By Our Side

They’ve sat beside us on this roller coaster we call life. We’ve gone to them for advice, they’ve helped us make decisions (some good, some bad) and stood by us through it all.  It’s just a natural fit that these guys and gals will stand by our side as we say “I do.”  We couldn’t be more proud to call this stone cold pack of goof balls our family, best friends, spirit animals, and now our wedding party!

The Ladies

Maid of Honor

Katie Harper, Cousin of Bride

Growing up only three months apart in age, Katie and I are more like sisters than cousins.  Our family spent loads of time together and we loved every minute of it.  From setting up the most epic Barbie mansions, to countless hours spent on the beach during vacations to Gulf Shores, we’ve made so many wonderful memories.  My childhood and my life would not be the same without her.  We’ve always been there for each other, are always honest to one another and have shared more laughs than one would think they could in the nearly 27 years we’ve been best friends. I am so honored to have stood by Katie’s side as she married her “other best friend” on August 27, 2016, and I am so excited to have her stand beside me as I marry mine.

Bridesmaids

Kelly Holloway, Cousin of Bride

Being Katie’s bigger sister, Kelly really had no other option but to take me under her wing also. I consider Kelly my big sister and have gone to her for advice on more than one occasion.  I know there were times when we were younger that we probably got on her nerves, but Kell never showed it.  She was always patient and willing to hang out and play with us. The older we got, the closer we got.  Now, we’ve traded talking boys while playing Barbies with talking about life while having a few cocktails.  She has taught me more than she realizes about the importance of love, friendship, family and hard work.

Jill, Sister-in-Law of Bride

Jill was one of Kelly’s best friends growing up.  She was always that girl I looked up to when I was little and I am so lucky that my brother married her! Now I get to call her my sister!  Jill is one of the smartest and most giving people I have ever met. She’s a wonderful wife to my brother Dan and an amazing role model and mother to my two beautiful nieces, Elsa & Liesl (our flower girls).

McLane Buesking, Cousin of Bride

Although we grew up five hours apart from one another, we have made so many great memories together!  Being from Kansas City, there are a few things that we will still argue about from time to time, like Cardinals vs. Royals or the ever so popular pop vs. soda debate.  All of that aside, she and I have a deep connection. McLane (Lanee) is always up for whatever!  She’s one of those people who you could go out with for a night, having no plans of what to do and end up having one of the most fun nights and random nights you could image.

Nicole Luechtefeld, Friend of Bride

Even though we went to different grade schools (she went to St. Augustine’s with Katie), Nicole and I first bonded at one of Katie’s birthday parties when we were in the 8th grade.  I don’t recall all of the details, but I know a hair flip was involved.  We were essentially inseparable in high school, made tons of memories, had countless inside jokes and I couldn’t imagine what my life would be without her!  Now she’s a fantastic mother and wife and one of my biggest role models.

Kate Wiley, Friend of Bride

This girl and I met later in life’s journey.  If you read Kyle and my “Love Tale,” you would have read that this was one of the first people that tried to set Kyle and I up.  Kate and I had a class at SIUE and hit it off instantly.  It wasn’t until almost a year later, when Kyle and I finally started to date, that Kate and my friendship really began to form.  Kate is that friend who will stand up for you no matter what. She is the definition of a die-hard friend and her loyalty knows no bounds.  We’ve had so many fun nights together and a multitude of heartfelt conversations. She’s a role model to me in more way’s than one.  I am honored to be the godmother to her beautiful daughter and to have her standing my by side on this day!

Carly Sunderlin, Friend of Bride

Carly and I met when I was studying in Ireland.  Our personalities clicked and our beers clinked instantly! (See what I did there?)  In our four months of crazy adventures wandering all over Europe and taking classes like “Traditional Irish Dance” (yes, Carly and I know how to jig…); she, Kia (listed below), and I formed an unbreakable bond, affectionately known as “The Wolfpack” (we studied abroad right after The Hangover came out).  Now, although she lives in New York, we make it a point to travel somewhere to meet up at least once a year and it’s as if time has never passed.

Kia Christopher, Friend of Bride

As with Carly, Kia and I also met when when studying in Ireland. There was just something about Kia’s spirit that drew me to her. Maybe it was the pink hair, but as soon as I saw her I knew that she would be the life of the party, and she has never disappointed.  Kia is marrying her soulmate Mark two weeks after our wedding.  I am so excited for her to be part of our big day and I cannot wait to be a part of hers!

 

The Gents

Best Man

Ryan Miller, Brother of the Groom

As most brothers tend to do while growing up, Ryan and I enjoyed partaking in some healthy competition.  Whether it was wiffle ball in the backyard or an epic roller hockey game in the basement, our matches were always tightly contested…and usually ended with some physical violence by an angry loser.  As we got older and the battle scars healed, Ryan and I became great friends in addition to being brothers.  The two trips to Las Vegas, many golf tournaments, crazy nights on Washington Avenue, and witnessing two World Series winners are all events that I will not soon forget.  These days, Ryan, Jen and I spend nearly every Sunday from May – August relaxing in the pool and every Sunday from September – February watching football.  I couldn’t be more honored to have him by my side on the big day.

Groomsmen

Trevor Reeb, Friend of Groom

Trevor and I became friends working at the Shrine, first as buffet runners, followed by cooks, and finally the finest brunch front-line ever assembled.  Once I transferred to Edwardsville, we would spend many weekday nights drinking alcoh….soda…., playing Nintendo or Sega, or the occasional game of pong.  Once college was over, Trevor and I became roommates at his duplex in Belleville, or “Club Good Life” as it was called.  The man is a die-hard Blues fan and is a MacGyver in the kitchen, making delicious meals with extremely random ingredients.

Josh Harper, Friend of Groom

Unlike the majority of the other groomsmen, Josh and I did not meet until high school.  We quickly became friends through many golf trips, tailgating before Althoff football games, and fishing at Catfish Corner.  Josh and his girlfriend, now wife, Katie picked me up that fateful night to go to a Jimmy Buffett concert and hang out with Jen.  In essence, they are to blame, I mean thank, for Jen and I being together.  Despite that, Josh and I spend most fall Saturdays enjoying cocktails and watching college football.  Each year, however, Josh and I take one day off from being friends when Michigan and Notre Dame play each other.  Luckily, the teams decided to take a break from the rivalry, giving us one less thing to worry about during this year.

Chris Wiley, Friend of Groom

Wiley and I, like most of the other groomsmen, met in kindergarten and have stayed close ever since.  Chris often came out to Edwardsville to hang out with Tom, Joe and I during college and it was there that he eventually met Kate, his now wife and mother of his daughter. We’ve had some great times together like the trip to Galveston, Spring Break in Panama City, or the rained out Cardinals playoff game.  The evenings with Chris and Kate are always entertaining and I look forward to many more in the future.

Joe Daniel, Friend of Groom

Joe and I were good friends throughout QP and Althoff who eventually became roommates when I transferred to Edwardsville.  Along with Tom, Joe and I would spend hours cleaning and maintaining a spotless residence everyone loved to visit, especially on Friday and Saturday nights from 7 pm to 3 am.  A fun fact about Joe is that he is hungry 24/7 and would sometimes eat Tom’s leftovers, causing many entertaining yelling matches in the house.  Joe is also responsible for one of my favorite vacations when Jen and I went down to the Dominican Republic for his and Kaylee’s wedding.  It was the perfect week of sun, sand, and all inclusive cocktails.  I almost had a deal worked out to trade Jen for a bottle of liquor and a donkey…what could have been?

Tom Majka,  Friend of Groom

Tom is yet another groomsman I have known for the majority of my life.  Tom and I participated in many of the same activities at Queen of Peace, including sports, the super competitive puzzle contests, and even band.  I used to play a mean saxophone and Tom would shred on the drums. As we’ve gotten older, our mutual interests have come to include the preparation of delicious food and participating in fantasy sports. Tom has the distinction of winning the first title in Trevor’s fantasy football league, and being the only person I have ever met to bring a “Do Not Draft List” of players he disliked to the draft.  Both events were troubling and extremely questionable.

Lial Field, Friend of Groom

Lial and I have been close friends for many years.  The ability to walk to his house through the neighborhood made it easy to hang out after school or on weekends.  Mr. Field would eventually come to call me his “second son”, as I spent the majority of the afternoons playing baseball in their street, raiding their fridge of chocolate milk, or consuming large amounts of beef jerky.  Lial is truly one of the nicest people I know and has been involved in plenty of memorable moments, including a last minute “clanked” field goal in Madden,  a door handle that mysteriously “fell off”, and creating the smallest dance floor in Edwardsville.

Ryan Simonin, Friend of Groom

Ryan, or “Moni” as we call him, is responsible for many of the most entertaining moments I’ve experienced.  Ever the character, Moni is always quick with a joke or a good story that puts a smile on the faces of all who are listening.  Lucky for me, he lived right up the street so getting to his parents’ house was easy.  The Simonin basement was home to the “MVP Master”, the always delicious funfetti cake, and the last “mandatory meeting” ever called to order.  Moni has overcome a lot throughout his life and has turned into one of the hardest working, most caring guys I know and I am lucky to call him a great friend.

Ushers

Matt Baudendistel,  Brother of Bride

Matt is my oldest brother.  Being ten years apart in age, we weren’t too close when we were younger, but thankfully, the older we got the closer we got. Matty and I have had some pretty awesome adventures together.  I’ll never forget when he and our dad came to visit me in Ireland.  One night, Matt and I made fast friends with some locals and ended up hanging out with them until the sun came up. He’s also ventured down to Nashville with me one weekend and still claims me as his sister.  If you’ve ever been to Nashville with me, you’d know I can be a bit obnoxious and love to get my hands on a microphone.  I am excited to have my big brother as part of our big day!

Dan Baudendistel, Brother of Bride

Dan is my other big brother.  Since we were a little closer in age than Matt and I, I was able to guilt Dan into playing with me sometimes. However, I usually had to play whatever he wanted to play.  I spent many nights with him and his friends, playing G.I. Joe in the creek behind our house or flashlight tag between the neighbor’s houses. As with Matt, the older we got the closer we got. Now, Dan and I share a love of old junk, collectables and treasure hunting at estate and yard sales. We also like to build and repurpose our own stuff from time to time and we share a dream of opening a business doing just that.  Dan is one of the most creative guys I’ve met.  Now I get to watch him pass on his creativity to my two beautiful nieces, Liesl and Elsa. I am lucky to have not just one, but two of the world best big brothers and am honored that they will both be part of our big day!

Nick Rule, Friend of Groom

Nick, or Nicky as we call him, and I met while working at the Shrine. There, we became fast friends as we both worked our way up to working the line.  We both have a love for cooking and Nick knows what he’s doing in the kitchen.  Nick also spent many a nights hanging out at our place when I lived with Trevor.  It didn’t matter if were were cooking up a feast, listening to some good music, or partaking in a power hour; Nick and I always have a good time.