So here's a cool project. These researchers showed a sample of random colors to people, and asked them what they would call them. Check out the color label explorer, where you can search by color, and see what people labeled "yellow," "green," or "army." It's especially interesting to see where along the color spectrum blue becomes green, etc. Some colors have a much larger spread than others. [via] Also, I have become more enamored of colourlovers.com- you can browse color palates and create your own. Helpful for design projects, time wasting, and perhaps wedding planning? Might be helpful for those brides over on stylemepretty.com who are looking for good color palates. Good stuff.



So I was reflecting today on the ceremony for our wedding, and wanted to share. I think that with the commercialization of weddings, we often get lost in planning weddings as an event, rather than planning them as a marriage of two lives. It wasn't until about 6 months into the planning process that Jordy and I realized that we hadn't given much thought to how our ceremony would flow. Our great friend JC married us, and he helped us come up with a ceremony that really suited us and our idea of what was important in a marriage. We wanted to convey in the ceremony that a marriage takes place within a sprawling, dynamic network of family and friends, and that it is not just an isolated relationship between two people. That said, we had our family members (working together in pairs or triads) come up with what they had learned in their marriages, and then, instead of a reading or sermon on the meaning of marriage, we had them stand one at a time and give us advice based on what they had learned in their marriages. It went a little something like this (along the way are pics of family members giving advice):

Jordy's cousin: Jordy, Miya, look closely at one another. This is not who you will be married to in twenty years…You will both change, in ways you cannot even imagine now. The key to a long and happy marriage is to recognize this, and to adjust to the ways in which you change separately and the ways in which you change together.

Jordy's cousin: Talk about it, whatever it is. And remember that sometimes the best time to do so is later.

Jordy's aunt: When you marry, you are very focused on each other, but as you raise children it’s easy to get tired and distracted. After our last child went to college, Johnny wrote that a good marriage is when the children have left and you look at each other and smile and say, “Now I remember why I married you so many years ago.”
Miya's cousin: Remember in years to come that many of the things that drive you crazy about your partner now were the things you fell in love with initially. Another skill worth learning is the art of selective listening.

Jordy's cousin: Encourage each other more than you criticize, and remember to be grateful that you have each other, especially when times are hard. Life is about human connections, and your marriage is now the strongest connection in your lives.

Miya's cousin: I was going to say you should be best friends, but it’s obvious you two don’t need that advice. Being with you together is like a lovely day at the beach. Always remember to be best friends, and I know you’ll enjoy a fabulous life together.

Jordy's cousin: My son Charlie says you should marry someone you know and to whose house you have been on at least one occasion. He also says if your partner gets mad at you, you should call your Mummy. If they make you mad, you should call their Mummy. The rest of us came up with these 5 things: 1. Laugh. Especially at yourself. 2. Hold hands 3. Hire a housekeeper. Now. 4. Learn to apologize well. 5. Validate validate validate.
Jordy's aunt: When you fall in love with someone, you think about them all the time and focus all your attention on them. However, as the years go by, it is easy to get buried in day-to-day tasks: your job, the children, household chores and so on. By the time all the tasks are done you have little time or energy for each other. You need to keep reminding yourself, ‘If this is the most important person in the world to you, are you giving them the best part of you?’

Miya's uncle: Six simple things we’ve learned: 1. Women love it when men are in the kitchen. 2. Expect the best prepare for the worst. 3. Be open and honest about your feelings. 4. Let go of mistakes. Don't hold a grudge. 5. Two for one isn't always the best deal. 6. Never go to sleep without kissing goodnight.

Jordy's parents: Be adventurous—life is not a dress rehearsal. You will always be there to cover each others’ back, so together you need not be afraid to do things you may hesitate to do alone. When you are dangling out there together, you will rediscover the qualities that attracted you to each other in the first place, and which may, over the years, have been obscured by the responsibilities of day-to-day life. Don't hesitate to try new things or to move to far away places because as long as you have each other you will have everything you need. Also, wear earplugs.
Miya's parents: Continue to make time and space for fun in your everyday life together—keep looking for ways to be playful, and as often as you can, do things that make you laugh till you fall over. Be courageous for each other and together. Remember that small, daily personal acts of courage build a foundation to fall back upon when life gives you a choice requiring a lot of courage. Be kind to one another. Be generous with foot rubs and offers to bring tea. Buy roses, gelato or concert tickets for no reason. Hold your tongue if you are tired and cranky. And remember that we are all just doing the best we can, even if it is hard to tell sometimes. Most of all, just continue to be your wonderful selves and continue to believe in the mystery of love as it unfolds in its various forms for you over the years!

Then, after all of the advice, we had a great reading by a friend, declared our intent to marry, and the rings were presented- then it was time for our vows. Instead of the traditional vows, we had the same family members work to craft a vow based on the advice that they had just given us. In the same order, they stood up and asked us the following:

Jordy's cousin: Do you promise to adjust and love another through all the change and surprise that life will bring?
Jordy's cousin: Do you promise to talk about it, whatever it is, even if the best time to do it is later?
Jordy's aunt: Do you promise to try to remember, in the midst of all the tiredness and distraction, that you have a good thing in each other?
Miya's cousin: Do you promise, through the years, to try to always see the things about one another that made you want to marry in the first place?
Jordy's cousin: Do you promise to encourage more than criticize, to be ever-grateful for one another, and to let that gratitude shine in hard times?
Miya's cousin: Do you promise to always be best friends, and to revel in the simple pleasure of each other’s company?
Jordy's cousin: Do you promise to laugh, especially at yourself, to hold hands, to learn to apologize well, and to validate, validate, validate?
Jordy's aunt: Do you promise to always save some of your best self to share with each other?
Miya's uncle: Do you promise to expect the best, to let go of mistakes and to always kiss goodnight?
Jordy's parents: Do you promise to be adventurous and, if necessary, to wear earplugs?
Miya's parents: Do you promise to laugh until you fall over, to be courageous, to be extravagant with small kindnesses, and to trust in the mysteries of your life and love as they unfold?

To each of these, we answered "I do" in unison. I loved this part of our ceremony, because having our family members offer our vows made them personal and meaningful, and also made us feel as if we had made promises not only to each other, but to our families. I take our vows very seriously, and keeping them in mind helps me be a better wife when I am cranky or annoyed (which Jordy never seems to be, but that's a whole different story). If you are planning a wedding, or know someone who is planning a wedding, I would give serious consideration to your vows. Though I am against hand-written vows, as I think that they can get reaaallly cheesy (I promise to ride unicorns with you through the universe of our love!), I think that making promises to do things that are actually important to you can make your ceremony all the more meaningful.