“I now pronounce you husband and wife…”

I married Ian Alexander Boyd Gillespie to the former Crystal Gayle Greer tonight… the ceremony was held in a beautiful cabana-like patio area at a private residence in rural Rusk County.

Such a strange thing, marriage, and even more strange the wedding ceremony itself. An assembly of witnesses, fragrant décor, and a well-meaning blowhard (in this case, me) who prattles on and on – all while the two consenting adults exchange nervous fidgeting smiles, and old ladies out in the audience dab their eyes.

I’ve attended a few wedding in my day, played various roles… as a small boy I was ring-bearer for my aunt, a few years later my brother and I were actually part of my stepfather’s groomsmen as he said “I do,” to my mother, formalizing before the civil authorities something that was already consecrated in their hearts.

Tonight, I led the ceremony for an old friend and his beloved. It was a simple, but very moving ceremony. The strength of the ardor between the two of them was palpable, and I’ve every confidence that they’re going to be one of the few who “makes it” – that is, who remain together through the harsher seasons as well as the halcyon days.

Weddings are always emotional affairs for me. I am a romantic, so I cannot help but wish for the best. My cynical tendencies are rounded up and held hostage by my more idealistic wishes for the handsome groom and the lovely bride to live a long and fruitful marriage ripe with wedded bliss.

Of course, my experiences as a minister and counselor to those in my sphere of influence tell me this is seldom the case. But I am hopeful, even as I am too a partaker of this sacrament.

At one point during the ceremony, my gaze drifted out over the assembled throng… meandered along their teary, smiling faces, meeting the glistening eyes of my beloved for a long moment, as I said the words, “with this ring, I thee wed.”

So too did I once, and so I remain.



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