While everyone knows little girls dream of their wedding day, most people don't know that little boys dream of the day they get their wedding photos back. It's the one time they can fawn over how good they looked without appearing vain and self-absorbed! While our first two months of marriage have been blur anyways, my wife and I were still thrilled to receive our wedding photos this past weekend! As we sat on the couch looking through images together, I couldn't help but smile and laugh -- not so much at how good I looked, if I do say so myself, but at the stories the photos told. I'd like to invite you to share in some of those stories and memories now.
My wife Katie is an incredibly talented actress, performer and musician. When she told me she had a surprise for our wedding day, I wasn't entirely shocked. We had agreed that -- instead of the traditional wedding DJ and dance -- our reception was going to feature a special cabaret with musical numbers from friends and family. Katie wanted to be part of the cabaret. What she didn't tell me is that she also had something planned for our "first look." In a special, quiet moment before the ceremony -- while my eyes were closed and my back was turned to my nearly-bride -- Katie serenaded me on her ukulele to one of "our" songs - Brandi Carlile's "Wherever Is Your Heart!"
My groomsmen meant a lot to me. Between 2008-2011 I spent three years at the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, the same campus Katie and I married at in July. From 2012-2015 I spent another three years doing non-profit radio work in South Africa; from 2015-2016 I worked for a radio station in Oklahoma before moving to Minnesota where I currently live. As you can imagine, it's hard to maintain meaningful relationships when you move around that much. At first, I wasn't sure who I'd ask to be a groomsmen. But after heeding the advice of several people, I decided to ask the men who were closest to me during various chapters of my life. I'm so glad I did. The good-looking guy on the far left is my brother-in-law Micah. We attended UNW together, became good friends, and he eventually married my younger sister Abigail. To my immediate left is my brother-in-law -- Katie's brother -- Evan. I like Evan. He has high-functioning Asperger's, but he's a fighter and doesn't let it stop him. I admire him for that. To my immediate right is my good buddy Jarrod. Jarrod is from South Africa. We worked together during my time there and became really good buds. When I asked him to be one of my groomsmen, I knew it was a long stretch. But he agreed, saved up, and made the trip out. His selfless gestures still mean the world to me. The guy on the far right is another good friend who traveled for my wedding. Trent and I worked together in Oklahoma. The summer before, I had the privilege of standing as a groomsmen in his wedding. I then turned around and asked him to stand in mine. Not only did he and his wife make the 11-hour drive up, but they sacrificed their 1-year wedding anniversary weekend to celebrate with Katie and me instead. Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better group of groomsmen.
I asked my brother-in-law Micah to be my Best Man, but I asked my two sisters Abigail (left) and Annabeth (right) to give the "best man" speech. I've always loved them dearly, valued their words, and appreciated their sometimes blunt opinions regarding girls in my life. Their warm and positive reception of Katie when she came into the picture was nearly enough to convince me that she was the one for me! I knew Abigail and Annabeth would give a heartfelt and hilarious -- if not dry and forthright -- speech together, and they did not disappoint. By the time they toasted, there was many a celebratory tear around the room.
Remember that musical cabaret I mentioned before? Katie kicked it off with a rousing rendition of the Stephen Sondheim's "Marry Me a Little" accompanied by her father on piano. It was a real treat not only for me, but for all of our guests, many of whom this was their first time seeing her perform. The enthusiastic round of applause afterwards was well-deserved.
Thanks for letting me share with you these few stories and memories from my wedding day just a couple months ago. I hope they resurrected some of your own, which I'd love to hear about. Share your wedding day images and/or stories below!