Many, many brides and grooms are animal lovers, and including a live animal in your wedding might seem like a very special addition to your day. There are, however, some ways to include animals which usually go very smoothly, and others which are best avoided. This is what you should know about using animals in your wedding.
Probably the most common way that couples bring an animal into their wedding is when they include their dog. The dog might be an honored guest, it could be the ring bearer, or it could even walk the bride down the aisle (sorry, Dad!). Any of these ideas can work out beautifully, as long as you consider the location and the temperament of your pet. Certainly many indoor venues like churches are not going to allow any dogs in the building other than service animals. This means if you really want Fido with you during your wedding ceremony, you should check out the pet policy of any potential venue you are considering. Outdoor locations will tend to be the most accommodating.
The temperament and training of the dog must also be considered. If you have a highly skittish little terrier, it is patently unfair to insist that the dog come to a crowded wedding. For one thing, it will make him terribly anxious, and for another, he is unlikely to perform on cue. A jolly Lab, on the other hand, might be a fantastic escort for the bride – just keep him away from the buffet tables at the reception! That brings us to another point: be sure to have a good plan in mind for your dog after the wedding ceremony. Your guests will be none too pleased to have a dog begging at their feet as they eat their filet mignon, and it really is not fair to the dog either. Ideally, your dog would have a familiar friend waiting to take him home at the conclusion of the marriage ceremony.
Sometimes animals are used to create drama. This would certainly be the case when the bride rides into the ceremony on a white horse or the newlyweds arrive at the reception via elephant. Without a doubt, the elephant idea is pretty darn fabulous. It is a customary part of some Indian weddings, but a very fun tradition to borrow for other couples as well. If you decide to do this, be sure that the elephant is all decked out with fancy jewels that sparkle like your crystal bridal jewelry. Of course, a trained wedding elephant is not available in every town, nor will it fit into every budget. It would work best for an outdoor reception so that the guests could be surprised by your grand entrance on the pachyderm.
Riding into your ceremony on horseback also has potential, but only if you are actually a skilled horseback rider. Otherwise, it is sure to be one of those ideas that looked good on paper, but the reality is the horse refusing to go or the bride falling off her mount. Keep in mind that riding a horse in a bridal gown will be very different than in pants; you may need to ride sidesaddle and it would be wise to select an A-line gown rather than something with a huge petticoat. The key to pulling this idea off is to practice with the actual horse you plan to ride. That way, if things don’t go well, you can still decide to walk down the aisle in the usual way.
The other most common way that couples use animals in their weddings is to release doves or butterflies at the end of their ceremony. This is unequivocally a bad idea. While it sounds beautiful, the reality is that the birds and butterflies often die shortly after being released. Besides that, the release often does not go as planned; you open the box of butterflies and find them already dead or the birds refuse to take flight and soar. If you want butterflies at your wedding, wear Swarovski crystal butterfly motif bridal jewelry. Let the real creatures live their lives in freedom.