Bride and Groom with Dog | Buena Vista Wedding | Colorado Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo
Tips

How to Include Your Pets in Your Wedding

So, you’re planning your wedding and you’re making a list of all your favorite humans to invite to celebrate the day with you. Family, friends of the family, college friends and work friends will all make the short list. But what about your furry friends? For some of us, our pets are just as important to us than our human friends. But how do you incorporate your pets into your wedding without it becoming a hassle? Don’t worry, we have your back! Here are our top tips on how to include your pets in your wedding!

Pets at Wedding Ceremonies

The easiest way to incorporate your pet into your wedding ceremony is by bestowing upon them honor of being your ring bearer. And it doesn’t have to be a dog either. We’ve had the distinct pleasure of photographing a pig ring bearer and a hawk ring bearer, which are still to this day two of our favorite wedding moments of all time.

By the way, one million bonus points to you if you have a pet bear. I’ve always wanted to see the pun “ring bear” actually come to life.

how to include your pets in your wedding | Chatfield Botanic Gardens Wedding | Denver Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Pig Ring Bearer | Chatfield Botanic Gardens Wedding | Denver Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Hawk Ring Bearer | Evergreen Lake House Wedding | Evergreen Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Dogs at Weddings | Buena Vista Colorado Wedding | Colorado Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

how to include your pets in your wedding | Rocky Mountain National Park Wedding | Estes Park Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Dogs at Weddings | Rocky Mountain National Park Wedding | Estes Park Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

If your furry friend is too energetic to walk down the aisle with your wedding rings, there are plenty of others ways to include your pets in your wedding. For example, you can also have him or her “sign” your marriage license with their paw/hoof/claw, etc.

how to include your pets in your wedding | Rocky Mountain National Park Wedding | Estes Park Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

We’ve also had a bride who rode into the ceremony on her horse, which was f*cking awesome.

Bride Riding White Horse | Crooked Willow Farms Wedding | Colorado Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Pro-tip: If you decide to incorporate your pet into your wedding ceremony, be sure to designate a friend or family member to act as a “handler.” This way, you can enjoy the rest of your day without having to worry about taking care of your furry friend.

Wedding Portraits with Pets

One of our absolute favorite things to photograph is couples in love with the pets they love. It’s love-ception! It provides a really cool and unique new dimension to the shoot and acts as a great complement to the rest of your portraits.

The way that we like to approach this is to have your handler tag along with us for the first part of the portrait shoot. Once we get a few really great shots, he or she can take your furry friend away while we do the rest of your couple’s portraits.

how to include your pets in your wedding | Devil's Thumb Wedding | Colorado Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Bride and Groom with Farm Animals | White Owl Ranch Wedding | Colorado Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Bride and Groom with Dog | Buena Vista Wedding | Colorado Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Pets at Wedding Receptions

If you’d rather not have your furry friend at your wedding ceremony or your portrait session, you can always have him or her hang with the rest of the crew during the reception. Of course, this always works best if you’re having an outdoor wedding.

It’s also better if your pet is super well-behaved like this cute little guy giving a wedding guest a high-five during one of our recent wedding in Buena Vista!

how to include your pets in your wedding | Buena Vista Colorado Wedding | Colorado Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

What if our dog is too high-energy for our wedding?

If you’re worried about your pet wreaking havoc on your wedding, you can simply have them present during the “getting ready” portion of your day. This is when you’re hanging out with your closest friends and family before the wedding ceremony, getting your hair and makeup done, having some cocktails, getting dressed, etc.

Having your furry friends in the room during this portion of the day not only makes for some really meaningful wedding photos, but it’s also a great alternative to having to designate someone to corral them for the rest of the day.

how to include your pets in your wedding | Planet Bluegrass Wedding | Boulder Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Dogs at Weddings | Ironworks Denver Wedding | Denver Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Dogs at Weddings | Rocky Mountain National Park Wedding | Estes Park Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

how to include your pets in your wedding | Seattle Wedding | Destination Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Cats at Weddings | Texas Wedding | Destination Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Engagement sessions with pets

Instead of having your pets at the wedding itself, feel free to bring them along for your engagement shoot instead. We really enjoy shooting the love between our couples and their pets and this is always a great complement to the rest of your engagement and wedding photos.

Similar to wedding portraits with pets, we always encourage our couples to bring along a friend or family member to take care of their pets after we’re finished doing those photos, so that we can take just the two of you off for the rest of your session without having to leave your furry friends in the car.

Bride and Groom with Horse | Colorado Horse Ranch Engagement | Colorado Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Bride and Groom with Horse | Colorado Horse Ranch Engagement | Colorado Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

how to include your pets in your wedding | Colorado Horse Ranch Engagement | Colorado Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Bride and Groom with Pet Pig | Golden Colorado Engagement | Golden Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Bride and Groom with Pet Pig | Golden Colorado Engagement | Golden Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Engagement Shoots with Dogs | Boulder Engagement | Boulder Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Engagement Shoots with Dogs | Golden Colorado Engagement | Golden Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Engagement Shoots with Dogs | Golden Colorado Engagement | Golden Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Engagement Shoots with Dogs | Denver Engagement | Denver Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

how to include your pets in your wedding | San Francisco Engagement | San Francisco Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Engagement Shoots with Dogs | San Francisco Engagement | San Francisco Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

how to include your pets in your wedding | Boulder Engagement | Boulder Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Engagement Shoots with Dogs | Denver Engagement | Denver Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Engagement Shoots with Dogs | Denver Engagement | Denver Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

“Found animals”

You may have heard the term “found details” in reference to wedding detail photos. This just means that instead of placing your rings on a pine cone or laying out your wedding programs on a piece of burlap or lace, we’ll photograph these important items within the natural context of your wedding day.

For example, we’ll shoot your rings as they’re going on your fingers and your wedding programs as your guests are picking them up and reading them. This way, it feels less contrived and more real.

The same concept applies to anything that captures our interest throughout the wedding day, including (but not limited to) various members of the animal kingdom. So if you’re animal lovers, but don’t have pets of your own, we’ve got you covered!

how to include your pets in your wedding | Edgewood Inn Wedding | Colorado Springs Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Unique Wedding Detail Photos | Denver Wedding | Denver Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Unique Wedding Detail Photos | Chautauqua Wedding | Boulder Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

how to include your pets in your wedding | Denver Wedding | Colorado Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

If you have any questions about how to include your pets your wedding or ideas you’d like to run past someone who’s in the wedding industry and understands the flow and logistics of weddings, feel free to reach out to us anytime. We’re here as a resource for you throughout your entire wedding planning process. Cheers!

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