• my best friend got married rachel and ian

My Best Friend Got Married: Rachel & Ian

What would the point of this blog be if I couldn’t share my best friend’s wedding with you all?

Rachel and I met in preschool when we were 3 or 4 and have been bestie’s ever since. I made sure I was back in the U.S. for not just her wedding, but the other festivities.  Rach married Ian on June 7th, and I was so happy to be there to witness their happy day! They met in the dorms and raged their little asses off at Ohio University for 4 years as the beer chugging champions and funniest couple I knew. They even came to visit me in Charlotte where during an after party just the 3 of us attended at my apartment, the police came. I never had a dull time with Rachie growing up, and she’s definitely found her match with Ian.

my best friend got married rachel and ianSince most of my readers are not from the U.S. I’ll fill you in on a little bit about weddings there (if you’re from the US this will bore you to death!) As soon as they have their date set for the wedding, “save the dates” are sent to everyone invited. Later, the actual invitation will come. The bride usually makes up some cute way to ask her closest friends to be in her wedding as bridesmaids. Rachel gave us all rom-com DVD’s and a touching note.

my best friend got married rachel and ianAbout a month before the wedding is a bridal shower. The bride and groom will have registered at their favorite home store and guests can use their list to know what to buy them for their knew house. At the shower, the bride opens a bunch of gifts with all her best female friends and family. Games are played to see who knows Rachel (the bride) best and lots of wine and snacks are shared. Everyone thought all us girls (her friends from childhood) would win the games but they showed a photo of Rachel from last year and I guessed she was 15… close..

my best friend got married rachel and ian

my best friend got married rachel and ianA couple weeks later is usually the bachelorette party (and bachelor party). I’m pretty sure this is universal. I met an Indian girl once on her bachelorette party in Thailand, but she was accompanied by her fiance’s friends to make sure she didn’t get into trouble… and she was looking to ditch them so she could get into trouble! Luckily, in the states, friends help you get into all the trouble you want- the bride decides! We went back to OU where we used to always visit Rachel in school and get ourselves into some of the craziest situations I can remember from any of my college days. OU isn’t the biggest party school in the nation for nothing! We weren’t even at the hotel an hour before the neighbors were complaining about us- BEFORE we even went out!

my best friend got married rachel and ian

my best friend got married rachel and ianmatching tie-dye shirts and shooting practice ;) 

The night before the wedding is the rehearsal dinner. This is usually put on by the groom’s side of the family. Ian’s parents had Chipotle catered to the house for a nice evening drinking beer, water with Rach and Ian’s picture on it, and chowing down. Chipotle is so effing good, and my friends and I are serious eaters, so I doubt anyone was concerned about fitting in their dresses the next day. We all played soccer together since we were only 5 and are a super tight-knit group of friends, so nights like this are the best, especially since I don’t get them that often anymore.

my best friend got married rachel and ianThe day of the wedding starts early, sometimes even 8 am, so all the girls can get ready together and have brunch with mimosas. It’s no wedding without champagne! Sometimes it’s off to the salon for the day, but we got lucky- Rachel’s mom had some hair stylists come to us and Rachel’s grad school friend, Meridith, was nice enough to come and do our makeup.

I did nothing productive except eat all the donuts so no one else would have to be tempted… oh drink 4 cups of coffee so I could try all the new creamers these lucky ones have stateside!

my best friend got married rachel and ian

my best friend got married rachel and ianSo, all hopped up on coffee and energy drinks, we spend the afternoon at the church taking the normal photos that all bridal parties take together at the church. We took some around Mansfield as well, like super fun ones at the carousel.

my best friend got married rachel and ian

my best friend got married rachel and ian

my best friend got married rachel and ian

my best friend got married rachel and ian

my best friend got married rachel and ian

my best friend got married rachel and ianThen it was time for the ceremony! In comparison to UK ceremonies, we don’t sign papers at ours. In the US they are short and sweet (the bride and groom have signed papers before). And yes, we really do play that wedding song “here comes the bride” when she walks down the isle… I still can’t believe other countries don’t! It’s just as magical each time you hear it. The bridesmaids walk down to meet the groomsmen, then the flower girl does her best to throw flowers down so the bride can make her grand entrance.

It’s actually not a good flower girl moment unless the little kid does something ridiculous, and Rachel’s flower girl didn’t disappoint. Before walking down she warmed up by singing “Do you want to build a snowman?” There was a panicked moment when no one could get her the burrito she requested, but soon enough she was running down the isle, not throwing flowers.. only to go back up the isle and refuse to come down again. It was the best.

my best friend got married rachel and ianThen, because Rach and Ian are the epitome of “party people” we took some photos at a bar after the ceremony and had a few shots to prepare for our “entrances”. The bridal party gets announced when they come in and have to think of something funny to do. After being in 4 weddings, I still can never come up with something clever on the spot!

my best friend got married rachel and ian

my best friend got married rachel and ian

Next is dinner and speeches. Rachel’s little sis, Anna gave a speech that brought on the tears from most people in the room. From there, the party starts!! There are father/daughter dances, couple cake cutting, the groom taking of the bride’s garter belt, and the throwing of the bride’s bouquet. When it’s all over some people go home… but the rest of us went out to the local bars to keep the party going. It was a night to remember!

my best friend got married rachel and ian

my best friend got married rachel and ian

my best friend got married rachel and ian

my best friend got married rachel and ian

my best friend got married rachel and ian

my best friend got married rachel and ian

All of these photos came from Pat Mansor, a photographer out of Pittsburgh, PA (US). Check out his Facebook page or e-mail him at patmansorphoto (@) gmail (dot) com.




About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Laura July 22, 2014 at 4:06 am - Reply

    Great photos! One of my closest friends from college has just gotten engaged and your post has me so excited to head back to the US next year to watch them get married! Weddings are always such happy times!

    • Rachel Jones July 23, 2014 at 8:47 am - Reply

      It’s so great especially when you’ve been away because as a bonus you get to see a bunch of your friends at the wedding!

  2. Fiona July 22, 2014 at 8:22 am - Reply

    I love weddings of friends. Had one the week I got back from Africa and have another in a week. Love catching up with everyone and basically having a big party

    • Rachel Jones July 23, 2014 at 8:49 am - Reply

      It’s so great to see all the people you love in one place!

  3. Neha Rastogi July 23, 2014 at 1:12 am - Reply

    It was fun to read about the weddings in U.S. :)

  4. Justine July 23, 2014 at 2:50 am - Reply

    Aww, what a great story! And that’s awesome you were actually able to go home for the wedding. I love how you explain American wedding customs to non-American readers. Out of curiosity, what are weddings like in India?

    • Rachel Jones July 23, 2014 at 8:55 am - Reply

      I am planning to go to one in the winter and will definitely do a post about it! They go on for 5 days, costs loads of money… sometimes all the family’s money, and there is crazy cool jewelry and sometimes an elephant or horse.

  5. Alex July 23, 2014 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    Love that you had the police called on just the three of you — LOL. And a Chipotle catered rehearsal dinner? YES PLEASE.

    • Rachel Jones July 24, 2014 at 3:34 am - Reply

      Haha yes, it was around the time of the Olympics and we were re-enacting the Fab 5 gymnast moves. When the cop came I told him “first of all I don’t think you’re a cop right? and second we’re just really excited for America and you can’t even be mad about that..” And as for the chipotle, I had 2 burrito bowls! lol I get it all of once a year so I needed to really dig in

  6. Elora July 24, 2014 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Oh what fun! It really makes me thnk of my friend’s wedding, two years ago. It was so beautiful, filled with so many good memories! i miss her so much–and everyone else. I’m dying to visit. They had the reception in a colonial ballroom. It was so beautiful. Reminded me a bit of the ballroom in Beauty and the Beast, color wise. What a day. I was just sad that I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye before she got in the car! I was so sad–I was going back home in a few days. Haven’t been able to visit since. Sniff.

    You know, the best memories are the simple ones, with friends and family. You don’t forget them.

    • Rachel Jones July 26, 2014 at 3:22 am - Reply

      wow a ballroom wedding, that sounds beautiful! I hope you get to visit your friend soon. fingers crossed!

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