Alumni renew wedding vows at Robert Carr Chapel

Eleven university alumni couples reaffirmed their love for one another in the Robert Carr Chapel on Valentine’s Day Tuesday.

TCU Golden Frogs sponsored the event, called “We’re Goin’ to the Chapel,” in which alumni couples reaffirmed their wedding vows. The ceremony opened with a history of the chapel shared by Emmet Smith, retired Herndon of music and chapel organist.

Smith made the past come alive for the couples as he described the intricate details of the chapel, from its Georgian architecture, amplified acoustics and handmade chandeliers.

Architect Joseph R. Pelich designed the chapel and Thomas McCann, former Fort Worth mayor, built the chapel through his contracting company in 1953.

Smith played three pieces on the chapel’s organ for the couples and guests in attendance. He was the organist at the first wedding that took place in the chapel in the 1950s.

The reaffirmation of wedding vows was officiated by the Rev. Angela Kaufman, who began the ceremony with loving words and prayer.

Every couple in attendance included at least one TCU alumnus or alumna, and two of the couples were married in the chapel as many as 30 years ago.

“When you first joined hands and hearts many years ago, I’m guessing many of you didn’t know where life would take you,” Kaufman said. “And if you did know, the rest of us would like to know your secret.”

Kaufman described marriage to the couples and guests as an opportunity to begin a life with new experiences, new ways to express one’s love and as a means to explore new hobbies.

“Many on this campus and in society think of marriages as a fairy tale with a happy ending,” Kaufman said. “A wedding, as evidence by all of you today, is not a happy ending, but a happy beginning.”

The couples reaffirmed their love as they gathered around the edges of the church crossing. Smiles and spontaneous kissing were seen throughout. Student Foundation members congratulated the couples with bubbles as they exited the chapel.

Andrea Hein, a junior Student Foundation member, said watching the couples relive memories after years and years of marriage gave some purpose to her Valentine’s Day this year.

Brittany Luby, chapel and events coordinator, described the event as a nice mix of vow affirmations and fun traditions.

Following the ceremony, couples enjoyed cake and tea at a reception in the library of the Dee J. Kelly Alumni and Visitors Center. The event was coordinated by Melissa Austin-Weeks of alumni relations and Beth Cardwell of gift planning.