i can’t just dive into raigan’s wedding without a few words. ok, a lot of words. and yet not nearly enough words! there is no way that words could adequately explain quite how much of a best friend Raigan is to me. we first were introduced when my cousins dragged me across a room saying, “ohmygosh, you HAVE to meet Raigan. you two would TOTALLY get along!” we awkwardly said “hi, nice to meet you” and then went back to our respective conversations. ha! a few weeks later, we had opportunity to interact again when we found ourselves at a mutual friend’s birthday party. i don’t remember any sparks flying or any amazing connection. i think later on we had a couple fun conversations about playing the piano and disney movies when my family had dinner at her family’s house. then we started working together – and that’s when it REALLY started. we shared a receptionist job at our church office – she had mornings and i had afternoons. and what was supposed to be a 15-30 minute transition of responsibilities around the lunch hour became 30 minutes of transition followed by 2+ hours of conversation about the books we were reading (while i pseudo-worked and answered phone calls). which eventually led to hanging out and conversations about anything and everything. that was over 11 years ago, folks. ELEVEN YEARS.
the last 11 years have held all sorts of changes, transitions, adventures, moves, marriages, miscarriages. changing churches, changing jobs, changing schools. LIFE stuff. and yet through it all, our friendship only grew stronger and deeper and better.
surprisingly, having our lives continue to “move” farther apart circumstantially has only caused us to become closer friends relationally. when some of these changes started happening early on, i remember having a distinct conversation over a pesto grilled chicken sandwich at Joe’s Farm Grill where we talked about the threat of life changes to our friendship. and in so many words, we decided that we weren’t going to let anything happen to our friendship. right then and there we committed to building and maintaining our relationship no matter what happened in our lives and no matter what it took. and by God’s amazing grace – and the awesomeness that is modern technology – we did. i can honestly say that we are closer now than ever before. i don’t think a week goes by where one of us doesn’t say/text to the other in response to something, “ohmygosh, you are SO my best friend!” or “see? this is exactly why we are best friends!”
the memories are seemingly endless. raigan was my roadtrip buddy, my fellow adventures in odyssey listener (even in our 20s), my conference roommate (celebration, new attitude, together), my listening ear for any and all boy drama that needed discussing (and there was plenty!), my music mogul, my fashion consultant, my random thought outlet, my harry potter friend. and so very much more.
one of the most meaningful things she was to me – was my maid of honor when i got married over 2 years ago. did you know that raigan actually knew zach before i did? they had practically grown up together as fellow PKs. they remember being in the same kid’s classes at church conferences (years before i was around). and when sparks started flying between me and zach… and my heart started inclining toward him… raigan was there for it all. she endured HOURS of conversation revolving around zach. she was an eye witness to 90% of my interactions with zach. she helped me process what was going on (“WHY hasn’t he asked you OUT yet?!”) and encouraged me toward self control and honoring God with my emotions, hopes and dreams. she also jumped up and down and squealed with me when he finally DID ask me out. honestly, there simply was no other choice for my maid of honor. it had to be raigan. and it truly was MY honor to have her stand there with me on my wedding day and to have her signature on my marriage license.
when you experience something as deep and incredible and amazing and fulfilling and fun as marriage, you naturally want those you care about the most to experience it too, right?? how i had prayed and hoped and prayed and hoped for a beyond-her-dreams man for raigan. and wow. when God answers prayer, He truly does go far beyond “all that we could ask or imagine.” it honestly felt like my heart was going to explode from sheer happiness on raigan’s wedding day. she married SUCH a solid man who loves God and loves raigan in ways more incredible than i could have hoped.
and raigan asked me to be her maid (technically matron) of honor. wow. that title never seemed like more than just a title until now. honor doesn’t even begin to explain how special it was to be given that title. even more so to share that title with her for each other. her name is on my marriage license and mine is on hers. unbelievably special.
i captured just fun shots from the day on my phone. the professional pictures should be up soon on her photographer’s blog!
starbucks run (note the corresponding “titles” on each cup):
getting her hair done:
chilling, watching us do our hair/makeup while her hair “set.”
yes yes, this post is about raigan, but i have to brag just a teensy bit. i did my own hair and was pretty tickled with how it turned out:
raigan’s “angels” haha:
there is definitely a story behind this. let’s just say that a certain individual who was in charge of a certain aspect of the day was less than stellar. we kept joking that if anything went wrong on account of this individual’s lack of professionalism, we wanted to walk down the aisle with a sign that said, “it’s not my fault!” so we made the sign just for fun.
waiting to go down the aisle… raigan’s “something blue” was a blue sharpie that each of us girls used to write well-wishes on the bottom of her shoes. so fun!
last minute touch-ups:
since i live out of state, i was severely limited with the amount of help i could contribute to all things wedding. but, i was able to help with digital things that could be created and either emailed or printed and brought on the plane. like table numbers, place cards, seating charts, etc. i had a lot of fun making the favor tags and signs:
(they gave out Jones soda as favors since their last name is Jones! so cute!)
first dance (sorry i was far away AND it was dark outside):
rai, i may be the better one with words (wink), but i find that words still escape me when trying to communicate how much you mean to me. our friendship is unlike any other in my life and i love you more than i will ever know how to say. you are my best friend – and you always will be! i believe that with all of my heart. happy rest-of-your-life with your awesome husband!!