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Archive for June, 2011

Recently, I was compelled to take out Elizabeth Gilbert’s newest book Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage. Not a very encouraging title, but one that I felt was very timely. My sister had given me a copy of Eat, Pray, Love right around the time my ex and I broke up, and I truthfully enjoyed reading it, despite an aversion to being seen with it on the subway along with every other woman in NYC. I found that Eat… was the perfect book for where I was at in my life at that time, and with there only being a month to go until my own wedding, I assumed that with Committed, Ms. Gilbert would be able to shed some light on the meaning of it all.

The inspiration for the book was, essentially, that Gilbert and her significant other were “sentenced” by the U.S. Government to marry, since at the time, he was a Brazilian-Australian who had been deported from the United States until further notice, aka until they get married and made it “official.” The problem? Having both been divorced they had already both made a pledge not to ever get married again, even to each other. So being a writer, Gilbert naturally used their shared time of exile – as they traveled aimlessly through Southeast Asia while attempting to secure clearance for their return to the U.S. – to tirelessly research marriage.

Gilbert attacks this subject with her unique brand of journalism, snooping, naivety, skepticism and curiosity and comes out in the end with an “answer” that justifies her particular needs. Along the way she shares marital customs throughout history and throughout the world as well as her own deeply ingrained prejudices. While our personal situations and histories may differ, I found that, as a freethinking and independent woman in the modern West, that I shared many of her reservations. I’m not saying that I am opposed to getting married (I am beyond excited to share that special day with family and friends – and most of all, with Butchy!), but I can say that I’ve always been a little fuzzy on the reasons for it all. Reading Committed showed me that the why, when and how of marriage can be for whatever reason a particular couple sees fit, and not what may be dictated to them by governments, either of the local, federal or familial varieties.

After finishing the book in only a few days (no small feat considering how short my attention span is lately), I would, without a doubt, recommend Committed to any woman about to get married, or already married, or wanting to get married, or not wanting to or even divorced. Having managed to write a lighthearted read on a serious subject, Gilbert has again charmed me with her literary skills at a time when the last thing I can think about is sitting down to read!

Book cover from Writing Through the Fog

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I know I know – I’ve been talking about working on the playlists for about 2 million years at this point, but I FINALLY finished* them this past weekend. What gave me the inspiration/kick-in-pants that I needed was discovering this post on A Song Blog. An informative breakdown of the ideal feel of the playlist…even with some of the same song choices! I guess what I had needed was someone to literally say “this is how it should be done” instead of leaving me to wallow on my living room floor surrounded by albums arranged in autobiographical order (see High Fidelity: above).

The entire post is well worth reading, but here are the basic “to-dos” that A Song Blog lists:

1. Who is at your wedding?

2. Can you dance to this song?

3. Pay attention to flow

4. What’s the mood?

5. Do people know this song?

6. Watch your language

7. Know your crowd-pleasers

8. Make it yours

All extremely important things to think about – especially #5/#7. I have always prided myself on my eclectic and varied musical tastes, but there will be no shame in me playing Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose” because THAT will get people on the floor more than, say Matt & Kim (no offense to M&K, since I did actually go to school with them and they are very nice kids, but I don’t want to see any hipster-wrapped-in-plastic-wrap moves on my dance floor).

Given the time that I have for the reception (about 3 hours), I was really stumped on finding the proper flow for the evening. A Song Blog manages to map out a suggested flow in a way that I could easily follow – starting with oldies/classic songs and moving into more dancey stuff before featuring the first set of slow songs. Then it’s rinse and repeat, increasing the tempo as you go along, with the evening culminating in a super dance-party for the younger crowd. Overall a great post for anyone DJing their own wedding or just hosting a party where they want to keep their guests happily on the dance floor.

*The term “finished” is used loosely here, since I still need to sit down with my soon to be sister-in-law and finalize the list/add some of her music to it….

High Fidelity image from theartofthemixtape.blogspot.com

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Now that the wedding guests have (mostly) RSVP’d, I designed a quick mini-invite for the brunch-only guests – local friends and coworkers. I just wanted to make them feel special even if we were only seeing them on Sunday!

In other news: We met with the judge today at the Winery to go over the basics of the ceremony. That really helped me since I’d been feeling like that part of the day was so unstructured and “whatever”…but now it will be personalized and special and organized. We’ll also be doing a full-family rehearsal the day before, and I have a fairly good idea of what I’ll be saying for my vows, so I’m feeling better about that all around.

Another HUGE event was the caterer telling me that not only can I put the remainder of what I owe them on my credit card (Hallelujah!), but that he will rework the numbers to suit the approximately 90 guests I’ll be having (despite his initial 100 person minimum). This is all great news! Now I can pay just the photographer and rental company in full and worry about the caterer after the wedding.

Butch and I have both been steadily checking things off our respected “To Do” lists, including projects around the house and yard. Things are really coming along….Only a month and a half to go!

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We’ve been plugging away over here in weddingland…with Butch even switching into high gear the last week or so. However, things got a little tense in the Mr. & Mrs. Mockler-to-be household last night as I realized that I may have to sell a kidney in order to pay all the vendors come the big day. After laying awake for a while, I decided that the only solution is for everything to go on a credit card until then: Gas, groceries, bills, etc….not just all the other (re: home improvement) items I’ve been buying lately. This also stresses me out since I’m not one to ever use my credit card, much less amass hundreds of dollars of debt on it…

But I’m trying to stay positive – after all, it’s going to be a great party, with delicious food… and I am so excited to see all our family and friends, most whom we haven’t seen since we moved up here!*

So in trying to remember to be thankful amidst stress and chaos, send this to someone you care about:

*And for even more positive perspective on wedding spending, see this article over at A Practical Wedding.

Picture from sayingimages

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