5 tips for including your cat in your wedding celebrations
If you’re looking for ways to include your cat on your wedding day, here Paul Trott from Catit will share a few tips for pulling it off without a hitch.
On your wedding day, it’s important to be surrounded by the people you care about the most, whether that’s family, friends, or even just you and your partner. But the guest list isn’t limited to humans — if you have a cat, then why not get married with your feline friend right by your side?
Cats make such wonderful companions that over a quarter (26%) of all UK adults own a cat, according to Cat’s Protection. Not only does including your pet in your wedding ceremony remove the worry of having to leave them at home while you celebrate, but it allows the whole family to be together on your big day. Below, I’ll share some tips for getting your cat involved in your wedding day.
Including them in your ceremony
Perhaps the most common way to involve your cat in your wedding ceremony is to have them be ringbearer. This involves affixing your wedding rings to your cat in some way and having them walk down the aisle to deliver the rings safely to the altar. You could also simply make your cat a bridesmaid or groomsman, without the responsibility of carrying the rings. You should avoid dressing up your cat to do this, but adding a small accessory on their collar or harness could be a great way to have them be part of the theme of your big day.
Be sure to take your cat’s personality into account when assigning their role — are they happy to show off and be involved, or are they more reserved? Some cats may need to be carried down the aisle by another member of the wedding party, while others will be happy with a lead and collar or harness.
If you don’t want your cat to be there on the day but would still like them to be part of your wedding, you may want to consider including them in your engagement photos or having a pre-wedding family photoshoot with your cat a few weeks before the big day. Your photographer can take their time and get the perfect shots, and this may also be less stressful for your cat as there will be fewer people around. Remember to ask your photographer whether they have experience photographing animals before you book them and be sure to wear something other than your planned wedding outfits for the shoot. That way, the bride’s dress can still be a surprise for the groom
Getting them to the venue
Cats aren’t always the best travellers, so getting them from A to B can be a challenge — especially if you’re in a rush to get to the church on time! Having the right cat carrier is essential, as a comfortable carrier can help keep your cat calm when you’re on the move. The ideal carrier will also open fully, for example a top-opening carrier, so you can easily get your cat in and out of it. This has the added bonus of helping to keep scratch marks on your bridal party to a minimum on the big day! If you’re travelling long-distance with your cat, remember to carry food, water, litter, and portable containers with you so they can stay comfortable on the journey.
Ahead of time, make sure you arrange somewhere safe and secure for your cat to stay at the venue, whether that’s with you in the honeymoon suite or in a private room of their own. This will ensure they have somewhere to settle once you arrive and you won’t have to keep them in their carrier or constantly move them around while you prepare for the big day.
Toxic flowers to avoid
When it comes to wedding flowers, there are some species you should avoid if you want to keep your cat safe on your wedding day. Some of the most dangerous flowers are lilies, which are a very common choice for wedding bouquets but are highly toxic to cats. They can even be fatal when ingested, so be sure to avoid having lilies in your floral arrangements.
Other popular wedding flowers to avoid include lily of the valley (which isn’t actually a lily, but can still be fatal to cats), tulips, carnations, chrysanthemums, dahlias, and more — you can use a resource like the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) website to see whether or not your favourite blooms are safe to use. If you want to be sure there’s no risk to your kitty on the big day, you can also speak to your florist about only using pet-friendly options for your bouquet.
Ensuring they have a safe space
Once the ceremony is over, your cat will need somewhere quiet and safe to retreat to while you and your guests let your hair down. Remember to bring their favourite food and ensure they have access to plenty of water, as you may not be available to keep checking up on them throughout the course of the day. Timed feeders can help them stick to their normal routine and ensure they get fed on time without interrupting your reception, and pet cameras can also be useful for checking up on your cat without abandoning your guests.
Your cat will also need stimulating toys to keep them occupied when you are not around, and while you may not want to transport a big piece of cat furniture to the venue, a pop-up cat tower or hideaway could be the ideal place for them to catnap. Bring their favourite blanket too, as it will have both their own and your scent on it which can help them feel at home.
There are plenty of finishing touches you can apply to your theme and décor to make sure your cat is included in your wedding day, even if you decide not to involve them in the ceremony. From mentioning them in your speeches to having them as your cake topper, these methods can ensure your cat is part of the celebration and they’ll be a great talking point among your guests. For the wedding breakfast, you could have the tables named after your cats if you have multiple feline friends and even include pictures of them in your centrepieces. Many couples create a custom cocktail to be served at their wedding, so why not design a drink inspired by your cat?
Including your cat in your wedding celebrations can be a challenge, but with these tips it’s sure to be memorable and enjoyable too. Remember that a good photographer can work with you to capture precious moments with your pet, bring out the best of the day, and help you and your guests remember your wedding forever.