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Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway Headshot

How to Conduct a Wedding Ceremony for Your Pet

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A friend asked me if it is possible to officiate a pet wedding. "Before I would ever let my Italian greyhound breed," she said. "I would give her a proper ceremony."

I thought it was a lovely gesture because it seemed soulful and respectful to the animal. This was a pet she loved and adored very much and was thinking of breeding her dog because she wanted to raise one of the offspring.

Some people may believe it's ridiculous to even think about having a ceremony for pets, but I think pet nuptials can be meaningful as long as they are officiated with love. Since there is no formal wedding license involved, it does not require a minister. You can do it yourself.

Just keep in mind, since marriage is a sacred event, you want to be careful who you promise your pet's love or virtue to. But there is nothing wrong with a ceremony for animals that have been sniffing at each other for awhile or those who deserve a blessing before they are brought together for mating purposes or even those united in an "arranged marriage" by owners who want to link families in this way.

Here's a "doggie commitment ceremony" I put together with two pooches. It can be adapted for other animals as well (although the "loving cup ceremony" below, may have to be changed to something practical to the animal such as a special treat for cat, bird or horse couples, or a new toy for two for gerbils or hamsters).

How to prepare:

• Get bridal outfits or accessories for the animals (cute, but optional).
• Prepare a wedding altar by draping tulle or a white cloth over a table.
• Place a loving cup or special chalice filled with fresh water for the couple on the altar.
• Bring a camera -- you must take photos!

Welcome everyone. Puppy love gathers us here. Today, we celebrate the love between a couple that see each other as the cat's meow. Let us all offer our good wishes and blessings as they enter into sacred union.

Opening Prayer
Let us begin by sharing a moment of prayer:
Dear Creator of all life,
Look with favor upon the world you have made,
and especially upon these two dogs.
May this union be blessed in all ways and
May this duo and
all who have come to witness their union
be uplifted and embraced by love.

Loving Cup Ceremony
(Hold the chalice filled with fresh water)
We now take a special moment for these two to toast their love, devotion and friendship. From the Celtic tradition, we use a "loving cup," from which these two will share their first sip/slurp as a married couple.

To the pets: Today you become a part of one another in sacred kinship. Now, please drink to the love you share.

Place cup on the floor. They slurp.

I Dos

Now, Fido, do you take Doris to be your beloved?
Fido: Arf.

And do you, Doris, take Fido to be your beloved?
Doris: Arf.

Final Blessing
We bless these two in the name of friendship.
We bless these two in the name of playfulness.
We bless these two in the name of joy.
We bless these two in the name of fertility (if desired).
May they never hunger for dog biscuits and always be filled with love!
May this union be blessed in all ways.

As we have heard and witnessed your"arf"and desire to be united, we now pronounce you two pooches in love. Go ahead and sniff the bride.