When my spouse and I got married in 2015, our two cats celebrated the occasion by hiding from our friends and family for the entirety of our at-home reception. But folks with more social pets are in for some good news: According to Etsy's report on 2018 wedding trends, pet-friendly weddings are set to be all the rage this wedding season.
Etsy's trend guide indicated that according to Marketwired, pets were included in 8 percent of wedding ceremonies in 2016, and "Fido’s prominence (and participation) is only expected to grow," Dayna Isom Johnson, wrote in the trend report. She put the guide together by looking at trends "across Etsy and the wedding industry as a whole: what sellers are creating, what shoppers are loving, and what’s hot right now in the wider market," according to the trend report's introduction.
There are more than 30,000 Etsy search results for "pet wedding," she wrote. And the fact that pet-friendly weddings are big in the wedding world isn't surprising, Johnson told Well + Good. "A couple's wedding day is one of the most important days of their life and should include all the loves of their lives, including their fur baby," she explained.
If you're looking for ways to include your furry friends in your nuptials, Reverent Wedding Films suggests some super-cute options, like including them in your save-the-date photos, having your pup act as a flowerdog, and getting a custom-made wedding cake topper in the image of not only you and your partner, but your pet(s), too. The cake topper and photo suggestions are great for folks who have pets that may not like being in the spotlight as a flowerdog or a best cat.
People who are enough of a pet person to want to include their pets in weddings likely know this, but it still bears repeating: If you want to bring your four-legged family members into your wedding plans, you're going to have to consider how the experience will be for both your human guests and your pets. You should also be aware it's going to add more to-do items to your wedding planning list.
As someone who stressed over planning a wedding that was five minutes long and only had two guests, I can't even fathom how people handle the anxiety of planing weddings with dozens or even hundreds of guests. But I did add plans for my cats' comfort into my at-home reception, so I can tell you your No. 1 concern with a pet-friendly wedding is to consider your pets' comfort zones. You may want more than anything to include your pets in your actual ceremony, but if your pet simply doesn't like a lot of people, or if they get easily stressed when they're outside of your home for a long time, you may have to sacrifice your plans for the comfort of your pet.
Other things to think about are the planning practicalities. Bridal Guide notes that you absolutely need to contact prospective wedding and/or reception venues to ask whether they allow pets, and you should also notify your guests and your photographer. Bridal Guide also suggests lessening your wedding planning stress by hiring a dogsitter for the big day — someone to make sure your pet is there on time, that they have enough water, food, and rest throughout the day, and that someone has an eye on them at all times.
With all that taken care of, though, you'll get to be part of a growing number of folks who make their furry family members part of their wedding day. And if you're interested in hitting any other 2018 wedding trends, Etsy's guide covers everything from hip decor options to the newest in wedding dress styles. Mazel tov!