Landscape image of Tegan and Adam on the beach in Cornwall with their dog
Tegan and Adam

It’s no surprise that pet friendly weddings are on the increase, as lots of couples think of their pets as a key part of the family. What’s more, there are also a growing number of suppliers who specialise in getting your four-legged friends ready for their big moment, as well as walking them, feeding them and quietly taking them home afterwards when it all gets a bit too much. And when we say pets we mean everything from dogs and horses to owls and even alpacas! 

So, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite pet friendly weddings, along with a few top tips on how to include your own cute little bundles of fluff in the big day…

Are pets allowed?

Findlay and Kelly's dog on their wedding day and a photo of Kelly arriving to the church with her dad and 6 bridesmaids.
Findlay and Kelly

The first thing to do is check that your venue is happy to accommodate pets. Many will, as long as your pooch/cat/horse is well behaved and well looked after. Designate one person to be in charge of your pet for the whole day, including getting them to the venue, keeping them happy and stress free then taking them safely home later. 

Findlay and Kelly’s Shetland sheepdog Nancy was waiting outside after the ceremony to congratulate them. She was also dressed for the occasion with her very own bow tie and ‘Dog of Honour’ neckerchief to match the colour scheme!

Alternatively, consider hiring a pet chaperone. They offer a variety of services, including collecting your dog the morning of the wedding and walking them, so they arrive at the venue calm. They’ll also get them dressed and look after them during the ceremony. Afterwards, they’ll have your pet close by for the photos before looking after them overnight. Some also offer wedding day-focused training. This is designed to encourage your pooch to sit nicely for photos, carry the rings, wait at the end of the aisle or greet guests calmly.

How to involve your pet

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Kyla and Thomas

It’s one thing having your pet with you but how can you get them involved? It does all depend on what kind of pet you have. How well behaved are they? Will performing in front of a crowd cause them stress? If you’re happy that they’ll be happy, why not have your dogs as ring bearers or even as bridesmaids? Alternatively, if your pet is something a bit bigger, like a horse, maybe you could ride them to the ceremony?

Kyla and Thomas’s dog, Dave, was on the beach when Thomas proposed, so it seemed right that he was at the big day too. He had a green bow tie that matched the groom’s and he sat beautifully for the formal photographs. Sharon and Sander's dog also had an important role to play. “During the ceremony, my father gave me away. The official's speech was very beautiful and personal, with the highlight being the rings moment. The rings were brought in by our dog, a labradoodle called Noa.”

What should they wear?

Tegan and Adam

They obviously don’t have to wear anything, but a new lead, a floral collar arrangement or a little bow tie certainly looks adorable. Tegan and Adam's cute dog, Nuala, wore a pretty floral harness decorated with flowers for her important role escorting the bride.

“We had a beach wedding at Driftwood Spars in St Agnes, Cornwall,” says Tegan. “It had a relaxed vibe and the whole day took place outside.  They’re also right on the beach and dog friendly, which was important for us. My little dog, Nuala, walked me down the aisle. It was my favourite part of the day!”

Include them in a different way…

Karl's personalised wedding tie with an image of their dogs who sadly recently passed away
Hannah and Karl

You might have a much-loved pet but a wedding day can be busy and not all animals are suited to this. If your pet can’t be there on the day, there are plenty of other ways to include them. How about adding a picture to the stationery, having an animal theme or simply having their picture on display? Lots of couples include them as a cute cake topper!

Hannah and Karl included a sweet nod to their dogs as part of the groom’s outfit. “I got Karl a few personalised items to wear on the day," says Hannah. "He had a green tie from Moss Bros and it had a patch on the back featuring two of our dogs, who we had unfortunately lost the year before. He also had a beautiful tie pin with some of the dogs' hair enclosed and also some from our puppy, who was six months old at the time. The puppy also attended the wedding for a few photos, but was too bouncy to stay the whole day!"

Love all animals? How about…

Josie and Mike walking hand in hand with their wedding guests throwing confetti over them. Also an image of a bridesmaids holdng an owl.
Josie and Mike

Finally, if you don’t have a pet or just want as many animals as possible there are plenty of other options. Josie and Mike accessorised their outdoor wedding with a trio of barn owls. “Our ceremony was very different,” says Josie. “We had already married at the local registry office, so we had lots of fun! My mum and I walked in to Beyonce’s ‘Smash Into You, we made vows to our guests and they made vows to us. We also read our own vows to each other and we physically tied the knot with a hand-fasting ceremony. Then we had our best man bring our rings in via a barn owl!”

Two images of the owl's which made an appearance at Josie and Mike's wedding venue Norfolk.
Josie and Mike

“After the ceremony guests enjoyed drinks and canapés in the gardens and we also had three owls on perches for guests to hold and have pictures with. I have some lovely photos of Sarah, the barn owl who came in with the rings. The owls were our best entertainment by far and the guests and venue staff loved them. They'd never seen owls at a wedding before. They also kept the guests busy when we snuck off to have our pictures taken.” 

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Lucie and Dan

Alternatively, real bride Lucie secretly booked a horse-drawn carriage for her big day. “Straight after the ceremony I surprised Dan with the horse and carriage,” says Lucie. “We went for a ride, just us two, and Dan was gobsmacked that I’d booked it and kept a secret for over a year! It was amazing.”

Perfect pets

So, are pet friendly weddings for you? However you do it, if you’re an animal lover or have a special furry friend in your life, there’s no reason why you can’t incorporate them into your big day. Whether they’re your bridesmaid, your ring bearer or your cake topper, if they have a special place in your heart then they should have a special place at your wedding too!

We’d love to hear all about your pet friendly weddings, so click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Read more brilliant real wedding stories here or, for more inspiration, check out our Instagram, Facebook or TikTok accounts.