When Mark Meador met Donna Callahan, he knew right away she was a catch.
It was Oct. 21, 2011 — the night of the Longboat Key Historical Society’s Fish Fry.
Casa del Mar always reserves a table for the event. Reservations Manager Kate Eiseler’s husband couldn’t go, so she asked her sister, Callahan, to take her place.
“Right away, I knew she was gorgeous and caught my eye,” said Meador, who was the resort’s assistant manager at the time but has since been promoted to general manager.
He later asked Eiseler for Callahan’s phone number, and the couple began dating in January 2012.
On Friday, Dec. 6 — 777 days after Meador got hooked at that chance Fish Fry meeting — the couple stood on the resort’s beach at sunset and became husband and wife.
The groomsmen were Casa del Mar Reservationist Elton Arellano and Maintenance Manager Juan Cavazos. The bridesmaids were Eiseler and Callahan’s sister-in-law, Cindy Phillips.
The wedding coincided with Casa del Mar’s annual holiday party for unit owners.
“The owners have all been second family to me for half my life,” Meador said.
He was 23 when he began working at the resort in 1985. He and the resort’s longtime manager, D.M. Williams, who retired last year, were performing with the Cripple Creek Cloggers at the Great Geauga County Fair in Burton, Ohio, when Hurricane Elena stuck.
Williams returned to find 3 feet of dirt deposited outside the resort’s buildings and needed help, so he called Meador and offered him a job.
After Meador was promoted to general manager last year, he had to move into the manager’s unit on the property. He had to introduce the board to Callahan when she moved in with him.
“From the moment I introduced her out by the pool, they made her feel like family,” he said. “I said, ‘Let’s just have a small family wedding.’”
Although the couple got married at Casa del Mar, they don’t plan to honeymoon there.
Mr. and Mrs. Meador will head to New Jersey in December to visit her daughter, then take a trip to Key Largo in January.
Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected]