From Llamas to Lions: where and how can you incorporate your pets into your wedding day?

From Llamas to Lions: where and how can you incorporate your pets into your wedding day?

From Llamas to Lions: where and how can you incorporate your pets into your wedding day? Crystal Plaza

From the outset, we must underscore that animal welfare is of paramount importance to everyone at The Crystal Plaza. When animals are included in any of our celebrations, we ensure that their safety and happiness are a top priority. We do not allow for any form of exploitation of the animals, and operate in total compliance with all federal and state laws. We are, after all, HUGE animal lovers.


The Crystal Plaza has been offering top-notch hospitality services for over 100 years. And during that time we have helped our clients figure out a variety of solutions for their events: from making a wedding as green as possible to teaming up with Wish Upon a Wedding so a couple could renew their vows. For us, white glove service means doing everything we can to make our guests’ time with us as amazing as possible.


With this said, some of the more interesting requests we’ve handled are around animals…



I’m getting married and want to include my pet dog / parrot / llama / lion – how can I do it?


Obviously different animals come with different challenges; however, with a “can-do” attitude we have been able to include some pretty exotic four-legged friends into our celebrations. 

Canine Companions

Easily the pet we’ve seen included the most, dogs can be a wonderful addition to weddings. From best men (best dogs?) to ring-bearers, there are lots of different and fun ways Fido can get involved. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Dog of Honor: standing at the altar with the happy bride and groom during the ceremony.
  • Dog of the Bride: walking the blushing bride down the aisle.
  • Best Dog: utterly adorable, although the Best Man speech tends to be a little ruff!
  • Flower Dog: walking behind the bride (with or without a leash).
  • Ring Bearer: often with the ring attached to a pillow on the dog’s back, it’s a wonderful way to include your trusty companion. Just make sure they will come to you on command and not wander off in search of treats!

Feathered Friends

We have seen all sorts of birds included in wedding ceremonies at The Crystal Plaza, but our favorite two are doves and parrots – which were used in entirely different scenarios:



Doting Doves 

Culturally, Doves are seen as a symbol of peace and love –  so it is extremely fitting that a bride and groom may wish to release them at the end of their wedding ceremony. Interestingly, when the doves are let go, they do not have to find somewhere new to live now that they’re back in the wild; instead they use their internal tracker to make their way back to their homes, where food, water and shelter awaits. 



Parrots at the Party

We once hosted a couple who were very fond of their pet parrots, and wanted to include them in the wedding celebration. However, due to the parrots’ temperament, it was deemed that they probably shouldn’t be carrying the ring or giving the best man speech. It was therefore decided that these beautiful – and incredibly intelligent – birds could hang out in an enormous cage during the reception, where they were blissfully content chirping, squawking and whistling as the two-legged wedding guests milled about them. 



A loving Llama

We once had a groom who wanted to have a llama at his wedding, as his forefathers had done before him. In all honesty, this is not a regular request for us; however, we were delighted to help keep this family tradition going. With a more than generously-sized outdoor space – where we can host up to 400 people – we found a suitable spot for the llama outside, where it happily greeted other wedding guests who were also enjoying our gardens. 


Helpful Horses


In Hindu and Sikh weddings, it is traditional for the groom to arrive at the venue riding a white mare as part of the wedding procession, or Baraat. The horse – or Ghodi –  is seen as a symbol of power and virtue, which historically have been extremely desirable attributes for the groom. Family members often adorn the horse with decorative embellishments, to really amplify the sense of celebration.


For our part, we’ve seen horses incorporated into weddings in a few different ways. Sometimes the groom arrives on horseback, sometimes in a horse-drawn carriage, and sometimes they pull up to The Crystal Plaza in a Ferrari!  As you know, Ferrari uses a horse as it’s emblem, so it definitely makes sense. 


Whatever the groom decides, we’re always happy to help facilitate and accommodate!


The King of the Jungle


Probably the most surprising animal we’ve included at a wedding was the King of the Jungle himself. With a trainer nearby at all times, guests to this New Year’s Eve wedding were greeted by a beautiful lion sitting pride of place in a large cage at the entrance to the venue. As you can imagine, the guests’ reactions were incredible! Nobody expected to see this marvelous creature in this setting, and he set the tone for a wonderful day of celebrations. 


As we said above – we ensure that all animals that join in our celebrations are treated with the utmost respect. We have trained animal professionals on-hand at all times to keep everyone and everything safe and happy. The wellbeing of all guests to the Crystal Plaza is our number one priority, whether they have wings, two legs, four legs, or more!

Gardens at Crystal Plaza

About The Crystal Plaza


The Crystal Plaza is widely regarded as one of the finest wedding and event venues in the US. Based in Livingston, NJ we offer impeccable white-glove service to meet the exacting needs of our guests. Our newly renovated mansion can be rented for any function that you wish to host, while abiding to all proper social distancing protocols and procedures – including weddings, birthdays, graduation parties, photo shoots, corporate gatherings, reunions and family gatherings.

Please contact us on info@crystalplaza.com to learn more.