Pets in Wedding Ceremonies and Receptions

Woof!  Meow!  So you’re getting married in Maine and you want your two best friends – your fiancé and your pet – with you every step of the way.  Pets in weddings are a newer and increasingly popular trend, particularly at luxury wedding venues.  Here is a Q&A to answer some of the most common questions.

dogs, cats, pets in weddings, Maine weddings and receptions


Q.  Is it appropriate to have my pet at the ceremony or reception?

A.  Absolutely! At both, if you want.  Your wedding is YOUR day to personalize.  If it works, go for it!

Q.  How can I incorporate my furry friend into my big day?

A.  Some couples like to have their dogs trot up the aisle, wearing flowers or even a dress! Others prefer to hold the pet, or have the pet seated beside or between them, during the vows.  Alternatively, you can have your pet join you at the reception, whether formally during a dance or informally just playing with others on the dance floor!  If your dog is good with others, you may be able to allow the dog to roam, but if not, you’ll need to make sure that someone you trust has taken full responsibility for him.

Q.  What are some potential issues or problems, and I how do I deal with them?

A.  First, a wedding is typically a formal and highly choreographed event, but of course it’s up to you how scripted you’d like to be. And pets can be… well… unpredictable!  You know your pet better than anyone else, so don’t leave anything to chance.  Will your dog bark during the ceremony?  Will your cat jump out of your arms?  Will your dog get distracted and walk the wrong way?  Of course, some couples find these kinds of unpredictability fun, a way to add some character and flair to a wedding.  It’s all up to you!

Second, make sure your pet is properly groomed the day before the wedding, and have someone take it for a long walk just before the ceremony to make sure it’s relieved and not too energetic.

Third, let your guests know your plan, so anyone who may have an allergy or concern can let you know.

Fourth, photographing pets can be as difficult as photographing babies.  Let your photographer know about your pet well in advance and understand that some of your best photos may or may not include your pet.

Finally, remember that food is served at receptions – you don’t want your dog begging or scavenging for food, jumping on tables, or creating any unsanitary conditions.  Make sure that someone you trust takes full responsibility for your pet throughout the event, taking time to take the pet outside when necessary.


pets, dogs, cats, weddings, Maine wedding venues


Q.  Do Maine wedding venues allow pets?

A.  Every Maine venue is different. Make sure to ask their policy.  The Agora Grand Event Center is pet-friendly and we welcome pets in both ceremonies and receptions.  Of course, our couples are responsible for any issues, messes, or damage caused by their pets.

My wife and I were the first couple to get married at the Agora Grand – and our puppy, Penny Lane, joined us!  She was with us at the altar, she took pictures with us, and she joined us on the dance floor at the reception.  My wife and I absolutely could not have imagined the best day of our lives without Penny Lane to share it, and our photos turned out fantastic.

If you want more information about the Agora Grand or about having your pet participate in your wedding, let us know!