Friday, March 28, 2014

Wedding Playlist

I have been trying to select some songs to play during our calm, natural, semi-unconventional wedding. It is a small venue, and will not allow much room for dancing, so a lot of these songs are of the folk-psych or shoegaze variety, with a few surprises thrown in. I have also been intentionally trying to avoid any lyrics which do not reflect positive ideas of romantic love (although one or two may have secretly slipped in). If you have any other ideas along these lines, please feel free to post!

Nick Drake- Northern Sky
Francoise Hardy- Tous les Garcons et les Filles
The Asteroid No. 4- Flowers of Ours
Keith West- On a Saturday
The La's- There She Goes
Michel Polnareff- Love Me Please Love Me
Stryper- Calling On You
Jackie Wilson- Because of You
Slade- Coz I Luv You
The Small Faces- I Can't Make It
The Kinks- There is No Life Without Love
The Byrds- Child of the Universe
The Yardbirds- For Your Love
Jefferson Airplane- My Best Friend
The Stone Roses- This is the One
Love- No Matter What You Do
The Troggs- With a Girl Like You
Roky Erickson- True Love Cast Out All Evil
Jesus and Mary Chain- Just Like Honey
Syd Barrett- Terrapin
Donovan- Turquoise
Mazzy Star- Bells Ring
Kaleidoscope- Bord A Bord
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club- Gospel Song
Ella Fitzgerald- All the Things You Are
The Toys- A Lover's Concerto
Tim Hardin- Misty Roses
Spiritualized- Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space
The Left Bake- I Have Been Searching
The Ramones- Baby I Love You
Os Mutantes- Baby
Emmit Rhodes- Somebody Made For Me
Sibylle Baier- Tonight
Maston- Young Hearts
The Zombies- This Will Be Our Year
Debbie Rollins- He Really Loves Me
Wanda Jackson- Pledging My Love
The Shangri-Las- Give Us Your Blessing
Georg Friedrich Haendel- Water Music
Cockney Rebel- (Love) Compared With You
Ennio Morricone- Love Theme
Thunderclap Newman- Something in the Air
Scott Walker- Montague Terrace (In Blue)
The Feminine Complex- Never My Love
Fairfield Parlour- I Will Always Feel the Same
Slowdive- Here She Comes
Sandie Shaw- Long Live Love
Galaxie 500- Ceremony
Louis Armstrong- What a Wonderful World
Stevie Wonder- For Once in My Life

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

On the Edge of Possibility

You try to make your life better. You fix yourself up and put yourself out there. Then you are told, "No."

You dust yourself off, change your perspective, and make improvements. You try again and are told, "No."

You try again, and again. Sometimes you are told, "No." Sometimes you aren't answered at all, which is worse.

You become frustrated, but your frustration only lights your fire and fills you with a bit of irrationality. You were turned down for a sandwich, so you ask for the moon. And it is then you are told, "Maybe."

Now comes the true test. It would be easy and understandable to drive one's self mad with anticipation and nervousness, but it would have little effect on the outcome. Whether I am given the moon or not is almost irrelevant. What matters is that I am prepared to accept it. And perhaps I should not be given the moon, but the stars or the sun or the air. Instead of fearing this precipice, perhaps I should stand at the edge with arms open wide and take in the marvelous view.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Simplifying a Wedding

While we have been planning for our future, we have also been planning for a wedding, which is less than 3 months away. While I would like to tell you that the entire event will only cost $500, it will end up being more like $9,000. While that number looks a bit obscene to me as I type it out, there are a lot of things to consider.

The average (yes, AVERAGE) wedding in the United States costs $25,000. Likely that does not cover engagement rings and a honeymoon either. The main cost of our wedding will be from the catering company, which will cost $7,000. I have struggled a bit with this amount. I would have been happy to bring along a few salads and veggie burgers, or make it a potluck, but my mother seemed very set on no one lifting a finger on that day. So my parents will be paying for the caterer, John's parents are contributing to the flowers (which in our case are actually succulents), and John and I are paying for the rest... mainly.

There have been a few splurges here and there. Namely, seating. The venue, which is a historic Tea Room at Gambrill State Park, was very inexpensive and came with tables and chairs for our use. But the chairs are metal folding chairs and I couldn't bear to look at them. So we are renting chairs, which isn't cheap. And then I feel guilt again, and then I justify things, and well... I don't want my wedding day to be about guilt, or about money. I am more interested in my marriage than I am my wedding. But I do care about my family and friends, and women, especially women over 50, get VERY excited about weddings. And to a certain degree I do, too.

So instead of tearing myself up about this, I am focusing on ways I can feel good about the decisions I am making, Here are examples:

-Supporting a State Park financially
-Supporting creative small businesses (vintage chair rental, Etsy vendors)
-Avoiding disposable objects when possible (caterers use real plates instead of plastic waste, wedding favors and centerpieces are plants that can be taken home instead of cut flowers which die quickly)
-Hiring friends for certain jobs, putting friends' Etsy shops on my registry
-Reusing leftover wedding items in our home as part of our daily life, repurposing
-Using a caterer which will accommodate to a vegan diet
-Three letters... DIY
-Buying a vintage wedding dress (reuse!)
-Rough diamonds- natural, beautiful, conflict-free and low cost
-Honeymoon also a family vacation, supporting a naturalist couple by renting an eco-conscious vacation rental on 75 acres of natural beauty!

Also, as the wedding planning process has taken a whole year, instead of thinking of it as a one time expense I can think of these costs as an annual fee. I can also consider money I have been saving recently by quitting smoking and not drinking alcohol. I can also consider the costs to be like giving gifts to all of my loved ones in attendance. I am thankful for the love and generosity they have showed me, and I hope I will be able to offer that love back to them.