Paying homage to your pets when they have to be MIA on your wedding day

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Our cat, Fetus, is a big part of our lives and we'd like to find a way to incorporate him into our wedding, even if he can't physically be there.

I'd love to hear how other Offbeat Brides are paying homage to their pets!


First of all, Fetus is an AMAZING name for a cat! Okay, now on to the ideas… Of course the best way to incorporate your fur baby (or babies) is to bring them! We love weddings where the couple's dogs are the “flower beast.” But if you can't bring your pet to your venue, here are a few ways to make their presence felt…

Mike and Katie Wedding Photography Austin Texas Memory Lane

You could include them in your invitations and/or save the dates. For example, you could do what Jermaine and Laura did and have your pets do the inviting…

Save the Dates

  • Mention them in your ceremony and/or somehow incorporate them into your vows so that you're not only committing to each other but you're promising to commit to your furry family members as well.
  • Have your pets represented in your cake topper!

cat figurines

  • Have a special framed photo of your pet/s at the reception, perhaps by the guest book so that all your guests can be greeted by them. Or, even better, include them in your engagement photos and then display those photos at the wedding.
  • Have the favors be donations towards the shelter from which you rescued your pets, or a breed specific charity.
  • Include photos of them into your wedding slide show (if you're doing that kind of thing). Or if your venue has use of a projector, you could project one good pic of your pet in the room.
  • Wear a charm bracelet or cufflinks with charms that represent your animals.
Wedding table number
Flickr member mingaling made their table numbers out of pictures of their dog Molls.
  • Get matching tattoos that represent your pet(s) before the wedding and make sure to wear clothes that show them off!
  • If you either have a LOT of animal friends, or a small wedding, you could even name each table after one of your furbabies. OR use your one furbaby to illustrate the table numbers.
  • Include them in your guest book design, like this geniusness from Flickr member penelope waits
a guest book page
  • You could incorporate your animals into your bouquet — attach a locket with their pictures to your bouquet or create a brooch bouquet with pendants and baubles that represent your pets like Cat did.
Cat's parrot brooch and real parrot at her wedding.
Cat's parrot brooch and real parrot at her wedding.

You'll find TONS more ideas in our archives:

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Comments on Paying homage to your pets when they have to be MIA on your wedding day

  1. My husband I had cake toppers made by The Pink Koala over at Etsy. Along with little Liz bride and Jason groom gnomes she made replicas of our 2 dogs as well as other woodland creatures from the area we got married in. See our cake here and here: (cake by Katie Cakes in South Lake Tahoe and photos by Kathleen Amelia)

  2. Lara did a wonderful job on our Save the Dates! So excited they made it on. Annnnnnnnnnd I might just use Layla and Luna pictures for our table numbers too. great idea! 🙂

  3. My husband and I got married three weeks ago, and we incorporated our cats into our vows and our ceremony. We wrote our own vows, and I thanked my husband “for understanding why I talk to our cats.” Also, we got married in a movie theater and my husband made “credits” to play on the screen that featured video portraits of our cats. It was rad.

  4. i love this post. both myself and FH have lost pets recently. He lost his family’s golden retriever to age and I lost my feline soulmate Clancy to cancer. We have not adopted new pets yet because we arent ready. But we decided that in lieu of wedding favors we’re going to donate the money it would cost to the SPCA (clancy was a shelter kitty). The SPCA will send you place cards that explain the donation, and we’re going to try to have “In loving memory Clancy and Rascall”

    • We’re doing that too! Hearing my girfriends freak out over wedding favors has scarred me so there’s that experience AND the fact that this is far more meaningful for us.

      Here’s a linky if anyone is interested

  5. What a lovely post. We are travelling from Ireland to New York for our wedding and will have to leave our 2 Westie pups with my parents (we’re sort of eloping with only my sister and her hubby as guests!) As we aren’t having all the usual trappings of a wedding party there aren’t many ways to incorporate them but I have designed a whole range of greetings cards already based on our pups and used the Thank you one as thanks for wedding gifts if that counts! I may also make a mention to them in my vows now that I’ve read this!

  6. My co-worker and her partner made the beer for their reception and incorporated a picture of their dog in the labels they made.

    • Omg, perfect! 4 cats + 4 kinds of home brewed beer/wine = awesome solution to my labling conundrum!!! Ty!

  7. I really dig some of these ideas. As a mommy to five cats, one foster kitten, and a dog, we seriously need ideas to incorporate our fur babies 🙂

  8. Phill carried a picture of our cats in his kilt sporan on our wedding day. We wished so much that they could have been there.

  9. My FH and I are having a Wall-E themed cake for our wedding so to symbolize our pets, we’re including figures of other robots from the film that we like and of course a cockroach.

  10. We had our cake toppers made from gumpaste and asked them to make one extra figure…our tuxedo cat Taz, who’ll be sitting mischievously on the edge of a lower tier. If we had been able to have our cake and toppers made by the same folks, we’d have had Taz stretching his front paws up the tier, scratching at the cake (and would have dug out the frosting to look like he’d scratched it). 🙂

  11. We had all our dog’s different nicknames as the names of our tables and had a picture of each of him on each table.

  12. I got a picture, wearing my wedding dress, with my dog before heading out to the ceremony. Picture this: An 80lb doberman/greyhound mix, afraid of you because you’re wearing a big ol’ white floofy dress. 🙂

    • That’s adorable. My Boston kept trying to jump on me and there was so much dress she would just sort of slide down.

  13. We made 4 different 1″ pins and one of them was of our kitty! It was so funny to walk around the reception and so many guests had our kitty pin on them – even people who haven’t met her 🙂

  14. We have pictures of several of our animals, past and present, in our slideshow. And in honor of our cat Pringles, we have a donation box to the SPCA where we got her and the cat hospice I volunteer at, instead of a dollar dance. And when someone makes a donation, they can ring a bell and we will kiss!

  15. I love when people incorporate their animals into their marriage adventure. I think that if people look into it, they’ll find it’s easier than they initially might think.

  16. You could hire a petsitter to help incorporate your pet in your ceremony if you want to make him a ring bearer or her a flower girl.

  17. i think our current plan is to have wooden dolls made of me, the groom, the groom’s son, and our two cats (Harvey and Tallulah). We will be on top of the cake (if we have a cake – not sure – we might be on top of a tiered stand of cookies.) The other three will be beside the cake, or on the lower tiers of the cookie stand.

  18. How about getting a cardboard cut out of your pet? My dog cant be there on the day but I am getting a cut out made so he can be in some of the pictures and I’m sure it’ll look great x

    • I’m doing this too! with my two little doggie we’re doing a few so people can use it in the photobooth as a prop ^_^! So excited to see the pics!

  19. I have two cats (I was going to say “we” but I’ve had them for 10 years and I’ve only have my FI for 4. Also he says that he doesn’t own them, he just lives with them). We’re having two cats as our cake topper, and because we are both animal lovers and our bridal party and families are too, we’re having pictures and names of the pets in our lives (past and present) as table names. Because we’re having such a large wedding, we’re including the names of our bridal party’s pets too!

  20. Love this idea! My fiance and I are huge animal lovers, in the 5 years we have been together we have collected 5 cats and most recently, a boxer puppy named Luna! Unfortunately we lost two of our kitties this past year. I was going to have a “rememberance” table with pictures of loved ones who have passed away (grandparents and my fiance’s stepmother) and some candles burning. Now I have the idea to include pictures of the 2 kitties we lost as well.

    Of course, now I’m dreaming of a giant pet-friendly wedding where everyone brings their doggies! 🙂 We are getting married in my mom’s backyard so I should probably run that past her first, haha!

    Great post!

  21. This is so sweet! I’m going to be thinking about how to incorporate our two cats…I love the idea of photos of them with some text (in their “voices,” of course) to greet guests.
    I do have a solid plan around incorporating our dear kitten, Tron, who passed away a few months ago. We buried her at home, and planted a beautiful, crazy orange/pink rose bush on top of her grave. I plan to incorporate one rose into my bouquet (which will otherwise be all yellow/orange/green), and one into his boutineer. It feels like a nice, subtle way to have her with us.

  22. We are showing love to our cats by donating anything we receive from the traditional “money/shot dance” to a local animal shelter! One of our cats came from this particular shelter and I think do do great work.

  23. Cake topper? There are so many people on Etsy making cute custom pet cake toppers. It’s hard to resist.

  24. We carried our wedding bands on a dog collar with a tag that says “We Do” with paw prints!

  25. We actually picked our venue to be able to bring some of our reptiles, in addition to having the resident critters there. But, we’re both so oriented toward our pets that I’m opening the door (literally) on a tradition that I’ve tried to date back further than the majority of Europe in the Medieval times that came to the U.S. with immigrants during the 18th – 20th centuries because I’m sure it goes further.

    We’ll have a table laid with everything the rest of the tables get (whatever that is) marked off near us as the Couple to invite the loving spirits of the deceased to be at the celebration. I first heard of “the empty place” and an open door at a traditional Seder as a child, but I’ve traced it to a number of other cultures too.

    Next to that, between us and them, will be a large fluffy ‘dog’ bed and a dish of fresh water. Otto died just before Chewtoy and I met. Jackpot died in his sleep when I was 13, and there’s still a hole in both our hearts from losing our boys. So, until we can find a place that’ll allow dogs, we enjoy the cats and chinchillas and snakes, and miss the other furries we’ve lost.

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