Dogs in Weddings

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when the shift happened, but it’s safe to say pets have firmly moved from being lesser family members to right up there with the humans of most households now. So it’s no wonder there has been an explosion in pets being included in major celebrations and events, especially dogs in weddings. 
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Plus, in our case at least, (but I’m guessing for many others too), the traditional marry- move in- babies- pet actually went move in- pet- marry - baby. Possibly for this reason, there has been a steep rise in pets being included in some way into weddings. I mean it’s only natural to want your nearest and dearest there for part of your big day.
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Talia from Veils & Tails (a pet wedding chaperone service in Adelaide) agrees that "With more and more couples starting their fur-fam before their human fam, pet are so much more than ‘just the dog’ these days. They are an extension of our family - loved just as much (maybe sometimes more) as the rest of the relatives. For any couple, their wedding is one of the most important days of their lives. It is a day to celebrate their love, surrounded by those they love most. Family, friends, children and yes, even their pets!"
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Sadly, I can’t share photos of Bailey in our wedding, because he couldn’t be there. We were married in South Australia and Bailey stayed in Queensland (where we were living at the time) with friends because we flew and were heading on our honeymoon on the way home. I was, however, lucky enough to be part of a wedding where Ollie stole the show (and hearts along the way). 
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I would say that location is the reason that we didn’t have Bailey physically at our ceremony, but in all honesty it’s more that his behaviour is to put it politely... spontaneous!!
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If you do feel your pooch is up to the task of participating in the wedding, there are even services that can take care of all of the logistics and your fur family on the day. Talia of Veils & Tails offers a pet wedding chaperone service in Adelaide and beyond to take the stress out of including your doggo in the ceremony and photos. 
Talia explains that many couples have reservations about including their dogs in their wedding especially barking, whining, pulling or jumping. She goes on to explain that "these behaviours are all really common and for many, a turn off for including their pet; but this is exactly why our service exists! Another hesitation is family pressure. Many young couples now want to include their fur babies, but get a lot of resistance from parents and other relatives who believe it to be improper, bizzare or have concerns of their own regarding the dogs behaviour. At the end of the day, your wedding day is exactly that - YOURS. It is a day you only get to do once , but will remember for the rest of your life, so do it the way you want!"
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Talia's service can "help with all of these behaviours and haven’t had an unhappy couple to date. In fact, most of the time we hear “this is so unusual for our dog”, “how have you kept them so calm?!”, and even “um, is this dog drugged?”  (and just to clarify - no!!). It’s amazing what some mental and physical stimulation can do when combined with dedicated attention, good rewards and even some puppy massage."
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Thank goodness such a service exists now, however, if it simply isn’t possible for your pets attend, whether your venue isn’t pet-friendly or your best friend has passed over the rainbow bridge, there are other ways to ensure you still feel close to them on the day.
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Here are some other ideas for including your pet without them physically being there-
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Cufflinks for the groom with the face of your pet, or mismatched if you have a couple of fur children.
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Have a fun pet portrait created that can sit on the gift table.
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Have a mini pet statue as a cake topper, or sitting patiently beside the cake would have to be my personal favourite.

Incorporate a photo of them into table numbers or place settings.
Include your pet in the wedding stationary, like custom designed invitations.
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Ask attendees to donate to an animal shelter or rescue organisation in lieu of a gift.
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Mention your pet in the speeches.
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    I hope that gives you plenty of ideas for how to include your furfamily into a wedding. If you aren't planning a wedding yourself, but know someone who is, be sure to send them this way for ideas too.
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    Photographer- Tiger Eye Photography, used with permission from the bride. 

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