Furry ring bearers and four-legged flower girls are a common trend with dog-loving brides and grooms.
Weddings are celebrations fit for the whole family, and in recent years, the whole family includes the dogs. More and more couples are choosing to include their canine companions in their wedding ceremonies, and that means wedding vendors are being pushed to accommodate.
From doggy ring bearers to best-canines, dogs are earning top supporting roles in weddings across the country. Weddings have gone from cookie-cutter affairs to personalized occasions, and for some couples, that means sharing the day with the animals they love (almost) as much as their soon-to-be spouses.
Gina Sole, owner of the Wedding Planner in Rittenhouse Square, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that many of her clients are "truly passionate about their animals. Their pets are their children."
Sole states that since her first pet-included wedding in 2010, dogs in weddings have taken up about 30% of her business. Other wedding venues are taking notice of this recent trend and have begun advertising their pet-friendly services.
The Rittenhouse Hotel even goes as far as baking up gourmet dog treats for their four-legged guests. Pets snack on their specially prepared treats while donning bow-ties, flower collars, elegant leashes, and some even fit into doggy suits and tutus for the special occasion.
A snazzily dressed canine is wedding photography gold, and it's sure to please guests, but the logistics behind dogs in weddings has also had many couples changing plans. Amanda Congar from the Loews Hotel said,
"People think it's a good idea, but once we get to the actual logistics of it, they decide not to go in that direction."
The dog needs to be calm and well-trained, and a handler is often needed to care for the animal in between ceremonial duties. Jackie Baik, a soon-to-be-bride planning to have her 2-year old pup serve as her ring bearer, told The Philadelphia Inquirer,
"He definitely has a lot of energy, but if he does go off script, I think it will just add to the fun."
Bow-tie clad pups strutting down the aisle with Tiffany boxes strapped to their collars is the perfect way for dog-loving couples to share their joy with their favorite canines. With more venues catering to dog-lovers' wishes, it's predicted that pets will continue to steal the spotlight in wedding ceremonies everywhere.