I mean…yeah, pretty surreal. That’s my little brother. And now, he’s married.
Over the weekend, my little family embarked on a journey two years in the making…well, 30 years actually.
It all started two and half years ago when one night, I was watching my very favorite TV show and saw a commercial that said “if you know anyone who would like to be a contestant on The Bachelorette, sign them up at ABC.com”…so I did. With little rhyme or reason (or any thought actually), I did. And he was picked. And then he got his heart broken. And then we were crushed. And then he was asked to be the Bachelor and we were very supportive. I flew to St. Croix to check out the women, then all 6 of us headed to Thailand to meet the final two…and then he picked Catherine. And it was true love.
And now, we’re here. A normal family, with normal jobs, normal problems, normal everything…smack dab in the middle of a live wedding broadcast on national TV. My little brother. Crazy.
So, that’s how we got here. Wedding prep has been going on for months, Sean and Catherine have been a part of all of the details, so this isn’t a peak into their lives…it’s a peak into mine. How is it being the big sister of the Bachelor during his wedding weekend? What was it like? How were we treated? What did we do? Who did we meet?
Let’s start with Thursday and move forward…just your average family in a very un-average situation…
Back in September, Sean and Catherine gave my kiddos special t-shirts the day they asked them to be flower girl and ring bearer in their wedding. I was saving those shirts for a special day…I thought their last day of school before leaving for California was just that kind of day!
While the kids were at school, I asked my sweet friend Erika to go to Dry Bar with me to get my hair all fixed up before we left (a good Dry Bar trip will last me 3 days!).
Not only did she go with me…she brought me a special little package of goodies to take on my trip. I just love my sweet friends.
Friday morning, we packed up and headed out. I think we should all pause and take a moment to appreciate my Erin Condren luggage. It’s not only beautiful on the outside, the inside is a traveler’s paradise. Pockets, zippers, compartments and tons of room. I love.
It was super cold the day we left Dallas and the day we came home (in the 20s), so I wore my new plaid coat. Speaking of things I love…this would be one of them!
My kids were so excited about heading to California!
Smith and me west coast bound!
Oh yes…and we also flew with all 4 of my grandparents, one aunt, 5 groomsmen, 2 bridesmaids and several friends. Such a fun flight!
Seeing mom at the hotel (they went out a week in advance just for fun!)
We arrived at the hotel on Friday afternoon starving and ready to stretch our legs. It was so fun checking into the lobby! I got in line right behind my buddy Chris Harrison :).
After we checked in, we were handed special passes that allowed us to go anywhere on property. People. I’m not sure if Barack and Michelle have as much security as we did. Men in suits wearing dark glasses and ear pieces were everywhere. And by everywhere, I mean they were even pacing back and forth outside my hotel room and one stood in front of my parents’ porch. Everywhere. Along with our passes, we were handed information on social media, our itineraries and a map of events.
On this day, everyone in the wedding party was taken into a big conference room where we were all given duffle bags with our initials on them full of goodies! For the bridesmaids, we had nail polish, jewelry, makeup, so many things to mention. Such a special perk!
Oh look who I bumped into in the lobby…my soon to be sister-in-law! The bride and groom were busy (of course!), so we saw them when we could…they had a lot of obligations that weekend.
That night, my kids were exhausted and went to sleep at 6:30 (which is 8:30 in their normal time zone, so not too crazy) and then I went to sleep early too. The next morning, Andrew asked me if I had checked my phone…and I hadn’t. Apparently on Friday night…I was a hot topic of conversation…
Totally normal that the host of The Bachelor is tweeting that we might be dates to my brother’s wedding… and then my own husband acts confused because he thought I was committed to this awesome (albeit quite hairy) Bachelor producer named Elan. Totally normal.
Elan sent me one more tweet on Saturday…totally the relationship between the crazy Bachelor family :).
There was a lot of commotion outside our room this morning…you know, just giant lights being raised for my little brother’s TV wedding…
While the giant lights went up, my kiddos hung out in the room watching i-Pads and such…we were saving our energy for the big rehearsal(s) that day.
A peak at two of our security passes.
…and Andrew’s itinerary.
The nice security guard that I watched pace by my hotel room door about 4,587 times.
The kids are fascinated by the giant lights going up…
We had such a relaxing morning and then met in the hotel lobby at 1:00 for our first rehearsal. Uncle Seanie played catch with the kids while the rest of us listened to a lot of instructions (only the groom, flower girl and ring bearer can get away with such shenanigans!).
We headed outside to rehearse. That’s the director Ken talking to my dad, Catherine and Sean. What? Don’t all rehearsals involve a director?
Me and the hubs at rehearsal. Love this man.
Stephanie is one of Sean and Catherine’s really good friends. I’ve known her for years…love, love, love her!
At 3:00, rehearsals broke until 5:45 so that all of the ladies could have hair consultations with the famous Jose Eber. You know…this really famous hair guy…
…I found this image off of Google (because I was waaaay to intimidated to ask him for a picture!). He was super intense, really specific and extremely nice. It was a once in a lifetime experience just to meet him!
After I left my consultation, I was walking through the lobby with Kensington when I bumped into this pretty lady…
…Trista! Trista Sutter and I have been very friendly over the last year. She sent me an early copy of her book, we email and keep in touch with each other. I just love her. Really love her. She said we could be BFF now :). I also loved that while we chatted, her sweet hubby Ryan entertained Kensington by asking her a million questions and showing her pics of his kids on his phone. Love them!
At 5:45, we headed back to rehearsal in our rehearsal dinner clothes (except my dad wasn’t dressed up yet). At this point, we realized it was going to be cold on the wedding night while we were outside during the ceremony. Like 42 degrees kind of cold. Sigh. But we shivered our way through rehearsals and then again the next night :).
Here are the original four Lowes at rehearsal…
…I love this pic. This is my family. These are the people who raised me. The family I vacationed with, moved with, lived with my entire life…celebrated every life event with, cried millions of tears with, laughed more than I can count with. This is my family. I am so blessed.
Speaking of blessed…this man right here is such a blessing in my life! Love my sweet hubby!
The rehearsal dinner was so nice and simple. No cameras, no crew, nothing but our two families sharing a meal and giving fun toasts to the happy couple. Such a wonderful night!
Ring Bearer down. Smith literally said, “Can I just lie down on the floor and go to sleep?”. And so he did. Because it’s exhausting being in your uncle’s famous live TV wedding ;).
And flower girl down too…this show biz is tough work!
One more note about my dad…he is such a trooper! My dad totally nailed the rehearsals (where he wrote and memorized fake vowels/prayers and such in order to save the real thing for the wedding day) while being extremely sick at the same time! No one ever knew that he had a 24 hour bug that made him so sick he couldn’t even attend the rehearsal dinner. Yeah…pretty awesome.
At first I thought I would do one post on the whole weekend. How
stupid dumb ridiculous naive was I??? Tomorrow, I will be recapping the second part of our trip…the wedding day! I have too many pictures and little anecdotes to include it all in one post. Come back tomorrow! You will not want to miss my wedding day pictures!
Speaking of not missing…my foodie blog has a Super Bowl inspired menu today …
…and don’t forget about my fabulous heart shaped cake I did yesterday (it is so simple!).
And it is so funny!
And of course, if you ever want to know what I’m wearing, you’ll find it in my closet.
This is Part 1…tomorrow, Part 2 and the behind the scenes of the big wedding day! Love you all!
See you tomorrow!
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