For Josh and Maria McIntyre, a wedding in the cat loft at Colony Cafe was a purrrfect fit.
The North Side couple wed in a self-uniting ceremony in front of a dozen of cats and two Colony Cafe staffers on May 19, marking the first wedding at the Strip District cat cafe.
They kept it as a low-key affair, donning casual clothes, sharing vows that were on their hearts at that moment, exchanging rings, and sealing it all with a kiss. With soft music playing in the background, the couple stood among twinkle lights and fake candles in the cozy loft.
A handful of cats looked on; the others were apparently too busy to RSVP.
“One of the cats insisted on trying to eat the twinkle lights throughout the ceremony,” Josh said with a laugh.
In typical feline fashion, the four-legged guests didn’t get too excited about witnessing the expression of love.
“They were so unimpressed,” said Sue Hendrickson, who co-owns Colony with her husband Erik. “There were three of them just in loaf position hanging around. They couldn’t have cared less. They were like when’s dinner, what’s the big deal?”
To be fair, though, some human wedding guests share that same “when’s dinner” attitude.
The 23-year-olds, who met at St. Vincent College, regularly visit Colony Cafe for date nights and had been planning for some time to elope instead of having a formal wedding.
Rather than jetting off to Florida, they decided they were ready to get married now and to do so right here at home in Pittsburgh, where Maria works for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Josh works for Microsoft.
Initially, they’d considered getting married at Mt. Washington or Point State Park and then celebrating with drinks at Colony. But after chatting with Hendrickson, they decided the cat cafe would fit for the ceremony, too.
“We were looking for something low-key for just the two of us, and once all the pieces came together, we thought it was a perfect spot for us,” Josh said. “It was just very our style. We’re not necessarily big on the pomp and circumstance of things. We love the cats. We love hanging out there. We just felt that something that was a little more from the heart was a good fit for us.”
The couple owns three rescued cats: A brown tabby named Linus, a long haired brown tabby known as Sam, and a shorthair tuxedo called Tiny.
After the ceremony, the cat-loving couple spent some time hanging out with Colony’s cats before heading home to their own furry friends.
Passionate about Colony’s mission to help cats, they’ll continue to visit there for date night, Maria said.
Colony aims to offer a fun and relaxing cafe for humans, while finding loving homes for Pittsburgh’s at-risk cats. Though Colony has hosted bachelorette parties and marriage proposals, this was its first wedding.
“They’re young and just in love,” Hendrickson said. “It was just an honor to be in an emotional, special moment.”
And though they haven’t adopted a pet from Colony, Hendrickson can be quite persuasive.
“They are cat lovers,” she said. “They haven’t adopted a cat — yet.”