Let's Talk: Tips for Involving Your Pet in Your Wedding

Tips for involving your pet in your wedding day - Paper Swallow Events

Have as few distractions around as possible during pictures.

While taking photos with your pet, eliminate excess people whenever possible. Dogs will want to smell and play with everyone, while your cat might get stressed out by all of the people and unexpected noises. To get the best photos possible, help your pet out and remove any unnecessary activity in the area you will be taking photos in. Doing this will allow your pet to focus on you and create an atmosphere were more genuine interactions can occur between you and your pet.

Tips for involving your pet in your wedding - Paper Swallow Events

Ask your photographer how much time they need to capture photos.

This will be an important part of your photography timeline and something you should discuss with your photographer. Pets can be unpredictable. It may take longer to get good photos of them. If your photographer is unfamiliar with working with pets, allot a little extra time than may be necessary. This way, worst case scenario, you end up with more time than you really need versus not having adequate time to get the shots you want.  

Tips for involving your pet in your wedding - Paper Swallow Events

Ensure that your wedding party and guests are comfortable with a pet around.

Depending on the capacity you plan on using your beloved pet in, you will need to be aware of whether or not your guests have pet allergies. If someone is allergic to cats or if your flower girl is terrified of dogs, you may want to leave the pet at home. You will also want to communicate in depth with everyone involve in the wedding ceremony so they know what is expected from your pet; allow space for them to communicate with you how they feel about having a pet involved, too.

Tips for involving your pet in your wedding - Paper Swallow Events

Keep your pet's temperament in mind when deciding how you want to involve them.

As much as you may love your pet, if they are a jumping dog, your guests will probably not appreciate that. If they are young, untrained, or unpredictable it may be the best plan to limit their involvement strictly to engagement or wedding photos. Some pets, though beloved, are just not cut out to be involved in all aspects of your wedding.

Tips for involving your pet in your wedding - Paper Swallow Events

Practice, practice, practice.

Once you decide what you are going to want from your pet on your wedding day, practice the behaviors with them both at home and at the venue. You want to make sure the habits are positively reinforced and that they are comfortable performing them in a variety of circumstances. The better you prepare your pet beforehand, the more likely your chances of success are on the wedding day. Your pet should also be preset at the wedding rehearsal.

Tips for involving your pet in your wedding - Paper Swallow Events

Look at the day from the pet's perspective.

Your wedding day will be a big day for both you and your pet. Examine your wedding day from their perspective to ensure that they are happy and unstressed. Make sure they have a quiet place where they can hang out during the getting ready chaos; that they have food, water, and someone designated to make sure that they get frequent bathroom breaks. It would also be wise to have someone assigned to take care of the pet if the unexpected does happen or if they have an accident.

Tips for involving your pet in your wedding - Paper Swallow Events

Make sure your venue allows pets.

Lastly, it is important to remember and check with your venue to ensure that they are pet friendly.


I hope this helps you as you navigate the process of deciding how to involve your beloved pet! I'd love to know if you have involved your pet in your wedding or been in a wedding involving a pet! How was that experience for you? Would you add anything to this list?

xoxo, Stacia

Photos in this post are thanks to the wonderful Sarah of Sarah Becker Photography. They are from our Robin Hood inspired styled shoot.

5 Favorite Pins Right Now

I think it is fair to say that the majority of us love Pinterest and find a lot of inspiration within its time sucking vortex. I try really hard to limit the amount of time that I spend there, but sometimes it's just too much fun! I think it can be especially helpful to find out both what's trending in the wedding world and what is going against the grain in really wonderful ways. Here are a few of my favorite pins from the past week that I hope will inspire you like they did me!

Do you have a favorite pin right now? Share it in the comments!

xoxo, Stacia

via Style Me Pretty

P.S. Are we friends on Pinterest? Feel free to follow me for more pretty inspiration!

Color Inspiration v. 8

Color Inspiration Paper Swallow Events

via Saatchi Art

This color palette is one that intrigues me. For my eyes it works and doesn't work, but I really love it at the same time. Color palettes like that can be interesting to determine what to do with. Do you use them and take a risk? Do you leave them by the wayside because it's risky to know if they will work out? I'm not sure.

What do you think?

xoxo, Stacia

Robin Hood Inspired Styled Shoot

Robin Hood Inspired Wedding 15.png

Earlier this year I had the extreme pleasure of organizing this Robin Hood inspired wedding styled shoot with the help of several wonderful vendors. I had such a wonderful time coming up with the concept and design for this shoot! I have always loved the wild, romantic, and playful aspects of the Robin Hood tale, and that is what I really wanted to capture with this shoot. I also wanted to play with the obvious rustic elements of Robin Hood's lifestyle as they contrast with Maid Marian's more sophisticated upbringing. I had a lot of fun asking myself whether Marian would have brought all of her formality to the forest, or if she would quickly adjust to Robin's lifestyle and wear less-formal, more down-to-earth attire. I could never decide which direction I loved more, so I invented two Marian characters to show brides just how varied the rustic bride can be in her approach to her wedding day. 

As with any outdoor event, however, it's hard to be 100% sure how the weather will turn out and it rained. Thankfully, the rain cleared up enough for us to move forward without too much interference, though a few things did get a bit moist. I hope that these images show brides concerned about potential bad weather on their wedding day that an event can still be stunning and fun regardless of the weather. In fact, I would say these images turned out even stronger because the rain really brought out the deep greens in our surroundings.  I love how it made the gold, red, cream and brown details of this shoot pop!

Be sure to stop by photographer Sarah's website to see more of this lovely shoot once you're done here! And a HUGE thank you to all of the other vendors involved - each of their contributed pieces made this shoot so much more special and all of their work is as amazing a it looks!

I hope you enjoy this shoot as much as I enjoyed creating it to share with you!

xoxo, Stacia

Photographer: Sarah Becker Photography  |  Artistic Director/Stylist: Paper Swallow Events  |  Veil: Gilded Shadows  |  Cake: Sweet Art Cakes  |  Cake Topper + Gold Hearts: Fairyfolk Weddings  |  Invitation Suite: Woodchick Studios  |  Models: Jessica Baskin, Juliet Spiekerman + Maddie the Great Dane  | Hair + Makeup: Gabrielle Irvine  | Venue + Rentals: Privately Owned  | Everything else was either owned or created by Paper Swallow Events

P.S. Over the next couple weeks I will be sharing more details regarding how I created and styled different aspects of this shoot. If there is anything in particular that intrigues you please let me know and I will be happy to answer your questions!

P.P.S. If you want more beautiful rustic wedding inspiration you can check out Josiah + Emily's wedding from earlier this year!


How to Chill When Life is Crazy

Girl Relaxing in Field

I've talked about how crazy exciting and busy this month is for me a few times this week and it's gotten me thinking about how crazy busy things get for a lot of you brides, particularly as you get closer to your wedding date. I know for me the couple weeks before my wedding were a wonderful whirlwind. My mom, sister, and brother came out a couple weeks beforehand (from California to Tennessee) to help with all of the final details. The week before the wedding, two of my bridesmaids that live further away both came into town and moved in with me for that last week. (Wouldn't trade that time for the world!) It's was a lovely buzz of happy people and happy conversations and all kinds of last minute DIYs. However, in all of that buzz there was very little time to just chill. 

Looking back I could have probably (definitely) gotten more of the DIYs out of the way sooner so that there wasn't as much to do in the last few weeks (which is something I try to help my DIY brides stay on top of as we walk through the planning process!), but sometimes it's easy to underestimate how long a project will actually take you. So, in case you're like me and are needing to find a way to chill without having time to do so, here are some of my favorite suggestions:

A Deep Breath

I actually made a printable for all of you a few days ago that has to do with this! When I start getting overwhelmed one of the first things I do is step back and take a deep breath. It takes a matter of seconds and is incredibly chill-inducing for me.

Drink Something You Enjoy

Right now, I'm a fan of keeping a pitcher of ice tea in the fridge. I make a flavor that I really enjoy and just barely sweeten it because I know I'll be returning to it often to give myself a cool drink of something that both wakes my taste buds up and helps me feel cool and refreshed on these hot summer days. During the winter my go-to is a cup of hot chocolate. (You may want to stay away from alcohol, though, as it can increase stress.)

Close My Eyes to Listen or Think

Now, this only works if I'm not going on a combination of busy and exhausted. If I'm exhausted, this is a guaranteed way to send me right off to dreamland. If not, I'll often close my eyes when I'm thinking through the things I have to do during my day - it removes all of the white noise around me and helps me only concentrate on what I have to get done that day. Alternatively, if the music I'm listening to turns on my favorite song sometimes I will give myself a moment to pause, close my eyes, and just absorb the music for a moment.


Stretching both relives tension and gets your blood flowing, and it's easy to do in a variety of settings. I always feel more refreshed and alter after a little stretch.

Mass Prepare Meals

Often, if I know a week is going to be insane, I'll make enough of one dish at the beginning of the week to last us for all our dinners that week. It make take a bit more prep going into your week, but it saves me a TON of time during the week. Those meals might not be very exciting by the end of the week, but at least we're eating and not running out for fast food.

Count Backward from 10

I find this to be a great "reset" button when my thoughts are whirling out of control. It's a task that I actually have to concentrate on at least a little bit, and it helps calm down my thoughts so my head is clearer when I'm done.

Keep a "For Later" Notebook

Sometimes I use a tangible notebook, sometimes I use my phone, but I find it really helpful during crazy weeks to write down any thoughts that occur to me that don't need to be worried about until the chaos dies down. This way I know I won't forget about them, and I create more space in my brain to worry about the needs at hand.

Be Optimistic

Find something about the chaos that excites you, something that makes it worth it to you, and hold fast to that. The last thing you need to be doing is focusing on the negative aspects of the chaos. 

Go For a Walk

Are you puzzling through how to tackle a project or does one of your bridesmaids want to catch up with you for a few minutes in the midst of your pre-wedding chaos? Don't sit still to do it, go for a walk. Soak in the sun and enjoy the change of scenery. 

Eat a Piece of Chocolate

I don't know about you, but Chocolate always makes me feel better.

Cuddle with a Pet

This may be my favorite. If you follow me on instagram, than you know about my fur buddy, Maximus. He can be a little stinker sometimes, but when he wants to cuddle I find him incredibly calming. If you have a pet, I highly recommend that you take a minute or two to love on them (if you don't, borrow one from a willing friend!) I bet you'll feel relaxed afterwards!


What about you? How do you chill when life gets crazy?!

xoxo, Stacia