“I think I love her.” These were the very first words Alex ever said to Katrina. Coincidentally, those words happened to be the lyrics in the song that began their lasting love affair.
On Memorial Day weekend in 2010, the two found themselves singing and dancing at the former Landmark Restaurant in Lincoln Park after Alex had tried to introduce Katrina to his friend.
“Things moved slowly and so I decided to take the opportunity to pursue her for myself,” Alex says.
As the end of the night crept closer, Alex knew his opportunity to ask for her number was slipping away from him. Sensing his hesitation, Katrina left him with her number before walking out of the door, and ultimately, into a new chapter of her life.
In the months that followed, there was no Alex without Katrina, and vice versa. The inseparable couple hit the town together: drinks and dancing at the Crimson Lounge, family and work events, and one special night ending with a first kiss over Columbus Drive. For Alex, nothing had ever been clearer: this was the girl for him.
A special proposal was necessary for a special girl, and while brainstorming the perfect day, Alex kept his friends’ advice in the forefront of his mind: “Make sure she has a good story to tell.” This meant catching her off guard. Surely nothing would surprise her more than proposing on her birthday, January 22.
“Katrina is a big-time foodie, so I planned a surprise day of fun-filled activities that were meaningful to our relationship and that themed around a prix-fixe menu,” Alex says. He administered breakfast in bed, oysters at her favorite lunch spot, spa pampering, dinner at Schwa and topped it off with drinks at Violet Hour. Understandably, Katrina fell into Alex’s trap, believing the special treatment was for her birthday.
“Throughout the day she had some small inclinations that something bigger was in the works but I was able to diffuse them,” Alex says.
After a busy day, the two found themselves back in their hotel room where Katrina was greeted by a large collection of photos from the several years of their relationship. Alex sat his wife-to-be on a chair as he got down on one knee. The moment he had planned for since November 2013 was about to begin. As he removed the ring from a serving platter, keeping with the theme of the day, he said, “The very first words I ever said to you were, ‘I think I love her.’ These past years together those words have become ‘I do love her.’ I want those words to now become ‘I will always love her.’”
All Katrina could say was, “Are you being serious right now?”
Alex, the son of Bonnie Ford of Evanston, and David H. Carther, Jr. of Asheville, N.C., married Katrina, the daughter of Attorney Rosalyn H. Myers of Spartanburg, S.C. and Gary E. Mattingly of Simpsonville, S.C., on Sept. 6, 2014. Both the ceremony and reception were held at a private beach residence in Wilmette.
The couple’s special day was complete with several personal touches. A customized logo was placed on the cake, dance floor, wine bottles and wine stopper favors. Handmade touches included table decorations and wine-bottle tiki torches.
“Our entire theme was based on our love of red wine,” Katrina says.
For Katrina, the icing on the wedding cake was lighting and releasing wish lanterns on the beach. Although plagued with heavy thunderstorms and dreary skies the day before, the wedding day was kissed with clear skies and 75 degrees, an omen of the beautiful marriage to come.
First Dance: “Latch” by Sam Smith (acoustic)
Catering: Feast and Imbibe
DJ: DJ Jem
Wedding Gown: Jim Hjelm
Bridesmaid Gowns: RenzRags
Hair Piece: All For L.O.V.E. by Gina
Groomsmen: Brooks Brothers
Wine Bottles: Taxim and lots of wine-drinking friends
Invitations: The Evanston Print & Paper Shop
Cake: Anita Garcia
Flowers: Donna’s Custom Flowers
Photo & Videography: Will Knight Photography
Rental: Elegant Presentations
Live Music: Four Star Brass Band
Officiant: The Honorable Juan Thomas, Esq.
Limo & Shuttle: Swift Shuttle
Valet Parking: First Class Valet
Hair and Makeup: Latia Harris Curtis