Making Your Pet Part of Your Wedding

If you're getting married, you may find the idea of your tuxedo-clad dog as part of the wedding party irresistible. You wouldn't be alone. People are increasingly including their pets in the wedding party because pets are considered members of the family.

In addition, many people meet while walking their pets in doggy parks. When they realize they were meant for each other, how can they exclude the pets who brought them together?

Of course, before your pet joins you on the walk toward holy matrimony, you should plan his or her role carefully. Above all, you should plan to maintain a sense of humor, no matter what happens. It's almost impossible to predict how your relatives are going to act, so don't expect to know how your pets are going to behave. (Hopefully, both will be on their best behavior, but you just never know.)

The type of pet you have affects his role. The groom or bride (or both) can ride to or from the ceremony on a horse. Smaller pets such as ferrets or rabbits will tend to have smaller roles. Cats are not generally cooperative; the large crowd and noise can be intimidating.

Dogs are the most common participants. They often stand up as one of the groomsman or even best "man" – which gives the whole man's best friend concept a new twist. Your pet should be well-behaved and trained to sit-stay.

Outfitting your dog for a tux is not as hard as you might imagine. Web sites such as can provide a custom fit within a week by mail. If you want to match style and color, you'll need to plan ahead, notes Gayle Moore, owner of Doggyduds. You should also get your pet used to wearing clothing and walking up and down the aisle several weeks prior to the wedding.

Here are a few other tips to follow

One final piece of advice: Pets are a lot like children in a wedding party, so be prepared to share a little of the limelight with them.