As more people treat their pets like little humans and spend money lavishly on them for gifts, the idea of pet marriages is taking center stage. What used to be only an occasional event, with just one or two a year per community, has turned into a budding industry. Here are some ways you can turn this into a fundraiser for you group.
Create a special ceremony in honor of Valentine’s Day or another time of year to unite animals in mutt-rimony. To limit the deadly problem of pet overpopulation, your group may opt to encourage only altered pets to enjoy the nuptials. Take the opportunity to educate pet parents about altering, and offer to ordain them as official foster parents if they’d like to hear the pitter patter of little paws in their homes. Litters of animals are frequently brought in to rescue groups who raise them in temporary foster homes until the animals are old enough to be adopted. This creates a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Add-ons for this fundraiser:
- Include professional photographs of the occasion done by a pet photographer.
- Sell customized pet treats created by a local pet bakery with pupcakes (cupcakes) for the bride and groom, and a canine cake for other attendees. Include a human cake so pet parents can celebrate as well.
- Floral arrangements can also be donated for this special day, turning your shelter or dog park into a gorgeous formal event.
- Rent pet tiaras and tuxes for the tails. Some people may bring their own special costumes, but many others may opt to borrow a special pearl necklace (collar), veil or ear bows for the special occasion. Something borrowed and something blue would be a sweet touch!
The Guinness Book of World Records lists the most expensive pet wedding totaling over $16,000, plus more than $23,000 for the dowry. Your event obviously does not have to cost your donors this much! Average pet weddings run between $15 and $35, depending on the extraneous luxury items available during the ceremony.
While this idea may seem ideal for Valentine’s Day, it is not exclusive of this month. Consider hosting the event in June when other brides are having their special days. Or, choose the end of summer when the pet bakery and photographers may have more time to dedicate to the event, and your group needs a fundraising boost.
Arlene Ponack is a pet professional who is also ordained by the non-denominational Universal Brotherhood Movement. She has performed pet marriages for the Humane Society in Naples, FL, for their fundraiser, as well as having performed “bark mitzvahs,” baptisms, funerals and other commitment ceremonies for pets. To find
If you feel it necessary, you may use a disclaimer statement similar to this:
“Disclaimer Statement: For entertainment purposes only. No divine authority expressed or implied.”