Wedding Planning: Including Pets in Wedding Ceremonies

If you decide that you’d like to have a pet at your wedding, plan with the basics of having a pet at the reception. Read the wedding venue’s policies for pets.
Two person and a dog with rings on ring fingers

While it’s easy to put all of your attention on the big day, planning a wedding is a time-consuming labor of love. So if you’re trying to add an animal friend or two into your celebration, we will provide you with everything you need to know about how to include pets in your wedding ceremony.

First, let’s talk about what kinds of pets are allowed at weddings. While it might not seem like it would be a big deal to have one or two furry friends, you’ll find that several laws and restrictions govern what kind of animal can be present during your wedding ceremony.

Regulations to Be Aware Of

The general exclusion of certain animals from attending ceremonies falls under the law known as the Animal Welfare Act. This act requires that any pet brought into a public building be leashed or confined in a specific area. Your reception hall will likely have some rules about the animals you want to bring inside for the evening. You’ll want to ask about these rules before you start planning your special occasion.

Things to Analyze While Involving Pet In Wedding


Before you book your location for the ceremony, give some serious thought to whether or not you want to include a pet in the wedding. You’ll want to contact your potential site and see their policies regarding pets.

Some venues will have strict rules about the kinds of animals allowed on the premises, and others would suggest you use a dog fence. If you’re having a destination wedding outside of the country, check into any laws surrounding bringing your pet with you, wherever it might be legal.

Rules for Pet Ownership

Once you’ve decided if the location will allow you to bring your furry friend in for the party, you’ll need to be prepared to understand their policy on pets. Please look at their website or call them up and ask to speak with someone about pet policies.

Your venue may have some rules that they won’t discuss over the phone that they’re willing to share when it comes time to finalize your arrangements, so be sure to know what you can and cannot have in your ceremony before making any decisions.

Photography of Pet

Most wedding photography services will want to take a picture of the animal during your ceremony, so you’ll need to consider how you want to handle that situation. Some couples opt for a “petzcene” shot where the pet owner holds the animal for their personal use in the photo, while others choose to have a professional photographer capture an image of their pet.

Booking a Pet Sitter

If you want your pet to attend the wedding, you’ll need to plan and the best part is to use an extreme in-ground electric dog fence. You can book a pet sitter through your venue or use one of the many resources available on the Internet that will help you connect to someone willing to take care of your animal for a night or two.

Having an After-Ceremony Photo Opportunity

Most couples choose to have their guests wait outside during their getaway before heading back home with their loved ones so that they can snap some amazing photos together at their celebration site. If this is something you’d like to do, you must speak with your photographers about any special instructions they’d like for this photo session.

Speaking with Your Venue

While they might not answer every question you have about having a dog at the wedding, your venue will be able to answer some of the more basic questions you have about having any animal present during the ceremony.

If you’d like to have an animal of any kind join you at your reception after the ceremony, make sure that your site is willing and able to allow that before making any decisions about what sort of furry friend you want there on the big day.

The Final Verdict

Whether or not you want to invite an animal friend into your wedding celebration will be entirely up to you. However, if you decide that you’d like to have a pet at your wedding, then plan with the basics of having a pet at the reception. Read about the wedding venue’s policies for pets, take some advice from friends and family who have attended weddings, and proceed.