When man’s best friend also plays the best man

PUNE: A wedding video of Pune couple

Ria Sayaji


Jaideep Patil

with their five


had social media followers swooning, but behind the utter cuteness lay a lot of effort to pull off the ceremony with their five pets.
Ria said they wanted to show their bond with their dogs in the video and found a photographer who understood the assignment, and shared with him information about all their dogs’ personalities, habits, likes and dislikes.
“We had a home wedding as many venues don’t allow pets. Our Labrador, which picked up the groom’s shoes and carried a garland in his mouth while walking to the mandap, had to be trained for one-and-a-half-months,” she said.
Photographers and videographers say demand for

pets in wedding shoots

in Pune, Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru is rising.

“A lot of patience is required for such shoots. Multiple camera angles have to be set up because the pets’ movement is unpredictable. The venue needs to have a cornered-off space for the dog if and when it is overwhelmed by the crowd,” said Bharat Prajapat, a studio owner in Pune. “A lot of footage is collected, and editing takes much longer. Sometimes, the priest does not allow the pet to be around. In such cases, we suggest a pre-wedding or post-wedding shoot with the pet,” he added.

Mumbai-based wedding organiser Shalya Kulkarni said couples at times reconsider their priorities to accommodate pets. “I have seen couples change the venue or decorations because they believe that the pet should not miss out on this happy occasion. Looking at such demands, several venues have started allowing pets. There is a huge demand for services such as wedding attire for pets. Some wedding venues also provide services like pet grooming and catering ,” he added.
Saba Poonawalla, who trains dogs in Pune and Chennai, had her Labrador carry her veil along the aisle at her wedding in 2021. “You have to start training your dog at least six months before the wedding. Clients come with requirements such as the pet holding the dupatta or veil or walking down the aisle… Some want their dog to be the ring bearer,” Poonawalla said.
The cost for training a pet for such occasions depends on many variables, such as its temperament, previous training, obedience levels, number of sessions required and so on, with each session starting from Rs 1,000.
“It’s not always sunshine and rainbows, once I was bitten during a shoot,” said Siddharth Goel, co-founder and director of a Delhi-based wedding photography firm. He said having a pet-friendly wedding can make for fun shoots. A photographer has to be comfortable around pets, and making one’s dog wear a suit and sit still is quite a task.
While there is a high demand for pet apparel, some are against the idea of making an animal dress up human-like. Cynologist Jyotika Sen said, “There’s no right and wrong, it’s a choice to make your pet wear clothes or leave them be. It’s not really cruelty in my opinion, but it’s also not comfortable for them.”

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