Ryan Cabrera and Alexa Bliss Are Married in Rock and Roll Wedding
Ryan Cabrera and Alexa Bliss have officially walked “On the Way Down” the aisle.
The singer, 39, and the WWE star, 30, exchanged vows at the Kempa Villa in Palm Desert, California, on April 9, PEOPLE can exclusively announce.
Two weeks ahead of the big day, the couple sat down with PEOPLE to give all the details on their wedding, which Bliss described as “very non-traditional” and “rockstar” themed.
“It’s very us,” Cabrera said. “The whole thing’s meant to bring out our personalities, and we are far from just normal.”
Cabrera and Bliss — who started planning their wedding right after they got engaged in November 2020 — fell in love with their venue (which is owned by a friend) after first stopping by to visit on their way to a “glamping” trip in nearby Joshua Tree.
Then, after they got engaged, they again saw their friend who owns the five-acre property, and he suggested it could be the “perfect” backdrop for their wedding.
“We were like, ‘Oh my God,’ it’s absolutely perfect,” Cabrera said. “It’s absolutely gorgeous and nestled within the mountains. At the bottom, there are vineyards, and behind the house there’s a beautiful lake. It’s just far enough outside of Los Angeles, too.”
In contrast with the serene surroundings of the estate was a giant, light-up “Welcome to the S—show” sign and hot pink carpet that greeted their 360-count guest list (which Cabrera said he “weeded down” from 608) upon arrival.
“Our wedding has been self-deemed ‘the s— show,'” Cabrera explained.
As guests arrived, they were able to pour their own glass of Campo Viejo Cava champagne from the Bubble Tap trailer as they soaked in the acoustic sounds of singer Tyler Ward and harpist Lexie Lowell.
To kick off the ceremony, Cabrera and Bliss had people walk down the aisle tossing out shots to attendees in lieu of flower girls “to really set the stage.”
Their families then walked down the aisle to Walk Off the Earth’s version of Tina Turner’s “The Best.” The bridal and groom party — which had a mix of 16 men and women on each side — followed, walking down to “Eye-to-Eye” from A Goofy Movie, one of Bliss’ favorite films.
As Bliss made her entrance, Cabrera’s song “Worth It,” which he wrote for his proposal, played in the background.
“I’m just trying to figure out how I’m going to get through this because it’s such an emotional song,” Cabrera said. “I don’t think she understands, because we were talking about doing our vows, and I was like, ‘Maybe we should do it in private.’ I cry a lot! I can’t help it. I’m that guy. It is what it is. I’m emotional, so it’s going to be waterworks.”
At the time of their PEOPLE interview, both Cabrera and Bliss had said that their vows were already written.
“Mine came to me in a dream,” Cabrera said. “It was like 4 a.m., and I had this dream about me reading the vows to her. I was uncontrollably crying, but I was reading the vows, and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s good stuff!’ So I woke up in the middle of the night and started jotting it down. That led to writing more and more and more. I’ll probably be tweaking up until the day of, but that’s just the writer in me … or I may just scratch it and go improv.”
Bliss said she wants to read her vows first “because I’m not a writer — I don’t want to follow his!”
Keeping with the non-traditional theme, Bliss wore a custom dress by designer Netta BenShabu in blush.
“The top is a mesh corset bodice with rhinestones and beaded appliqué,” she said. “It has drapey sleeves that are detachable and made of the lace from the bottom of the dress, which also has the appliqué on it.”
“The bottom of my dress has four different layers of tulle — two of them are glitter tulle, and one of them is blush,” Bliss added. “There is a long train in the back that’s all glitter, but it has a bustle in the back too, to lift it up so I can dance and all the things. It’s very whimsical, very fairytale-esque.”
Bliss said that the way that she found BenShabu to make her dress was really “coincidental.”
“With my dress, there wasn’t anything that I knew I wanted, I just knew what I didn’t want,” she said. “I was scrolling through different designers on Instagram and Pinterest and all these things, and I came across Netta BenShabu’s designs, and I really loved them. I knew, like, ‘OK, so this is who I’m going to buy my dress from.'”
“Two days later, Ryan coincidentally was like, ‘Hey, so I set you up a dress appointment with this boutique in L.A., Kinsley James, and they actually have a designer who wants to design a dress for you,'” she continued. “I was like, ‘Oh, I already have a designer in mind.’ He was like, ‘Oh, well at least go hear her out. Her name is Netta BenShabu.’ I was like, ‘Wait, what?'”
At her appointment with BenShabu, Bliss said she tried on “a bunch of different dresses” and pulled what she liked from each one.
“It was like a snowball of ideas,” she said. “As soon as I put on the dress that I customized, I was like, ‘This is my dress.’ I got emotional. The one thing everyone who I show my dress to says is, ‘That’s you. That is you in a dress.'”
One of Bliss’ bridesmaids made her a garter of blue lace from the bottom of her dress, which also featured borrowed gems to serve as her “something borrowed.”
Instead of a veil, Bliss wore a Swarovski headpiece in the back of her hair, which was a half-up, half-down style done by Cabrera’s hairdresser Josh.
“The veil was too much,” she said. “There’s already a lot going on with pink hair, pink dress. I think the veil would’ve been a little too much.”
Cabrera also went with blush for his suit. Bliss had those on her side wear different shades of blue.
As for their guests, the couple told them that the dress code was, “What would Harry Styles do?”
“And that goes for male, female … what would Harry Styles wear?” Cabrera added.
“One of my cousins is wearing a Pac-Man suit,” Bliss said. “It’s going to be ridiculous.”
After the ceremony, the couple made their way into the cocktail hour, which they made sure they could enjoy by getting all of their photos out of the way earlier in the day.
“We wanted to try to spend as much time with everybody as we could because it’s a destination,” Cabrera said. “We have people flying in from Dubai, from Ohio. People travel, spend a lot of money to come to your wedding and see you for 15 seconds. So we’re getting quality time in where we can.”
In order to get even more time with their guests, which they described as a “melting pot” of people from their respective lives and careers, Cabrera and Bliss planned a week of events leading up to their wedding, including a boat day, a “Cabrera Classic” golf tournament, and a rehearsal dinner featuring the Original Taco-Man and a magician bartender from Magic & Cocktails.
The night before the wedding, Cabrera and Bliss also got their own quality time in.
“We’re not separating the night before because we have to get up early, and I already told her, ‘Wedding night, babe, I am partying. You’re not getting no action that night. So you better get it the night before,'” Cabrera said. “I’m just being honest. I’m partying hard after the ceremony. I would be shocked if I don’t end up in that lake.”
There’s no doubt Cabrera and Bliss got the party started at the cocktail hour, where they had games like corn hole, a giant Connect 4, a giant Jenga, and the dice game Farkle. Patrón also had a tequila bar and margarita bike.
Other drink options at the cocktail hour were provided by Conscious Cocktails and Amass gin.
At the reception, which guests needed to show their “backstage pass” to get into, Cabrera and Bliss had a tequila bar, an Absolut vodka bar, a Jameson whiskey bar, and a wine and beer bar featuring Bonita Bonita Wine, created by friends Nikki and Brie Bella.
For food, the couple had two of their favorite L.A. food trucks, Heavy Handed burgers and fries and Yamashiro Japanese, there to feed their guests instead of having a sit-down meal.
“We wanted it to be more laid back,” Cabrera said. “A chicken or steak dinner is not really us.”
They also had Gastro Garage catering small bites like sandwiches and pizzas made by blow torch.
“They have their own area because of the fire,” Bliss said, as Cabrera joked, “And my hair! You don’t want me around that thing.”
For dessert, the couple had four different flavors of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Brownie Brittle, popcorn by Cookie & Candy Pop, and a candy bar by Candy Vixen. Instead of a wedding cake, they each sabered a bottle of champagne.
“We’re going to toast,” Cabrera said. “It’s really about the celebration of the moment, saying that we’re now married, and so we’re going to pop the champagne.”
At their tables, which didn’t have assigned seating, Cabrera and Bliss used old-school CDs as their centerpieces and vinyl records as the place settings.
“We love music, obviously, so we wanted to bring that theme into things,” Cabrera said. “There’s no assigned seating so people can go around and see what vinyl they love, like, ‘Oh my God, it’s O-Town! Oh wait, I’m in O-Town!'”
While Cabrera and Bliss originally planned to share their first dance as a married couple to James Arthur’s “Falling Like the Stars,” Cabrera switched to a special recorded acoustic version of his bride’s favorite song, “Eye to Eye,” at the last minute.
Two DJs, DJ White Shadow and DJ Charan, as well as ’90s and 2000s cover band SEGA Genecide, kept guests dancing well into the night. “It’s going to be wild — I’m already tired!” Cabrera said. “It’s like putting on a festival.”
While Bliss had initially purchased a “fun” party dress for the reception, she opted instead to stay in her wedding gown. However, she did swap out her wedges for her rhinestone Betsey Johnson sneakers.
“My dress is so comfortable, and I didn’t want to change into something that everyone else can have when I have something that’s custom made for me,” she said. “My wedding planner Elle Anderson with Elle A Events was in my alteration with me and kept saying, ‘She needs to be able to lift her arms. She needs to be able to dance and drink and not worry.’ So we hemmed the dress to my reception sneakers, not my heels.”
Throughout the night, guests posted using the couple’s wedding hashtag #OntheWayDowntheAisle, a nod to Cabrera’s 2004 hit “On the Way Down.”
All throughout planning their intricate day, Bliss said Cabrera was “super amazing,” adding: “I didn’t have to worry about any of it because he’s such a planner and likes to plan.”
What’s funny is just how unplanned their love story began. “It’s like a Friends episode: the one with the rumor,” Cabrera said.
In early 2020, while Cabrera was on the show Miz & Mrs with WWE wrestler The Miz, his social media team started liking a lot of wrestlers’ posts, including Bliss’.
Cabrera said that he thinks a member of his team “had a crush on Lex” because he was liking everything that she was posting. “She was freaked out,” he said. “I didn’t even know about this. I had no idea.”
“It was weird,” Bliss added. “Over a week, I would get four or five notifications per day, like, ‘Ryan Cabrera liked your tweet. Ryan Cabrera replied to your tweet. Ryan Cabrera liked your tweet.’ I was like, ‘OK. He needs to calm down. I don’t even know this guy.'”
Eventually, Cabrera and Bliss figured out what was going on, and they started talking.
“I was on an airplane flying to Orlando to play at Disney Epcot, and we chatted for the entire plane ride,” Cabrera said. “I was like, obviously she’s beautiful, but she’s really cool too. We both love Disney. We love the same movies. We both love Reese’s Puffs cereal.”
When Cabrera touched down in Orlando, Bliss told him that she lived in the city. So, he invited her to his shows. “I said, ‘Maybe,'” Bliss recalled. “He didn’t like that.”
Cabrera said he stayed “persistent” and invited her to a movie, where they ended up talking the whole time. “We were like, ‘This is something,'” he said.
While they both tour full time, their schedules coincidentally kept matching up.
“Wherever she was, I just happened to be,” Cabrera said. “I was like, ‘I’m playing a Thanksgiving Day parade in Chicago.’ She’s like, ‘Oh we have WWE Raw in Chicago.’ Everywhere we were going, it lined up, which is crazy too because our schedules are usually so opposite with my tour and her wrestling. Then she came to a DJ gig, and I told her that night, which was probably the second time we’d hung out in another city, that I was going to marry her one day.”
“I’m older, and I’ve dated a lot of people, so I was like, ‘OK, I know now after dating different people what I want, what I don’t want,'” he added. “So when I met her, I was like, ‘This is everything I’ve always wanted.’ So that’s why I was like, ‘I’m going to marry you one day.'”
Though Bliss took a bit more time, she said she knew Cabrera was “the one” when she realized she was overall “a happier person.”
“Ryan brings out the best in me, and all my friends and family saw a change in me for the better,” she said. “It was the first time that I could genuinely say that I loved someone more than myself. So that’s when I knew I was in love with him. I was very guarded in the beginning because I’m just a guarded person in general, and he changed that about me.”
After spending the majority of the COVID-19 pandemic together in Orlando, Cabrera knew his initial gut feelings about Bliss were right.
“We were together every day,” he said. “At that point, you’re like, ‘OK, if we can get through this together, I think we’re going to be all right.'”
Cabrera took his first step towards marrying Bliss when he proposed at Disney in November 2020. After months of planning, he popped the question in the park after it had closed.
“We had dinner at 9 p.m., and the park closed at 10, but obviously they allowed us to stay after the park closed because they knew this was happening,” Cabrera said. “She was like, ‘Babe, we have to go. The park is closing soon.’ She’s a rule follower, and I’m the exact opposite, so I’m like, ‘We’re fine. Come on. We’re good.'”
As they walked up to a table set up for their proposal, Cabrera had “Worth It” start playing through the entire park. He then asked Bliss to dance, yet still, she had no idea what was happening.
“He just does stuff like this, like he’s so sweet,” she said. “He’s a hopeless romantic. He’s a planner, and it was our anniversary, so I thought it was just an anniversary thing.”
Bliss said she knew this was more than a cute anniversary date when Cabrera started “shaking” and said, “I waited 38 years to do this.”
At that moment, Cabrera said, “I blacked out.”
“I don’t even know what I said, but I said a whole thing, and then I got down on one knee,” he recalled. “It was perfect, and the photos came out amazing and the video came out amazing.”
For the ring, Cabrera worked with XIV Karats in L.A. to create a “royal” looking engagement ring, which he had carried around in a satchel for months.
“On the engagement day, I didn’t want the ring in my pocket,” he said. “So I started wearing the satchel with the ring in it ahead of time so that the day of she wouldn’t think anything was weird.”
Added Bliss: “I had gotten him three custom satchels for Christmas thinking it was his thing now. For the last four months he had been selling me on how convenient satchels are.”
After the proposal, Cabrera had another surprise planned: an engagement party at the Riviera Resort.
“I had 50 people waiting in that hotel, and as soon as we came around the corner, the champagne was popped,” Cabrera said. “It was quite the day and quite the operation, but it ended up being absolutely perfect.”
The day after their wedding, Cabrera and Bliss will return to Disney, but this time the park in California. “We’re geared up,” Cabrera said. “We’ve got shirts. We’ve got hats. All the cheesy things, we’re all about it.”
The couple will then go to Hawaii to spend a few days alone, before being joined there by a group of their friends.
Looking forward to forever, Bliss said, “I love that I don’t know what every day is going to bring.”
“If I wanted to know what the rest of my life would look like every single day I would be with anyone else in the world but Ryan,” she said. “But I love not knowing, and I love knowing that I get to wake up next to him and bug him every morning, and it’s the best. I love our life together. We constantly make each other laugh, we constantly are having fun, and I’m just overall happier around this guy. We’re already married.”
When it comes to the adventure that is starting a family, Cabrera said, “Whatever happens, happens, but we definitely want kids.”
“We’re planning on two,” Bliss said. “He’s so great with kids. He’s going to be an amazing dad for sure.”
Until then, Bliss said, “We’re just going to keep on doing what we’re doing.”
“This is real, and it’s always going to be real,” she said. “I think we’re always going to keep up the effort to make each other happy.”