Wedding Ceremony for Gus & Sepi, September 14, 2013

Hello, everyone. I'm Scott Granneman, Gus's older & wiser brother & Sepi's future brother-in-law, assuming everything goes according to plan today. It was really a thrill & an honor to be asked by Gus & Sepi to perform this ceremony. When I told any of my friends that Gus had asked me to do this, they all said the same thing: "After all the stuff you did to him when you two were boys, he must be crazy in love to ask you to do that!" My wife also warned me: "You be nice!" I will! I promise! So let's get started!

It's a cliché, but it's true nonetheless: love is the thing we're all searching for. But not just any love. After all, we love our pets, we love our friends, we love our parents, we love our children, we love our boyfriends & girlfriends. Those are all great, and important, and give our lives meaning.

But there's a special kind of love that occurs when you find that unique person that you love so much, you want to commit publicly to them, to say to that person, and to the world, "I want to marry you. I want to commit to you, & be with you for the rest of my life, no matter what that entails. I want you to be my husband, or, I want you to be my wife."

Now, some of us have been lucky enough to have found that person when we were young, as with Darioush & Soudebeh, who married when they were 24 & 22, & have been together 48 years. Some of us waited a bit longer, like Robin did, who waited a long time before she found the perfect man, or like Gus did, who waited a long time before he found Sepi. And some of us had to take a few practice runs before we got it right. But hey, what matters is the final destination, not the wrong turns we took along the way.

In my 45 years on the planet, I've learned a few things. Always be polite to your waiters in restaurants. If you can help a friend, do so. Treasure the time you have with your grandparents, because one day they'll be gone. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Your mother is almost always right. Finally — & this is one of the hardest things to learn — finding & building a relationship built on love, trust, & companionship is one of the hardest things in the world.

I mean, think about the odds! First of all, it's truly amazing that any of us are even here right now to begin with. My family can trace our ancestry back to about 1650, when a man named Daniel Trigg was born. He married a woman named Susan — that's all we know about her, that, & she & John had a son named Abraham, who went on to marry & have children. And one of those children did the same, and so on for 11 generations, until we have Gus standing here. And on Sepi's side, they go back 300 years, when a general named Shah Ismail lived in the Safaviéh Dynasty & produced children, so that hundreds of years later, here we see beautiful Sepi, so radiant in her white wedding dress.

But at every turn, things could have turned out differently. All of those people over those hundreds — or even thousands — of years could have lived different lives, or never lived at all, & we wouldn't have these two wonderful people here today, ready to combine their lives & families, together. It took our ancestors, those we know & those we'll never know, thousands of years to produce … us!

And then, you have the odds of two people from such different backgrounds meeting. A beautiful Persian girl from Iran, who has music in her soul & a cosmopolitan heart, meets & falls in love with a part German & part Irish & part Scottish boy from small-town Missouri, who lives & breathes football & still carries that small town with him, even in America's largest city. Who would've thought that could happen?

And then, and this is perhaps the most unlikely occurence of all, you have the odds of two people meeting at a time when both are available, in all the senses of that word. I'm talking available emotionally, & physically, & in terms of time, & the relationships they've already had, & where they are in their lives. (And of course, it also helps if one of them is available to follow through with that first phone call like he's supposed to, and doesn't decide that he's tired & it can wait until tomorrow, which almost screws up the whole thing before it even gets started, but we'll just let that one slide!) When we're single, we meet people, but the timing just isn't right. But every once in a while, at those special moments in our lives, we meet the right person, at the right time, & things work out. That is incredible!

When you think about all of these different factors that have to be timed just right — for our ancestors over the centuries to have produced us, & then for two people to meet at just the right time in their lives, & to work through the inevitable miscommunications & mistakes & baggage that we all have to work through, and eventually end up deciding to join their lives & families together in marriage … why, it's all just ridiculously unlikely, & we should all be amazed & thankful & overjoyed that we've reached that point here today!

So here we are, with Sepinood Hakhamaneshi, daughter of Darioush & Soudebeh Hakhamaneshi, & with Gus Granneman, son of Ralph Granneman & Betty Sue Scott, about to join together in marriage. Before we do that, I want you two to take a moment right now & turn around & look at the family, friends, & loved ones that are gathered here today for you.

Much of the time, marriage is going to be a joy for you two. You are great companions, & you obviously enjoy being together. That said, we all love you both, & we all want you to know one thing that's very important: when you have problems in your marriage — and you will have problems, you will have disagreements, you will have arguments, & you will wonder sometimes if it's all worth it (& it is!) — I want you to remember the people you see here today in this room. Know that they are here to support you & help you grow together in your marriage. Marriage is fun, but it's also hard work, & just as any hard work is always easier when people come together to help, we want you both to know that we are all here & available to help you ease through the hard work you may face in your marriage.

So that's my advice, & that's what I've learned. It's just a tiny bit of wisdom that I've acquired, but I hope it proves helpful to you as you move forward together in life as husband & wife, as Mr. Sepi & as Mrs. Gus.

Speaking of being husband & wife, Gus has some special vows he wants to state publicly, about how he feels about Sepi & their upcoming life together. Gus, please repeat after me:

I promise to love you when life seems easy & when it is hard.
I promise to cherish you & to always hold you in the highest regard,
Even when you eat the last of the maast o khiar.
I never knew I was looking for a jooji melani,
But now that I found you, I will always tell you “asheghetam ta abad”.

And now Sepi has some special vows she wants to state publicly, about how she feels about Gus & their upcoming life together. Sepi, please repeat after me:

Long ago you were just a dream & a prayer.
Thank you for being what you are to me.
With our future as bright as the promises of God,
Today, tomorrow, & forever,
I will care for you, honor & protect you.
I lay down my life for you my friend & my love.

What beautiful vows! Now it's time to actually marry these two! We need the rings. Hold hands & look deep into each other's eyes, please.

Gus, do you take Sepi to be your lawfully-wedded wife, to love & honor & cherish as much as you possibly can, in good times & bad, for richer & poorer, in sickness & in health, as long as you both live? If so, answer “I do”.

Sepi, do you take Gus to be your lawfully-wedded husband, to love & honor & cherish as much as you possibly can, in good times & bad, for richer & poorer, in sickness & in health, as long as you live? If so, answer “I do”.

If there is anyone here who can show just & lawful reasons why Gus & Sepi may not be legally wed, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.

By the authority vested in me by the Internet, I now pronounce you two married, as husband & wife. Give her a kiss!

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