It All Started With a Beer

Catalina and Andrew

Welcome to my wedding blog! You get to come with me on this fun journey of trying not to go crazy while planning one of the most important days of my life: marrying my mans Andrew.

Like the beautiful and wise Maria Von Trapp once sang, let's start at the very beginning -- a very good place to start.

It All Started With a Beer

Andrew and I met at One Spark in downtown Jacksonville five years ago.Our friends were meeting up with each other that night and we were the respective tagalongs. So while they were chit chatting, I obviously noticed the BEAUTIFUL tattooed man I’d never seen before. We introduced ourselves, he smiled and I died.

One Spark gave the radio station VIP passes that year which meant I could access a smaller area with a much shorter bar line. Honestly, bless up cause those bar lines were nuts. I asked Andrew if he wanted to come get a beer with me (aka bribed him with the short line) and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

We spent hours exploring the festival together that night and again later that weekend when I brought my best friend Sumaira. Lemme tell you something about this woman: she has a freaky good judge of character. She has NEVER been wrong. So on the walk back to our cars when she said, “Oh my gosh I can see why you can’t stop talking about him. He’s perfect for you!” I KNEW this guy was gonna be in my life for a long time.

Catalina and Andrew jags

He Put a Ring On It

I stared to feel a little sus that he would propose around my 30th birthday in September 2018. Except my birthday party came and went with friends, mom’s empanadas, but no engagement.

By this time, we already had plans to travel to Cartagena, Colombia for my cousin Sebastian’s wedding. I was so excited because Andrew hadn’t met most of my extended family in Colombia and this would be his first trip to my mom’s home country. It might have been the excitement that kept me from seeing the signs he was planning to propose.

Andrew invited his best friend Matt to come with us because (I thought, at the time!) he had recently moved to L.A. and we missed him a ton. Matt’s an awesome adventure buddy, too. We also invited our good friend Karen to travel up from Bogotá to spend the week with us. Again, seems normal but THESE WERE THE SIGNS.

The four of us were sitting around the AirBnB on Friday, November 2nd tossing around ideas of where to go when we landed on exploring Cartagena’s Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas. This is like the much bigger brother to the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine. It ‘s massive, a little creepy but has beautiful views of the city when you reach the top. Views that make the perfect backdrop to propose. THE SIGNS.

Catalina and Andrew colombia

We got to the top together but Andrew and I broke off to explore a little sentry outpost in the corner. As I was taking in the view, loving life and feeling so lucky to be there, Andrew said my name and I turned around to see him taking out an ornate emerald ring from his wallet.

Catalina and Andrew colombia

And that’s all you get cause if I write the rest of the story I’m gonna drown in tears all over again and this isn’t waterproof mascara.

Catalina and Andrew colombia


I’m not an organized person AT ALL. Andrew is way more organized but he’s a little overwhelmed, too. We want a wedding with our friends and family but trying to put all our ideas into action is hella stressful. All we want is a simple wedding with dope music, food and cocktails. Elaborate decorations and the extra doo-dads don’t matter.

The one piece of advice I kept getting over and over was to focus first on finding the venue and the rest will fall into place. They weren’t wrong! I feel waaaay better after booking the venue, especially because of where it is.

We’re getting married at Brick and Beam! It’s a new event venue in the historic Springfield neighborhood. What makes it really fun for us is that Brick and Beam used to be the Pearl!

Catalina and Andrew

OG Jax people will remember the indie dance club with the light up dance floor and a giant tree in the middle of the club. Even though Andrew and I didn't know each other at the time, we spent manyyy nights there throwing back as many PBRs as our college budgets let us. The Pearl closed in 2012 but the iconic brick building and awning are getting a new life. The owners have been carefully renovating and updating it while also maintaining the historic charm. You can see the transformation on their IG.

So, here we go. Venue is booked. Everything gets easier, right? RIGHT?

Catalina and Andrew

Engagement photos by Toni Smailagic of Cre8Jax


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