Did you hear about the wedding where the bride growled at the wedding guests? If so, you probably dismissed the conversation as a reference to a simple case of the pre-wedding jitters. References to a groom being kept on a short leash might lead you to think that he was the meandering sort but today these references might literally be referring to the trend of muttrimony, or more accurately, pet weddings.
Muttrimony and other pet parties and ceremonies are on the increase according to animal trend watcher and author, Diana L Guerrero. Although anecdotal evidence indicates that animal blessing origins stem back to the 4th century or earlier, Guerrero found that contemporary critter ceremonies really began to gain momentum in the last fifteen years or so.
“Pet participation in many events is exploding in popularity. So it is no surprise to hear more about beastly behavior as animals are included events such as wedding ceremonies.” says Diana L Guerrero.
Guerrero is the author of the recently released, Blessing of the Animals: A Guide to Prayers & Ceremonies Celebrating Pets & Other Creatures (ISBN 1402729677)
. The fun and witty book reveals facts about the timeless tradition of animal blessings and fascinating information about contemporary critter celebrations such as pet weddings and other parties such as bark mitzvahs, meow mixers, yappy hours, and even directs readers where to find entertaining pet pageants and other events.
According to Guerrero, pet wedding trends reflect changes in family living. Her research found that the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, a nonprofit pet industry organization, believes that 63 percent of US households now accommodate pets. The estimate contrasts with previous US statistics showing only about 30 percent of American households include children younger than 18 years of age.
“Based on changes in the status of animals in the home, it really is no surprise that animals are being included in traditional celebrations--or that they are being honored with their own. People are adapting their rituals and customs to celebrate their animals.”
The demand for pet wedding services is growing and Guerrero knows of one celebrity wedding planner who says that 30% of all lavish affairs include pets. In response to the rising demand, pet wedding coordinator services are beginning to surface. On the web you can find a few entertaining sites such as Doggie I Dos (Canada) or the sarcastic Marry Your Pet (United Kingdom).
Blessing of the Animals
shares pet wedding tips from Reverend Lynn Turner of Texas, a minister who conducts creature ceremonies. The work also includes where to find unique pet wedding services in California and Hawaii but in case you can’t travel, Guerrero includes a few unique ceremonies within the pages—complete with pet vows.
Guerrero said, “Some human weddings include pets but there are pet nuptials conducted just for animals. Most are held as fund raisers or simply for fun. For those who might worry about pet marriages—the activity isn’t a legally binding or recognized ceremony—only a fun event.”
Even the American Kennel Club is interested in the new trends. The kennel club found that at least 18 percent of dog owners surveyed either included, or will include, a dog in a wedding ceremony.
When asked for insider information, Guerrero said, “The fur can really fly when you discuss pet nuptials. People have asked me if they need a prenuptial but my advice is to simply get a ‘pre-nip-tual,’ to take the bite out of things, so to speak."Blessing of the Animals: A Guide to Prayers & Ceremonies Celebrating Pets & Other Creatures (ISBN 1402729677)
is available throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Free excerpts (and a video with pet wedding photos) are available online at www.blessingoftheanimals.com.
Avoid a beastly wedding with ten animal expert tips:
1. Make sure you alert wedding party attendants and guests that animals will be in the wedding party--and
make sure your event location is pet tolerant.
2. Hire a pet trainer for wedding event training about eight weeks before the wedding and assign an attendant to each animal wedding participant.
3. Outdoor ceremonies should plan to keep animals in the shade and off hot surfaces.
4. Habituate animals to the wedding surroundings and unusual attire (human veils and any pet outfits) before the event.
5. Identify possible hazards to animals and avoid using plants toxic to pets.
6. Make reservations at pet friendly accommodations.
7. Exercise and toilet your animal before the wedding ceremony.
8. Have an alternate plan for the processional and recessional in case pets tire or refuse to cooperate.
9. Make sure the photographer is at ease with animals and includes the critters in the wedding photos.
10. Assign a handler to pets at the ceremony and reception--and don’t forget healthy snacks for pets.
Review copies of BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS: A GUIDE TO PRAYERS & CEREMONIES CELEBRATING PETS AND OTHER CREATURES (ISBN 1402729677) are available to journalists. Contact Sterling Publishing Publicity at (212) 532-7160 or Krista Margies (646) 688-2510.