From Man’s Best Friend to His Best Man:

By Kimberly Jones.

One of the first big steps that Joel and Dani K. took as a couple was adopting a Labrador mix puppy whom they named Wednesday. When they decided that their wedding would be limited to only immediate family, there was no doubt in their minds that this included Wednesday.

“It was such an important moment, and Wednesday is such an important part of our lives, that we wanted to make sure she was commemorated,” Joel tells a pet’s life.

On their wedding day, while Dani and her father walked down the aisle on Coronado’s dog beach, Joel and Wednesday were both waiting to greet them. As the happy couple said, “I do,” Wednesday celebrated by digging a hole and kicking sand onto Joel’s best man.

Joel and Dani got married with the help of Steve and Christine Haslet, owners of Elope San Diego. According to Christine, about 15 percent of the wedding ceremonies they coordinate involve the couple’s dogs. “Our customers see their dog as part of the family,” she says. “They have raised this dog together and are letting everyone know that this dog is really important to them.”

Christine believes that having pets in your wedding is similar to having kids there: “Even if they don’t make it down the aisle, they are pretty cute.”

Not all furry wedding attendants are dogs. When Michelle and Reid S. got married in 2013, Michelle knew that her new husband was a package deal and that marrying him meant committing to his eight year-old domestic short hair cat, Cash.

While Reid would have liked for Cash to be his best man, according to Michelle, their decision to get married on a hot air balloon made that impossible.

So, Michelle did what any other woman in love would do: She bought a kitty tuxedo for her new husband’s cat and incorporated him into their on-the-ground reception as an honorary ring bearer.

If having a beloved pet at your wedding is not an option, there are several alternative ways to honor them, according to Jessica Geiszler, owner of San Diego event-planning agency Stellar J Productions. “I’ve seen people name signature cocktails after their pet, place pictures of their pets in their wedding slideshow and use cake toppers that look like their pets,” she says. “You can also use your wedding website or program as a place to thank your pets for being part of your lives.”


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Dog pictures: Elope San Diego
Cat pictures: Michelle Sample