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Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Wedding of Troy and Rae Ann

The Wedding Ceremony of Troy Matthew Anderson and Rae Ann Gulley

·      Seating of parents and special guests commences
·      Bridal Party entrance via series of carriages
·      Carriage Entrance of Bride

Josh Radin music commences, “You are my First, my Last, my Everything”
As music is completed, guests all seated; Ron steps forward and begins invocation and welcome.  


Dearly beloved friends and family of Troy and Rae, we are gathered on this magnificent day to bear witness to one of life’s most abundant covenants, as these two young souls, Rae and Troy make their pledge of love and honor to each other in the act of sacred matrimony.  

Let us rejoice, and be glad and get comfortable.  Be it known that Troy and Rae wanted you here to experience their joy and fun together.  And on their own terms.  Everything – every considerable detail of this day—has been given special thought by Rae and Troy.  They chose this special site, and invited us all here to share this moment in accordance with their shared faith and convictions.

Let us celebrate this union of great minds, loving hearts and tender souls and wish them great joy.  As we gather together, we might ask ourselves:  Why on this particular place?  And Why at this particular time?  Have these two young souls decided to join as one?  Important questions.

In answer to this first question – Why on this place?—the answer unfolds in this incredible mountain setting here at Brush Canyon Ranch. I can’t describe the beauty of this place as aptly as the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, so I invoke his description of what we find in nature:

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.  It will flame out, like
Shining from shook foil.  It gathers to a Greatness like the ooze of oil crushed.

The Poet continues on: 

And yet for all this, Nature is never spent.
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things.
And though the last lights off the black West wing went
Oh Morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent world
Broods with Warm Breast and with ah! Bright Wings.

In a glorious setting like this, where ever two or more are gathered in the name of love, the presence of God abides in them. Troy and Rae are both possessed of a fine and formative faith. And while this faith might not be described by any stretch as traditional—witness for example who they’ve chosen up here to officiate—their faith remains a formidable force with which to reckon this world of ours.

Why do I make this claim? Because very early on in their courtship, I found myself on the sidelines bearing witness to their budding friendship and relationship.  What I found most tender and evocative about Rae and Troy was that after their first serendipitous and whirlwind romantic encounter, they chose to wait willfully another six weeks before they bridged the long distance between them—Troy in Michigan and Rae in Colorado.  During that hiatus, they communicated constantly.  And let’s be clear—with all the flurry of multi-media accoutrement, they found ample ways to do this—they texted, they talked on the phone, they skyped and they emailed.  They even wrote each other handwritten letters, sent cards and packages to each other, and composed free verse and poetry.  You can just imagine all the myriad ways they shared their thoughts, and hopes, their interests, views and dreams daily and so abundantly for over a month before they saw each other a second time.  How abundantly you might ask?  Well, as it turns out, Troy packaged all his correspondence for Rae this Valentine’s Day, and in 9 pt type it turned out to be 298 pages long.  As someone who is entranced by the written word, I have to say, what a fantastic way to begin sharing themselves with each other, and what a firm foundation upon which to build their marriage. 

I find this such a quaint and powerful statement about Troy and Rae, forging a relationship that except for the technology toys is as old-fashioned and time honored as great romances are.  When they were re-united a month later, it is no surprise they still had so much more to say to each other.  And so it has been from that day forth. For those who know Troy, and the daily communication he enjoys with his mother, Susan, this comes as no revelation.  But we also know that young men, who honor their mothers, exalt their wives in marriage.  And for those who know Rae, someone so connected to her grand and abundant family, this also makes so much sense.  Rae’s love of family makes a strong statement about how she intends to abide her life with Troy.   

As it turns out, Troy and Rae are here at this particular place and time to celebrate what these influences have meant to them.  Poetically, on April 2th of this year, Rae’s parents Ken and Tina celebrated 30 years of marriage.  This past week, on July 21st, Troy’s parents Larry and Susan celebrated 40 years of marriage.  And on September 12th, Thelma and Ben, Rae’s grandparents, will celebrate the splendor of 60 years of marriage.  Against the backdrop of these fine witnesses, a strong case can be made for why Troy and Rae decided it is now time they too should be wed.


As we reflect on Troy and Rae joining together, I want to invoke two special people to come up here on their behalf to share their thoughts.  First, Troy’s dear friend Maxwell Dunlop will share his reflections on this special couple.

Maxwell’s reading delivered  From The Velveteen Rabbit (on Being Real)

Thank you Maxwell.  And now, I ask Rae’s Aunt Cindy to come forward to share her special reflections.

Cindy’s reflection delivered  from Nora Ephron, The Notebook, and selected verses

Thank you Cindy.  Now, my dear friends and family let us commence.  Please rise as Troy and Rae come forward together.


Troy and Rae, I ask you to come forward and clearly and confidently state your intentions. 
Do you both willingly come forward to pledge your love and trust to one another? Know and understand this covenant of marriage is not to be entered into lightly, but thoughtfully and seriously, with a broad smile and the deep realization of all its obligations, joys and responsibilities. 

So then Troy, please look upon Rae.  Do you, Troy Matthew Anderson take this woman, Rae Ann Gulley, to be your wife?  To have and to hold, from this day forward, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, for richer or poorer, forsaking all others, and keeping yourself only unto her for as long as you both shall live.  If so, please say, I DO.

So then Rae Ann, please look upon Troy.  Do you, Rae Ann Gulley take this man, Troy Matthew Anderson, to be your husband? To have and to hold, from this day forward, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, for richer or poorer, forsaking all others, and keeping yourself only unto him for as long as you both shall live.  If so, please say, I DO.


The bond you share Troy and Rae is a blessing from above and a miracle witnessed by those of faith.  Nurture it daily, treasure it always and proclaim it widely in all that you do. And now please look again unto each other, take each other’s hands.  

Ron guides Troy and then Rae through the recitation of their vows.

Troy, Please repeat after me: I, Troy Matthew Anderson, take thee, RaeAnn Gulley to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better or worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love, cherish and honor all the days of my life.

Rae Ann, Please repeat after me: I, Rae Ann Gulley, take thee, Troy Matthew Anderson to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better or worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love, cherish and honor all the days of my life.


As a testament of your love and lasting devotion to each other, the giving of rings is an eternal sign of your trust and covenant without beginning or end.  I now ask you to share with each other your rings.
Troy, “Rae, with this ring, I thee wed.”
Rae, “Troy, with this ring, I thee wed.”


I appeal to you both, Troy and Rae, as you go forth, not to conform to the world, but to be transformed by renewing your minds; Let your love be genuine.  Hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good. Love one another with mutual and lasting affection.  Outdo each other in showing honor.  Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in faith.  Contribute to those in need, extend hospitality to strangers, and special kindness to all God’s creatures.  Bless those who trouble you, and avoid cursing them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Do not be haughty but commune with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.  Do not repay evil for evil, but take note of what is noble in the sight of all.  If it is possible, look to each other every day putting forth your best intentions to live in harmony and peace. 

And with this pronouncement, by the power vested in me in kinship with these two special souls, and by the authority of the state of Colorado, I am truly excited to pronounce these two beautiful people, husband and wife. 

Troy, I believe it is time for you to smile wide and kiss your bride! Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce for the first time, Mister and Mrs. Troy and Rae Anderson? 
As Mr. and Mrs. Anderson make their way around the setting via carriage, you can linger here for a bit to take in the music and the moment, to take pictures of their carriage procession, and then we will all head over and gather at the reception area for dinner and celebrating.
.           .           .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .


I ask each of you to stand and join with me in prayer.   Troy and Ray wanted to start this evening's festivities with a moment of prayerful thanks.  As we gather this day with Troy and Rae, let us be mindful of our many gifts, and the many blessings bestowed on us this day-- the opportunity to bear witness to the love of these two people, the ample laughter and joy of those gathered here, the raucous laughs and cries of all the children with us today.  Let us offer thanks, and bestow our blessings upon this wonderful wedding couple, as we pray together:

For sumptuous food and splendid roast,
For the invitation from our gracious hosts
For Rae Ann whom Troy loves the most,
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Amen and Enjoy.