My Best Friend’s Wedding

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It’s not every day that your best friend gets married. Actually, it’s not every day one of your soulmates gets married. But I was lucky enough witness just that this past week in Puerto Rico. So often soulmates are talked about in terms of a marriage, but I think of soulmates in terms of people who come into our lives, change it forever, and stick with us until the end. My friend Laura is exactly that person. Laura came into my life 14 years ago when we were both in college at CSU. She was a person I was immediately enamored by. She was friends with everyone she met, confident, hardworking, and insanely smart. She was exactly who I hoped I could be someday. And she welcomed me into her life with open arms. Ever since, she’s been my best friend. We worked together, lived together in college, lived together after college, danced on bars together, we were with each other through break-ups, holding each other up when one of us couldn’t stand, she sat with me during my depression, I was with her after her brother passed away, she helped me start this very business by shooting food photos with me on our shitty kitchen floor, she came to all my book signings and all my CrossFit competitions, and she was standing by me at my own wedding. And this past week, I was standing by her side. Now before I talk about her wedding and gush more about her, let’s take a stroll down memory lane because if you’ve followed this blog from the beginning, you’ve heard me talk many times about this gem of a human, but you maybe haven’t seen some of the photos from our many times together.

Laura and I used to dance on bars A LOT in college. That shit was so damn fun!

I constantly laugh when I’m with Laura.

When we were in college, we would bike to the bars and always stop in this one spot to take a photo. We have SO MANY photos in this exact spot.

I have no idea where this photo was taken, but we are adorable in it.

Laura got us an internship with a ski resort senior year of college where we just had to pass out some products at football games then we got free ski passes and matching gear. I think we only passed the products out once, but the ski pass really came in handy multiple times!

Sarah, Laura, and I all worked at the rec center together. Sarah lived in this house a year before us and got us an in when we moved in senior year. This house has seen some things and we partied our faces off in it.

When Laura and I started making real money after college, we went on some trips together, including a trip to Portland. We are currently thinking up our next trip and thinking somewhere on the east coast!

Laura has been at every big moment in my life, including our wedding day in Jamaica in 2016.

Now let’s get into Laura’s big week in Puerto Rico!! Laura and her now husband Jason knew they wanted to have a destination wedding after being at a few of their friends destination weddings. This made me VERY happy because I LOOOOOOVE a destination wedding. Any excuse for me to travel somewhere, see a new place, and spend a week with new friends is cool with me. Weddings at home are one night, but destination weddings are multiple days or even a week long of celebrating. THAT is what a wedding should be about – not just one day, but a whole week to celebrate the people you love so much. And then you not only get to have some great talks with your friends, but you get to make new friends along the way. It’s simply the best. Laura was a covid bride which means she got engaged during covid and planned her entire wedding (which got postponed) during covid. She wasn’t able to do all the fun engagement celebrations that most brides do since she couldn’t see most of her friends and family. So this trip to Puerto Rico was a big moment – not only to celebrate her marriage, but to celebrate all the missed time and opportunities with her closest friends and family!

The first night we got to Puerto Rico, most people had already been there for a day and everyone had gone out to the bars so we met everyone later in the evening. We were exhausted and everyone was feeling a little turnt so we didn’t last long after our 3:30am alarm that morning, but what I did get to see immediately is how many amazing friends Laura and Jason have. When you bring two amazing people together, you bring a herd of good people with you. Laura and Jason know a ton of good people. All these people came from different walks of life and from different stages in her life, but all of them were just like Laura – kind, caring, thoughtful, and ready to have a good time. And to begin the celebrations with Laura, we kicked off a little bachelorette party since we couldn’t have one during covid, with horseback riding on the beach. My friend Sarah from college was on a horse behind me so we were able to chat the whole time, catch up, and talk about different things we have going on in our lives right now. It was so fun to catch up with someone who has always been so important to me while also getting to know new ladies on the trip.

The rest of the day we spent brunching, talking about different memories we had with Laura, and then we spent the rest of the day on the beach before their big welcome party to welcome everyone from the wedding. Since all of Jason’s friends were so great as well, Brian joined their Bachelor party golf trip and had a blast. Like I said, when you bring two great people together, you bring a herd of even more. Both Brian and I were able to hang out with great people and create memories that will last forever. Man, I fucking loved this trip.

I love this human so damn much. Her soul is just as beautiful as she is on the outside.

The next day was the wedding!! Laura and Jason had their wedding at Villa Montaña in Isabella, Puerto Rico. This resort was so confusing to me because some people lived there, other people were there for the summer, then some people just booked it like a hotel. I was quite confused by it, but it was great! They had an amazing restaurant that we ate all our meals at and the property was really beautiful, especially the event space where the wedding reception took place. One of Laura’s friends had a 3 bedroom villa so we were able to get ready at her place, drink champagne, watch a huge storm roll in, and we were all able to rally together to help everyone get ready. I put on everyone’s lashes, an AWESOME woman named Brit braided everyone’s hair, Sarah curled people’s hair, and then everyone helped each other with steaming dresses. RIP the steamer I left behind that day. It was so fun getting ready with everyone, getting to know people even more, and making sure Laura felt absolutely beautiful on her big day.

Right before Laura’s wedding, it DUMPED rain. It was wild. But right before her wedding, the skies opened up, a rainbow came out, and we were able to walk down the aisle dry as can be. The wedding was PERFECT!! We walked down the aisle to fun music and I had an awesome groomsmen who danced down the aisle with me. Lame ass groomsmen are the worst, but this wedding had none of those types of people. One of Jason’s friends married them and he told stories of both Laura and Jason. I’m pretty sure he had 14 pages he read through. It was heartfelt and so incredibly sweet. They were able to get married with all their closest family and friends around them with the ocean waves crashing in the background. In my opinion, that is exactly how every wedding should go…unless you hate the ocean, but that would make you insane, sooooo…

OMG look how insanely beautiful she looks!!! She was so damn stunning!! Jason looks good, too.

After the wedding ceremony, we headed inside for the reception. The reception was in this cute little bungalow type space with a room for the dance floor, a room for dining, and an outdoor space for sparklers afterwards. Handing drunk people sparklers at the end of the night seems like a bad idea. I think I burnt my dress. But that’s not what matters here, what matters is the reception was STUNNING! The room was filled with chandeliers, candles, stunning glassware which made me quite self conscious of the beer glasses we serve water in at home (going shopping immediately), and stunning tablescapes with beautiful floral arrangements. But the best part was the DANCING. Laura has friends who are djs so this dj duo played EDM all night long. It was so fucking fun. Even people who don’t listen to EDM on a regular basis had a blast. I personally screamed at the top of my lungs the entire time and tied my dress up so I could dance barefoot until my feet hurt. The only thing that wasn’t a highlight was watching Jason throw cake in Laura’s face. I don’t know where that dumbass tradition came from, but I told Brian on our wedding day that if he threw cake at me, I would divorce him on the spot. Don’t you dare come near my makeup, MF. Laura took the cake in the face like a champ and was still pulling cake out of her dress and hair by the next morning. But I guess that’s why they work so well. I would have shanked him, Laura laughed it off.

It’s not often that the person you love the most in this world and have loved for 14 years gets married to the next love of her life. It’s not often that you get to go to Puerto Rico and walk down the aisle with someone you care so deeply about. It’s not often that you get to share such special moments with a person who you have been through thick and thin with. But last week was all of that. That trip to Puerto Rico was one of the shortest, most amazing trips I’ve ever been on and I’m so sad that it’s over. I’m sad I’ll never see my best friend walk down the aisle for the first time and I’m sad this moment in life is gone. But the memories from last week will be with us for the rest of our lives. We’ve had 14 years of friendship and I know that friendship will never end. Our souls were destined to come together and I’m sure they will find each other in our next life, too. Geez, I just got all kinds of woowoo, didn’t I? Cheers to Laura and Jason! May your new life together be filled with adventure, laughter, and hopefully less cake in the face.

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.

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4 thoughts on “My Best Friend’s Wedding”

  1. What a sweet tribute to your bestie! I also think of my best friend as my soulmate. Also, I think you look a like!

  2. Dancing on bars! Do I ever miss those days!! So perfect to catch a bird’s eye view of hot dudes so you could dismount and pounce instead of getting elbowed & nearly knocked over trying to sort through the crowds. You two are beautiful in every picture!!😘😘

  3. Shannon Rohland

    This blog post and the podcast got me all in the feels. I just love amazing friendships, people who just get you! Also, because of you I have recently decided to listen to techno…started following your Spotify workout account, I’ve always been a self proclaimed techno HATER. But you have amazing taste in music…or maybe I just don’t hate techno anymore 🤷‍♀️ But my bet is on you!
    I just want you to know that you are a light, I look forward to your podcast every Sunday, I wish that I could meet you at your fav lunch spot and just have some good fucking conversation, I want you to be my best friend. That’s not creepy at all 🤣.
    You rock.

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