Now an industrial engineer in Atlanta, Chrystal was one of the first people Beth met at Spelman, and Beth cherishes their relationship a decade later. The two have survived many adventures together, from a mosquito-infested ferry in Puerto Rico to an eight-hour drive through rural Florida, and Beth is sure there are many more to come.
Elan is one of the funniest people Beth has ever met. Whether cheering a bit too loudly at football games or bringing down the house on karaoke night, Elan, who is finishing her M.B.A at Georgia Tech, is always making people laugh. But she’s thoughtful, too: Over the years, Elan has helped Beth become a more loyal and patient person.
Beth spent many of her formative Nashville years at Angela’s house, dancing to early-’90s R&B and playing card games. The two stayed in touch in Atlanta and while Angela was in New York finishing her master’s in early childhood education. To this day, they share a dozen inside jokes that can cause immediate screams of laughter.
Tiffany Miller (Maid of Honor)
Since their days as college roommates, Tiffany and Beth have been inseparable. A human resources manager in Atlanta, Tiffany has an informed answer for every question she’s asked, whether it deals with booking a band or using power tools. Her top-notch advice is matched only by her welcoming, generous spirit.
Jylana has been one of Beth’s best friends since she was five years old. Twenty-plus years later, Jyl — a public health professor and Ph.D. candidate in Indiana — remains the most dependable and fun-loving person Beth knows. She was also the first to predict the wedding, having referred to Beth as “Mrs. Bennett” since 2006.
Mollie Shmerling Perry
Known for her encyclopedic knowledge of art history and amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe, Mollie is one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. She and Beth’s brother, Bobby, were married earlier this summer, and Mollie has agreed to keep her new husband from slipping down the Swan House steps during the processional.
Gary G. Bennett, Jr. (Best Man)
By all accounts, Gary is the best kind of older brother — except for the time he accidentally hit Geoff in the head with a clarinet case. (But that’s a story for another time.) Geoff is grateful and proud to have learned from the example Gary has set. An associate professor at Duke University, Gary lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with Geoff’s brilliant sister-in-law, Leah, and their dog, George.
Travis and Geoff have been friends since their first week at Morehouse College. Known for his unflappable spirit and ability to master anything with wheels on it, Travis holds a Ph.D. in ecology and lives in Boston with his wife, Esther. (If you’re ever in Boston and looking for decent BBQ, ask Travis … he won’t let you down.)
From impromptu road trips to nights out in D.C., Nick Gaffney is the perfect co-conspirator and a first-rate friend. Nick and Geoff met at Morehouse College and were roommates while living in Brooklyn. Nick, who is finishing a Ph.D. in history, lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with his wife, Camille.
Since their days as dorm mates in Morehouse’s Graves Hall, Brad has been the one Geoff goes to when he needs pragmatic advice in a hurry. Level-headed and forthright, Brad is finishing his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Kentucky in Lexington (or “LexVegas,” as Brad would say).
Few people are as naturally quick-witted as Bobby, Beth’s younger brother and Geoff’s future brother-in-law. He’s a first-year law student at Vanderbilt University and married his fiancee, Mollie, earlier this summer. And one day soon, Bobby will help Geoff improve his golf game.
George A. Peters II
Put simply, George is Geoff’s oldest friend. They grew up together in Voorhees, New Jersey, and both later attended Morehouse and pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. George — an accomplished actor, artist, and screenwriter — took this photo with Oprah Winfrey the night Barack Obama won the presidency. (Taking impromptu pictures with unsuspecting famous people is a skill Geoff likes to think he imparted.)
Jordan is one of the first people Geoff met after moving to Los Angeles, and the two became fast friends. Quick to offer the right advice at the right time, he’s known for a shockingly broad working knowledge of random facts and sports trivia. (When you meet him, you’ll understand …) Jordan, an attorney, is planning a wedding of his own with his fiancee, Allegra.