If you’re among those who share your home and heart with a furry friend, you undoubtedly want to include your companion in as many of your life events as possible — and if you’ve got a wedding ceremony in your future, you may wish there were a way that your pet could be there as you meet your beloved at the altar. You may even feel as if your big day just won’t be the same if your cherished animal companion is left at home. After all, pets are family, and it isn’t right to expect a family member to sit at home alone on the most important day of your life.
Fortunately, upscale destination weddings don’t mean “no pets allowed” anymore. In fact, it’s become quite friendly to include furry friends on the guest list and even to have them play a role in the ceremony itself. For instance, well-trained pets sometimes serve as ring bearers, while others escort their pet parent down the aisle or serve as best dog. However, proper planning is necessary to maximize the chances of everything going off smoothly.
What to Consider Before Including Pets at Your Wedding
Consider the following factors carefully before making a firm decision to include your favorite furry friend in your wedding festivities.
The temperament of the pet
The temperament of the pet should be the first thing you consider when deciding whether to make your destination wedding pet friendly. For instance, a gregarious dog is likely to be a better and happier wedding guest or ceremony participant than one that shies away from noise and crowds.
The pet’s level of training
Pets that haven’t yet been fully trained sometimes pose problems at events in unfamiliar locations. However, most people have enough time before their destination wedding to provide their pet with the training required to be a good wedding guest and participant, so work with your dog often in the weeks leading up to your big day.
Those who are flying to their destination wedding need to read the fine print on the airline’s pet policy carefully. Pets under a certain weight may be allowed to fly in an airline-approved carrier under your seat, but larger pets are generally required to ride in the cargo hold. Those going this route must provide a hard-sided carrier. Some states require a vaccination record or health certificate from your veterinarian before you’ll be allowed to board the plane.
An increasing number of airlines are not allowing short-nosed breeds such as English Bulldogs and Pekinese to travel in the cargo hold. This is because their shortened bronchial tubes make them more vulnerable to developing respiratory issues as the result of changes in temperature and air pressure commonly associated with unpressurized jet cargo holds.
Tips for Successfully Including Your Pet in Your Destination Wedding
Choose a Pet-Friendly Venue
Choosing the right venue is a key element in pulling off a destination wedding with your pet as the guest of honor. Although an increasing number of hotels and resorts have adopted pet-friendly policies in recent years, not all of these are equal when it comes to offering amenities designed specifically for pets. Look for accommodations that feature dog-walking areas with plenty of room for your furry friend to romp and frolic. Even the most mellow dogs sometimes experience anxiety in unfamiliar surroundings, as you probably already know, physical exercise provides a great way for dogs to work off nervous energy.
Assign a trusted friend or two to dog duty
No matter how much you cherish your furry friend, assign a trusted human or two to help with pet care if for no other reason than to have a Plan B in place in case your dog needs a break from noise and activity of the festivities. Choosing someone outside of the wedding party prevents anyone from having even more wedding duties tacked on to their schedule. The best option is someone with a flexible schedule who your dog already knows and trusts and who is willing to pinch-hit when it comes to pet care tasks.
Pack familiar toys and blankets
Dogs respond better to unfamiliar environments and situations when they have a few familiar objects around them. Toys and blankets are good choices.
Contact Pursell Farms for More Information
Part upscale resort and part old-school family farm, Pursell Farms offers designated dog-friendly rooms where guests can have two furry friends join them for their wedding festivities. Please contact us at your convenience for more information on making the most of your destination wedding.