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It was almost 11 years ago when I met Connie. I remember exactly where I was for our first conversation. I was a server at Buffalo Wild Wings (throwback, right?) and she called during my shift. I stepped outside on the patio to take the call. We coordinated a time to meet for the first time at Red Robin. Connie and I were randomly placed together as roommates at CU, but we went to the same high school (although we didn’t know each other) and both lived in the area. We talked a little bit about what we were going to bring to the dorm room. I offered up a TV and she offered up a rice cooker. And that was that. An incredible friendship was born.

Last weekend, Gabe and I flew out to Colorado for her wedding. It was so much fun seeing all of our best college girlfriends, catching up since the bachelorette party, and celebrating love. As Maid of Honor, I was kept pretty busy the whole weekend (I feel like I could sleep for a century…), but everything went extremely well. The photos look beautiful (at least judging by the incredible locations around Vail Village), the ceremony was sweet, the food was delicious, and the reception was very fun.

Since Connie and her husband Tim are Chinese, they wove some Chinese traditions into the reception. They held a traditional tea ceremony where the bride and groom offer tea to their elders and in return, they receive blessings and gifts. The whole wedding party greeted every table, received a toast, and played a variety of games. Gorgeous red envelopes were everywhere.

On the drive back, Gabe and I were talking about how we felt this wedding was a little different than others we’ve attended. This wedding was truly about the merging of two families, not just celebrating the union of two people. It was about respecting elders, understanding the components of a good marriage (and actually talking about them throughout the tea ceremony). It was about cherishing each other as friends, as partners, as lovers. And it was also about drinking Hennessy. Lots and lots of Hennessy.

I’m so honored to have stood by Connie’s side on her big day. 11 years of friendship down and a lifetime to go!

Also? The whole “choose your own dress, just be sure it’s the same color” method is genius. I loved my dress and can’t wait to actually wear it again.

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