Guinness World Records Week starts this weekend. And the annual international event launches Saturday from a stage in downtown Oak Park, where Village President David Pope will officiate at a mass muttrimonial (dog wedding).
The historic goal of the I Do to-do is for Oak Park to beat a record set last year for canine couplehood by Littleton, Colo.-178. The real-life, neighborhood goal of the whole production is to raise money in a high-profile way for the village’s dog and cat shelter: Animal Care League, at 1013 W. Garfield.
Registration fees for the wedding licenses-at $5 a dog, and another $5 if they’re yet to be betrothed and could benefit from speed dating-go directly to the shelter. The village’s largest business district, Downtown Oak Park-which comprises the reopened stretch of Marion Street and Lake Street from Forest to Harlem-is the force behind this tongue-in-cheek fun.
Rehearsal nibbles for the nuptials begin at 11 a.m., when speed dating will start for unattached (though certainly leashed) dogs and their good-humored people, who will abide by arranged marriages for their best friends in the name of helping foundlings. The wedding ceremony-expected to last about 10 minutes-will be start at 1 p.m. An adjudicator from Guinness World Records is en route to Oak Park to count and verify.
Advance registration forms are available at shops around town. Just look for the light-blue brochures with this portrait of the event’s first couple, Hudson the lab and Mr. Big the Chihuahua, on the cover. To get the registration form online, go to www.dogwedding.info, where you can find other updates on the effort.
Rushing to the altar is OK in this case. So registering Spot on the spot-on Marion Street on Saturday afternoon-will meet with tail-wagging approval.