The University had launched a promotion called “Fearless Fans,” and part of that effort involved photo shoots with selected
Texas Tech fans. Caitlin had won a contest that qualified her to be one of the individuals to be photographed for the promotion, and it just happened that on the Saturday that Reed proposed, Caitlin's photo graced a stadium-full of football tickets.
Meanwhile, it was not a coincidence that that weekend was also Caitlin's birthday weekend. Reed planned things that way. It's just
that he didn't come up with the plan until three weeks before the occasion. That, to him, allowed plenty of time. But his mom thought different.
Mom Knows Best
“As I was thinking about my plan, I called my mom, and I said, 'Hey, I think this is what I'm going to do,'” Reed says. “She said, 'You've got to hang up the phone right now and call Don Fite!' And I was, like, why? She said, 'Well, you don't just go buy a wedding ring—it takes a couple weeks to get things right.' And I said, oh, I didn't realize. And then I called Don at Busch Jewelers in Abilene.”
Don was Reed's friend and his jeweler of choice—and his family's jeweler, too, for that matter. The Youngs had done business with the Fites for three generations.
As he tells this story, it's two years and several months later. Reed and Caitlin are in Abilene enjoying a reunion with Don. The Youngs have relocated to Abilene after having lived in Lubbock, Midland, and Dallas—all in the last 2-3 years. They've only been in town two weeks. (Reed took a job with oil company Breck Operating in nearby Breckenridge. Caitlin works in custom apparel and could take her job with her.) This get-together summons memories for them of Reed's eventful three weeks in 2014, leading to his big day on that Sept. 13.
“So I called Don on a Monday and he said, 'Come in to the store this week and we'll take care of it.' I told him I'd be there Friday. Don emailed me, saying, 'I'll come to you in Midland—I'll pack up a bunch of them and we can look at them at your house.' I told him not to do that, that I had it under control. But I really appreciated that offer. It just shows you the lengths to which Busch Jewelers will go. And not just for someone he knows. I know Don would do it for anybody. That's just Don's personality.”
How They Met
At Texas Tech, college sophomore Caitlin was working in the student government office when a friend of hers, Tyler, introduced her to his friend, Reed, then a junior. Not in a “matchmaker” kind of way. Just as a casual introduction. “So we started talking then,” Caitlin says. “Then he wouldn't leave me alone [laughter]. He came up all the time and would always come talk to me and then eventually asked me out on a date. And, you know, eventually I got this [holds up her ring], so I guess it was worth it.”
Reed says they were boyfriend-girlfriend for much of their college careers and that he “wasn't always the best boyfriend,” but something about Caitlin stuck with him. “It was the way she really just tried to push me to be better and to do different things, and to be a better person,” he says. “We just clicked, to be honest to you. We both obviously could be friends with a fence post, so I needed somebody like that in my life. And, besides, everybody around me was saying, 'Yeah, you're an idiot if you don't marry this girl.'”
“I'd say the same thing about Reed,” Caitlin says. “Reed is just a good person, and he's fun, and it just got to the point where it became hard to imagine not being with him. It's like this person is just my other half, truly. I'm definitely the better half [laughter] but he is my other half. So yeah, it's the same thing.”
“We went to Antigua for our honeymoon,” Reed says, smiling at the memory. “In the Caribbean. We waited a month after the wedding to go. Which, honestly, was one of the best decisions we ever made, because we woke up morning after our wedding day and we just kind of got to enjoy everything. We didn't have to rush to go to the airport at 5 a.m.”
“Exactly!” said Caitlin. “We kind of got to 'space out' the wedding. Instead of doing everything at once we got to have our wedding, enjoy it, talk to our friends afterwards. Because a lot of times you go to your honeymoon, you don't talk to your friends for a week. So we got to talk to all of them, re-live the memories, and then as soon as it started dying down we got to go on our honeymoon, so it was like it didn't die down.”
Don helped Reed through the selection process until the latter settled on an emerald cut diamond. “A square-cut emerald,” Reed says. “With a platinum band.”
Caitlin loves it.
“It's cool, because not a lot of people have that cut,” she says. “When we got engaged, the big popular cut was the cushion cut. And I got something a little bit different. I think everyone really liked that. I've always got nothing but really high praise, high compliments.”
Including compliments from one of their best friends, Lindsey Keys.
Lindsey, currently of Dallas, has known both of them for years. She says that the couple is perfectly matched.
Lindsey met Caitlin when the two of them had a class together at Texas Tech. “Our friendship just kind of blossomed from them,” Lindsey says. “I met Reed at college as well. Gosh, they're so similar in so many ways. Caitlin is just the most supportive friend that I could have ever asked for. She's so fun, and she's so empathetic, and she really just makes you feel loved when you tell her that you have something to talk to her about, or you want her advice. She's just really so genuine and makes you feel that you're the only person in the room, because she really wants to focus on you and help you get through whatever you're going through, or she's there to share the best laugh of your life with.
“Reed is the same way,” adds Lindsey, who currently resides in Dallas. “He just lights up any room that he's in. He makes any person he talks to feel like family right away. He's got such a big heart and such a big personality that it's easy to love him. As soon as you meet him you love him.”
What Makes It Work
Lindsey says that, just as the couple has many similarities, so too do they have some differences, but “the differences complement each other so well. You could just tell immediately that there was something special there.”
Perhaps the best time she's had with the couple was a New Year's weekend last year in Abilene. “It was really mellow,” she says. “We just had a couple of really good friends together, and we're all hanging out for the weekend. I think that's the kind of people that they are. They're more about building relationships than having these crazy extravagant experiences. Both of them are really focused on relationship building with themselves and in their relationships as a couple and with their friends.”
Lindsey says she loved the ring that Reed got Caitlin. “Gosh, it's beautiful,” she says. “It's everything that she ever wanted. I know that Reed spent so much time and put so much thought into her ring. I know that he just really took notice of the type of girl that Caitlin was and really picked a ring that fit her personality, and not only fit her personality, but fit them as a couple together. I think it's just really classic and elegant, and perfect for Caitlin.”
And Caitlin and Reed? “They're perfect together,” Lindsey says.