SIT Social: What was the inspiration for hosting a dog wedding in Chicago?
Julie: Chachi says he knew when he met Leilani his heart was made whole. His grandma Suki told him when he finds true love to never let go.
Leilani says it was love at first sight! Chachi had a good job, a good heart and tolerable in-laws. His face is the one I love to kiss every morning and his embrace is the warm blanket I want to wrap myself in each night!
SIT Social: Had you ever put on an event like this before? Chachi and Leilani said,"No. This is our first marriage." Or any events geared toward your dogs before?
No. But we plan on having a puppy introduction party for our pups.
SIT Social: What was your favorite part of the dog wedding?
Julie: Everything was beautiful! The human staff was very helpful! But the spacious room was nice for our dog guests, the humans, the food tables and the DJ booth. Victoria, the owner, made the use of this space awesome!
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SIT Social: Tell us the story of when you first met Leilani? Chachi?
Julie: Chachi was a small town boy from Missouri. Leilani was a suburbanite from Gurnee. Chachi reports he worked security for his neighborhood and as a therapy dog for his grandparents Frank and Suki. He earned $20/week and paid them $5/week rent, but his uniform, meals and medical were covered. His grandmother Suki told him he was a good dog, hardworking, generous and he had to promise her that he would find a girl with a good heart and a Chicago Cubs fan. He promised if he decided to have puppies he would do the right thing and marry his sweetie. In 2016, he felt he was ready for a relationship, he saw Leilani on Patty's Pups website and asked for an introduction. They started dating in July 2016. It was a beautiful unconditional love they felt for each other. When they found out in March 2017 that Leilani was pregnant...although unexpected, was viewed as a blessing! Chachi proposed and Leilani accepted! They joked it was a "shotgun" wedding.
SIT Social: How did you choose your doggie's names?
Julie: Chachi Leon was named after Scott Baio Joannie loves Chachi. Leilani Mae was a combination of a love for Hawaii and Mae West.
SIT Social: What was surprising about hosting your own dog wedding?
Julie: We were surprised by the number dog friends who attended and that some even travelled from the suburbs!
SIT Social: Which part of the dog wedding planning process was the most fun for you?
Julie: Getting the little humans involved, they were the best hosts! Amelia the bubble girl. Josh the puppy favors. Yehoshua the BMW driver and Sydney the hostess who informed the guests of food, water and Fromm dog food favors were the best!
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SIT Social: How did your friends and family react when you told them you were planning a dog wedding for Leilani and Chachi?
Julie: We were told we were crazy. We were told there are better things to spend our money on like dog shelters and not on our friends, most of whom are shelter dogs. Someone came up to us and asked if it was true we spent $7000 on our wedding. Chachi laughed as he answered, "No. Does it look like a $7000 wedding? Thank you!"
SIT Social: What advice would you give to anyone seeking to put on a similar event?
Julie: Take advantage of the networking amongst dogs and the kindness of humans! Our Best Man Miko's dad is DJ GRP, GRP808@ME.com donated his time as DJ! Our Maid of Honor Isabel's mom Kay made the floral arrangement centerpiece for our table and even added the humourous string of puppies to remind us what we had to look forward to in our near future! Our friend Marty is a baker and Comedian at Cupcake Comedy Cabaret, made the Gluten Free Peanut butter carrot pup cakes served on spoons. Our newest friend Maximilian, brought his humans Krystyn and Dan from TWA Photography.
SIT Social: What was it about SIT Social that made you decide to host your event there?
Julie: Leilani said they initially planned an outdoor wedding at Mary Bartelme Dog Park and got approval for it, but she heard on the news that it might rain...So Chachi decided he didn't want his bride drenched on her wedding day..and wasn't sure if his BMW would hydroplane so...he searched the internet and found Sit! He loved the idea of the Chickentinis!! Victoria responded quickly, other places called didn't respond back until after the wedding. Chachi looked into Leilani's big brown eyes and told her, "Baby, you're gonna be a beautiful bride! No rain will ruin your day!"
If you'd like to host a dog wedding in Chicago check out our intimate indoor space.