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{My beautiful bridesmaids}

I recently wrote a Hello Giggles piece on the 10 Friends Every Girl Needs In Her Life, and that got me thinking it was time to write about my bridesmaids, the 6 Friends I Need In My Life. I’m very lucky that I love the family I was born into, and I’m doubly lucky to have the family I chose, too. These are the girls I’m so fortunate to know and love, who will be standing next to me next August 1 (and spray-painting pine cones, weighing the pros and cons of blush vs. ivory and talking me down from yet another meltdown every day until then):

KATIEROSE, my co-Maid of Honor: Like Tony, I met Katierose writing and performing together in The Groundlings Sunday Company and like with Tony, I found a platonic soulmate in her. If you asked anyone in our circle who their best friend is, most would tell you “Katierose” – she’s a seasoned Maid of Honor and, when she gets married one day, will probably have 37 bridesmaids for fear of leaving anyone out. She is hilarious, loyal and puts the needs of everyone she knows above her own; every night, she’s out supporting someone at their show, or taking care of their dog, or home-making the most personal, perfect gift. She’s the person you want to call when you have good news, because no one will be happier for you, or celebrate you harder. She’s the reason I got my first paid writing job in Hollywood (we’re writing a TV pilot together), and remembers to check in after every meeting and audition. Katierose can make the most mundane night feel epic and unforgettable, and finds the funny and the joy in any situation (see: our wedding-scouting trip to Ojai). Tell her your astrological sign and birth date, and she’ll tell you exactly who you are and what your future holds. Every day, she actively does something to improve herself, or get a step closer to her goals, and that’s the type of person you want in your life. She and her boyfriend Matt spent Thanksgiving with my family a few years ago, and she cried with me when I lost my grandpa. Katierose is an optimistic, loving person who believes in and easily finds the good in everyone, and I think that’s why people are drawn to her – a few hours with her will make you feel like the best version of yourself.

{Me, Jax & her perfect baby}

{I don’t know what we’re clutching, or why my mom permed my bangs}

{Prom}

JACQUELYN, my co-Maid of Honor (because she hates the word “Matron” the way most girls hate the word “moist”): Jacquelyn is the closest to a sister I will ever have; she is family, and my oldest friend. We’ve known each other since we were two, and grew up down the street from each other. Our parents happen to be best friends too, and my dad officiated her wedding (and I was lucky enough to be co-MOH with her sister!) Jax has always been as gorgeous as she is loyal; even though she looked like a baby Cindy Crawford, when I had to wear an eye patch as a kid, she wore one in solidarity. When I’d only answer to the name “Dorothy,” she jumped on the bandwagon and went by “Toto.” Her dad gave us our first jobs – catching water bugs at 5 cents/bug, until we had enough to go see Little Rascals (then we quit). We’ve been there for each other through the hardest and happiest times life has thrown at us. Having her show up, and hearing her perfect little baby coo through my grandpa’s funeral, got me through it. The week she got married, I shared her hotel room every night until the wedding, and it was one of the best, most cherished weeks of my life, getting one last bender of sleepovers like when we were kids. She has a wicked sense of humor and the best laugh, and even though we live far from each other and don’t get to see each other as much as I’d like, we always pick up right where we left off like no time has passed, the way family does.

{Ali is far left, I am far right, Jax is the turtle}

{High school graduation. Don’t worry, Jax graduated, she just went to a private school for athletes}

{Me, Julia & Ali at our engagement party}

ALISON: Ali has been one of my best friends since our pre-pre-school days, and was the first friend I celebrated my engagement with (she and her now-fiancé drove all the way to Tahoe on her birthday, she was so excited and such a good friend)! We also grew up down the street from each other, and have performed countless tap routines in regrettable costumes together. She loves Tahoe the way I do, and is part of the crew of families who spent summers at the Big House, where Tony and I are getting married. Ali is a brilliant doctor who was working science flashcards at the same age the rest of us were still mistaking sequins for candy and eating them (that wasn’t just me, right?) Ali is as fun as she is smart, and a party happens wherever she goes (she’s the one who organized the W hotel pool pre-party for all the out-of-town guests before our engagement party.) She’s the best at bringing people together; her Bunko nights were legendary when we were kids, and she’s always the one to organize drinks with old friends when we’re home for the holidays. She’s one of the most supportive people in my life; I’m pretty sure she watched every episode of The Single Life before I did. Ali is one of those beautiful people who has never met a stranger; she’s the best wingwoman and partner-in-crime, because she can work a room like no one I’ve ever seen and leave a party with 12 new besties. And I dare you to challenge her to a game of Name That Tune.

{Awkward prom photo with her perfect new baby}

BARBARA: Barbara is the closest Tony has to a sister, and became family to him when he first moved to L.A. and they started an improv team together. As soon as I came on the scene, she treated me like family, too. Barbara is a classically trained actress who also happens to be classically beautiful, and her inability to do anything without a fierce, passionate, 110% dedication to whatever she does extends to her friendships, as well as her comedy (see: this video she shot with Tony 2 weeks before giving birth, and the fact that the day I asked her to be a bridesmaid, she started a Pinterest board for my wedding to help me plan.) She loves weddings as much as I do, but possesses organizational and decision-making skills where I do not, so her countless hours of listening, advice and pros/cons lists have been invaluable. Her daughter Matisse recently asked me to be best friends, and it was one of the highlights of my life (as was watching Tony teach Matisse the iconic Dirty Dancing dance, doing the lift over and over and over again). Going over to Barbara’s house for dinner and playing with her kids, and remembering that is what life is about, is one of the things that makes living in this competitive, cutthroat city bearable. She’s the type of mother and friend I aspire to be.

MICHELLE: Michelle and I were bestie-roommates in college, and now just besties in life (sadly, we have to be grown-ups and live with the boys we’re marrying now). We have been known to shut down restaurants, gossiping for so long the valet brings our keys to the table because he’s going home. In college, our favorite pastimes included drinking wine on the floor, watching Love Actually on repeat and walking to our favorite Mexican restaurant for guacamole and margaritas after (okay, sometimes before) our finals. Today, those are still our favorite pastimes. We met in a TV class at USC’s film school, and bonded over our mutual love for, and belief we would one day marry, John Krasinski (things worked out for the best for all of us, though. Perhaps best of all for Emily Blunt.). One of our proudest accomplishments was spending the week after our college graduation in Tahoe, where we wore the same sweats for 5 days and survived solely on cookie dough, wine and wedding magazines. Michelle can liken any life experience to an episode of Friends (and can recite dialogue from any episode with Rainman-like ability). Just try her. She’s one of the hardest-working people I know and, because of that, is now a fancy, internationally jetsetting Hollywood executive making the next generation’s version of Friends. She loves weddings with the same rabid ferocity as I do; in college, we always dreamed about being engaged at the same time and planning our weddings together and, like in the romantic comedies we love so much, that dream came true – I can’t wait to stand next to her as a bridesmaid in January.

{Prom}

{Perhaps the only brunette photo in existence of Julia?}

{The engagement package Julia made me}

{Julia’s baby shower}

{Julia and our good friend Kristen at TONANNIE}

JULIA: Julia and I were cheerleaders together, and she is one of the most bubbly, silly, loyal, genuine, funny, selfless and supportive people I know. She’s driven hours up to L.A. for every TONANNIE show at The Groundlings (even when she was 8 months pregnant and technically on bedrest). When I got engaged, an engagement celebration package arrived on my doorstep almost immediately. We hated high school with the same passion and my dad’s office happened to be across the street from school, so every Friday he’d get us burritos and Jamba Juice, and we’d escape our torturous teenage existence and fantasize about her marrying Rob, her high school boyfriend. (They are a real-life Disney fairy tale; after winning homecoming king/queen and prom king/queen every year, they did get married! And had the most perfect daughter! And they’re all blonde, and live by the beach!) Julia’s knowledge of and love for pie knows no bounds, and she can talk about it the way Bubba can talk about shrimp and I can talk about weddings. Next to my mom, she is the most proud of and excited for even the smallest of my career accomplishments and has such enthusiastic belief in me, talking to her can pull me out of my most melodramatic slumps. Like her love story with Rob, Julia is the type of friend you usually only see in movies, but I get to have her in real life!

All of these women come from different parts of my life, and all of them have shaped the person I am. I am so lucky to have their love, support and friendship and, as a way of showing my thanks, I hereby publicly and solemnly swear not to make them wear hideous bridesmaid dresses. I love you ladies!


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