As a writer with a musician husband, words and the intentions they represent are sacred to me. At our wedding, we filled a vintage card catalog drawer with library cards that had some of our favorite lines and lyrics printed on them for guests to take as favors. From Joan Didion to Relient K, these words resonate for Zan and I and remind us of our love.
I’ve listened to If We Were Vampires by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit more times than I can compute. Still, I’m struck by it each time. The lyrics are poetic, visceral and devastatingly relatable. In essence, it’s a song about life being a gift we are meant to cherish and enjoy because we never know how much time we will have on earth.
To me, it’s one of the greatest love songs because each time I listen, I am inspired to live more purposefully, to love my partner with intention. Isbell’s lyrics are reflective of a reality I’ve often felt. Sleepy smiles shared over coffee; traveling on a jet among the clouds; holding each other through heartbreak; watching our nieces and nephews grow; painting the walls of our home; saying vows under an ancient oak. In all these moments, I think that even the rest of our lives won’t be enough time for us to spend with each other.
In the vows that Zan and I wrote, though our word choices varied, we both vowed not take a day loving one another for granted. That’s not to say there aren’t days spent tired, disgruntled or wanting to disconnect from one another and the world, but we know always that such down time will be short-lived.
Being the editor of a weddings magazine for six years has equipped me to confidently provide wedding planning advice, but when asked for marriage advice, I’m hesitant. I am only just over a year into a forever journey. Who am I to say that what works for me and Zan is a plausible solution for others?
What I can confidently recommend is this: Make your spouse a priority. The distractions in this world are limitless, pulling our attention in countless directions. But if I could start you down one path, it would lead to being in tune with your partner above all else.
Mortality reminds us to take that trip to Napa Valley; to take that extra lap around the neighborhood holding hands; to plant that garden together even if your thumbs aren’t especially green; to stay in bed a tad longer just to be close; to keep intentionally choosing each other.
Every year, I’m humbled and grateful to hear the stories of how couples made both easy and difficult choices to marry one another. There’s much adversity in this world, which is why marriage becomes a sacred matter. Within these pages, there are many examples of uplifting and unwavering love.
While I have not yet learned all there is to know about marriage, I can assure you that the vendors and venues in this magazine will put you first and make your wedding a priority. They will serve you as great partners in your most special of days.
As for me, I look forward to more years of learning and of being a student of love.
All my best,
Rebecca Padgett Frett, Editor