I really value history and consistency in my friendships and that is exactly what I’ve build with each guy I’ve asked to be my groomsman. I sincerely love and enjoy the relationships I have with each of them. I couldn’t ask for better friends and I wouldn’t want any one else on stage with me on my wedding day.
My friendship with Jimmy has often gone under the radar. But when he asked me to be the best man in his wedding, it was revealed to the world that we really are best friends, even if it’s “secret best friends” as many dubbed us from then on. But our friendship is really unlike any other. We don’t need to talk often, see each other often, or have defining moments like most friendships do in order to stay close. And I honestly can’t even think of a truly formative moment in our friendship. It just happened naturally and over time. But now we really are inseparable. His assisting Devin in studying the Bible with me often led to more fruitful conversations but living together for three years really solidified our relationship from there. Over the course of our three years discipling each other we often spent more time discussing his schemes to make money, playing games, or just laughing together than actually talking about the Bible. And I believe that that’s really what both of us needed in each other. Even in the worst moments I can always count on being able to laugh and feel at rest with him. You’ll see him on our wedding day handing off the rings to me because he’ll be the first in the line of groomsman.
Josh Newsom was the second person I revealed that I like Rachel to (the first was Ben Iiames, one of the ushers, immediately after our first double date together). And in all the time since he’s been the person I talked to the most about her and the one who knows exactly how much I love her. While everyone else on the list has been a consistent and incredible friend to me, he has been a best friend to both Rachel and I. Often acting as the middle man before we were dating and as a source of advice, openness, and support in our dating relationship, Josh has been an integral part of our lives and relationship. And he has a special place in our wedding party because he has been such a close friend to Rachel long before I even knew her. There is a reason you’ll hear him doing the speech at the reception and that reason is because he knows us as a couple and as individuals like no one else does.
Devin Cochran has done more logistically than anyone else to help my life and walk with God. He used to pick me up from class or my dorm nearly every day to study the Bible, hang out, eat food, play video games, watch TV, or just talk. As the first person he ever baptized (which is a pretty big milestone considering he’s now in the full time ministry), he invested so much in me. The amount of time he spent with me showing me how to love God and be a good friend will be forever appreciated. And since those formative years we’ve remained close and found ways to bond despite being far away from each other. We were roommates for years playing team battles in Smash Bros, binge watching TV shows, playing co-op games, having movie marathons, and cooking together. And those formative years of my life are something I’ll never be able to replicate.
Zack and I have rarely missed a week catching up and praying together in the past 3 years. But our friendship extends back to wrestling together in our freshman year of High School. Like all of my groomsman he’s played a huge impact on my life. He’s the one who first invited me to church, which ultimately led to the decision to become a Christian and be baptized. We’ve shared music, stories, good times, hard times, a lot of laughter, video games, and countless hours praying on the phone together. The most amazing thing about our prayer life together is the running list of amazing things God has provided as a result of our prayers. From his marriage with Vanessa to my engagement to Rachel, to me moving to Boulder, to new jobs, God never ceases to amaze us with what he can do when we pray together to Him. I think if it weren’t for Zack I’d probably be totally lost and without God. He’s also incredibly easy to mess with and I love doing exactly that.
Chris Hauerwas and Alex Hernandez
Chris and I sat next to each other on the first day of 8th grade right after he moved to Libertyville IL. It only took a few days before he invited me over and his mom picked us up from school. On the way to his house we stopped at Blockbuster where I vulnerably revealed my love for Dragonball Z and he quickly informed me of his. And the rest was history. There were not many days in High School that he, Alex, and I did not hang out together. And while those times were amazing, the most meaningful part of our friendship was when we lived together after college (in my parents house). I was suffering from depression and being able to hang out with him for a few minutes (or hours on the good days) and play pokemon together really helped me in that time. And since then he’s the guy I want to Skype with most when I’m feeling down.
Alex and I met in 1st grade but it took us until 5th grade to realize that we should probably be friends. All it really took was Ms. Chingo sitting us next to each other in class. Like Chris, the thing that initially brought us together was our mutual love for Dragonball Z. But through wrestling together, yo-yoing, playing numerous competitive games, and being pals since elementary school Alex has truly been one of my best friends and a guy I know I’ll always have in my life. I didn’t know it when he invited me to his 7th birthday party, but I was gaining a friend I’d never loose.
And I listed Chris and Alex together for a reason. I couldn’t have one in the wedding without the other. Through middle school and high school it was always the three of us together. We spent literally every day together. On the weekends we’d frequently have 2 day sleepovers where we’d stay up as late as possible playing card games and video games and laughing nonstop. Together they make me laugh more, feel comfortable and be myself more than anyone (except Rachel).
The Ushers: Ben Iiames, Tyler Ting, and Justin Cano
While I decided to go with friends who had the most history in my life for my groomsman I’m also incredibly grateful to be able to call these 3 guys best friends as well.
Ben Iiames was my double on the double-blind date where I first met Rachel. He and I literally have nothing in common in terms of interests or personality, which made it a pleasant surprise that we actually turned out to be such good friends. But working out together early in the morning and fighting for our friendship has proved to be very worth my while as he is a friend I’m truly grateful for.
Tyler Ting and I really bonded over Super Smash Bros. If it weren’t for that I don’t know if we ever would have been able to become as close as we did. But smash is always the entry point into deeper discussions, bonding, honesty, openness and a mutual investment in each other’s interests. That’s what makes our relationship so special. He’s been there with me in difficult times and he’s laughed with me watching “Check It Out.”
Justin and I weren’t really friends at all until we started living and working out together. And from then on we’ve never had a dificult time making each other laugh or being completely honest or open. It was amazing to me how quickly we built an incredible friendship. It has been so much fun coming home and seeing him there waiting to hang out with me. And whenever either of us wants to work out or watch a scary movie the other will always be there.