathetic to those who are uneasy around dogs, but I mean...some people are uneasy around homosexuals, for example, and you wouldn't ban the, right?

But I DO agree with auntofthebride to spread the word ahead of time...if someone is deathly afraid of dogs and REALLY couldn't bear to be around him, they at least have the option of skipping the ceremony part, avoiding sitting near the centre aisle, etc.

Another options I've heard for a dog (aside from ring bearer) is a "greeter" at either the church or reception. I'm not sure if this would be better or worse for those uncomfortable around dogs...can anyone comment on that?

In general, I don't think his big size will matter too much...a lot of bigger dogs are much calmer than small dogs and seem to handle crowds better.


I would also recommend some professional training as someone else suggested, that deals with dogs obeying commands while in the midst of chaos. Petsmart isn't a bed place to look for that- their sessions are often held in the middle of the store, so there are people around EVERYWHERE.


Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

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newsjunkie Posts : 3,417 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: pets for the wedding?
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 7:26 PM Go to message in response to: Kickadeepi

Your dog is adorable!

However, is he REALLY well-behaved? Who will take care of him before and after his ceremonial duties? Trust me, YOU cannot be responsible for him at all on that day, you will be otherwise occupied! Can someone bring him home/to a kennel/to a sitter? I doubt that any dog is going to be happy throughout the whole ceremony, picture time, and reception!

If you have the answers to all the above questions and feel your dog will enhance your day then go for it. I am a huge animal lover but all my pets are cats and, unfortunately, they aren't well-mannered enough to do anything wedding-related. :) (Because otherwise they totally would have been right there! lol)

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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: pets for the wedding?
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 10:27 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

But BL.... none of the homosexuals I know might bite me because I might be wearing a perfume that they are sensitive too or a color that they happen to hate or they smell my cats or they have just become overwhelmed by one too many people. And none of the homosexuals I know are likely to jump on my legs and possibly knock me on my butt. Or pee on my shoe. or crap on the aisle runner.

People might be afraid of/uncomfortable around homosexuals, but homosexuals are usually pretty well behaved and tend to respect personal space.

And if I did know a homosexual who might do that to my other guests, I wouldn't invite them, no matter how sweet I thought he/she was <G>.

Misty

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: pets for the wedding?
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 12:48 AM Go to message in response to: CatStandish

"But BL.... none of the homosexuals I know might bite me because I might be wearing a perfume that they are sensitive too or a color that they happen to hate"

Are you SUUURE about that? :P

I realize that wasn't the best example to use (people may be uncomfortable around homosexuals, but I doubt many people are, say, afraid of them).

Still, if someone's dog IS well-behaved, tends to NOT invade personal space, then I don't know if you can make a decision based on someone else's misplaced fear.

For example, I am afraid of flying. It is 100% an irrational fear. But I am still terrified of it. I could never, though, suggest that people not have destination weddings because some people might be afraid of flying. And I wouldn't suggest that people ban flowers from weddings because some people are allergic....does that make sense?

I mean no disrespect, and I don't think everyone should love dogs just because I do, but if she really REALLY wants the dog in the wedding, and IF the dog is well-behaved...I think she should go for it.

Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

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kennysoldwife Posts : 3,859 Registered: 4/28/07
Re: pets for the wedding?
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 6:57 AM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

BL some people are so sensitive to dog dander or flowers for that matter that it would/could be a major health hazard. My MOH is one such person. I actually asked my guests not to wear perfume or colonge because of her sensitivity. It was important to me to have her there with me not so important to have the guests that couldn't respect the request. I am an animal lover but I would never risk the health of a guest because of my love for my pets. If I am going to see my friend I won't even touch my pets before I see her just so that I don't make her sick.

OP your dog looks like he would be very entertaining, but I would suggest finding something else for him to do. I liked the TTD idea that way you could have pictures of the two of you or the three of you together in your wedding attire.


Kenny and Me Perfect Together,  10 years and counting.

  wedding ticker

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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: pets for the wedding?
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 1:41 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

I know people have their pets at weddings, but it is a matter that people should consider -- some guests may be uncomfortable. If I've met the dog, I might well decline based on my knowledge of said dog -- I might also call and ask the bride / groom for information on their dog, and depending on what they said, I would decide whether or not to come.

It's up to them to have the pet there, but they also need to be aware that it might impact some attendance -- so it does depend on what they want.

I love the PICTURES of weddings with dogs in them, but it is very likely that I'd not personally go to one.

I'd love to have my cats in my wedding. However, I know my cats. One is so skittish he hides whenever anyone comes into the house. Half the time he won't let me pick him up. He's scratched me OUT OF FEAR so many times it's ridiculous, as I've never hurt him or dropped him....but he is very very skittish. He also piddles when scared. Clearly, this is not a cat who belongs at a wedding.

The other cat is half and half. He can tolerate people for about 10 minutes, then he wants to go in his box and hide and gets a little growly after his 10 minutes are up. He's never bit anyone, and I know he wouldn't. However, no one likes a growly kitty cat. They can be scary. Also a cat who does not belong at a wedding. I will be having a post wedding picture taken with them though <G>

One of my bridesmaids DESPERATELY wants me to have her little ball of fur be my Ringdog. He's not my dog. I've never met him (see above feeling about going to a wedding with a dog). I do feel that if there is an animal at the wedding, that should be an animal who is very important to the Bride and Groom.

Regarding scents -- my dad is scent sensitive (not to the extent of the previously mentioned MOH). I'm wearing perfume as I won't be spending a lot of time near him. However, the bouts are going to be with flowers that have very little scent, and the candles I'm making will be completely without scent. I'm not asking guests not to wear perfume, because he's accustomed to it in bigger areas, and if someone has too much on, he'll walk away from them.

Misty

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Kickadeepi Posts : 18 Registered: 4/20/08
Re: pets for the wedding?
Posted: Jan 6, 2009 12:23 AM Go to message in response to: mrsJLA

Kahuna is 3 1/3 years old (he will be 4 in January15th). He has gone threw obediance training and actually has been in nursing homes, hospitals, and even a phyciatric center to visit patients. He can get slightly excited when he first sees anyone, but after about 1 minute of realizing that it's people he will actually laydown on the ground and take a nap, lol! We are training him for the Canine Good Citizen test!

My main concern is what role would he play and what about my dress? I wanted him to be line my man of honor ( although I would still have my maids of honor) but it would just show people how important he is to me in my life. I was planning on having a friend walk him down and him sit on the side with him and afterwords take pictures with him and then just take him home. Otherwise my plan B would be to include him in our engagement photo's.

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: pets for the wedding?
Posted: Jan 6, 2009 12:54 AM Go to message in response to: Kickadeepi

"BL some people are so sensitive to dog dander or flowers for that matter that it would/could be a major health hazard"

I COMPLETELY understand this. That said, if the OP is mentioning wanting her dog involved, I would guess it's unlikely that anyone close to her has a massive allergy to dogs that she knows about.

Like with flowers...most people have flowers at weddings. If you knew someone horribly allergic to them, you might opt to go with fake ones (like in your case, kennyswife). However, if you had no knowledge of someone being severely allergic to flowers, you likely wouldn't ban them from your wedding "just in case", right? That was my point.


You always, always want to be accomodating to your guests, but this is something she really, really wants, and it's not like it's a completely ridiculous request, you know?

My dogs could never be in a wedding . Lady would run in circles around the church; Eddie would chew on my train.

As for cats..man, I'd like to bet that there are VERY few cats that would actually cooperate for a wedding:) I love cats, but man, when they aren't happy, they do a VERY good job at looking immensely ticked-off.


Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

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weddedbliss09 Posts : 5 Registered: 10/14/08
Re: pets for the wedding?
Posted: Jan 6, 2009 2:31 AM Go to message in response to: Kickadeepi

Hey I say go for it if it means that much to you..The heck with the sissys who swear all dogs are out to eat them...let them stick with their cats. Odds are if you have a dog that large the people you have closest to you are also dog people ...don't know if that is true but just speaking from experience. Plus if your dog means that much to you who cares let them know and make their arrangements accordingly (he is after all family)...i don't mean this for every dog, but i don't think any dog owner would put their dog in a situation where they thought the dog would injure someone. I have a Boxer and although she may look a bit menacing she is calm and sweet as pie...You know your dog...do what you wanna do. I would have made my dog a part of my wedding but no animals allowed :(. My next is a French Mastiff can't wait.

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