Rock Love Wedding: Part 1 – Before We Walked Down The Aisle

7 Jun

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 11.28.03 AMHere’s a shock: I was never the girl who planned her wedding from childhood. Although I did dress up as a bride for one particularly fancy Halloween*, I never really dreamed of myself in any particular dress, with any particular decorations** at any particular place. What I did dream about was who I would end up with***. Someone with a somewhat unique name, perhaps, and broad shoulders and a big grin. I would fantasize about how and where we’d meet, and the kinds of things he’d be interested in.  You all know the rest — Caitlin meets Zack, offers ride, falls madly in love … and starts wedding dress shopping before the official proposal. OK, so I had to do at least a little pre-planning.

*I dressed up as a girl for Halloween in 6th grade, does that count?

**I wanted to joke about how I didn’t really care about these things either, but I was pretty opinionated when it came time to make most decisions. I wanted to utilize our blog colors, include rock couples and make it as much “us” as possible. 

***This was always the only part that really mattered to me as well. 

rla pic

After brainstorming every last detail we could think of, from the venue to the music to the wedding website and far beyond, the week of the wedding seemed to come and go in less than a blink of an eye. I attribute a large part of this to the fact that it is my busiest time of year at work*:  we had a huge initiative proposal due on my first day back at work after the honeymoon, it’s Annual Performance Review season, and I still had to try to get my normal requirements all done with a week and a day less than my peers, since I took Friday off** to take a breather and tie up any loose ends before the wedding on Saturday — or so I thought. The plan was to use Thursday night into Friday to finally wrap some cacti in pink and blue duck tape, finish burning and writing names on our mix CD wedding favors, and pack well in advance for Belize*** so we’d get to relax all day Sunday at the W.

*At the same time, record level amounts of rain forced us to brainstorm a complicated rain plan all week long. 

**I took Thursday off as well after starting to feel sick and not getting any sleep all week. 

***As much as I wanted this to happen, deep down I had a feeling it wouldn’t. 


Instead, I was up until 2AM Friday morning writing names on CDs* and didn’t even get around to the cacti. I tried to get some sleep since I knew Friday night would be a little crazy. It was Rehearsal Dinner night, after all. Happily, the day started out in a very relaxing way:  I got to treat myself (and my mom!) to a mani-pedi at Milk + Honey spa. We were just a few minutes late (and the spa sternly reminded us of this a few times so we couldn’t be upset if their service was “less than”), but luckily got some amazing ladies to pamper our hands and feet while we talked about my wedding, Zack, our relationship history, my bridesmaids, and everything in between. It was SO nice to have the specific time set aside to spend with my mom, since the rest of the weekend was so crazy**. We also went on a very important trip to Payless Shoes to purchase some kitten heels for me as “transitional shoes” between my insanely high custom heels and my super sporty Pumas, and mom bought what we referred to as “sister shoes” — a higher-heeled version of the ones I got with wavy straps all around. After the spa and the shopping trip, I only had time to get myself ready for the dinner, so the cacti got put off again.

*Caitlin kept working Thursday night as I went to visit with my dad, aunt and dad’s friends who got into town a day early. 

**I had a similarly relaxing Friday, driving around Austin, listening to wedding music with my aunt Bokkie, loading up on liquor and supplies for the weekend. 

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 12.07.44 PM

The rehearsal dinner was a little overwhelming at first, because when Zack and I arrived there were already large groups of family and friends sitting around the venue*. As faces came into focus, we said hi to everyone and welcomed the out-of-owners to Austin.

*I was excited to have the first opportunity to see a big group of out of town friends and family. I couldn’t wait to give everyone a hug and crack the first beers of the weekend.

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 12.08.06 PM

Out-of-towners like our flower girl Ellie and her Nana, my aunt Tabby, who co-sponsored the rehearsal dinner. 

Our wedding planner, Mary, helped us run through the ceremony proceedings a few times, and then we spent the rest of the evening (and late into the night*) drinking, talking, and trying to wrap some of the cacti in duct tape (thanks to the Inselmanns for their artistic eye on that!)

friday night hang

*Well, late for us after what a busy week it had been. We kicked the 15 or so friends gathered in our apartment out by 11:30 so we could get a half decent night sleep. 


And then, just like that, it was Wedding Day. As I sit here wracking my brain, I honestly don’t even really remember when I last saw Zack that morning. If I recall, he went to his physical therapy for his foot*, and that was the last I saw of him until our first look. I spent my morning soaking in a bath for about 15 minutes, which was as long as I could force myself to relax before showering and getting ready to go to hair and makeup. My beautiful sister-in-law Suzy brought me a much needed Einstein’s bagel for breakfast, which I promptly scarfed down before racing out the door to my appointment. I ran into my other beautiful bridesmaid, Melissa, who calmed me down as I waited for my hair and makeup session to begin. My hairstylist has been with me for almost a decade at this point, so it was super exciting to talk to Stephanie as she beautified me.

*This is true. I woke up wedding morning with my foot throbbing from spending so much time moving around Friday, even with help from my cane. A last minute PT session and icing helped me get back on my feet. A couple percocets helped as well. 


Horrifyingly, as Steph put the very last pin in my hair, the once sunny skies clouded over and opened up, leaving me all glammed up with nowhere to go. You see, despite an 80% rain chance in the forecast, I’d been in such a hurry to get to my appointment that I forgot an umbrella. Not just forgot it in my car — forgot it altogether*. Great. I mentioned this to Stephanie, and like a champion, she ran outside (in her socks), to move my car as close to the building as possible, and then came back to retrieve me. She grabbed a cardboard box and one of the smocks you wear when you’re getting your hair cut, and put the smock over the box to create a makeshift umbrella-tent sort of thing. She then ran me out to my car, where I safely made it inside, intact**! As I raced to get home, I realized I’d made zero progress on my cacti. I called my mom***, and she graciously took my aunt and finished wrapping the cacti.

*We bought a dozen umbrellas just for this weekend, then lost both the clear ones and didn’t take a single pic with the wedding party with their umbrellas. Welp. 

**While Caitlin was racing to get back from getting her hair and make-up done, I was racing to finish my vows and our thank you speech in the business center of the Embassy Suites as Caitlin’s brother Edward looked on encouragingly. 

***Cathy was also a huge help on Friday getting the cake safely stored and helping Caitlin stay calm.

Zack’s only request of me for the wedding day was that I was cognizant of time and not running late to anything. As I drove home in terrible I-35 traffic (due to the rain, of course) I was panicking. I was heading home an hour later than planned, and was supposed to be checking in at the W in 20 minutes — there was simply no way that would be happening. I called Zack, panicked, and started to cry as I asked if he was very disappointed in me*. He was very calm and sweet, supportively saying that no, he was not upset at all and that I would be fine on time and not to worry. This allowed me to stop the tears and focus on getting home quickly and in one piece.

*I was never upset with Caitlin. I was a little frustrated with her hair and make-up girl. As amazing of a job as she did, and as heroic as she was in the rain, the one goal of the day is to have Caitlin ready with plenty of time so she doesn’t have to rush. That didn’t happen. I’ll never fully understand why, but it’s just one of those things. It all ended up well. We just had slightly less time to take posed pics, which weren’t that important to us anyway.


After we transported the centerpieces to the wonderful Madison’s car and stacked ourselves into my MOH Brittany’s fiancé’s truck, we headed downtown to get checked into the W and take our “getting ready” photos. When we all arrived at the W, I walked up to the front desk confidently. You see, one of my other bridesmaid’s boyfriends had worked at the W, and he warned me that they’re quite strict about taking photos on their premises, so per his suggestion, I’d called ahead to add all of my bridesmaids and my photographer on the list of acceptable people who could go up to our room. But there was just one little hitch:  I had never been put on the room reservation. So there I stood, makeup’d and hair piled high, about to kill this poor front desk guy as he apathetically asked me if Brittany Rodriguez was with me. With Suzy’s help*, I rushed my MOH up to the front, and she got us all checked in. Crises mostly averted. We rolled our eyes at the situation as we hopped onto the elevator and got to our room on the top floor** of the W.

*My sister is a boss. 

**Just down the road, us dudes were taking it easy in the top floor of the Embassy Suites, messing with bow ties. I got a pre-tied one, only to be missing a clasp and needing Lance to fix it for me with a safety pin from my dad’s dop kit. 

Staging getting ready photos is a strange thing indeed. Our makeup and hair was all done, and really all that was needed was to throw on dresses, shoes, and jewelry. To make it meaningful, I had each woman in the room with me help me with something, so that I’d have pictures with everyone. It was a wonderful feeling, having all of these beautiful, sweet ladies help me with my necklace, earrings, shoes and dress. Yeah, I feel like we were faking/staging these as well. Oh, well. We didn’t have much time until it was time to head to the W. 


This isn’t the first look. It’s us looking at Scooby before taking a couple pics with him. I’m excited to actually have the photos of the weekend instead of just friend’s iPhone pics, as much as I love these. 

After we snapped those photos, it was time for the First Look, where Zack and I would get to see each other for the first time all dolled up in our wedding attire. Our photographer, Stephano, brought me down to the ground floor, where all of the wedding party except for Zack was gathered. I hugged my brother, who looked dashing in his video game-themed bowtie, and then followed Stephano through the crowd to go to the back deck and see my soon-to-be-husband. I had the same butterflies I did when I first met Zack, anticipating and wondering what his reaction would be*. Before I even got to touch his shoulder, as I slowly approached him, my eyes welled with tears. The excitement and nerves and madness of the day coalesced in the moment and released until he turned around and then clutched his chest, fake-falling backwards** as he looked at me, grinning. I was full-on crying and laughing*** at this point, and we hugged each other tightly and exchanged “I love you”s. After I did a little spin for Zack, he said, “OK — now let’s get moving!” and we raced back in to grab family and get a move on to the Parish.

*I’m getting butterflies again just reading this. I had my back to Caitlin’s entrance for a few minutes as I stood there talking to the photographer, anxiously awaiting my bride.

**I don’t even remember fake falling. I think I was really that blown away by your beauty.

***Your reaction reminded me so much of when I proposed and we could barely get through the door without being overcome with laughing and crying.


I realized I’d forgotten my vows and umbrella in the room*, so I sent Katie I. and Brittany upstairs to grab those items as Zack, Edward and I rode to the venue. Sadly, I forgot to remind them about the vegan cupcakes we’d bought for my mom and brother — but I believe they had a happy ending in Edward’s belly anyway, since I let my dad know that we’d brought them to our apartment.

*I believe my sister is shielding you with my umbrella here.


When we got to the Parish, we saw our beloved Scooby with his dog walker just a building away. We called out to him, and he didn’t see us right away, but his ears perked up — and then as soon as eye contact was made, he gave us a huge grin and pulled in our direction*. We kept him from jumping up on me**, and took some pictures with him as family and friends kept coming up to hug us. It was all kind of madness, but we managed to get some good shots*** before heading upstairs to look at the venue…

*It was nice to pose with our little guy. He was all smiles, as confused as he must have been. 

**I was terrified Scooby would leap up and claw Caitlin’s dress apart. Thankfully, he was on his best behavior. 

***I was mildly disappointed we didn’t get to do some fun umbrellas poses with the wedding party, but far more important was capturing the main event. And what an event it was.

Continued in part two…


2 Responses to “Rock Love Wedding: Part 1 – Before We Walked Down The Aisle”

  1. tapeparade June 11, 2015 at 6:23 am #

    Wah you guys! I’m just catching up with these blogs now and basically in tears at the description of the first look – so sweet! Also look how happy Scooby is in that photo!! Adorable!!! xx


  1. Rock Love Wedding: Part 2 – The Main Event | rockloveaustin - June 9, 2015

    […] Continued from Part 1… […]

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