Groomsmen

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Joseph Bratt

Best Man

I have the honor of being Tom’s bigger little brother and best man.  Tom and I have pretty much been inseparable since my birth and he has proven himself to be quite the role model – especially when it comes to music.  I fondly recall listening to DC Talk and Soldiers for Christ in our shared childhood bedroom, and expanding to Bob Dylan and Neil Young on our drive in to school when we were in high school.  Tom is the most generous person with both his time and money that I have ever met, and have learned a lot from him throughout the years.  Can’t wait to be a part of his big day and stand for him on the best day of his life.

Mark Bonner

Groomsmen

I live in Hudsonville Michigan—not too far from Post Family Farms. I’ve known Tom since we started teaching together down in Florida.  Although Tom has moved several times we have always stayed in touch. I have felt like a part of the Bratt family as they have shared spring breaks, fishing spots and lots of time with me. My two girls know him as Uncle Tom, however, since he grew a beard they have been a little more hesitant around him, despite his shaving. I am honored to be a part of this day. Tom is a fantastic friend, even if I told him his burritos were awful when I first had dinner at his place in Florida.Since moving back to Michigan I have been teaching and coaching at Unity Christian High School in Hudsonville.  I enjoy being active and being outdoors, whether that is running, riding bikes and motorcycles, camping with the family.

 

 

Pete Buurstra

Groomsmen

I am honored to be a part of Tom and Jessica’s wedding. I have known Tom since the late 90’s. Tom’s laid back personality, his dedication to the Spartans and his appreciation for great music made it easy to become friends with him. Our friendship further developed over Bratt-ball, fishing, poker, monopoly and deep conversations about The Brothers K, The Holy Bible and greatness of Mateen Cleaves. Tom was also a groomsman in my wedding and I consider him one of my greatest friends. My wife Julie and I have really enjoyed getting to know Jessica while expanding our culinary skills during our monthly (typically) meals. Jessica brings out the best in Tom and her jovial personality makes it easy to see why Tom fell for her. I couldn’t be happier for both of them and look forward to continuing our friendship with both of them.

Jason Courter

Groomsmen

I am honored to be a part of Tom’s special day and couldn’t be happier for him and Jessica. I met Tom in 1993 and since then he has been one of my best and most loyal friends. Tom is honest, thoughtful, creative and witty, loves his family and friends well, enjoys a good road trip, is an avid reader, an excellent writer, and an opportunistic birder. He has been a great encouragement to me throughout the years and he also stood with me in my wedding in 2003. We’ve shared many memorable conversations, trips, and outdoor outings. We also shared a memorable (albeit short-lived) co-promotion to the starting line-up of our ninth grade basketball team for a key mid-season stretch and are somewhere in the middle of a best-of-100 one-on-one series in his parent’s driveway.  I currently live in Canton, Ohio, with my wife (Lynn) and two kids, and teach Environmental Biology at Malone University.

 

AJ Heyboer

Groomsmen

I’m AJ Heyboer and I first met Tom almost 11 years ago and can not only call Tom a brother (in law) but a close friend as well. When I’m not helping keep Tom afloat I like to waterski, cook Mexican food, and play any raquet related sport.

Rowley Kennerk

Groomsmen

Tom and I were chosen to be roommates by the administrators of Calvin College in 1998. I was honored to have him stand up in my wedding almost ten years ago. I can’t imagine a more loyal and encouraging friend. I owe him a formal thank you for introducing me to Bob Dylan. I have yet to convince him of Tom Petty.

Aside from being a devoted fan of Tom and Jessica, I attend seminary in Pennsylvania with my wife Michelle, daughter Inez, and son Anthony.

Joseph Liddell

Groomsmen

I’m glad I’m part of this wedding. I know Tom is going to have his hands full making my sister happy, which, Tom and I first laughed about when I made him admit that my sister was a diva. On a more serious note, My father, a pastor, has a wide range of influence. My sister and I grew up in a competitive world navigating music, academia, sports, and even the christian realm. My sister has always taken her own path, and that is reflected in how she grew up. She has transitioned from an odd child to blossoming into as Maya Angelou would say: Phenomenal Woman. Furthermore, I have seen her always treat her friends straightforwardly. She hasn’t ever used deceit, manipulation, or duplicity to get her way. I know this by experience because when my sister and I were not on speaking terms, she has always dealt with me honorably. She is 100% authentic to herself. Many of my own community will disagree with my sister’s views on race, sex, religion, and marriage, but that is who she is, and she makes no apologies. She has my unwavering loyalty, friendship, and devotion as she goes forth in this endeavor with Tom.

Todd Systema

Groomsmen

I am an Outdoors fanatic and manufacturing salesman, married and living in Grand Rapids. I’m honored to be a part of Tom’s special day. I’ve known Tom since competing against him in Gus Macker 3 on 3 basketball tournaments in High School. Got to know Tom really well in College as we lived together our last 2 years. We would often study together at Gold’s coffee shop and enjoyed ice fishing together. Tom and I are opposites in many ways but have developed the ability to appreciate each others differences. Tom and my wife Katie have been cooking and hosting dinner parties together, my task for these events have been to run around and get supplies and of course clean up duty which is no small task, something you would understand if you ever watched Tom Cook. So I am very excited that Tom is getting married which means I will have another set of hands to help clean up Toms mess.

Steve Tigchelaar

Groomsmen

Long time friend of toms going back to early college days. So honored and excited to be a part of the big day! I feel blessed to know Tom and Jessica and look forward to the many good times ahead. My hobbies include bicycling,breweries and baseball, often combining all 3. Also love road-tripping, camping, and canoeing.

Matt Vriesman

Groomsmen

Cousin of the Groom

I have known Tom my entire life. I’ve always thought of Tom as a brother rather than a cousin. I am so honored to be a part of Tom and Jessica’s special day. I have always looked up to Tom and followed his interests from Bob Dylan, to American literature, and even his profession. I teach history in Kentwood, Michigan. I’ve always respected and admired Tom’s dedication to his own family and younger siblings. I am so happy that Tom has found the person that he can start his own family with. Jessica, we are so happy to have you in our family!

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