By Eloise Rich | Photography by Faith Teasley
Cathy Horner and John Tabor met in 2008 as UNC undergraduates through student fan organization Carolina Fever and found that a shared love of the university united them. They remained just friends until 2017, when John’s Instagram message to Cathy about the UNC basketball championship brought them back together. Their first date at Top of the Hill on Memorial Day weekend ignited their relationship.
John proposed to Cathy in 2019 during a Thanksgiving trip to Chapel Hill to visit family. “I thought that if John would propose, it would have to be in Chapel Hill since it is such a special place for us,” Cathy says. Still, she says, the proposal was a surprise.
Carolina blue skies and 72-degree weather made for the perfect wedding day at the Forest Theatre on May 1, 2021. “I had a dream of what Cathy might look like, and the reality surpassed it,” John says. “I remember almost nothing else about that moment [other] than the anticipation and seeing her.” Cathy donned Tar Heel blue shoes and tied a Korean “norigae” to her bouquet, while John wore a Hawaiian lei to acknowledge their respective cultural heritages.
La Residence hosted the reception, and the couple says the restaurant was incredibly accommodating on their tight schedule. Guests, including maid of honor Candice Horner and best men Nick Gallo and Garrett Manis, were treated to Carolina-themed goody bags with local items and a plush Rameses.
The couple lives in Chapel Hill with their pup, Ziggy.
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