April 5, 2022

Catalina and Matthew

Meet the jet setters Catalina and Matthew and take a glimpse into their love story and their stunning wedding at Paradise Cove.

How did you meet?

Matthew and I met when I spotted his UCF shirt near Loyola Chicago, and I told him,  “…another Floridian crazy enough to move to Chicago?” We quickly hit it off after chatting about our overlapping time in Orlando, where Matthew went to college. Our first date was at a hole in the wall featured on “Diners, Drive In’s, and Dives” called bopNgrill near Loyola. Lunch at bopNgrill went so well, that Matt (accompanied by his then-roommate and now Best Man Phillip) met me again that night at a popular Loyola hangout Bar 63. Two dates in one day turned into a year of becoming inseparable, and we couldn’t be more grateful for making the life-changing decision we made to move to Chicago.

When did you know they were the one?

Matthew:  She loved me so hard that she didn’t really give me a choice haha

Catalina: Matt has a really great way of accepting all the love I have to give, doesn’t take it for granted, and truly appreciates everything I do. It’s an amazing feeling to know how much you are loved and appreciated. I knew by the way he treated me, how family and goal-oriented he was, and how effortlessly we got along and (basically) lived together during college.

How did they propose and where? What was your reaction? We want details!!

Ever since I was a little girl, I always heard stories of how beautiful Catalina Island, located off the coast of Southern California, was and I always, always dreamed of visiting. Now that Matthew and I were living in San Diego, I realized that this might now be a possibility. Little did I know that Matthew planned a surprise weekend trip! When we arrived at the dock, it was even more beautiful than I ever imagined.  Matt did a  sensational job of planning the whole thing, including the ferry over, the gorgeous Hotel Metropole, and the proposal location – The Wrigley Botanical Gardens to tie in our Chicago roots. We soon learned early Saturday morning, that the garden was a TWO-mile hike uphill… but that just built the excitement. When we finally reached the top, we had a spectacular view. It felt like we had the whole island to ourselves as there was no one in sight. Matt got down on one knee, and even though I knew what was coming, I instantly burst into tears. It was truly the happiest moment of my life as two dreams came true at once.

Tell us about your fantastic new bling?

Okay, so I might have sent Matthew a few suggestions…!  But anyone that knows me knows that I’m super frugal and love a good deal! So I MAY have let Matt know when Macy’s was having a pretty great jewelry sale and which pieces were a particularly good deal 😉

How long have you been together?

Matthew and I met on 10.10.2015!  So we have been together for five years now!

What is your favorite thing about your spouse?

Matthew:  When she cuddles next to me on the couch,  and when we go to bed she buries herself into my arms to go to sleep. My love language is physical touch, so just how loving she is towards me all the time.

Catalina: I love how hardworking and passionate Matthew is towards everything he puts his mind to, including his career, and his hobbies, and when I ask him to do something important he will really take the time to do it well.

What are your favorite things to do together?

We love traveling and cashing in our Southwest airline points! One of the things we are most thankful for with all the time we have spent together is the ability to travel to so many places! We’ve camped and hiked in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, road-tripped to Nashville, gone skiing in Wisconsin and California, explored the cities of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, spontaneously flew to San Francisco, also spontaneously drove to Vegas, then continued on to hike and camp Zion National Park, spent time with our families in Orlando and West Palm Beach, and lastly took our first real vacations to Hawaii and Cabo San Lucas in 2019.  We are beyond grateful for the spontaneity in our lives and all the opportunities we’ve seized together.

What’s your favorite TV show you watch together?

Oh man, we LOVE falling in love with a new show to binge-watch. We don’t regularly watch TV, but when we find a good series we will finish it off in a week! A few of our favorites are Game of Thrones, Peaky Blinders, Altered Carbon, Mind Hunter, and Project Blue Book!

What are you most looking forward to on your big day? {Aside from marrying your best friend, of course!}

Since Matthew and I have moved around a lot, all our friends and family are scattered around the country.  We are SO excited to have all of our favorite people together in the same place for the weekend!


Venue: Paradise Cove

Coordinator: Just Events! Group Inc.

Video: Switzer Film 

Floral: Atmospheres Floral & Decor

Cake: Lubelle’s Cakes

Band: C’Nergy Band

HMUA: Laura Reynold’s Artistry 

Catering: Arthur’s Catering

Quartet: Classic Quartet

Rentals: Oceanhawk Rentals

Fireworks: Angry Unicorn Fireworks 

Dress: Archive Bridal 

Looking to book your fairytale wedding? Let’s Chat!

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