How to Have Animals at Your Wedding Without Being a Dick

Thinking about having an animal at your wedding? You’re in good company.

Reports show that literally every 2018 wedding had something four-legged and furry in attendance. The trend for bringing pets and hiring animals is huge. Like, we’re pretty sure American wedding blogs won’t feature your wedding unless your dog is officiating, your cat is a flower girl and some alpacas assist in the bouquet toss.

If you’re planning on inviting some animals and want to make sure you don’t make any wrong moves, read on. We’ve covered all the bases to make sure you (and your animals!) will get on well.

Diana Ascarrunz via A Practical Wedding

Check with Your Celebrant and Vendors

Checking that your venue allows animals is an obvious task, but you should also mention it to your key vendors. Pugs might scare the holy ghost out of Father Jim, and cats might make your photographer come out in hives. Make sure everyone that matters is comfortable with spending time in the company of animals, especially if your pet is going to be a big part of the day.

Assess The Risks

So many aspects of a typical wedding would be a pain in the backside of any pet. Go through the timeline of the day with your pet and their capabilities in mind. Maybe having your shoe-chewing, hair-dryer hating dog at bridal prep isn’t going to fly?

Ethically Sourced Wedding Animals

There’s a lot of debate about how ethical it is to hire animals to appear at weddings. The industry is booming in the UK, where a few hundred euro will get you a couple of hours in the presence of a llama, but Irish farmers have been slower to rent their herds to newlyweds. In conversation with Irish wedding website The Vow Ruth Newton of Curraghduff farm says she would consider offering wedding packages in the future, but that it all “depends on whether the alpacas would enjoy it.” That’s the key point here – there shouldn’t be any possibility that an animal guest would be harmed or stressed out for the sake of your wedding.

Make sure they won’t be ferried too far from home, that they are treated well by their owners and that your wedding will be a comfortable environment for them. If that proves tricky, it’s probably time to let the dream die.

Book an Animal-Packed Venue

If your heart is set on having some animals at your wedding, choose a venue that’s already home to some wedding-friendly creatures. Dublin Zoo and Fota Resort are obvious choices, but many country houses and estates also offer the opportunity to mingle with animals. Martinstown House from our guide to leafy-escape venues is home to donkeys, cats and is also a bird sanctuary, for example.

Remember That Your Pet Won’t Care

Honestly, your pet won’t mind if you don’t make them a flower girl or page boy. If you’re very disappointed that you won’t be able to have him or her along for the big day, remember that they’d probably prefer to be at home with a bowl of chicken fillets anyway.



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