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Pets in Weddings

As summer gets into full swing on Nantucket, we'll have many happy couples tying the knot on our beautiful island.  Pets are a part of the family and in many cases, can be a part of the wedding!  There are creative ways to work your pets into an engagement, wedding or reception though it's much easier to bring dogs along for the ride than cats.  If you plan ahead to avoid mishap, having you dog as part of the ceremony can add extra meaning to a day filled with love.  Here are a few tips to incorporate your favorite furry friend:

Wedding Propsal:
When you're ready to pop the big question, bring "Fido" along with the ring tied (securely!) to his collar - guaranteed hugs all around!  Or if your special someone is involved in animal charity work, you may choose to propose at a fundraising event.  Surrounded by fellow animal lovers enjoying an evening of fun, dancing and merriment will create lasting memories for years to come.  And best of all, your special night will also help support homeless pets.

Wedding Announcements:
Many couples chose to have their pets sit in on their engagement photo shoot or featured on Save the Date cards.  This is a cute way to show the whole family celebrating.  Be sure to talk with your photographer first about some ideas for the shoot.  Another good tip is to have an "dog wrangler" on hand, a friend or relative who can hold on to your pet while you move about, supply treats or keep them busy.

Party with a Purpose:
There are so many parties celebrating the lucky couple before they even get to the alter.  Bridal Showers, Bachelor and Bachelorette parties and more!  Why not skip all those extra gifts and ask your friends and family to donate to the local animal shelter in your honor?  Or find out if any animal organziations will be hosting events in the coming months.  Skip the hassle of throwing a party and ask everyone to attend the charity event with you.  If you're a crafty group, you might enjoy getting together to make something for homeless pets like hankerchiefs for them to wear (increases visability for adoption), simple chew toys or mats to lie on.  Shelters always appreciate the assistance.

The Ceremony:
If you'd like your pets to walk down the aisle on the big day, be sure to have an appointed handler for the entire day.  Consider the climate and weather and provide the handler with appropriate supplies.  Pups can wear festive collars matched to the wedding colors.  They can also serve as a ringbearer, though you'll want to be sure the ring is securely attached to the collar.  Be sure to have bags on hand for bathroom needs.  And above all, remember they are dogs and will act as such so just let it happen naturally.

The Reception:
Aside from having your pets physically present, another way to honor your pet is with a wedding favor.  Make a donation for each guest to an animal charity of your choice.  You can print out small cards for each place setting, explaining briefly what the charity does and where it is located.  Some larger organziations can provide you with a pre-made card to give out.  Not only does this raise money for the charity, it raises awareness as well.

Congrats to all the summer brides this year!  Have you been to a wedding with pets?  Did it work out or was there a hilarious disaster? 

[photo credit:  elopetosandiego.blogspot.com]