We thank you for your patience as we have navigated changing our wedding date (multiple times)! We are hopeful that life will be close enough to normal that we can safely hold a large event in August. The venue is outside and we will do everything we can to keep you safe.
We ask that if you are planning to come, you have been vaccinated. We recognize this is a lot to ask but want to be cautious about the safety of our guests and respectful to the people who are working the event.
3:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Lauren was my suitemate Freshman year in Granville, where I met Will. Ever since we have met, she has inspired me to be a better person and to be fearlessly kind. I had the great honor of standing by her as she married her best friend and I am glad that the roles are being reversed. She has had full confidence in Will and I since day one-I love her for that and so much more.
Haley and I met on the first day of 6th grade. Without judgement, Haley let me sit at her table and the rest was history. We were top friends on Myspace, chatted on AIM and made it through a few high school musicals, AP English and UNC together. Now, she is my neighbor! Without hesitation, I can say that Haley is an amazing friend who has never let me down and I am confident that there are many years of musical singalongs in our future.
Mallory and I met the first day of Kindergarten. As we approach 20 years of friendship, I realize that I can't remember much about life before Mallory. She has always inspired me with her free spirit, athleticism and love for spontaneity. She has been with me through basically all of my ups and downs and I couldn't possibly thank her enough for all of the wonderful memories we have together.
Anna and I met while pledging Alpha Phi Omega (go service!). She always intimidated me because she was so put together and well liked. Somehow I convinced her to be my friend and I saw exactly why she is so popular. Anna is a strong independent woman who don't need no man (even though she has one and he is in the wedding too). She works very hard at maintaining good relationships (we have a million long-distance phone calls to prove it). Will and I love spending time with her because she always keeps us in stitches. She is also quite skilled at saving money, you should ask for tips...
There are very few people in the world as warm as Anushree. We met when she joined APO (go service!). She is one of those people who makes you instantly feel understood. As our relationship grew, I wondered where she was all my life. She is the kind of person you can call crying and end the phone call laughing and smiling. I wish she didn't live so far away, but she has never ceased being there for me, even if she is on the other side of the country. She is always picking up new hobbies such as improv and spearfishing yet tells me that she leads a pretty normal life (do you know anyone else who spearfishes?)
Carson and I met in middle school. 8th grade to be precise. I thought she was weird (she was and still is). But we quickly become friends at a football game freshman year of high school. Over those 4 years we became inseparable. Carson endured a lot of my adolescent crap and never left me, even when I was being a brat. She is still one of the kindest people I know and I am so lucky to have kept a friend like Carson. I truly feel inspired by her and am so proud of her and her amazing career.
Faith is going to be my sister one day (if you couldn't tell be her last name). She is one of those people who doesn't intend to be funny, yet her wit is rivaled by few. Faith is also the mother to my future nephew, a small orange cat named Piper. Just like her brother, Faith is an incredibly well-read and intelligent person. I am so glad that I will have a sister who will always talk about cats and eat chocolate with me while we poke fun at Will.
Jenny Stein is quite the character. We met in APO (go service!). She was always smiling or laughing and her laugh is incredibly infectious. Jenny is the survivor of living with me for one full summer. There are very few people who are willing to sit on the couch and binge entire seasons of TV shows as well as cry over military homecoming videos for hours on end. Even though she is working her butt off at med school and I don't get to see her often, I know that Jenny always has my back and the next time that I see her, it will be like she never left! She is quite the mensch.
Lauren Burgess has the patience of a saint. I met her when she started dating Will's roommate. She is a calming presence and is someone who is easy to be around. We had no idea that we would end up marrying our goofballs one day, but 4 years later we are planning weddings at the same time. I am so lucky to have her to text any time I am planning on changing the wedding color or need to talk about the flowers. By marrying one of Will's best friends, she is forced to never leave me and that is exactly how I want it because there is no one else that I want to inhabit my couch with their dog after a long night of doing a puzzle.
Mary-Katherine (that's all one word and you can't call her Mary), is another one of the best things to come from Granville towers. She has stood by my side during all of the hardest years of college. I cannot express the amount of gratitude I have towards this amazing human and all the advice and love she has given me. She has an incredible heart and I am so lucky to have her. Even though we aren't neighbors anymore, I know I can call her at any time and talk about Grey's Anatomy or life. She is kinda like the Meredith Grey to my Christina Yang (I refuse to Meredith, sorry MK).
Rachel and I met in APO (Go service!). She is truly an incredible person. I can't put Rachel into one paragraph because she is strong, smart, hardworking, strong-willed and kind. Rachel survived living with me for one year and kept me fed through that year (she will feed anyone who looks hungry). She is an amazing social worker AND friend. I don't know how she manages to work over 60 hours a week and still be a good friend, but she does it well. I aspire to be like Rachel when I grow up, even though I'm older than she is :)
Standing at 5'11" 200, Glenn is the starting engineer. Glenn brings tenacity, memes, and a blonde doppelganger to the wedding party. College: NC State Wolfpack
Standing at 5'8 150. Starting pediatric neurologist Adeel Yousaf brings reason, intelligence and perfect form to the wedding party. Proud owner of a 460 HP muscle car. College: Army Medical
Standing at 6'3", 200. The starting bartender and unicyclist extraordinaire brings fun, wit and outstanding sense of humor to the wedding party. College: App state.
Standing at 5'9", 250, Avery Barr is the starting Christmas Tree farmer and Football Coach. Avery brings a moral compass, kindness, and bass playing ability to the wedding party. College: Carolina.
Standing at 5'7", 145, Doug is the starting clinical trials expert. Doug brings viral humor, impressive carolina panthers knowledge, and a cool hand to the wedding party. College: Carolina
Standing at 5'10" 175, Joel is the starting accountant. Joel brings an inability to quit, incredible cardiovascular capacity, and enough adult in the room to make sure the trains run on time. College: NC State Wolfpack.
Standing at 6' 185, Justin is the starting L3 medical student. Justin brings a tier 1 research capability, the declarative "oh my word" and deep knowledge of the Good Book to the wedding party. College: Carolina.
Standing at 5'10" 202.5, Paul is the starting Attorney. He is the Army's 5k champion and brings a 155 lb Clean + Jerk, a reminder that there was a time before the internet, and an affinity for odd and challenging sporting events. College: Haverford
Standing at 6'3" 185, Stewart is the starting investment banker. Stewart brings a cool demeanor, extensive knowledge of private swiss wealth management and an award winning nickname "zaddy" to the wedding party. College: Carolina
Standing at 6'1", 200, Wesley is the resident L4 Medical student. Wesley brings exquisite banjo playing ability, long range cycling capability, and the best MCAT score this side of a nobel laureate. College: Carolina
Anyone who knows me understands that I like to plan. At the age of 18, I knew I would graduate with my PhD at 26 and get married that same year. I will get married at 26, but it looks nothing like I planned.
Even though I knew Will was one of the strangest people in our dorm, he was always easy to be around. His huge smile is infectious and warm. He is one of those people that doesn’t have to try to be likeable, he is so good at being good. I never thought I would end up with someone so wonderful. After getting to know him a little bit my first year of college, he became a friend, then a confidante and then I knew there was more.
Fast forward a few months and I am beside myself thinking that Will doesn’t want to have a serious relationship. I tearfully confronted him and during my diatribe, Will (without losing eye contact) reaches down and grabs a burger off of the floorboard of my car, brings it to his mouth and proceeds to eat an entire junior bacon cheeseburger. He didn’t want it to get cold, he said. He had already been planning to ask me to be his girlfriend, he was just waiting for the right time. Even though I was scared of my feelings for the guy with the cheeseburger, I agreed that night to take a chance on him (and him on me).
The next five years flew by. It is no secret that college was a rough time for me and there is not a doubt in my mind that I couldn’t have done it without Will’s unwavering support. It did not take me long to fall very madly in love with the man who never left my side during my worst days and who stood proudly by during my best.
Very little turned out how I planned it. Will is not the UNC basketball player I thought I would be marrying (has anyone seen him try to play?!) Although life has a way of dismantling all of your plans, it also has a way of providing the sweetest moments of joy. Every time Will leaves a note in my lunch or brews me coffee in bed, I am reminded that we often find the greatest joy where we least expected it. Life will not cease to surprise me and ruin all of my plans, but I know that when it inevitably does, Will will be there, armed with a cheeseburger, a smile, and unconditional love.
It was a night in late fall at Carolina, and I went on a quiet stroll as I always did. Down the stairs of 9th floor west, down out onto Columbia, and onto the Upper Quad. Down among the flowers and hulking menace of Phillips and up onto the steps of South building. There sat two benches. overlooking the lower quad and the hulking Wilson library. My heart was filled with excitement, that quiet night, at the oldest university, where my father, and his father before had learned about life, and become men. This where presidents had learned, nobel prizes had been won, and where the acetylene that built America was invented. But that night, that night was for me, for my story.
I've always been fascinated by the interplay between New and Old. Between beginnings, and the things that stay the same. I knew that night was a beginning, a very important beginning, a beginning that would last. That night, I realized that I loved Abby.
Abby Ward has been there, she always has. She's kind, driven, and brilliant in a way few individuals are, but of course she is, or you wouldn't be here today reading this.
My love for Abby is beyond that which a mere mortal like me can put to paper, and so I, no Shelley, Keats or Byron, won't bore you with cliches or platitudes. Every day we chose each other, and every day we begin anew, with the knowledge that our relationship is old and solid, but built upon mutual trust, and respect that runs deep like roots through our lives.
As the master Epictetus said: "No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen." We have blossomed, and will continue to, because we continue to build our reality anew, every single day.
PS: *it was a triple cheeseburger, not a JBC!