Countdown to ceremony!

Wedding Party Intros

Jessie's Bridespeeps
Amanda Gladin-Kramer, Maid of Honor
Amanda takes the award for knowing me the longest, from all the way back in the days when I would teach her how to say words incorrectly just for laughs, and she would pin me down because she has always been, frankly, much stronger than me. I couldn't ask for a better sister. She is whip-smart and funny as hell, and a warm and thoughtful person to boot. Amanda also lives in Durham, with her husband Alejandro, and she very recently (though not surprisingly) passed the Bar exam after attending law school at UNC.
A favorite memory: cruising down the highway in the Mississippi delta on a road trip in early 2012, windows down, blasting "I Will Survive" (The Cake version).

Meredith Cohen
Meredith and I met sometime during the mayhem of high school, but really bonded on a French Club trip to Paris and Normandy shortly before I graduated. Luckily, we weren't separated for long, as Mer decided to attend Oberlin as well the following year. Meredith and I have seen each other grow and change in so many ways since we were 17. Since college Meredith has lived in New Orleans and Portland, OR, and just wrapped up a summer as a fellow at Adamah, a Jewish farming education program in Connecticut. I have been plotting not-so-secretly for years to lure Meredith back to the area — though I'm excited to see whatever comes next for her.
A favorite memory: Over Meredith's 30th birthday celebration in Portland this past February, we and another friend played a moving 3-part-harmony version of "Dona Nobis Pacem." On kazoo. On someone's parents' message machine.

Georgia Hollister Isman
Georgia lived across the hall freshman year and was roommates with Julia (below). We also had an acting class together, and soon I was spending most of my dorm time in their room. I didn't live more than 20 feet from Georgia during college except for my semester abroad. We also both lived in Boston until 2008; Georgia lives there still with her awesome boyfriend Erin, and is the Political Director for MassAlliance, a progressive umbrella organization that works to get progressive candidates elected into public office. Georgia is a kick-ass cook and has an amazing memory for song lyrics and poetry. I've been leaning on her for 13 years and probably always will.
A favorite memory: for our first few years in Durham, starting in 2009, Georgia would come down to visit us every April, and each year was so delighted by the offerings of our farmer's market compared to Massachusetts' late season, that we (well, let's be honest — she) started hosting an annual farmer's market dinner at our house. In this photo she is being tickled pink by beet options.

Kim Newton
In the fall of 2005, while living in Boston, I found what had to be the last crappy (and thereby affordable) apartment in the South End neighborhood. I needed a roommate, and Kim was the "random" pick who won me over right away with her bright nature and her being from North Carolina. What a good choice I made; Kim is a warm and wonderful friend, and her happiness is infectious. She kept me fed throughout the 1.5 years we lived together, and embraced Matt like a brother when he came into my life. We both independently moved to Durham, and now she's a real-life doctor at UNC, making the world such a better place for everyone she meets.
A favorite memory: Once in the South End we met two elderly Red Hat Society ladies (google it) coming back from tea; they'd grown up in North Carolina and become friends in their early twenties, and had been friends for over 50 years. We knew then and there that that would be our story, too.

Julia Smith
(Julia, center)
Julia was the other across-the-hall dorm friend at Oberlin who is among the people I hold dearest. She has the keenest eye I know for art in unexpected places, and a beautiful talent for dance and choreography, which was her major at Oberlin. She spent a summer during college in Durham attending American Dance Festival, and visited me for a week in Florence during my semester abroad. We've had many travels and adventures together, each of them full of unexpected riches. Julia lives in Cleveland with her partner, Brandon, and on September 3 just embarked on her newest adventure - as a mother to little Constance Ruth.
A favorite memory: The morning Julia left to go back to Ohio in the summer of 2001, after attending the American Dance Festival in Durham, we went out to the pond for one last morning swim. We decided to dive into the water together, and as we counted to three and dove off the dock, we both caught the perfect reflection of ourselves in the water, holding hands, before we broke the surface.

Sanden Totten
Sanden lived next door to me freshman year, and we made sure never to live too far away at Oberlin, finally sharing a house with Georgia and Julia our senior year. Some of my most prized letters are those from Sanden, and even now, every once in a while, a real live post card or letter shows up in my mailbox from him, always illustrated. Being around Sanden is like living in a great episode of This American Life; he is at once scientific, narrative, philosophical, and human. Though I think he wishes he were a robot. Sanden is the science reporter at KPCC, the NPR affiliate out of LA, and writes pretty incredible comics on the side.
A favorite memory: During our sophomore year Spring Break, Sanden and I took a road trip to Montreal. We shared a bottle of wine and traipsed around the Contemporary Art Museum and then the city's Biodome, where we spent a good hour watching a community of penguins play and naming their distinct personalities and character traits.

Rachel Weidenfeld
Rachel and I were good friends in college, but our friendship really gelled during my years in Boston, where she lives still with her fiance, Jesse (another Obie!). My favorite things about Rachel are the sharp intelligence she has for human behavior and relationships, and the dynamic range of her friendship; she's up there with the funniest, quickest-witted people I know, but is also a natural listener and solid sounding board. Makes sense that she decided to be a social worker; the world is lucky for that.

A favorite memory: Rachel and I were assigned to the crew of an opera our freshman year - the title has long escaped me, but I do remember dancing around backstage with her singing one of the production's feature numbers: "How WON-derful to be a duck!"

Matt's Groomspeeps
Adam Nichter, Best Man
Adam, my cousin, was introduced to me while I slept in my crib. Within hours of knowing me, he tried to drown me with stuffed animals while I slept. This competition for survival has continued through adolescence and into adulthood. Recently, we have decided to compete for who will outlive the other. There's no one else who's put up with my arrogance and stupidity as long; here's hoping Jessie's willing to do it too. Adam lives in Jersey City, NJ and works for Energizer as a national account manager.

Josh Dudek
Josh, my brother, is the fourth of seven scions born to the Dudek Clan.  Unlike my other groomsmen, I did not choose my friendship or closeness with Josh. And it did not start with us being good to one another; instead it started with bullying and rough-housing, typical brother stuff. But since then, it has been a pleasure to watch Josh (and the rest of my siblings) grow up and develop into fully formed independent people. Josh has just married the love of his life, Meg, this summer and has just started a new job.

Erik Kolb
Our friendship was forged in the academic fires of Oxford. We had the good luck of being placed in the same house for our study abroad program, and became quick friends because of our similarly pretentious taste in music, cinema, literature, philosophy, cuisine, and culture. In the many years since we've had the pleasure of exploring Reykjavik, Helsinki, Tallin, and Riga together.  Erik is working on his Phd in early church history at American University in Washington, D.C.

Jesse Noyes
Jesse and I met in college, but it wasn't until after college when we both needed roommates that we really became friends. Jesse had the pleasure of moving into a new apartment with me very literally days after I was dumped by my first serious girlfriend. I remember standing on the back porch of our third floor apartment and hoisting a mattress up with string — not rope — while drinking a beer and tying to avoid crying in front of my new roommates. Jesse and I also traded turns taking each other to urgent care for the Noro Virus, and commiserating about the ups and downs of dating and work life in Boston. Jesse now lives in NYC and is the senior director of content marketing at Kapost.

Asher Rapkin
Asher has known Jessie since their very first week at Oberlin College. Winning him over would be an important hurdle if my relationship with Jessie was to progress; Asher had previously given the thumbs down to all of Jessie's past paramours. Luckily for me, Asher is a huge nerd too and we quickly hit it off as we discussed the latest Apple product or web 2.0 start-up. At this point Jessie tends to leave us alone when we get into an involved discussion about the role technology or social media plays in our lives. Asher is Apple's Head of Channel Marketing for iAd.

Kate Smith
Kate Smith and I met on nearly the first day of college during a painfully awkward college orientation ice-breaker. We bonded over our love for Pedro the Lion, and Kate has forever made me jealous because she actually knew David Bazan while living in Seattle. Kate is one of those friends who gently holds a mirror up for you to see yourself, and pushes you to be better. Kate is a gifted writer and nurse, and someone I am proud to call my friend.