Including Your Pets in Your Italian Destination Wedding:
Everything You Need to Know About Traveling Overseas with Your Four-Legged Friend
If you’re thinking of hosting an Italian destination wedding, you’ll likely want to bring along those who have been most important in your life—and, for many brides and grooms, this includes their pet. But is it even possible to include your pooch in your overseas affair? And, if it is, how, exactly, do you go about handling the logistics? Not to worry, animal-advocates and four-legged-friend-lovers—today, I’m breaking down the basics of including your pet in your destination wedding.
1. Travelling to Italy with your pet
Let’s start with the basics: getting your pet to Italy. First, you’ll need to check with your individual airline far in advance in order to understand their specific requirements for pet travel, as these can vary by airline. Then, you’ll need to make sure you and your pet meet all of the following requirements in order to get into Italy:
Your pet must be over three months old.
Your pet must have a valid rabies vaccine. (Keep in mind, if this is your pet’s first rabies vaccination, they’ll have to wait 21 days before entering Italy. If it’s just a booster vaccination, there’s no waiting period.)
Your pet must have an ISO-compliant microchip.
You must have a USDA accredited veterinary issue and sign an EU Health Certificate.
Once you have the EU Health Certificate signed from a valid veterinarian, you’ll need to take it to your local APHIS Veterinary Services Office for endorsement.
The carrier your pet is in must be labeled with: owner’s name, address, and contact numbers in Italy.
PRO TIP: Keep in mind the EU Health Certificate is valid for four months from the date the USDA accredited veterinarian signed/issued it—so you’ll want to make sure you don’t get the certificate too far in advance of your travel date.
2. Setting up pet-friendly accommodations
Once you have your paperwork in order to get your pet to Italy for your Italian destination wedding, you’ll want to make sure you’ve secured pet-friendly accommodations for when you arrive with your four-legged friend. This is where hiring a local wedding consultant comes in handy, as she’ll know the area’s best pet-friendly accommodation options and can help you secure a hotel that’s near your wedding venue and meets your specific needs. If you’re thinking of tying the knot in Venice, Tuscany, Como Lake, or Verona, reach out to me today to talk pet-friendly accommodations in those areas.
3. Including your pet in your wedding
When it’s time to tie the knot, you want your Big Day to be as seamless as possible—which can often be tricky when a four-legged friend is involved. A professional wedding consultant will help you determine which venues are best for pet-friendly affairs, and she’ll also help you manage the logistics of getting your pet to and from the venue. Below is a list of the top logistics to consider—all of which are areas I help busy couples with!
Communicating with your venue to ensure they’re prepared for your pet
Setting up a pet sitter to watch your pet as needed throughout your stay
Setting up travel arrangements to get your pet to your wedding venue
Making arrangements for your pet to get ample activity during your stay (daily walks, playtime, etc.)
Ensuring your photographer knows how to best work with your pet
If your pet will be a part of your first look (if you’re doing one), planning out logistics to make this happen
Having a clear plan for your pet’s role during your wedding and how we’ll make that happen (i.e. Are they carrying the rings down the aisle? Will someone be walking them down the aisle? Are there treats or incentives we can use to ensure they’ll stay on-task?)
Assigning a handler (either one of your guests or a hired professional) to watch your pet during your wedding ceremony
Assigning a handler or pet sitter to either take your pet back to the hotel during your reception or take care of them on-site if your reception space is pet-friendly.
If all of the above sounds like a lot of work, your best bet is hiring a local wedding consultant to help you iron out the details of including a pet in your Italian destination wedding. If you’re thinking of bringing on a pro to help manage the logistics of traveling overseas with your pooch, Reach out to me today, as an avid animal advocate and volunteer and an event consultant and designer, there’s nothing I love more than helping people realize their dream of including their four-legged friend in their Big Day!