We’re a fun-loving pair and chicken wing soulmates (he likes drums, she likes flats) from Atlanta, Georgia. Taryn’s a writer, maker and designer with plenty of projects to keep her busy and J.R. is a sports-loving business guy and all around good dude. We’re getting hitched in October at a brewery in West Midtown. Although we’re both transplants to Atlanta, we’ve wholly adopted the American South and all of the deep-fried, sun-steeped and hop-brewed goodness it has to offer. And we’re excited to share it all with you.
Taryn hails from sunny Miami, Florida, and lived through three major hurricanes before she ever saw snow. Fluent in “Spanglish,” she thinks guava goes with everything and boat shoes are ideal winter wear.
J.R. grew up not far from Motown in Brighton, Michigan, and shows people where he’s from by pointing to a spot on the palm of his right hand. He calls it “pop” instead of Coke and knows how to pronounce Mackinac.
We met at work in Atlanta and made it official after a courtship of concerts, festivals and Monday night trivia dates. Five years later, here we are. Ready to celebrate with friends and family and toast a couple cold ones.
The Wedding Party
Maid of Honor
Sarah and I met in kindergarten at Ludlam Elementary and have been collecting inside jokes ever since. She’s been by my side for what feels like my whole life, cheering me on when I decide to do something crazy like decoupage my bedroom door with clippings of Leo DiCaprio and Buffy the Vampire Slayer cut from the pages of Tiger Beat. Ask her why matte is fine. It’s one of those inside jokes. She graduated from Brandeis University in Boston, and is currently working towards her Ph.D in Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. —Taryn
Coral Gables, Florida
Whitney and I met in Chemistry class at DASH and bonded chatting about Hanson. Then we were instant messaging about ‘N Sync. And now it seems like we’re texting and tweeting daily about One Direction. The technology and the boys have changed, but Whitney’s always been there for me to share laughs and dance to pop songs. I can’t wait until we’re teleporting to concerts in our 70’s. She graduated from Appalachian State University and is currently studying for a Master’s degree in College Student Development at the University of Miami. —Taryn
Laura and I met in 6th grade, when we both lived close to South Miami Middle School. In high school, we took the same train downtown to make it to class every day. And she was right there with me when we moved up to UF for college. Although the distance between us is bigger than ever, we still call each other out of the blue to come over for a visit. After attending the University of Florida, she graduated from the veterinary program at the University of Tennessee and is now practicing as Dr. McDougal at an animal clinic on the Florida coast. —Taryn
Chris, or just “Hoyal” as he’s known to me, has been a great friend since my freshman year in high school. I remember the exact day we met: I was giving my friend and fellow Groomsman Adam Dukes a ride after school and introduced me to the goofy new friend he met in shop class. We all piled in The Gladiator (my inherited minivan) and we were friends ever since. Hoyal is married to his awesome wife, Rae, and we are thrilled they were willing to share their anniversary day with us! We have always remained close to each other’s families over the years. If you want the really funny Hoyal stories just ask me. I have many! —J.R.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Adam, or as I call him by his last name “Dukes,” was the first friend I made after moving to my Dad and Stepmom’s house and changing schools in 3rd grade. Living just four houses away from each other and sharing the same 4th grade class, we quickly became best friends. We were practically inseparable, but of course always behaved ourselves and definitely never threw any parties when our parents were out-of-town. I don’t know how he does it, but Dukes lives in Las Vegas and is successfully working for himself. Dukes has a young daughter named Ava with his girlfriend Amanda. —J.R.
Traverse City, Michigan
Jason, aka “J Raz,” was always a friend in high school, but after the passing of our close mutual friend Josh, J Raz and I started spending much more time together. We stayed friends through college, attending different schools, but became close again after we graduated and each moved back in with our folks in Brighton. We spent the next year hanging out every day playing poker and enjoying a pint at the bar before reality set in and it was time to focus on our careers. J Raz graduated from law school and is practicing in Traverse City, where he shares a home with his wife Alicia and their two beautiful children, Dre and Adalyn. —J.R.
Em is my one and only sibling, with 12 years between us. Em is now in high school and an insanely talented artist studying at New World School of the Arts. —Taryn
Anthony is my sister Amy’s son and younger brother to sisters Isabella and Gabriella. He’s nine years old and loves Lego, Batman and Lego Batman. —J.R.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Kate is the daughter of my sister Heidy and brother-in-law Scott. She’s six years old and will wear Cheetah print every day from head to toe if you let her. —J.R.