In keeping with the trend for couples to personalize their weddings, some bridal couples include their family pet. This decision should not be taken lightly and preparation is the key.

Begin by checking with both your ceremony and reception venues to make certain that pets are allowed. If you’re getting married in a house of worship, there’s a strong possibility that they have no pets rule. Your reception venue may also disallow patents based on Board of Health regulations. 

When and if you have gotten past this hurdle, next up is to be fair to yourself and to your pet you by taking into consideration several issues. We have all been privy to an adorable flower girl who freezes at the end of the isle and refuses to walk. The same thing can happen to your pet, who can become overwhelmed by the number of people around. If your pet is obedient, well-trained and comfortable around lots of people, you should be okay, but if your pet is a jumper or barker, including such a pet can be a mistake. Prepare a bag of treats, toys and comfort items. Then, do yourself a big favor and hire a professional pet sitter to keep an eye on your pet, so you can go about your business.

If you’re going to dress your pet in wedding “clothing,” try them on for size and comfort well before the wedding. Last, but not least, keep in mind that glitches happen and including a pet makes the likelihood greater of things going wrong. Weigh that against your wish and against the comfort of your animal.