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80527: Planning for Pets in Your Wedding?

Do you plan to incorporate one of your pets into your wedding ceremony? If you’re like 42 percent of those who responded to a recent poll by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the US’ oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, the answer is “I do.” Pets are definitely playing a bigger role in many ceremonies according to the survey, which also found that 11 percent of respondents had been to a ceremony that included a pet.

Tonya Guy-Williams, a VPI Pet Insurance policyholder from Clements, Maryland was one such bride; she chose to include her husky mix, Klondike, in her special day. Klondike served as the ring-bearer and best man. Under the guidance of Tonya’s mother Linda, Klondike performed his duties without a hitch.

“He did fine with all of the people, and he never barked until the very end when we think the sun started to get to him,” said Tonya. “He is our baby. No one who knows us was surprised that we would want him in our wedding. They were more surprised that we found a tuxedo that fit.”

Incorporating a pet into your wedding plans takes some pre-planning. Even well-trained pets should be used to large crowds if yours will be a sizeable ceremony; they should also be accustomed to dealing with unfamiliar surroundings. Wedding planners also suggest that you designate a member of your wedding party for “pet duty.”

“Traditionally, pets were added to a family after marriage,” said Curtis Steinhoff, senior director of corporate communications for VPI. “Today, it is not unusual for brides and grooms to bond with four-legged companions before finding their mate. Because these pet companions were an important part of their single lives, some soon-to-be-couples choose to have their pets play an important role in their wedding.”

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