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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?