Maids of Honor + The Best Men
Have I mentioned that we have the best people in our lives? We do. These dozen we asked to stand beside us on our wedding day are top-shelf, incredible humans. Here I'll introduce them all.
Maids of Honor...
Maid of Honor: Brittany Moreno (Bev)
Oh, my heart! Brittany, my best. She is one of the most selfless, loving, true, pure women I have ever met. She came into my life at such a critical point, and she helped me through some of my hardest days. She came to redeem what female friendships had mostly become to me. Rather than manipulation there was honesty. Rather than secrets and competition there was openness and encouragement. We can communicate with full trust and know that, even if there's difficult content, it comes out of a loving place. Her support through not only my wedding season, but every season of my life since we've met is something more special than I could ever express.
Ps- Brittany is also an incredible hairstylist, currently residing in Los Angeles, California. She did all the styling and prep for me, my mom, and every bridesmaid! Thank you, my Bev.
Brandi Macallister (B)
Minutes after Brandi and my brother got engaged, I got a text from her that said, "Now you're stuck with me forever!" She meant it in the best way, and that's how I took it. I first met Brandi almost nine years ago when my brother brought her home for the first time. She didn't talk to me at all. At all! I couldn't believe it! Needless to say, we've come a long way since then. Though we've had rocky moments due to our similar temperaments, Brandi is easily one of my favorite people and I miss her all the time being so far apart. I got to grow up with her. Through times of joy and times of loss, she's always been up for a conversation and a sleepover, and for that I'm so thankful.
My brand new sister-in-law! I was always so intimidated by Tiffany when I first met her. She is just too beautiful! I love Tiffany's vulnerability and her innocence. I admire her strength. She's been through a lot yet she holds her head high and continues to think of other's before herself. She values her friendships and her family. She's driven and so intelligent. She's open and honest and wise. Whenever we talk, I learn from her. I'm thankful for her constant support, and that even when Chad and I were apart, she never stopped calling me "sister."
She's an insanely cool, poised, gracious person who I really love a lot. I've always wanted to be more like Kelly. Where I'm anxiety prone, she is calm. Where I question every turn, she has confidence in her direction. She has grace for herself and encourages me to have some for myself too. Summer nights on her front patio will always be a picture of comfort and happiness for me. It was there that she and I talked about my one-day wedding before it was ever a reality. She always told me that it would happen, always told me it would be great.
Teila Engh (Laina)
Her little sister, Tayah, was my best friend in high school. At my bachelorette party, Teila said that if Tayah wouldn't have left, she and I wouldn't have connected the way we did. And although she would give anything to have her back, she's thankful that Tayah gave us each other before she went. It's true that Tayah connected us, but I loved Teila since then, and she stands on her own in my heart. Teila is passionate. If she's in, she's all in, and I admire that so much. She constantly encouraged me to pause and be in the moment on my wedding day. She was determined that I pay attention. Little things mean the most to her, and I've never gone feeling unloved or unappreciated by her.
Emy is my newest friend out of the group, but she'll be around for the long-haul. She is laid back and always up for whatever comes her way. We can get deep, but we also have a lot of light-hearted fun together, and that's important. She's my movie theatre buddy. Her hair changes colors often, but who she is remains constant. We can go weeks without talking and our relationship doesn't change. She's got a no-pressure loyalty. I can't tell you how many times she's just sat with me while I packed up boxes for each of my moves over the years. She's an out-of-the-box creative, and she helps me not take life too seriously.
The Best Men
Best Man: Nathan Barela
My new brother-in-law! I get teary-eyed thinking about him. I'm not sure he realizes how much he's loved. He has such a good heart. He was nervous to make a toast at the wedding, but Chad and I were so blessed by him and his words for us. Nathan is talented and hard-working, funny, intelligent, and a loving father to three beautiful kids. He's a good man, and I'm thankful to have a new brother in him.
Aaron Moreno (Ronda)
Aaron is my oldest friend from the group. It's pretty wild to think about how many years have gone by and how many friends have come and gone and he's still right here! I'm so thankful. Now Aaron has always been a great friend, but he just keeps getting better and better! In intentionality, in selflessness, in small acts of service that mean so much... I am constantly thankful that Chad and I get to call him our best. Thanks, Ronda, for making mimosa runs for the bride and groom on our wedding day.
Not gonna even start. I've got something different coming for Levi. :) Stay tuned.
Jonathan Van Dyke
Years ago, Jonathan and I were in the same film class at CNM. We said "hey" a couple times, but didn't interact other than that. Wish we would have though, because film class would have been so much better! Maybe not. Because maybe I would have talked through all the movies and Jonathan would have hated me. Either way, we became friends later on and I'm so glad. Not many people can make me laugh quite as hard as Jonathan Van Dyke, and thats saying something. Because I laugh at everything. We disagree on most things, but I have his back and he has mine. He also really loves to get down on the dance floor.
He was just a baby when I met him! Levi's older sister, Alie, was my first friend when I moved to Albuquerque at age nine, so I've actually known Levi longer than I've known Chad. Levi and I have a mutual understanding for what it means to lose a parent. It's something I wish neither of us ever would have had to go through. Levi's dad, Chad's uncle, my prior pastor, was so special to everyone who knew him. I know that he'd be proud of the man Levi is becoming.
I met Christian two years ago, when he was eighteen. I was so impressed by his maturity, and have continued to admire his ability to rise above the chaotic circumstances he's so often in the middle of. He also puts up with more than his fair share of girl-talk between Emily and I. He's creative, introspective, and so funny. His jokes typically play off the discomfort and awkwardness of others... but it works for him. He and Levi work together to create YouTube "social experiment" videos (AntiSocial), sharing ideas as well as filming and editing responsibilities. All in all, he's pretty cool!