WARNING: This is cheesy. It might even make those I wrote about feel weird. But everyone already has seen how pretty my bridesmaids are, so it’s time you knew how awesome they are!
I apologize for my awkward face in each of these photos—by the time we got around to the bridesmaid photos, I was pretty smiled out if you know what I mean. (And as always, thank you Brooke Schultz for being the best photographer ever.)
Caitlin is my little sister and best friend. She’s always there to tell me I look like a grandma and to listen to me sermonize. She’s pretty hilarious and reeeaallly good at art. We’re counting on her to represent the Ballantyne family in the Olympics and the mission field. One day I’m gonna have to pull an evil queen and send her into the forest with my huntsman because she’s definitely the fairest in this family (not that Marissa and I aren’t nice looking, but we’ve reached our peak, and she’s only getting started).
McKenzie King has been my best friend for what, five years? Five years of pranks, blasting music, talking about boys, and fantasizing about our weddings. She’s my best cheerleader and always reminds me to have faith. She makes so many goals and achieves every single one through her hard work and determination. Kenzie is freakishly well-rounded (this girl can surf, sing, sew, you name it) and you should read her blog. Her parents feel like they’re my parents at this point—I mean, I’ve eaten enough of their trail mix that they could probably claim me as a dependent.
Magdalene Anne “Sunshine Girl” Dorrough Stone has been my best friend for. . . EIGHT YEARS??? From having sleepovers every. single. night. during the summer sophomore year to meeting our eternal companions, this girl has always been there for me. She taught me how to be nice and how to lighten up a little. Her family is also my family and it’s been cool to watch her transition from the jean jacket, headband-wearing sophomore to the glamorous wife she is now. Some of the hilarious things she has said still make me laugh years later.
Anna #1 a.k.a. the future Mrs. Jake Tarabilda. We were randomly thrown together as roommates last school year and wow, we had some fun times (starting our extremely popular and successful YouTube channel among them*). Anna showed me how to “just get you, girl” and taught some life-changing Relief Society lessons. She’s an awesome dancer and really understands what womanhood is. Sometimes I think I look cute and then I go hang out with Anna and I’m proven wrong.
*That statement was a joke and so was the channel.
Anna #2. Anna Simons has been my best friend by far the longest. We’re talking since second grade, which started out with us hating each other and ended up with us having an extremely long secret handshake and playing every day (and I mean every day). I love reminiscing with this girl and wish she didn’t live in Heber (even though I know you love it . . .) There is no one on this earth with a better attitude about trials than this strong woman. Plus, she’s an elementary school teacher which just shows you how much patience she has.
Jenn. Where do I even start? Oh, I know. At the Bare Escentuals makeup counter. This fabulous lady and I became instant friends once we actually spoke to each other and realized that we had a million things in common (We love makeup! And Disney! And electric toothbrushes! And modesty! And the temple! And Steve Madden gladiator sandals!). She is one of the sweetest, most hard working people I’ve ever been privileged to meet and even though I couldn’t be happier that she found the love of her life, WHY did he have to take her so far away??? I miss our discussions about the temple and 30 Rock quoting.
Emily a.k.a. future Mrs. Barrett Johnson. This girl is seriously one of a kind in her ability to make everyone around her feel good. She’s always laughing, which kind of led me to believe when I first met her that I was actually witty or something (same with Anna #1 actually). Nope, she’s just nice and finds humor in everything. If you are ever lucky enough to catch Emily when she’s on one of her rants about love, life, the Gospel, or relationships, you better take some notes because this girl gets it. But don’t share what you learned from her in Sunday School, because it might embarrass her :).
Alicia Sanford. This girl is exactly the person you want with you when you’re considering doing something out of your comfort zone. When she says, “Do it, Shelb!” I obey. (Wear my hair curly? Okay! Text that boy I like? DO IT, SHELB!) I have so loved watching her spirit flourish through hard experiences and owe a great deal of what I know about relationships to her. Plus, she throws a banging party (you wish you could’ve been at her wedding). She’s always ready with an honest compliment or kind criticism, depending on what you need. Even though she had to be in “China,” her sweet dad and stepmom came to my wedding and represented her :).
Megan (or Megan’s Mashed Potatoes as we used to call her). This awesome girl was actually my RA freshman year, but we lived together, which was kind of the best thing ever. One of my favorite things about Megan is that if you ever talk to her and ask some sort of question, within 30 seconds she’ll have found the answer on the internet. It’s awesome. Megan is the perfect example of the modern woman—beautiful, smart, and hard working. Who knew an accountant and a ballerina could be the same person?? I miss our grilled cheese Sundays.
Sister Larsen. Why, oh why did you have to be on a mission when I met the love of my life??? This girl. There is no one like her (not because she’s a “sweet spirit,” but because seriously, there’s no one like her). Every time I’m with her, I determine to be wittier, kinder, and more thoughtful. She is also freakishly well-rounded and understands me in a way even Nathanael can’t (I mean, she gets the Russell Crowe thing AND the Gone with the Wind thing AND the Oak Hills 4th Ward thing AND the classic literature thing). If Heavenly Father ever wants anything done, I’m pretty sure He counts on Bryn to do it.
Last, but certainly not least, is Dallas. She is also on a mission, and I miss her terribly. We had pillow talk every night for 10 straight months and never got sick of each other. We had a joke that she was Jean Valjean and I was Javert, because she gave me so many lessons in how to forgive yourself and others. She is sweetness personified. Her husband is going to be one lucky man because she’s that down-to-earth combination between babe and nerd. Those Germans are so blessed to have her!