Our story starts way back in 1979 in the Delta Chi Fraternity house at the University of Illinois. Our dads, Matt Ehrhart and John Schmidt, were fraternity brothers and eventually roommates throughout their college years at U of I.
Fast forward to January 2017, another DChi Fraternity brother and family friend, JD Hill, was organizing a dads and kids ski trip with his two best buddies from college (guess who). Mark and I became fast friends on that ski trip and spent hours after dinner each night playing cards. We left this trip with a promise to stay in touch and then began dating in late February.
Fun Fact: I actually paid for dinner on our first date! Mark and I made a bet while playing cards earlier in the day that whoever lost, would pay for dinner.
Nearly all of our relationship has been long distance, but we were determined to make it work. I was firmly rooted in St. Louis throughout my college years and as I started my career. Mark travelled across the country to Champaign, Chicago, Houston, and Seattle for school and various internships. Thankfully, the distance was no match for us and I moved to Chicago in March 2019 as we prepare to start our lives as husband and wife.
Brian (or Bran) has been my best friend since 4th grade. Bran is one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I know, and I’m so lucky to have him as my best man. He's a talented athlete in the pool—he was a star of our high school swim team and now plays water polo at the University of Wisconsin, where he is studying for a degree in computer science.
I quite literally have no memories of not being friends with Ian. We met as first graders and quickly became best friends and co-conspirators in playground troublemaking. Since then, we’ve both slightly matured, and Ian has become one of the most thoughtful and intelligent people I know. He’s just finishing up a degree in Naval Architecture at the University of Michigan. (The man loves boats. Just ask him.)
Jack is my oldest brother (just a minute older than TJ). He is one of the smartest people I know, with an insane breadth of trivia knowledge and a big appetite for TV, movies, books, and podcasts of all kinds. One day, you’ll see Jack wiping the floor with the competition on Jeopardy! He graduated from the University of Illinois last year with a degree in Computer Engineering.
TJ is my older brother and Jack’s younger twin. TJ is a very fun guy, and is always the life of the party wherever he goes. Last year, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a business degree and a minor in computer science, and is now living and working in Atlanta.
Jenny and I have been best friends since the very first day of Kindergarten! Way back in the day, Jenny was extremely shy and quiet and she wouldn't talk to anyone but me, not even the teachers. That is definitely not the case anymore! Jenny is the funniest, friendliest, most down to earth person I have ever met and I am so honored to have her by my side!
Kennedy and I became friends when her family moved into our neighborhood when we were 8 and locked in as "best friends forever" when we found a stray cat in the woods and brought it back to her house. The cat gave birth to several kittens just days later and I'm still not sure her mom, Gloria, has ever forgiven me for failing to convince her not to bring the cat home! Kennedy is the best friend I could ever ask for and I am so thankful that she is my Matron of Honor.
Growing up as an only child, Clara was the sister that I never had, but always wanted. From running around as toddlers at Grandma and Grandpa's house to catching up over Mexican food and margaritas, she has been by my side through it all. I am so thankful to have a cousin who is so much more than a cousin, but one of my closest friends.
Sammie is my only sister, and the oldest kid in the Schmidt family. Sammie has always been adventurous and outgoing, and she loves camping and hiking. Jack, TJ and I have been so lucky to have her as a role model to look up to and admire. Sammie currently lives in Houston with her husband and teaches middle school science.
Miss Holly Jane (3) and Miss Harper (1.5) are the adorable daughters of Kennedy and her husband, Tyler.