Pets at weddings
Katrina Willis

Katrina Willis

Katrina founded Beautiful Bells in 2013.
She left the corporate world behind and now spends her
summers wielding a lump hammer in a field.
She spends her winters working in her PJ's or travelling.
Lover of twinkly lights, flowers and design.

Party Animals

Who’s more deserving of a place at your wedding – your work colleague you’re not particularly keen on, or your four-legged best friend who lives with you? We love pets at outdoor glamping weddings, and we believe, if they’re part of your family, they should be included. But of course, as with everything wedding-related there’s lots to consider to ensure your furry friends, and your guests, are happy and well looked after.

Venue

First things first you’ll need to check whether you’re allowed pets at your chosen venue, or you need to focus your search on pet-friendly locations. If your venue is agreeable it would be a good idea to get it in writing to avoid problems further down the line. The popular venue directory Coco Wedding Venues have a special section dedicated to pet-friendly venues! We are more than happy for pets to stay in our wedding bell tents.

Perhaps you’re allowed pets in the grounds but not inside. That might work if you’d just like your pet there for photos and to be with you for reception drinks.

If it’s cute animals you want at your wedding, and not necessarily your pets i.e. if you just want to swoon over animals in flower crowns then some venues have their own animals that can be part of your day. Grittenham Barn for example has Donkeys, and Southend Barns has Llamas.

Hampshire-based Mucky Bucket Farm can bring a mini farm to you!

Guests – considerations

They say never work with children or animals, but at a wedding you’re potentially doing both! If you’re planning to bring your own pets and you want to invite guests to bring their pets, make sure it’s clear on the invitation. You might need to specify dogs are welcome in the grounds on leads, or they’re welcome for a certain time period etc.

You may need to consider that some of your guests are scared of dogs, or allergic to them. What’s your animals temperament? Even the best-natured dogs might get scared/aggressive in an environment they’re not used to. They might feel intimidated if surrounded by small children for example. You don’t want any scared/hurt children on your wedding day. You also don’t really want frisky dogs ‘dancing’ with kids… not a good look for photos!

Pet sitters

Do you use a local pet sitter/dog walker? Can they take care of them for the day but pop in for photos? Do you have dedicated family members who can take it in turns to be dedicated pet minders throughout the day? You might want a sitter or a walker to take pets away during your meal for example.

Here’s an idea – have a dedicated bell tent for pets!

Photography

Tell your photographer if you’re planning to have your pet at your wedding. If you’re doing an engagement shoot take your pet along! It’s a lovely opportunity to get photos of your little ‘family’ and it’s an opportunity for your photographer to get to know your pet (and you of course!)

Make sure the photographer knows if the pet is only going to be there for a short time so they can make sure they dedicate that time to getting some good shots for you.

And make sure you get some shots of your pets in/outside our bell tents please!

Accessories

If you’re planning to include your pet in your wedding day we’re sure you’re going to take their grooming into consideration, along with your own. It’s likely you’ll want some accessories (because when else can you dress your pets up?!) We love Dapper & Suave’s range of dog bandanas. They look comfy and relaxed, ideal for an outdoor, glamping wedding. It’s important that your pet’s comfy in whatever you want them to wear. Flowers or a bow tie attached to their collar looks great and will be nice and comfy for them. If you think your dog will wear a silk flower collar them check out Cupid Collars! They do leads too.

Comfort considerations

Going back to that children and animals things, like babies and small children, your pets will need similar considerations. They need a bed to rest/sleep in, an opportunity for quiet time, food (you don’t want them tucking into your buffet), water, snacks and toys. Check out Etsy for their range of doggie favours. Perfect for a fully equipped doggie bell tent?!

Oh and there is of course the small matter of weeing and pooing… and we don’t particularly want them weeing up our bell tents! You also don’t want your dog taking a big dump just as you say ‘I Do’. Make sure they do their business beforehand, and make sure you’ve got poo bags and bins to dispose of doggy waste as your glamping wedding.

How will your pet be in the evening? i.e. if there’s loud music/fireworks etc?

Other ways to include pets

You may love your cats but please don’t take them along to your glamping wedding! It’s not a good look. Cats are home bodies but that doesn’t mean they can’t be included. Your photographer can get some lovely photos at home, among the excitement of getting ready, or you could potentially include your cat/s in your wedding stationery? Amy Lane draws bespoke portraits for wedding invitations and she’s often asked to include pets. Why not include an illustration of a bell tent too? We’d love to see that.

You may want to include a nod to a late pet? With a lovely photo in a locket or something.

Roles

Are your pets likely to do what you want them to? Make sure you have plan B in case your ‘flower girls’ aren’t in the mood for trotting merrily down the aisle with your rings attached to their collar. Similarly, the one man and his dog sentiment won’t be quite so symbolic if the groom’s ‘best man’ refuses to sit patiently at his feet as they wait for their love to join them at the alter!

As mentioned we LOVE pets at weddings (and pets in general) so please contact us to discuss your requirements for bell tents at your glamping wedding.

Featured photo: Tom Biddle Photography.

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Photo: Jenny Owens

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