Very special thanks to many of our family and friends for making up our Wedding Party. It’s rare to get this many good looking people, properly dressed and agreeing with one-another on a sandy beach at one time. So if you see one of these suspects floating around the property….just give a wave. It’s what people from the North do.

ashton-manisAshton Manis · Maid of Honor

Miss Ashton Amanda Mandy Manis, is Tara’s youngest sibling & only sister. She lives in NYC (trendy) with her boyfriend Anthony & golden retriever, Callie. She shares a love of good music, cat videos & Cupcake Chardonnay with the bride. What you may not know: 1. Ashton sucked her thumb until she was 8 & still has the best teeth of the three Manis kids. B*tch. 2. Ashton had a major crush on Dopey (from Snow White… no joke).

mike-bensonMike Benson · Best Man

Mike Benson is Josh’s oldest brother. He lives in Woodbury, Minnesota with his wife, Heather and three kids Lauren, Nick and Ryan. Mike’s an avid hunter and fisherman and will travel untold miles to find the best Bloody Mary in the land. What you may not know: 1. Mike is known to have full mane and a ruffian goatee. Don’t worry, it’s for work. We could tell you, but we’d have to kill you. 2. He’s also preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse. So if the world ends, meet us at Mike’s house and we’re good for another decade. 

kristin-balthropKristin Balthrop (Brown) · Friend of the Bride

Kristin is Tara’s friend from high school in Florida. She is one of the “Breast Friends” (see definition below). Kristin lives in Orlando with her husband John. KB & John were also Tara’s roommates post-college! What you may not know: 1. KB loved the ‘Runaway Bride’ soundtrack (thankfully, it was just a phase). 2.  Kristin & Tara would rollerblade (intentionally) past Justin Timberlake’s gate in Bay Hill EVERY DAY. Eventually he started waving (likely a nervous wave). Regardless, they were satisfied with their efforts.

ryan-bensonRyan Benson · Brother of the Groom

Ryan is Josh’s middle brother and lives in Stillwater, Minnesota with his wife Brenda and two kids Johnathan and Anna. Ryan plays with money all day as Vice-President of a bank in Minnesota. Hit him up if you need a loan. He’s also a damn good hunter and fisherman. What you may not know: 1. Josh refers to Ryan as ‘Gill’ (as in the Blue-Gill fish – See the line above). 2. Ryan hates computers. Let me re-phrase that, he hates computers. Ryan’s 10-year-old son John not only runs his own website, but is in charge of teaching Dad how to cut, copy and paste on the family computer.

jen-tewJen Gates (Tew) · Friend of the Bride

Jen & Tara have been friends since the age of six in Canada. Their families are now considered one, big family. This duo tore up the dance competition circuit in the 90’s to hits like “Big Girls Don’t Cry“. Jen now lives in Nashville. She’s a mom to an amazing little boy, Paxton. What you may not know: 1. Jen & Tara pretended to be fraternal twins in elementary school (sadly, their mother’s busted them). 2. The Tew and Manis kids loved pranking the pizza guy (a la the movie Home Alone). Again, parents… not happy.

tyler-manisTyler Cory · Brother of the Bride

Tyler is Tara’s only brother and lives in New Jersey with his wife Kara (also in the wedding party).  What you may not know: 1. Tyler has an affinity for the Ghostbusters. It’s merely impossible to dig up an old photograph where he’s not wearing a piece of Ghostbusters regalia. 2. Don’t let the him fool you, give him the option and a few drinks and he might be the funniest SOB in the room.

erin-hudsonErin Hudson (Visconti) · Friend of the Bride

Erin has been friends with Tara since high school and they’ve done just about everything together ever since. She’s a member of the Breast Friends. Erin lives in Orlando with her husband Ben and their daughter, Harper.  What you may not know: 1. Erin played Annie as a child and is still considered a theater soundtrack aficionado. 2. Erin went on a date or two with J.C. from NSYNC (Sorry, friend). Her friends had her door decorated in NSYNC wrapping paper to honor the occasion when she arrived home.

mike-mccurdyMike McCurdy · Friend of the Groom

Mike McCurdy is one of Josh’s very first friends originally from Scandia, Minnesota…essentially right out of the womb. He lives in St. Louis Park, Minnesota with his fiance Kristie. He is still considered the fastest runner of any our of friends. What you may not know: 1. Mike still feels slighted by a baseball card trade he made with Josh in the late 1980s. He traded a Kirby Puckett rookie card for 15 ‘common players’ that Josh insisted was a stellar deal. 2. Don’t leave any candy dish unattended around Mike McCurdy. Nuff said. 

tanya-zigomanisTanya Koroneos (Zigomanis) · Cousin of the Bride

Tanya is Tara’s first cousin and one of her very first friends. She lives just outside Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her husband Adam and daughter Ella (the FLOWER GIRL!). Tanya & Tara share a love for boy bands and staying up late. What you may not know: 1. She is a Lawyer in T.O. (don’t mess with her). 2. She shares Tara’s fan-girl antics for Justin Timberlake and beginner skills in the kitchen (neither feel too badly about either one).

blake-rogersBlake Rogers · Friend of the Groom

Blake Rogers and Josh became friends in Tucson, Arizona when Blake was a radio program director and Josh was a news anchor. Blake’s now living the good life in the Cayman Islands with his girlfriend Jaime and dog Harley. However, he still needs basics from Target. They don’t have those down there. What you may not know: 1. Blake is known as The Great Rogere. He does magic. Just ask him. 2. Blake is also a diver and most recently a pilot. Josh is hoping he’ll be his personal pilot on weekend jaunts to fun places. 

Kara Manis (Wright) · Sister-in-Law of the Bridekara-manis

Kara is married to Tara’s only brother, Tyler. The two met in high school after their sisters (Tara and Brittany) forced them to go on a date.  She lives in New Jersey with Tyler. What you may not know: 1. Kara runs a charity for orphans in Grenada (where Tyler went to med school). To help, go to her Facebook page! 2. Kara and Tyler had an unusual pet, Pumpernickel. A squirrel. This little bud would visit them on their deck daily in Hoboken. They loved it (as did we).

michael-schmidtMichael Schmidt · Friend of the Groom

Michael and Josh became friends in Orlando, Florida after being introduced by Tara. Michael lives in Marco Island, Florida with his wife Jen and baby daughter Gracie. Michael ‘slings’ timeshares for a living, so if you need a vacation and some relaxation time, Mike’s your guy. What you may not know: 1. Mike is a food connoisseur and incessantly tries to explain intricate details of flavors to Josh (even after Josh has annihilated his meal). 2. Mike speaks his own language. You’ll oftentimes hear him referencing ‘Morris’, ‘Slinging’ and other unique phrases. We consider him a #DudeBro.

Lauren Soufleris (Kay) · Friend of the Bridelauren-kay

Lauren has been friends with Tara since high school in Florida. She’s yet another member of the Breast Friends. ‘Lo’ lives in New York City with her husband, Adam. She has an affinity for paper-products, baking cakes and good cheese. She is known for taking the ribbons out of Tara’s hair. What you may not know: 1. She can bust a move and write a mean letter. No, seriously, check out her blog. 2. She once broke out in hives at the mention of marriage. Now she’s a Mrs. and Style Editor for The Knot magazine.

chris-tardiffChris Tardiff · Friend of the Groom

Chris and Josh met in junior high on a Minnesota golf course after being paired up for a tournament. The two formed Joker Media, a website design company, and were roommates in Minneapolis and Tucson. Chris lives with his wife Alena and daughter Irma in Stillwater, Minnesota. What you may not know: 1. Chris is currently writing a screenplay and will most likely end up in Hollywood…a long way from his first production entitled Gluteus Maximus in the late 1990s. 2. Josh spent years in awe of Chris’s perfect formula for cooking rice in the microwave, a meal he enjoyed during the slow economy. 

tayler-maxwellTayler Stogsdill (Maxwell) · Friend of  the Bride

Tayler has been friends with Tara since high school. She was the new girl before Tara arrived to Orlando. She too, is a member of the Breast Friends. ‘Tay’ lives in Chicago with her husband Will. She is good at literally everything — wait, except driving. If someone could explain what she does each day at work, well, you’d know by now. What you may not know: 1. Tay can sleep 2-4 hrs, dominate a late night meal, get up & own anyone. 2.  She once wanted to live in a double-wide blasted out of a mountain. True story.

nick-thackerNick Thacker · Friend of the Groom

Nick and Josh became friends in junior high as teammates on the Forest Lake basketball team. Nick lives with his wife Katie and baby boy Henry in Blaine, Minnesota. If you don’t find Nick at a cabin, you’ll find him on a bike. What you may not know: 1. Josh and Nick had their lives planned out in 9th grade after a sequence of ‘Fireside Chats’. They’re only about 25% accurate, but it’s all very good. 2. If you don’t recognize Nick, look closer. He’s actually pretty famous. Here….look. Mr. Worldwide! 305!

** Breast Friends: A bad acronym from all of our names. It has stuck around since our days at Dr. Phillips High School.