Can Cats Be Part of Wedding Parties? How Will They React?

cat lying on a wedding veil

It may sound wild to some people, but those of us who are bonded with our kitties want to make them a part of our wedding ceremony and/or celebration afterward. It’s something that I did with my cat, Lady. She was my best friend at the time of my marriage, so I wanted her to be a part of my special day just as much as I wanted anyone else there (including my to-be husband!)

Sadly, Lady passed away from old age a few years ago. But my memories of her being a part of my wedding will last a lifetime. So, if you are wondering whether your cat can be a part of your wedding, the answer is yes! How they will react isn’t so easy to answer, though. Here is my story of how I made my cat a part of my wedding, along with a few fun ideas of how you can do the same!

How My Wedding Went

I lived in Las Vegas when I got married, and most wedding venues are usually busy there, whether it’s a church or a roadside hole in the wall. We chose to get married in a small brown church right off the Las Vegas strip and then have our reception in a big suite at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. I had to figure out how I would have my cat, Lady, with me during the ceremony and transport her to the reception afterward.

She did well on a leash, but I was afraid that all the commotion and people would freak her out at the wedding. So, I opted to decorate her small kennel to match my dress and then attach our wedding rings to the top of the kennel. I had my brother walk Lady down the aisle so she could act as the ring bearer. She sat calmly in her kennel near us while we said our vows and exchanged our rings, and people oohed and aahed about it. It wasn’t until the guests started clapping and hooting at the end of the ceremony that Lady decided that she’d had enough.

I snuck away to our vehicle where I could feed her and give her a bit of love in a calm, safe, and familiar environment. After eating and cuddling, she was ready to hang out in the kennel again, and we were off to Mandalay Bay to meet everyone for the reception. Once there, I let Lady hang out (in her kennel) on a table in the corner where she could see everything that was going on. I put a package of treats next to her kennel so guests could interact with her if they wanted to — and wow, did they!

After an hour or so, I put her to bed in the suite’s bedroom and reminded people not to open the door. Once everyone left, I crept into the room, crawled into bed with my new husband, and called it a night. Overall, I’d say that the experience was a success, so I’d recommend using the kennel method like I did if your kitty is a bit shy outside of the kennel yet feels comfortable around commotion.

a cat looking at the wedding rings

Top 3 Fun Ways to Incorporate Your Cat Into Your Own Wedding

If you want to include your cat in your big day but having them hang out in a kennel is not your preference, there are a few other ways that you can incorporate them into the occasion. Consider one of the following.

Utilize a Harness and Leash for a Walk Down the Aisle

I walked my cat Lady on a leash in the yard, but that was about the extent of it. She was not comfortable being outside of the house in social situations unless she was in the safety of her kennel. If your kitty is comfortable around other people and strange noises when on a leash outdoors or somewhere other than your home, they will likely do well walking down the aisle in front of everyone during your wedding.

You can attach your wedding rings to your cat’s collar or put a little hat on them that the rings can be tied to. Alternatively, you can attach flowers to a cat vest so your kitty can “carry a bouquet” down the aisle. If you do choose this method, it’s a good idea to have a kennel handy just in case things don’t go quite as planned. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Have Your Kitty Partner With Another Wedding Party Member

Consider having a trusted friend or family member in your wedding party hold your kitty throughout the wedding ceremony. If necessary, you can put the two of them in place so they don’t have to walk down the aisle or make any movements that might make your cat uncomfortable.

This will enable your cat to be at the wedding and admired by guests without the need for any serious participation on their part. Make sure your kitty is leashed and that a kennel is nearby to ensure that your awesome day doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

a side view of a cat

Get Cats in Need Involved

If you’re interested in helping cats that need good homes, you may be able to partner with your local humane society and have cats for adoption featured at your wedding alongside your own feline family member. I didn’t know about this option when I got married more than 20 years ago, but if I had, I certainly would have implemented it.

My idea is to pair a rescue cat with each person in your wedding party. The cats will need to be in kennels, but the kennels can sit near each party member by the altar, where all the guests can see them. After the wedding and before the reception, guests can meet the cats up close and personal and see if any would be a good fit for their homes. It’s fun for the guests and advantageous for the cats!

Top 3 Ways to Include Your Cat in Your Wedding Without Them Actually Being There

Sometimes, it just isn’t possible to bring your cat to your wedding no matter how much you want to. Nowadays, I have an old cat and a new kitten living in my home, neither of which I would even think about physically incorporating into my wedding were I to get married again. My older cat simply doesn’t have it in her, and my kitten isn’t potty trained yet! However, I would not hesitate to include my kitties in my wedding through other means. Here are a few ideas that you may find work for your situation.

Create a Cake Topper

Topping your wedding cake with a depiction of your cat is a great way to commemorate your day without feeling like your furry friend isn’t part of the action. It will remind everyone that you have a family member at home that couldn’t make it to the festivities. You can have a custom topper made or find one that includes a generic depiction of a cat and then attach a photo of your cat to it. Ideally, your cake topper will be the two newlyweds and your cat.

cat wedding cake toppers bride and groom
Image credit: L. Biggar, Shutterstock

Let Your Cat Represent Your Reception Table

If your wedding reception is traditional, you and your partner will have a dedicated table at the reception to eat and drink at. Why not have a poster made of your cat and then hang it on the front of the table to help represent your newly formed family? If a poster isn’t possible, have a photo of your cat printed, then attach it to a posterboard and decorate the empty spaces of the posterboard with wedding-friendly elements. I have a friend who did this for their dog, and it turned out super cute and elegant! Your reception table will probably be facing your guests’ tables, so they will have an opportunity to see your cat and honor their place in your heart.

Put Your Cat in “Charge” of Your Guest Book

Another fun way to incorporate your cat into your wedding without them physically being there is to put them in charge of your guest book. Not only can they be featured on the cover of the book, but they can also be displayed wherever the directions are. Print thumbnail-sized photos of your cat on sticker paper, and cut out the photos.

Then, apply a photo sticker on each page of the guest book with directions like, “Please write your name and the date below,” or, “Feel free to share a story or memory here.” This implies that the cat is offering the guidance. I would also fill out an entire page for my cat that explains their life, personality, and interests while introducing them as the guest book’s manager. It would be quite amusing for guests to read!

Final Thoughts

Cats are a big part of our lives, even if they don’t go to many places outside the home with us. It’s understandable to want your cat to be a part of your wedding, and I think it’s a fabulous idea. It will create fond memories that will last for a lifetime and will hopefully help your new little family bond more before the family starts to grow with other animals or even babies!

Featured Image Credit: JumpStory

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