As you all know if you follow me on social media, my beautiful little twin got married this Saturday! It was an absolutely gorgeous day, with crazy wind and spectacular flowers and everyone was beaming with happiness. We are all so excited for Laura and Todd and I can't wait to see how God blesses them and uses them as they grow old together!
I thought I'd let ya'll read the speech that I gave at the rehearsal dinner (between my hysterical, droopy mouthed sobs) if you'd like! I was really nervous but it turned out to get a few laughs and tears and I hope it expressed how much they mean to me.
Also, ignore any grammatical errors or punctuation - I wrote it in my "speaking voice" so that it was easier for me to deliver it out loud!
How do I put into words a friendship, a relationship, and a person that surpasses everyone and anything else in my life (sorry, Sean.)
When God decided to throw my parents for a loop and send them two little babies instead of one, He knew exactly what He was doing. From the very beginning, Laura and I have been more than twins… we’ve been best friends. She’s my person and my other half - and like any famous pair, you really can’t have one without the other. We come as a set. We talk on the phone every single day, we finish each others sentences and we understand each other like no one else can.
Although we’re entirely identical in so many ways, Laura is still completely one of kind. She cares more than most people, always goes out of her way for her friends and her family, and when she sets her mind on something she dives in head first. If there’s one thing you realize when you get to know Laura it’s that she’s a planner. She’s been that way since day one. Even when we were little, she would take charge when our friends came over. From “fake band names” with Melissa, to playing the role of the mom whenever we would play house, she always took the reigns. And I didn’t mind. I like that about her! It was how we worked as a team, it still is, and she’s good at it. In middle school she knew she wanted platform sneakers and the walls of her room painted “cappuccino brown” and it happened. She wanted to learn to play guitar, and she did it (and I was jealous.) She knew that she wanted to write, and after journaling all throughout her emo days in middle school and joining Lit Mag in high-school, she quickly developed into a fantastic writer. She knew she wanted to move to a big city, and after landing an awesome internship our junior year of college, she packed her bags and moved up to Boston to start her new job as a copywriter at Digitas. And when she comes home to Charlotte, she’ll send our family group text a list of what we will be doing that weekend - with naps and breakfast locations included. Laura’s planning is always precise and detailed. If you can think of it, she has it covered!
And with all that she’s so perfectly planned in life, Laura also knew that if it was God’s plan, He would ultimately lead her to her perfect match - even though she didn’t know exactly when and where that would fall into her organized, yet busy life. As Laura’s friends (and myself) got married off or dated around, she never worried. She was independent and more than capable or living on her own and still having fun. She knew it would come at the right time and with the right guy and I always admired that about her! From the start, Laura knew what she wanted in a relationship. She even made a list when she was in college of some particular things that she was looking for in a guy…
- he has to make me laugh until I cry
- he has to be good with kids
- and he has to like hugs because I need at least one good one a day
just to name a few. ….and little did we know that one day the one and only Todd Shipman would fit that list, and so much more, perfectly.
When Laura called me about a year and a half ago and told me that she met a guy on a Match.com I have to be honest, I was pretty skeptical. First of all, since when was she on Match.com? We’ve all seen the commercials and heard about those crazy stories. Who knows who this random person is that she’s messaging 1,600 miles away in Houston, Texas!? He could be a weirdo that just sits behind a computer screen all day long or he could be married with kids! I really had no idea what to expect. But she was smitten! She raved about this mysterious texas man. Literally from the moment they first typed hello, she texted me about him from sun up to sundown! When we talked on the phone I could hear her smile through our long distance calls. She told me all about him - He was handsome, funny, and sweet. He loved God, he loved Texas, and he loved his family and friends. He seemed like an all around ideal guy… and he may or be not be falling in love with a little southern girl that lived up in Boston.
After talking and Skyping for 4 months, it was finally the awaited moment for Todd and Laura to meet. I remember that day very vividly. Laura was so nervous and I was nervous for her! She planned exactly what she wanted to wear and texted me up until the moment she got off the T. They were anticipating this day for so long and now they were about to see each other without a screen or cell phone in between them! It seemed like a movie, and I wanted to be in the front seat of the theatre. Of course, as we would expect, Laura had their entire date planned. They met in Harvard square, and Todd “wooed’ her from the very start - showing up with mayhaw jelly, a Texas bandana and flowers! What girl wouldn’t be swept off her feet by a gentlemen like that? After their initial hello I legitimately didn’t hear from Laura for hours and I started to send her one text message after the other
“Hellooooo?? Are you alive? How is it going? What are ya’ll doing!? Where are you!? Is he cute? Did you hug? Whats happening!? ” My anxiety was kicking in. Realistically I should've taken it as a sign that everything was going great, but in my head I was just paranoid that my little twin had been “taken” by a random stranger. If she continued to be MIA I was prepared to fly to Boston and pull a Liam Neeson… “If you let my twin go now, that'll be the end of it. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.” I was kind of kidding… but not really.
In the end, their first weekend together couldn't have turned out any better. They were perfect for each other and they both realized it immediately. It seemed as if after all this time of waiting and praying, God reached down and pulled these two strangers together, from opposite ends of the US, and made the perfect pair. And Although their long distance relationship seemed crazy and complicated to many people, they always made it work. It wasn’t easy, but Laura and Todd put the “long-distance” stereotype to shame. It was fate! And although I wish I could’ve been there to witness more of their dates as they went from dating to “youre the one” , the few times Todd made the trip down to NC to meet our family reassured me that I didn’t need to worry. He fell into place just like any future family member should, and he felt like one of our own.
If there’s one thing I’ve realized as I watch my twin fall in love with her future husband, it’s that even though our last names might not be the same, she’ll always be my other half and my person. There’s no city, no distance, and no one that will ever change that.
From many drives between Boone and Greenville, to talking on the phone everyday and skyping every week, singing our lungs out in the car and being goofier than most, to lots of trips to the mall, coffee shops and out for mexican food. Boston visits and New York minutes, family trips and sister dates, laughing till we cry as we come up with fake songs about toothpaste or something ridiculous in our bathroom at home, to the best hugs on earth and the hardest goodbyes, and through all of life's ups and downs… Laura Maddox is definitely 100% without a doubt irreplaceable.
And even though they can’t share a wardrobe or say things at the same time and sound really cool like we can… from the day I heard about Todd I knew he would do a good job of filling my shoes. So cheers to the my best friend, my future brother in law, and my life-long double date and vacation buddies! I’m so happy for you guys and no couple is more deserving than ya’ll. I can’t wait to watch you enjoy married life together and I love you both!