Animals in weddings.

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
4072 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

The dog sounds like it could be a disaster… but I guess it depends on the dog. For one, if you have a lot of unfamiliar people there, that could make the dog feel uneasy. And depending on venue, what are you supposed to do with the dog before and after? How are you going to attach the rings – what if they fall off? There is just a lot to evaluate.

The horse thing could be cool if you’re into it. My venue is a ranch, so some brides have opted to ride in on horses. I’d personally be too worried about my dress – getting it dirty, ripped, etc.

Post # 5
1248 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I went to a wedding recently where the bride arrived on a horse. The horse defecated while it was walking along (not on the aisle) and did get a bit startled by all the people when she was trying to dismount. If your cool that these things could happen then go for it. she got off the horse before the actual aisle started though and had her father walk her for that bit. I personally, having ridden for many years, would not ride the horse down a narrow aisle.

Post # 6
325 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I second the horse pooping thing.. I have seen another person on the bee talk about riding a horse down the aisle and EVERYONE was talking about the horse pooping XD

Just make sure you take into consideration the possibilty that it may poop during an important moment… and then the poop has the potential to get stepped in…

As for the dog… just make sure that it is not one that will whine if it is not getting attention.

We had our dog (little fluffy thing) “in” the wedding, but really she was just part of the “guests”, various people took turns taking care of her and it means a lot to me that our photogs got some fantasitc pics of her, and with her in some of the family group pics 🙂 … I would NOT have had her actually DOING anything in the wedding though. She is a very well trained, social dog… but still would not take the risk, thats just my opinion though 😛

Post # 7
1361 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

Sorry, but those are pretty bad ideas. 

Firstly because they are safety issues. I don’t care how well trained the dog or horse are, they are both animals that could easily get overwhelmed and potentially hurt someone, or in the case of the dog he could decide to take off with the rings. The horse could spook and throw you off, or seriously injure your guests. FFIL has hunting dogs and there have been times when they haven’t listened to him. It doesn’t happen often but with all the distractions, I wouldn’t be willing to risk it. 

I get it. It’s a cool idea to be able to ride down the aisle, but that’s as far as you can reasonably take it. Horses are never 100% clean, you’re in a white dress, they poop, they smell (yes, we might not notice because we are used to it, but to your guests you will smell like horse for the whole night), a horse is a HUGE animal that has a strong fight or flight instinct and no matter how calm he/she normally is, have you ever actually ridden him/her in a big poofy dress, down an aisle, in between dozens-hundreds of guests? Are you willing to risk the safety of your guests because you want to ride a horse down the aisle?

There are too many issues with these ideas IMO. 

Post # 8
7630 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

I wouldn’t include the dog and I’m on the fence about the horse.

It seems like there are a lot of things that could go wrong. I would absolutely never ride a horse down an aisle of sitting people. Even the best horses spook and someone could seriously get hurt. I would ride the horse up to the end of the aisle and then get off and walk, if anything. 

Post # 9
5800 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Both of these ideas can easily turn to disaster. 

Even if there’s no disaster, there will be a lot of eye-rolls from the guests. It’s not even YOUR dog that you want in the ceremony, and to many people, that just seems weird and awkward. 

I really hate to think how a horse would react if spooked by flash photography.

walk to make your entrance and have the best man hold the rings. Don’t try to over-complicate stuff. 


Post # 10
767 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I would have someone walk the dog down the aisle if anything especially since it will be outside.

Horse drawn carriage perhaps – not sure about you riding a horse. Don’t want your dress to get dirty and getting down from the horse in a dress gracefully may not be so easy. Also, horse may be spooked as well.

Out of one of the two I would say one with the owner walking the dog down the aisle. Then perhaps highering someone to watch the dog for the wedding right after he/she has done their ring bearer duty.

Post # 11
2657 posts
Sugar bee

Our dog will be at the wedding but will not have a major role.  We are doing a backyard wedding and she’s just going to roam around the yard as she always does.  She’s good at other backyard parties, so I have no worries about that.  When we told our officiant that a dog would be at the ceremony, the very first thing she said was “never put rings on the dog or make it the ring bearer”.  She said that you never know how they will react, even with the best trained dogs.  She also said that she has done multiple ceremonies where the dog thought it was a game of keep away and the groom had to chase down the dog during the ceremony to get the rings.  If you really want the dog at the wedding, I would not give them such an integral role.

Post # 12
2286 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

As a dog and horse lover, I think the dog idea is strange just because it’s not your dog. So it comes across as you wanting to use him in the ceremony because it’s unique/cute/good “entertainment” which I don’t think are good reasons to include an animal in a ceremony when there’s a potential for so many things to go wrong (running off with your rings). A RB is not a requirement, just have the BM hold the rings in his pocket or wherever. 

I love horses and totally understand wanting to include yours in your special day, I grew up riding and showing as well, but you know that horses are flighty and unpredictable. There is no such thing as a totally bombproof horse and I think if nothing else goes wrong, the horse is almost guaranteed to poop at some point during the intro/ceremony. 

Post # 13
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@carolinabelle:  +1. If it was your dog, I could understand. Our dog will be wearing his tux and at our wedding. If it was sentimental, I think it’s sweet. If it isn’t, then I don’t get it. I think the horse is a cool idea though. I assume since you own him, you know how to control him. 

Meh, I would go ahead with both if it were me but know some guests may get bent out of shape. 

Post # 14
8680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I think they sound really neat, but I don’t think they could turn out that great.

The dog seems nice and everything.. but if it freaked out and harmed someone, both you AND your venue could be in alot of trouble.

With the horse… same thing, even though you know your horse is a good horse, it could get easily spooked by alot of people.. and poop at a wedding doesn’t sound fun at all.

Post # 15
721 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

i would love to have my dog in my wedding, he means so much to me and my SO but we aren’t having kids or our dog for the same reason. they are too unpredictable and we don’t want to have to deal with that kind of drama during our ceremony

Post # 16
1981 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I think it can be cute when people have a dog in a wedding (if he behaves, no one is allergic to dogs, etc)- for some people, their dogs are their fur babies and really important. But this isn’t your dog or your FI’s dog- you’ve never even met this dog- that makes it weird/ forced/ And its really not even creative. Surely there is another way to incorporate your FI’s love of hunting. The horse seems like a recipe for disaster, sorry. Maybe take some b and g photos with the horse after the wedding away from all the guests? Also even though you are getting married at a ranch, a lot of venues don’t allow people to bring their own animals for liability reasons. Your wedding can be great without animals- good luck!

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