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July 20, 2011
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It’s been a while since I was a bridesmaid, but last month, I had the privilege of being a bridesmaid in two of my dearest friends wedding.  I was elated, overwhelmed with love and was absolutely bursting with happiness. For those of you who know me, you know I’m a crier, and I mean the sobbing type with mascara all over my face. It’s definitely not pretty. It took everything I had not to burst out in tears during their vows. I kept pinching myself over and over.  I’m absolutely amazed that I didn’t have myself covered in bruises by the end of the ceremony.  These awesome photographs were taken by my friend and partner, Kristen Carnes.  Thank you Kristen for documenting this day so beautifully for two amazing people!  When T.C. told me he was going to propose to Carrie I made a comment to him that I was going to give a speech at his wedding, to somehow convey to him just how happy I was for the both of them, and what joy was in my heart.  Yet, when the time came, after the Maid of Honor’s and Best Man’s speech was completed, I could not.   Their words were so perfect, so filled with love, appreciation, and so eloquently spoken, I knew I couldn’t even muster one word out of my mouth. So, I let the time pass by.  Now, one month later, I want to complete my promise and humbly offer my speech that was written with love, but never spoken. So here goes…

I met T.C. about ten years ago and our friendship grew easily. He is the kind of guy that you can just pop in and hang out with, enjoy a beer, or talk into a bike ride after work. He’s honorable, dependable and one of the sweetest souls out there. One such example is when my dog, Ginger, was diagnosed with cancer and given less than a week to live. T.C. came by my house, sat lovingly on the floor with my pup and gently said his goodbyes. The day she passed, T.C. showed up at my house with a tree. He planted the tree and announced to me that this was a way I could remember her by. In that moment of gentleness, I saw his love and compassion. Now over four years later, when I look at that tree, I remember not only my sweet dog, but also my sweet friend.

Another such example was my wedding day. I choose to get married in March…in Flagstaff… outside in a meadow. Now, we all knew how this was going to end….of course it rained and snowed the week of my wedding making the meadow soggy and a big muddy mess. T.C. knew how important the meadow was to me, he knew this is where I felt most at peace, and I desperately wanted to say my vows under the great open sky, even if snow flakes were falling. So, being the dear friend that he is, T.C. went to the hardware store, bought lots of plywood, and built me a aisle to walk upon.  A couple months after our wedding, T.C. bought a house down the street from Grant and I. We were elated! This meant our best friend would only be seconds from us, 32 seconds to be exact (on a bike). He got two new roommates, named Carrie and Kate, and they moved in.

Fast forward a few months, and T.C. and Carrie were dating. (That story actually involves the plywood from my aisle, and how it became his garage roof with the help of Carrie, but the maid of honor told that story beautifully at the wedding!) I got to know Carrie more and more, and I absolutely fell in love with her. She was just as caring and sweet as T.C., and quite frankly, I adored her.   I should mention that T.C., up until this point, called me the “Chick Whisperer”. He would consult me from time to time for sage advice on women, and what to do in a relationship situation.   Being that he was solid in his relationship with Carrie, he switched from relationship advise to present purchasing advise. One such day, he was contemplating a present for Carrie for Valentines Day. I suggested the usual…dinner at a nice restaurant, perfume, a nice box of chocolate, roses, etc. I’ll never forget when T.C. said, “I’m thinking of getting her an automatic car starter”. I remember staring at him and thinking maybe that wasn’t such a great, romantic gift, but he proceeded anyhow.  Carrie’s birthday is about one month after Valentine’s Day, and he came to me once again. “I think I’m going to get Carrie some white leather Reebok’s”.

Now, by this point, I was deep into my master plan, which was to make Carrie one of my Best Friends Forever, and quite frankly, I thought T.C. was ruining it for me.  Surely, he was going to chase off this fantastic girl by giving her such practical gifts. But low and behold, her birthday came, and she pranced proudly over to our house to show us her new awesome shoes.   I knew they were meant to be together when T.C.’s birthday came around in August and Carrie wanted to hide his present in our garage. She had purchased him an air compressor.

I remember exactly the moment when I knew T.C. was in love.  Rewind to when Carrie first moved into T.C.’s house….and T.C. showed up at my door for some Chick Whispering.  This time, his question was “Chop (my nickname), I’m thinking about asking Carrie, my roommate, out on a date”.

There was a pause from me while I digested this information. I finally replied with, “Well, it can go one of three ways…

1. You can ask her out, she says “no”, and it’s awkward for a long time in the house

2. You can ask her out, she says “yes”, you date for a while, it ends and she (and her roommate/best friend) moves out, or

3. You go out, you fall in love and live happily ever after”.

I looked at him and asked, “Do you think it’s worth it?”.

Now, this is the part that will always stick with me, the moment when I knew my best friend was head over heels in love.

T.C. paused, looked me square in the eye and replied, “Yes, she’s definitely worth it”.

So, T.C., here’s to you not taking my advise, and to a lifetime of love, happiness and really, really practical gifts.

Your best friend forever (to you both!),
Melissa

Riordan Mansion, Sedona Photogrpaher, ScottsdalePhotographer, Kauai, New Orleans, Lake Tahoe

Vendors:

Ceremony Venue: Riordan Mansion

Reception Venue: High Country Conference Center

DJ: Jam N Sounds

Ceremony Music: Aly Jay

Dress: Mia Solano

Make Up: Amee Byers at About Hair & More

Floral Designs & Centerpieces: The Bride & Mother of the Bride

Photography: Kristen Carnes of  Melissa Dunstan Photography

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