By Caitlin Taylor



We have all seen wedding photos of couples holding lamas and laughing, donkeys covered in flowers pulling carts, weddings in the desert with camels, and elephants used in wedding ceremonies. While this seems like an innocent act and the animals are calm, it actually harms the animals more than one might think.

Photo by Caitlin Taylor


Most animals “rented” out for  weddings are given drugs to remain relaxed in the unusual environment as wedding. One reason to avoid the use of animals in your wedding is because they are not for use for entertainment, photo opportunities and exploitation. These animals normally come from the zoo or a private company where their care is not regulated.

Wedding planning can be so difficult and when you look around Pinterest and blogs you see the use of animals in wedding all over. Some weddings have released frozen butterflies, peace doves, flamingoes.

Photo by Frank Zhang


It’s hard to see photos in the wedding media and not want the same for your wedding but the best way to incorporate your love of animals is through your decor and invitations. Have a stationary designer create custom invitations showing peacocks and other animals you love. Have a safari theme that features jungle plants and have vegan animal print dresses. Have fun with it and get creative. You can still express yourself and love of the earth without exploiting the animals you love. 

Photo by Caitlin Taylor


One extra note: It’s natural for you to want your fur baby to be a part of your big day- they are family after all! But please consider whether your dog is shy or extroverted around people and if they can handle the crowds of your wedding. If you want your pup to be the ring bearer consider having a friend walk them down the aisle then take home after the ceremony so your pup isn’t too overwhelmed. Another way to incorporate your fur baby is through your engagement session. Ask your photographer if you can bring your pup to the session or have them come to your home. 

Photo by Caitlin Taylor


If you have already had a wedding that has incorporated live animals please don’t feel guilty. The best thing you can do is spread the word of more compassionate ways to show your love of animals! Happy wedding planning!


More tips and ideas on this topic on  “5 Ways To Include Your Love For Animals In Your Wedding”






Caitlin is a wedding photographer living in Maryland with her rescue animals (2 dogs, 2 guinea pigs, and horse to be exact). When she’s not shooting weddings, she consumes tons of vegan food, listens to records and watching b&w movies. She also loves diving into any historical fiction book she can get her hands on. She has been vegan for the past four years and hopes to run a farm sanctuary in the near future to save even more animals. Read Caitlin articles





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