Catherine Gordon Todd and Frank Scarborough Etheridge IV met several years ago through a mutual friend in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina. After the storm, Catherine moved to Atlanta while Frank moved to Columbus, Ga. The two bumped into each other in May 2010 at Jazz Fest and again a few months later at a concert in Atlanta.
With an hour-plus drive between Columbus to Atlanta, the two hadn’t spent a weekend apart since the concert.
Frank’s proposal was a total surprise for Catherine. He suggested that they walk their three dogs – a bloodhound, a black lab and a greyhound-mix – in Grant Park. During the walk, he dropped to his knee and pulled out a ring to propose.
On October 23, 2010, Catherine and Frank married at The Chapel at Trinity Episcopal Church. Trinity was the first choice for Catherine’s wedding because it’s a special place for her and her family; she attended Trinity School from kindergarten until seventh grade. Catherine’s parents were also married in this same chapel in 1975.
The chapel’s size was ideal for the wedding because Catherine and Frank wanted to have an intimate, smaller ceremony for family and close friends. Reverend Jesse R. Adams, a long-time family friend, performed the ceremony. Reverend Adams gave a special prayer recognizing Catherine’s father and Frank’s grandmother.
Catherine’s brothers Trey and Kemper Todd walked her down the aisle to give her away to Frank. She wore her mother’s wedding dress, which was purchased in 1975. It was made of organdy and lace and Catherine only had to alter it slightly. Steve Baker created all of the floral arrangements for the wedding, including Catherine’s bouquet of white orchids.
Frank wore a dark charcoal suit with a white shirt and white and purple striped tie. Catherine gave Frank her father’s wedding ring, which means a great deal to her family and the memory of her father.
Catherine’s bridesmaids wore lavender silk chiffon dresses from J. Crew. They each held a bouquet of red and lavender roses with green orchids. Elinor Hobson Rand, Catherine’s cousin, served as maid of honor. Frank Scarborough Etheridge III, Frank’s father, served as best man.
After the ceremony, the reception was held in The Louisiana Ballroom on the 10th floor of the Loews Hotel.
Catherine and her family enjoyed working with the Loews team because they were very hospitable and professional. The Louisiana Ballroom offered a setting that was exceptionally beautiful at night. While the couple wanted an intimate ceremony, they also wanted to have a much larger reception, which the ballroom handled quite well. Steve Baker created table arrangements with red and lavender roses and green orchids accented with tea lights on each table.
At the reception, turtle soup and champagne were the guests’ favorites; they also nibbled on passed hors d’oeuvres. At the “Southerntini” station, guests had the choice of a martini glass with crawfish tails sautéed in parmesan cream sauce, or Louisiana Gulf shrimp sautéed with brandy cream sauce served atop stone ground grits and garnished with a cheese straw. There was also a double carving station where guests had a choice of roasted top round of beef served with zinfandel demi-glaze and petit sourdough rolls or whole roast turkey with Louisiana seasonings served with petit buttermilk biscuits.
Sucré created a tiered wave, salted-caramel-flavored cake for Catherine’s wedding cake, while Frank had a cake designed in the shape of a catfish by Leslie Manuel. The cakes were sliced and hand-passed to guests.
The Honey Island Swamp Band played up-tempo, Louisiana-style rock-and-roll. The band members are close friends of Catherine and Frank’s, and everyone loved them. Catherine and Frank had their first dance to Taj Mahal’s “Loving in My Baby’s Eyes.” Zac Smith took photographs of the reception.
Catherine and Frank spent eight days in Florence and Rome after the wedding. They also took a day trip out into the countryside, visiting the towns of Siena and San Gingnano.
The couple currently resides in Columbus, Ga., Frank’s hometown. Catherine is a graphic artist with her own design business, Mama Roux Studio, and is also the graphic designer for the RiverCenter, a performing arts venue in Columbus. Frank is editor and PR coordinator for The Columbus Museum.