CHARLIE MACK Alston is known for his annual Party 4 Peace Celebrity Weekend, for rolling with Will Smith, and for being a man-about-town.
Come Thursday, he'll add another title to his list of accomplishments: husband.
And his best man will be none other than Hollywood superstar Smith. You read it here first, folks.
The legendary Alston, Smith's longtime aide and friend, will marry Tasha Lashine Devlin.
The wedding will take place on Alston's 47th birthday in Cinnaminson, N.J., with the ceremony set for sundown. Alston organized most of the details.
But keep in mind, folks, that this won't be another Charlie Mack Party 4 Peace Celebrity Weekend in which all of Philly gets to come and party. Alston, a/k/a Mr. Philadelphia, wants Thursday to be all about him and his bride. I'm sure Alston, who used to serve as Smith's personal bodyguard, knows plenty of big men like himself to enforce his wishes.
"One particular day out of my life, I'm saying I want to keep that sacred," Alston explained.
Officially engaged two years ago, the couple only recently decided to go ahead and make things legal.
"I'm doing all this myself so Tasha doesn't have to be stressed," he told me. "All I want her to do is to be in it and live in it and enjoy the moment. I want this to be the greatest day in her life."
The first-time bride is a mother of three who grew up in Chestnut Hill and Logan. A 1989 graduate of George Washington High, Devlin works as a civil servant but asked that I not identify the federal agency that employs her. Devlin and Alston first noticed each other at USA Skate more than 15 years ago.
She's only 5 feet 5, so Alston, who's 6 feet 7, towered over her. "I said, 'Yeah, that's a big guy over there,' " she recalled, laughing.
Devlin initially brushed off his romantic overtures. They didn't officially become a couple until 2000. Since then, theirs has been an on-again, off-again relationship. Alston proposed on bended knee on her birthday in 2010.
"It took us 12 years to get it right," Alston explained. "The thing that impressed me about her is she knows how to take care of me . . . [and] how she handled her kids. That's the thing that really did it for me."
Come Thursday, Devlin will get the fairy-tale wedding of her dreams, complete with a full-skirted evening gown, nine bridesmaids, two junior bridesmaids, a matron of honor, a maid of honor, two flower girls, a ring bearer, a bell-ringer and someone to put the runner down the aisle. They're expecting about 400 guests.
"Something keeps bringing us back together. The love. Pretty much, it's the love," she said. "I'm just the one who got his heart."