A Mermaid Finds Her Captain

Timothy Agra has a law degree, but it was his captain’s license that made him the perfect match for Kathleen Reardon.

“Ever since I was little, I’ve had an affinity for all things mermaid. It doesn’t hurt that I have long red hair and used to pretend I was Ariel,” Ms. Reardon said. “The running joke of our courtship was, ‘He’s my captain, and I’m his mermaid.’”

Mr. Agra, 33, of Barrington, Ill., graduated from Loyola University in Chicago and has a law degree from the University of Southern California. He is the director of legal affairs and public policy for his family’s business, Chicago’s First Lady Cruises, which offers cruise tours. “It’s a fourth generation company that provides architecture tours along the Chicago River,” said Mr. Agra, who obtained a merchant mariner credential while working for the company.

Ms. Reardon, 33, from Inverness, Ill., has a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising and marketing from Bradley University. She works as a marketplace project manager for Postal, an offline marketing automation platform.

The two now reside in Arlington Heights, Ill., but met through the dating app Bumble when both lived in Chicago. After connecting, Mr. Agra and Ms. Reardon discovered they grew up just a few miles apart and had crossed paths many times before, including when she went on a dinner cruise aboard one of his family’s boats. Growing up, both also frequented the same bowling alley and Chinese restaurant.

Their first date, on March 31, 2018, was drinks at the Game Room at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel. The night before, Ms. Reardon said, “I sat in bed and wrote a list of attributes my ‘dream guy’ would have and tucked it away in my top drawer. I feel like I manifested this man into existence.”

They made plans to meet again the following Saturday. But the Wednesday before, he surprised her at her office with pink tulips and chocolate. “I can’t possibly wait until the weekend to see you again,” Mr. Agra recalled saying when he delivered the gift.

On Aug. 24, 2019, he proposed at Lurie Garden in Millennium Park. To ensure Ms. Reardon would “gussy up,” Mr. Agra said he fibbed and told her they were going to a “work-related” event at the Art Institute of Chicago. She isn’t a “propose to me after hiking and not wearing makeup kind of girl,” he added.

Later, the couple had dinner at the Chicago Athletic Association. “They had a special menu for us and glasses of Champagne — it was a magical night,” Ms. Reardon said.

They were wed Oct. 23 at the University Club of Chicago in Cathedral Hall. “It’s this grand room with high ceilings and stained-glass windows that overlooks Michigan Avenue,” Ms. Reardon said. The bride’s uncle and godfather, Patrick Reardon, ordained by the Universal Life Church, officiated. Mr. Agra was so excited to be married that he said “I do” before he was supposed to.

Before the ceremony, Mr. Agra gave Ms. Reardon a model boat with “Lady Katie” painted across the back. A nautical theme inspired much of their wedding: The bride entered the ceremony to an acoustic version of “Kiss the Girl” from the “Little Mermaid,” props for a photo booth included a captain’s hat, groomsmen wore socks with anchors on them and the couple’s first dance was to “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin.

At the reception, Ms. Reardon also sang a rendition of “Everlasting Love,” an instrumental version of which played as they exited the ceremony as a married couple.

“I thought she sounded great,” Mr. Agra said. “It looked like the band members were impressed, too.”

About 174 guests were in attendance; the couple said all were urged to take a Covid test or get vaccinated ahead of the event.

“It was such a magical day,” Mr. Agra said. “It went so swimmingly. We couldn’t be happier.”