Your wedding day is special, and while the traditional customs are nice, it’s even better when you make things personal—and work your own passions and interests into the festivities.
When Jossie Ehler, a 27-year-old from Prince Edward Island, Canada, got married last month, animals were as big a part of the ceremony as they were in her life.
“I’m a nurse for the animals [at a shelter],” Ehler told The Dodo. “I help clean them, feed them, give them medication and just make sure that they’re happy and healthy.”
“It’s basically the best job in the world.”
She’s so passionate about animals that her now-husband, Liam Gauthie, knew to work them into his proposal. He pretended their friend’s dog, Divot, had gone missing in the park and asked Ehler to look with him—when she found the dog, her boyfriend pointed out that he had something around his neck.
“It was a box with a ring in it, and he proposed.”
Little did she know the dog proposal was only the beginning.
One of Ehler’s specialties as an animal nurse is caring for newborn kittens.
“[Kittens] under the age of 8 weeks can’t be placed for adoption because they’re not old enough,” Ehler said. “So they need to go into foster care, where they can get the specialized care and socialization to turn them into great loving cats.”
It’s no small commitment: Ehler feeds the kittens with a bottle every few hours.
She has cared for over 70 newborn kittens over the years, and as her big day arrived, she had three in her home: Einstein, Billy Nye, and Neil. They were originally in the care of her co-worker (and bridesmaid), but when she no longer had the space for them, Ehler took them in—right before her wedding.
But it turned out to be fate. Ehler was at home with her bridesmaids prepping for the big day, and the usual stress of wedding planning was getting to them.
So, they started playing with the kittens—and it made everything better.
“It was really sweet,” Ehler told The Dodo. “We were all getting ready, and it was relaxing having the kittens.
“They were de-stressors. It was great.”
The bridal party was made up of animal enthusiasts—besides Ehler, three of the five bridesmaids work at the shelter—so it was an especially fitting treat.
“Any animal-lover will tell you that petting a kitten or a dog is super-relaxing,” she told the CBC. “It made such a lovely start to the day.”
So they decided to take it one step further:
They did a kitten photoshoot with the wedding photographer.
The women went outside and posed for photos by Brady McCloskey Photography. It made the day extra special for Ehler—and gave her an unforgettable, unique wedding memory.
“Animals are such a huge part of my life, and anyone who knows me would definitely tell you that,” Ehler told The Dodo.
“I just couldn’t picture having my wedding day any way else.”
But the day was even better for the cats.
Ehler posted the photos online where they quickly went viral—and when fellow animal lovers saw the photoshoot, they contacted the shelter to see if they could adopt the foster kittens.
“It was amazing,” Ehler said. “One of them has already gone home, and Billy Nye and Einstein are going home together tomorrow.”