My Bridesmaids and Why I Love Them

May 19, 2018

I didn't have a Maid of Honor because 1) Fonzie would have been unbearable outside all day long and 2) all of my bridesmaids were collectively my Maid of Honor. That being said, the following are in a particular order, but it's solely alphabetical because I love all of them and they all drive me nuts sometimes too (I'm sure the feeling is mutual).

Alex: I became friends with Alex in the fourth grade. We were in the same class at school and most of what I remember of our adolescent friendship involves Snoop Dogg jokes, dressing as boy band members, raising hermit crabs together, and spending way too much time at the library. Unfortunately, Alex's parents decided to move across the country (how dare they) after seventh grade so our friendship has been long-distance since then. I saw Alex the summer after my freshman year of college for the first time in like six years, and luckily I have now seen her twice since! Alex is brutal, beautiful, and amazingly brave. She has been through a lot and she's very selective with her friends so I am grateful to have a forever friendship with her. She gives me tough love and is really bad at sharing a bed but I still love her.

Alyssa: Alyssa is my beautiful sister-in-law! I actually met her before Jamison and I were even dating, and I showed up dressed as Luna Lovegood (because I had just come from ComicCon, naturally). I guess she didn't think I was that weird because eventually we started hanging out without Jamison (we were both kind of nervous) and here we are today. Don't tell Jamison, but she might be my favorite Strong. She is adventurous, kind, and hilarious. I always feel happy to be around her and I'm so excited that she's finally my sister.

Becky: Becky is the only cousin that I have around my age as most are a lot older. We would always have fun the few times that we came to Utah when I was younger, but it's only been in the last two years or so that we have really become close. She is creative, resilient, and authentic. She loves animals (almost as much as I do) and moved up to northern Utah just to be near me (just kidding). It's nice having someone who understands how crazy family can be because, well, they're a part of it.

Katie: Katie and I lived together last summer. She instantly became Fonzie's best friend when I was away working, so I knew that I could trust her since he did too. I love that Katie goes to UVU because we can meet up on campus sometimes, and although we don't live together anymore, she puts so much effort into our friendship. It's so refreshing having someone text you first and tell you they love you, and Katie is that friend. I can always count on her and she is so strong despite all she has been through.

Khadeeja: Khadeeja and I became friends in the eighth grade despite constantly debating over presidential candidates. I tricked her into doing ROTC with me, editing my art history essays in college, and being my friend forever. She is my feminist icon, a champion of the underdog, and she's super cute to boot. We have way too many embarrassing memories together to ever stop being friends, so sorry Khadeeja, you're stuck with me.

Lesley: I honestly am not totally sure when Lesley and I met. I think I had just become friends with some girls in her ward and we hung out at girls camp, but I just remember us being really close from the beginning. We were interested in the same nerdy things so I could always count on her to go to a Twilight midnight book release or a Harry Potter midnight movie showing with me (dressed up, of course). Her mom makes killer tamales. She has the cutest dog and cares a lot about books and education and I really look up to her. Also she is an Instagram queen and makes me laugh more than just about anyone.

Mandy: Mandy and Becky were friends in high school, and we had actually been following each other on Instagram long before we ever met. Mandy moved up here around the same time that Becky did, and we hung out for the first time on Friday the 13th. We were both unemployed at the time and became fast friends, spending all day long together pretty much every day. Mandy is my rebel friend. She's gorgeous, knows an impressive amount of rap lyrics, and loves Fonzie even though she hates all cats. Thanks for always putting makeup on me and letting me visit you at your men's salon to get my hair washed. You're a gem and thank you for trusting me.

Melissa: Melissa was childhood friends with one of my freshman roommates and I decided to force her into friendship with me as well. She is studying to become a teacher and she loves kids so much (can't relate). She is my Taylor Swift-loving soul mate and my favorite Sodalicious mixologist (seriously, her drinks are always perfect). She and her husband let me crash at their place for like a month when I was "homeless." She always drove me around when I didn't have a car (after she got hers) and spent years listening to me talk about a boy band she didn't care about anymore. I'm grateful to have a friend that is just as creepy as me and I know that I can always count on her when times are tough.

Sloan: The first memory that I have of Sloan is being at the local grocery store with my mom, seeing Sloan, and having her run over and hug me even though I barely knew her. We were in kindergarten and although we didn't become best friends until many years later, this memory should tell you everything you need to know about her. It's hard for me to describe Sloan because she is literally unlike anyone you have ever met. She is hyper and crazy and hilarious. One summer, I was in a "long-distance" relationship with a boy who lived four hours away in Texas, and Sloan agreed to drive me halfway to see him. After having lunch altogether, Sloan decided to creepily follow us back to his house the entire way. And that's just sorta her in a nutshell. She is spunky and quirky and definitely keeps me on my toes. She is my unbiological sister and is basically a part of my family.

I don't think our "special day" could've been all that special without all of my girls there by my side. I am grateful for their years of friendship, loyalty, and dedication, and I am especially grateful for letting me force myself into their lives and allowing me to stay there. Whether biologically-related, blood-related, or not-at-all-related, these ladies are my family. They are all collectively "my person." I love all of y'all forever.

Photography by Alayna G. Clark Photography.

Yours truly,

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