This Wedding Has Gone to the Dogs!

By: Kathy Karlander

Only in America will you find dogs all dressed up and walking down the aisle! Don't get me wrong, I am a dog lover myself, but I have to admit I was a little concerned when I arrived to the wedding and found out the bride was sending the rings down the aisle with her two beloved doggies.

I am an ordained interfaith minister and have been performing non-traditional, unique ceremonies since 1999. My philosophy is it is your day and you should have it your way. My concern was not that she wanted the dogs in the ceremony, after all my philosophy is it is your day and you should have it your way. My concern was more of a practical one. The wedding was taking place outside within a fenced area, which was right next to a large pond with lots of birds and ducks. It can be difficult to count on children behaving just right in a ceremony, let alone trying to keep a dog from barking or God Forbid, chasing a bird or duck that should happen across his path.

I understood that the pets were very important to the bride. They had been an integral part of her life, and she wanted them to be a part of her wedding ceremony. And, if that is what she wanted, then that is what she should have. She had arranged to have a ring pillow attached to a harness on the back of each dog. In order for the wedding rings to stay put, they would need to be tied pretty tightly, which at the altar can be a problem!

Nervous grooms with shaky hands can have a difficult time untying tight knots. On the other hand, if she did not tie them tightly, the walking motion of the dogs (or running) may cause the wedding rings to come loose and fall to the ground. Can't you see it now, loose wedding rings rolling around on the ground and people falling all over each other to try to catch them? This would not be a good scene and definitely not a moment to cherish for a lifetime.

My suggested solution to her was simple. She could put fake wedding rings on the pillows and give the real wedding rings to a trusted adult member of the bridal party. That way, she could incorporate the animals she loved so dearly, while not risking the loss or damage to the real rings. (By the way, we do that all of the time with little kids and ring pillows!) With a little creativity and forethought, you can really have just about anything on your wedding day that you desire!

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