"These are my bitches." --Clare
Natalie Ramlow - Maid of honor
Natalie is my oldest friend. We have known each other since pre-K and were fast friends. Natalie’s parents often joke that I am their “other daughter” because I spent so much time at their house. Our friendship continued through the awkward years of high school, both of us participating in orchestra and falling for band geeks. Natalie was the rock I could always count on. No matter what happened, Natalie was there for me. Natalie is the type of person to put others before herself, sacrificing sleep and time so that everyone feels loved, and often times fed.
One of my favorite memories of Natalie happened while baking cookies together in my parent’s kitchen on an otherwise typical day back in high school. For some reason or another, we both started laughing so hard that we both ended up on the floor with tears streaming down our faces. During a New Year's Eve party, we once ate so much monkey bread that we felt drunk from the massive sugar high. I can't explain how these otherwise ordinary days make such a lasting imprint in our memories, but I'm sure the overwhelming joy I always felt while spending time with her has something to do with it. Our relationship has always been one of little judgement and overflowing with unconditional love and support. Natalie has helped me stay on task and organized for this weeding and I could not imagine the day (happening) without her.
Allison couture - Matron of honor
Ally and I met during orientation for medical school. I was walking out of the dorm, as was Ally and a group of other friends. Ally shot me this glance like, "Who is this girl?", as I had recently cut off most of my hair in a rebellious last hurrah prior to starting medical school. Apparently Ally thought this was cool and the two of us were soon inseparable.
Ally become my better half as we both navigated through medical school. I had, without stellar foresight, signed up for the Chicago Marathon during my first year of medical school. Ally was my #1 supporter, cooking meals for me after my long runs, motivating me through stressful days, and simply being my biggest cheerleader throughout my preparation. For those who have not experienced it, there is no feeling like seeing your best friend pop out of the crowd to cheer you on when you’re running 26.2 miles. Ally did all of this despite only knowing me 2 months, solidifying a friendship I will always cherish.
I see a lot of myself in Ally: high energy, dance party enthusiast, public policy aficionado. She has been a role model for me in more ways than I can count. I strive to imitate her organization skills, cooking mastery, and ease of leadership. I am so excited that Ally will stand by my side as my Matron of Honor, and can’t wait to bust some dance moves on the floor with her.
Danisa Daubenspeck Saul
A lot of insight is gained into a person's character when spending a obscene number of hours studying with them in a library. Danisa and I spent countless hours together, wasting the better half of our 20s studying in medical school. Though Danisa often credits me for a 10 lb weight gain during medical school #sorrynotsorry #sugarhigh #tastetherainbow, I would not have survived without Danisa. Literally. Bonded by this intense ritual of studying, Danisa has become my closest friend. It helps that Danisa is the coolest person I know, which I often tell her. What’s so amazing about Danisa is her unwavering optimism and support, especially when I need that strength the most. Danisa has a way of instilling confidence in me, whether it was before a big test or trying to find love online. She was always there to help me believe in myself and grow into the best person I could be. Danisa is also one of the fircest, loyalist friends you will ever find. I know that if I were ever to be in trouble, Danisa would always have my back with a passport, cash, and new identity if I ever needed it ;)
It was a trip to Europe in 7th grade that started one of the greatest friendships that I will ever have. Nina and I were paired with each other to plan a fake trip to Europe, where we were both so frugal with our funds that we ended the trip buying fur coats for our mothers. After this trip, Nina and I became very close and would spend many weekends together, talking about our various crushes on celebrities or planning our next adventure. And could Nina throw a party! Nina and her Mom would cook up a storm, having the most delicious, soul-healing food paired with amazing company. I always felt at home at their house. Throughout our friendship, Nina has demonstrated how important it is to be true to yourself, to your culture, and to your friends. There has never been a truer friend than Nina.
I remember the first time Graham told us about Rachel, this amazing person at Indiana. Rachel was a little shy at our first meeting, but I quickly understood why Graham loved Rachel and I immediately loved her too. Rachel has been a part of our family ever since and the sister I had always wished for. Rachel has been such a supporter to me, often having my back when my two brothers gang up on me, because us girls gotta look out for ourselves. When I was going through the dating scene, looking for my true love, I would look at the relationship Graham and Rachel had and the amount of respect that they both had for each other and knew that I needed to find that. But the most amazing thing about Rachel is that she is one of the most empathetic persons I know. Rachel has a way to know exactly what I need, whether it’s a big hug, sympathetic nod, or a beer. She has a way of always having my back and I am so honored to have her as part of my family and my wedding party.
Ashley Kouns crosh
One might say, I’m a little possessive over my brothers. Thank the Lord, Eric and Ashley found each other. In order to be married to my older brother, you need to whip-smart and have a great sense of humor. I remember the first time hanging out with them in NYC, I immediately loved her as we both teased Eric about how “chill” he was. It was then I knew she was perfect for Eric, he had met his match and I was so thankful for it. I was also really pumped to finally have another female to gang up on Eric.
Ashley is my hero. Watching her become a Mom has been inspiring and I look up to her so much. She is the mother I hope to be one day, and I will be calling her every day with questions about motherhood whenever that happens.