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Planning a pet wedding

Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix th...

'Til bark do us part

Is your boxer in "woof" with the sweet little poodle next door? Throw them a wedding to rival the royals.
Dog wedding
pet weddings

'Til bark
do us part

Is your boxer in "woof" with the sweet little poodle next door? Throw them a wedding to rival the royals.

Let’s be honest. Pet weddings aren’t really about the pets. That being said, they can be a fun excuse for a party, the kids love it and it’s sure to be a day of unpredictable excitement.

Here comes the bride!

When you're planning a pet wedding, as with a human one, attire comes first. No matter what other frills you have, the right doggie clothes can set the mood.

How elaborate you get depends on your pooch, though. Some dogs prance around like the Queen of freakin' England after a day at the groomers, so decking her out in full-on bridal regalia that gets tons of attention is probably right up her alley. But some animals aren't fans of extra accessories.

For those pets, consider a collar-like option that's less likely to annoy them. The groom can wear a simple satin dog-collar bow tie. Brides can wear a simple collar decorated with white flowers. That being said, if your pooch is a diva (or he-va), you can opt to go all the way with a full bridal dress and tux.

If you choose to have bridesmaids and groomsmen, the same holds true. If collars are your only option, the wedding court can simply wear the wedding colors while the bride and groom are decked in white and black (respectively). Doggie Clothesline has an array of wedding-wear to choose from.

Decor and setting

Quick tip: Make the wedding short and sweet. Humans don't like sitting through a 20-minute wedding that isn't their own. Animals are less patient since they don't really know (or care) what's going on.

You'll want the area where the wedding is being held to look like someone's getting married, but don't go overboard. It's best to hold it in an outdoor location for obvious reasons. But that doesn't mean you can't have a lovely altar and aisle. A few yards of fabric in the right color and an altar decorated with a couple of pretty flower arrangements should do the trick.

You'll need a minister, but in this case, it doesn't need to be one ordained by the state (though that's a nice touch now that you can get it online). Just make sure you choose someone the animals will react well to.

Remember, when it comes to this part, you're just trying to give the illusion of a wedding for the attendees. Use an iPhone to stream wedding music during the puptials, but don't spend too much money on the decor. The bride doesn't care, and the most fun part for the attendees is the part where the bride (or the groom) doesn't behave as expected.

Golden retreiver weddingRock the reception

The reception should also be held outdoors (so pets can attend without constant potty breaks). This is where you should focus your cash. It should be a people- and dog-friendly place, so make sure you have snacks and amusement on hand for all.

For people, have plenty of appetizers, fun music and a few animal-related games to play. For the pet guests, you'll need treats, chew toys and an area where they can roam unleashed.

Just for fun, have a special animal-friendly wedding cake for the bride and groom (a small one that will give a bite or two each to each pet guest is fine). You can also have pet-friendly treats on hand to use instead of wedding mints. As a bonus, this SheKnows recipe is edible for humans, too.

Take plenty of photos

This is a great time to get fun candids of your pets. Make sure there are plenty of photographers on hand. Better yet, hire a real animal photographer to attend and you'll get amazing photos of your pets that you'll cherish for a lifetime.

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