On our wedding day, 16 of our closest friends:
.. the ones who saw us through the ups and downs of our relationship (at one point I used the term "crazy sh*t show of a year") and stood by us
.. the girls who held my hand, poured my drink, and prayed with me and for us both
.. the guys who reassured me and who were so honest and supportive with him
.. the people who know us best, really, will stand up with us on the steps of Newton Chapel as we make our vows to God and to one another. It's an incredible honor to have these girls and guys with us as everything we've laughed, cried, and prayed about for the past 4 years is sealed and a new life begins. It's also incredible how we all are the worst phone-friends, but as soon as we get together it's like we were never apart.
Maid of Honor
J & I bonded instantly. We lived in the Chi Omega house for the best year that house has ever seen, we road-tripped to D.C. for spring break, we volunteered with Macon YoungLife together, and we made "Wife" t-shirts for each other. Her family and her in-laws adopted me right away, and she is my sister/other half. Through all the ups and downs, no one knows me better. I was honored to be her maid of honor a year and a half ago when she, the most beautiful bride in the world, married the one of the best men in the whole world.. and I'm so grateful to have her return the favor on the steps of Newton Chapel this spring.
Little and I shared each others' first (amazing)apartment experience. We loved that old place with the sky-high ceilings and more floor space than we knew what to do with. She has been a delight in my life since her freshman year, when we bonded at a fraternity luau and became inseparable, continuing an incredible Chi Omega family line. We have shared everything for the past 5 years and she is truly a part of me. After my relationship with D because serious, she vowed that at our wedding or elopement she would be the tipsy bridesmaid in the tacky dress, and I'm holding her to it!
Big subjected me to an impressive hazing experience as a freshman, which introduced me to some of my best gentleman friends (D's older fraternity brothers). I'm proud to say I passed that tradition right along the family line :) In all seriousness, she is my rock and my role model. She is an over-achiever in the best way and encourages the best in me. There hasn't been a burden or a blessing in the past 6 years that I have not run to share with her and get her advice. I couldn't imagine taking this step with D without her by my side.
A is my partner in crime and in faith--wonderful combination. We lived together my last year in Macon, mentoring, praying for, & loving on our YoungLife kids; sponsoring Debu & Karthigai through Compassion (we originally only planned to sponsor one); camping in Barnes & Noble and Starbucks; worshiping at New City; fishing at the Evans' and behind FPD; working too hard, drinking way too much coffee, and staying up way too late. She's the most real, generous person I know and D & I are better for having her as our friend.
K and I lived together for a long time during and after college. I don't think anyone could have prayed harder for me during our rough patch than she did. During the hardest time I've endured, she reminded me of who God is and of my identity in Him. She wrote me encouraging notes (Joshua 1:9!) and helped me find the way when I was the most lost. After 6 years of friendship, it's been determined that there is nothing that a day with Kellie, Will & Grace, and a glass of wine can't cure.
B is one of my oldest friends, since 1998 when we were in Renee Keeman's (my teacher who recently finished her fight with cancer and is rejoicing in heaven now) chorus class. We've seen each other through so many changes: relationships, moving, college, and after.. she is the friend I've grown up with. When she and D finally met I was so happy! B is another completely selfless person who has never let me carry a burden alone. She is the bridge between my new life and the old me, and God has greatly blessed me with her friendship.
E is an intense, strong, wonderful woman. She came into my life 5 years ago through Chi Omega (another hazing experience for the ages) and has shared a lot of the same struggles and victories over the years. We have held each other accountable, lifted each other up in prayer, and been each other's crying shoulder. I love her sense of humor, her drive, her fabulous decorating taste, and how she gives so much to everyone she loves. I'm proud to be her sister and grateful for her level-headed support as wedding preparations drive me crazy.
J is one of my strongest, most beautiful friends. (My mother refers to her as my beautiful friend.) She is another of my pledge sisters along with Wife, and we have had some super times with Chi Omega and Up 'til Dawn (Memphis roadtrip or St. Jude radiothon, anyone?). She hosted me in Atlanta (she makes one hell of a great frozen pasta dinner!) and was D's & my first house-guest here in Aiken! We were on Wife's team of attendants a year and a half ago; I'm so happy she will be there for us on our wedding. It's her turn next!
I am so lucky to have these ladies, plus the 8 gentlemen who'll be standing across from me in Newton Chapel this spring. I never thought I'd be a girl with 8 bridesmaids, but there's not a single one I could do without. Of course, they're not the only ones who have helped D & me along the way. My best married friends (Whit, Shannon, & MacSchanck), my pledge class, the rest of our Chi O and Pi Kapp families, our church family, the YoungLife family.. I can't even count all the people who God has used to shape our relationship and point us in the right direction. If you want to see 250 of the most wonderful people, check out our wedding guest list. I thank God for each and every one of you.