Here’s a sneak peak at all the awesome people who’ll be playing the leading roles. We wrote a few words about each one and why we’re so excited for them to be a part of our big day:
Jodi EliasThe Bride
Sam HogertonThe Groom
So, by now you've probably heard that I'm getting married to that pretty girl to my left. We're counting the days (visit the homepage for the official countdown) and we have a lot of fun things in store for the big day. One of which is all the great people who'll be helping us pull it off. You probably don't know all of them, which is why we wanted to take a moment to give them the introductions they deserve. So click through and get briefly acquainted with the people we're lucky enough to call our close friends and family – and bask in the joy of knowing that someday soon you will get to meet each of them. I have a few things to say about another special someone on this page as well (hint: the pretty girl next to me) but you're going to have to wait until June 28th for that.
AgnieszkaMaid of Honor in Absentia
Message from Jodi: I met Aga in Spain 8 years ago and knew right away we were going to be great friends. After all of our crazy adventures together, we’ve stayed close even though we’ve been separated by distance. Unfortunately Aga won’t be able to make the trip back from Spain, but even though she won’t be able to make it to the big day, there’s no one else I’d want to be my maid of honor.
MESSAGE FROM SAM: During my time living in Milwaukee, Matt has been my closest friend (aside from Jodi of course) in endeavors both professional and personal. We started a business together 3 years ago. We named the company after a flying dinosaur that we often imitate. And miraculously, we still make a living working together to this day. Our office doors are about 10 feet away from each other, and for some reason we still want to hang out with each other in our free time. He's seen me out of some rough patches, and his wonderful family invites Jodi and I along for fun family events like Oscar Parties. We're often referred to as the Dynamic Duo, and when he expressed how thrilled he was that I asked him to be our Best Man I told him: You're the only man I know with the soaring and screeching power for the job. Long story short, if it wasn't for Matt I wouldn't be where I am today. And I certainly wouldn't be having as much fun doing it.
Message from Jodi: I’ve heard that when I was born, my sister Jessica was beyond excited. She sewed clothes for me, fixed my hair, and was all around a fantastic big sister. From helping paint a mural in my bedroom to taming our pet iguana, there is really nothing that Jessica isn’t good at. She’s always been an inspiration to me, and a source of support through some rough times. I feel so lucky and blessed to have Jessica at my side while I get married.
MESSAGE FROM SAM: It's such an awesome thing to have friends that last a lifetime, and that's the case with this guy. Brice and I have been close friends for over two decades. We played Ants in the Pants together on the first day of kindergarten, next thing you know we're nearly 30 and still finding ways to get together and mess about. We've had a special run through all the sports, high school dances, college parties, road trips... the list goes on... and I know we'll have plenty more adventures for decades to come – starting with this wedding!
Message from Jodi: What to even say... Julie is my sister, but sometimes it’s more like we’re the same person. I’ve always had a partner in mischief, fun, silly songs, and wearing costumes. Who else can say they have a sister who put on an improvised beauty pageant parody called the grand supremes...while they were in their 20s? With my sisters, there’s a lot of silliness, and a whole lot of love. It goes without saying that I wouldn’t be where I am today without Julie, and I’m so happy she’s a part of the big day.
MESSAGE FROM SAM: Nick and I share a lot of things: For starters, we both went into the godforsaken business of marketing and advertising, and it's with fondness that I can relate with a close friend on the joys and pains of it. We share a lust for adventure, and together we've architected road trips that have zigzagged us across the country. Most importantly, we share a friendship that has stood the test of time and distance. He's always made a point of keeping up since I jetted off for Milwaukee after high school, and he's the first call when we're back home for the holidays.
Message from Jodi: The first time I met Sam’s sister Amy, she told me she hoped I would would marry her brother. No joke. I’m so excited to have another sister, especially one as warm and fun as Amy. When Sam and I first started dating, we agreed that we were always going to strive to bring out the best in each other--advice that he got from Amy. Great advice from a great girl. Can’t wait to be a part of the family, sis!
MESSAGE FROM SAM: Tom and I became good friends very quickly. After just a few weeks working together we started running around town on a regular basis. Couple of reasons we got along so well: We share an intense adoration for Parks & Recreation, Snork Juice, and Laser Pointers. We like getting down to mash-up jams, and taking advantage of $5 foot longs at Subway. But probably the biggest reason is this: Tom's just one of the most infectiously fun people to be around, and he's always there for his friends. Case in point: When asked to come up from New Orleans for the wedding, he said he wouldn't miss it.
Message from Jodi: I was lucky to meet Jenny at a ladies only event I threw for a Ganga Ghar project. We hit it off right away, and she’s since become one of my closest friends. Jenny is one of the most fun people I know; from impromptu dance parties to outrageous British accents, she and I always manage to find adventures in unexpected places. I really couldn’t be happier that Jenny is a part of my life and my wedding.
MESSAGE FROM SAM: Erik helped Jodi and I move into our flat and to this day is one our favorite people to have over. He regularly helps us brighten up our patio by coming over for grill outs in the summer. He's one of the usual suspects when we're looking to unwind over happy hour in the city. And when he's over on Sundays in the winter, he gives me the 2-1 vote for changing the channel to football! He moved to Milwaukee and got to know Jodi and I around the same time Jodi and I started going out, and by virtue has a unique perspective on our relationship and how quickly and naturally it grew. It's not everyday that your friends ask you to get ordained and be the one who marries them – and once he realized we were actually serious about it, he was all for it. And here's why: Erik knows us. He knows our story and he's seen first-hand what Jodi and I bring to each others lives. And having him there to share that story on our behalf will be a joy beyond words for us both.
Message from Jodi: This lovely girl has a special place in my heart. Every time I head up to Appleton, I have so much fun playing games and dressing up with Vivi. She’s a little tiger girl, just like her Auntie Jodi. I’ve been drawing kitty faces on her since she was about two years old, so she might not have had much choice in that matter. When I asked her to be a flower girl in the wedding, she lit up, and proceeded to draw a number of awesome wedding pictures for me--one even showed Vivi and Savanna wearing leopard print flower girl dresses. She’s fancy, she’s clever, and there’s no one quite like her.
Message from Jodi: My sweet niece Savanna is one of the kindest people I know. She started talking very early, and ever since has been lighting up the world around her with her keen observations and wisdom beyond her 4 years. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that you aren’t talking with an adult when you’re talking with Savanna. From her artistic talents to her exceptional empathy, I feel fortunate to be able to watch her grow and see what she can do. Also, I know she’s going to be a great addition in our wedding pictures; this girl is unbelievably photogenic. I know Savanna is really excited to be a flower girl, and I’m so happy she’ll be helping Sam and I celebrate.
GeorgeFather of the Bride
Message from Jodi: My dad taught me to always be prepared, so I’ll definitely have a stash of kleenex when he walks me down the aisle. You’d be hard pressed to find someone more proud of her father than I am. Every time someone meets my dad, whether it’s a friend or a coworker, I don’t stop hearing about how awesome my dad is for weeks. With good reason--he’s one of the most impressive people I know. It’s such a blessing to be on the receiving end of his wisdom, stories, life lessons, and advice. Whenever I have a problem, personal or professional, he’s the one I go to. When I had a bad car accident, my first instinct was to call my dad, not 911, because he always knows what to do. But that’s not all, he’s also the one I go to to to share success and celebrate triumph. I’m so excited for him to celebrate my marriage to Sam and share in our joy.
PeteFather of the Groom
MESSAGE FROM SAM: Where to start. This is my dad and he's largely responsible for most of the growing up I've done in my adult life. I find myself trying to be more like him everyday, and although I wasn't always grateful for it, I'm so very fortunate to have someone so easy to look-up and aspire to. If I didn't, there's no way I'd be where I am today. On top of that he gave me good taste in the extracurricular things that make life cool like food & drink, music, and sports. I probably gave him a good deal of worry and headaches along the way, but every time I fell down – from the time I was an infant into my years as a young adult – he was there to help me up. Thankfully I think I got my sea legs now so he can just sit back and enjoy the show on the big day!
JanMother of the Bride
Message from Jodi: I don’t even know where to begin... I feel so blessed to have been born into my family. Sometimes when I describe my mother to people who don’t know her, I can tell they think I’m exaggerating about how wonderful she is. But anyone who has met her knows that I’m not. She’s the most selfless, honest, good-hearted person in the world. I was extra blessed as the youngest child; every night at bedtime we had these great long talks about life, love, faith, family, and all sorts of other things. We still get to have our special talks, and usually when I’m visiting my parents house, we find ourselves staying up talking into the wee hours without realizing it. My mom knows how happy I’ve been these past couple years, and I’m looking forward to more of our special talks as Sam and I build our life together.
CindiMother of the Groom
MESSAGE FROM SAM: This is my mom and I could fill a bookshelf writing about everything she's given and done for me – but I'll do the best I can in a couple sentences: For so many years she's been the first person I've run to for so many things – be it to share joy in accomplishments or to find support and guidance in the face of hardships. She wound up with a goofball for her first and only son but has unconditionally loved me more than anything in the world. She gave me my warmth, my smile, my positivity, my strong-will, and my Messerich cheeks. From dressing up like a clown, to shooting videos about killer sock puppets, to playing in a rock band that practiced LOUDLY in the basement, she's always supported me and encouraged me to chase what made me happiest. And because of that I was able to find it, and being able to celebrate it with her makes me feel like a really lucky boy.