New research has revealed that as many as one in 10 Brits have given pets a central role in their wedding ceremony.
Conducted by the Blue Cross, the research revealed that almost a quarter would choose their horse to be part of their big day.
A massive 92% of those in favour of pets’ coming along to weddings said they wanted to walk down the aisle with their pet as maid of honour.
Over half wanted their pets to have a starring role in wedding photos and video and more than half of those asked would choose their pet as their best man.
Sheryl and her husband married in August 2016 at their local church in Nottinghamshire.
The couple had adopted a beautiful horse called Dekota from Blue Cross in February 2014, she joined their family as an unbacked four-year-old who still had a lot to learn and needed to gain the trust of people.
Just two and a half years later, Dekota was ridden to her new owners' wedding to be included in the photos.
Sheryl says: “We couldn't imagine looking back on the day and Dekota not being in any of our photos or memories. It really was amazing and just made our day perfect.
"I was so proud with how well she stood for all the photographs and how patient she was whilst we were organising my wedding dress. I wouldn’t ever have considered a wedding day without her; she is part of our family.”
While it is great that pets are finding roles in their owner’s big days, it is important to remember that their happiness and comfort is the most important thing while they’re there.
Anyone considering involving a pet in their wedding day should follow the below tips to make sure that a stress-free day is had by all:
- Your pet’s personality – when thinking about the role you want your pet to play, consider their personality. For example, you might want your dog to be maid of honour, but do they get stressed in crowds? Be sure not to put your pet through anything that will make them uncomfortable or scared;
- Check the venue is pet-friendly in advance – you'd be incredibly disappointed if you turned up on the big day only to find out your beloved pet isn’t allowed inside.
- Be treat conscious – although weddings are typically a time for you to overindulge on multiple courses of food, you should make sure that your pet isn’t doing the same. Give guests a heads up that treating your pet isn’t a good idea as they may not be aware what foods are safe for animal consumption;
- Notify the photographer (and your pet!) – make sure your photographer knows in advance that your pet will be involved in any shoots so they can think of some creative ideas of how to get them involved.
- Book a pet sitter – a wedding is tiring enough for a human and possibly even more so for your pet. Have someone familiar on hand that can take your pet home and away from the festivities after a couple of hours.
Whether you're getting married or not, pets can make an exceptional addition to the family.
If you'd like to give a loving home to a homeless Blue Cross pet, visit bluecross.org.uk for more information.