HAVE THEM BE THERE, WITHOUT ATTENDING
In case your pet doesn’t do too well with crowded spaces, it’s best not to have him present at your wedding throughout. However, there are several ways to have him there, in spirit. “Including your pet in your mehendi or going for a custom wedding invitation gives you the perfect opportunity to incorporate your doggie into your wedding story,” says Rashi. Opting for a custom cake-topper with your furry friend at your feet, would also complete the picture.
ORGANISE AN INTIMATE PHOTOSHOOT FOR ANXIOUS PETS
“Shy pets and senior snugglers are happiest when surrounded by just your inner circle of closest friends and family,” says Rashi. So being a part of your wedding shoot perhaps, proudly holding up a ‘Save the Date’ sign or the wedding announcement, makes for a memorable photograph. You could also organise an exclusive, pre-bridal photoshoot, styled to include your most loyal companion.
INCLUDE YOUR PET IN YOUR PROPOSAL
Yes, typical ‘going down on one knee’ proposals are nice, but add little Rufus or Oscar, and you have yourself the memory of a lifetime. “To take your proposal idea up a notch, attach a ring box with pretty ribbons to his collar, and get a trainer to teach him how to go up to your partner to ‘pop the question’! I mean, his approval is paramount after all, isn’t it?” says Tanya.
HAVE THEM AROUND THROUGHOUT THE FUNCTIONS
Keeping in mind your dog’s personality, training, and behaviour around strangers, you could consider having him present throughout your functions. If your dog is friendly and doesn't mind crowds and some noise, he can certainly be the guest-of-honour at your functions. Tanya also suggests hiring a qualified pet-sitter to look after your pet during any functions he attends, and ensure that he is comfortable.
HERE COMES THE FLOWER POOCH!
If your pet is happy being part of large gatherings, this idea will work for you. “With their wagging tails and happy eyes, dogs make for the most adorable ring bearers or flower distributors!” says Rashi. With a custom wedding outfit on, or simply a charming bow-tie that slips on to the collar without a fuss, have your fur-baby will make people go ‘awww’.
IN MEMORY OF A DEARLY LOVED DOGGIE
Pets will always have a piece of our hearts, and remembering them on a special occasion is but natural. If you have, unfortunately, lost your little friend, there are always ways to commemorate him. Rashi suggests creating a photo wall of your fondest memories together. Or even better, spread the love by making a donation to an animal shelter in his or her name, or sponsor a special meal for them.
YOUR BEST-MAN OR MAID OF HONOUR
“If you're having a ceremony where your BFFs are walking down the aisle, why not let your pooch strut his stuff as he joins the entourage?” suggests Tanya. In order to avoid inviting chaos into your ceremony, its best if you hire a dog trainer to teach your pet how to walk down the aisle, calmly. A bunch of dog treats and a little patience and practice, should do the work.
INCLUDE CONFIDENT DOGS IN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHS
Have your ‘fur baby’ pose for some memorable, Insta-worthy photographs. “Get him some cute matching outfits, and you’re good to go! I mean, technically he is your first baby, isn't he?” states Tanya. Plus, coordinated outfit photographs would make for some truly adorable memories!
MAKE THEM A PART OF YOUR DOLI/BARAAT
Here’s how your pooch can arrive in style! To make a grand entry, Tanya suggests getting your pet along with you in your doli, or in a separate, swanky one, made just for him! Alternatively, if he’s from the groom’s side, he could certainly join the baraat. However, while doing so, ensure that your dog doesn’t get troubled with loud noises or over-excitement, both of which tend to be a part of Indian weddings.
BUST A MOVE
This one's a little tricky, and best saved for trained doggos. “If possible, you could do a small dance routine with your pet on stage, maybe during the sangeet performance,” states Tanya. Get a qualified dog trainer to teach your pup a few tricks, and most importantly, how to stay calm. Go with some simple tricks such as the ‘spin’, the ‘leg weave trick’ or even a ‘hop up’. Yet again, dog treats to the rescue!
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