Nick and Hawley. What can I say. A wonderful couple and a wonderful reception. I worked with Mr. Allen back in the day at good 'ol Skip's Music so it was good to catch up during our consultations and Hawley was an absolute joy to work with. He and Hawley are the perfect match for each other. A sentiment that was echoed during the toasts at the reception and from all of their friends and family throughout the entire event. The reception was held at the SAR Ballroom here in Sacramento and was the perfect venue to hold all of their guests comfortably. Which in our estimates was well over 200. Adorned with subtle lighting, the venue was the perfect stage to host this most joyous of occasions. And talk about a dancing crowd...their guests filled the dance floor from the first song right up until the Newlyweds made their departure. Big kudos to Nick and Hawley for picking some great party music. Kisty and I had an absolute blast and these two newlyweds are in for a wonderful life together. Congratulations Mr. & Mrs Allen!
Cocktail Music Type: Nat King Cole, Sinatra, Dean martin, etc..
Dinner Music Type: Nat King Cole, Sinatra, Dean martin, etc
Introduction Music: Aint that a kick in the head - Dean Martin
Toast By: Best Man - Mike Downey, Maid of Honor - Ali Charlesworth
Bride and Groom Song: Your Song -Elton John
Bride and Father Song: The Best Things Happen When Your Dancing - White Christmas, Danny Kaye
Groom and Mother Song: Same Song as Father Daughter, they cut in half way through
Bouquet Song: Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison
Garter Toss Song: Lets get it on - Marvin Gaye
Exit Song: Signed Sealed Delivered - Stevie Wonder
2003 Howe Ave.
Erika & Brian are such a sweet couple. We had a wonderful time helping them make their ceremony and reception unforgettable events. Set at the beautiful Vizcaya in Sacramento, our newlyweds held both their ceremony and reception there. An intimate gathering of friends and family proved to be just right as the evening progressed and they danced the night away. "Big 80's rock fans" was how Erika described her and Brian's musical taste. We partied to ACDC, Bon Jovi, and Bruce Springsteen (just to name a few) all night long. Erika, as so many brides are doing now, utilized her money saving skills by having friends and family provide some of her services like the photography and officiating of the ceremony. My favorite part had to be the special dedication of the first "party dance" song for Erika and Brian's sons Jacob and Christopher to the song: "I like to Move It!" from the Madagascar animated movie. It got everyone onto the dance floor with big smiles on their faces. Job well done Erika and Brian! This was such a wonderful time for all in attendance including us!
CEREMONY & RECEPTION HIGHLIGHTS:
Processional Song: Canon in D
Recessional Song: Wedding theme from Midsummer Nights Dream
1st Dance (Bride & Groom): "Grow Old with You" by Adam Sandler
Special Dedication Song : "I Like to Move It" Madagascar Soundtrack
Last Dance: "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton
Sendoff Song: "Hit the Road, Jack" by Ray Charles
Margaret Healey (Family Friend)
Jim Healey ***What a small world...Mr. Healey was my(Justin Rose) principal at All Hallows Elementary School here in Sacramento. Go Saints! Great to see you sir!***
CEREMONY & RECEPTION SITE:
2019 21st St, Sacramento, CA
Montage By Kisty Rose
Grand Entrance Music: For Bridal Party - "Swagger Like Us" by T.I.
For Bride & Groom - "Planet Rock" by Soul Sonic Force
Bride and Groom Song: "My First Love" by Buffy & Tommy Page
Bouquet Song: Stefani, Gwen - Hollaback Girl
Garter Toss Song: Hendrix, Jimmy - Foxxy Lady
Money Dance: Stevie B. - Celebration
Huy Phan Photography
Capital Plaza Ballroom
RECEPTION HIGHLIGHTS :
Bride and Groom Song : "The way I am" by: Ingrid Michaelson
Bride and Father Song : "Walking after midnight" by: Patsy Cline
Bridal Party Song : "Sentimental Reasons" by: Karl Zero
Family Song : "American Pie" by: Don Mclean
Ford Family Photography
Rebecca Ford Soren
Weddings, Families, Seniors, Children and Maternity
RECEPTION SITE :
Exclusive Club (they request not to be advertised)
Harp Music Provided by : Pamela Pamperin
Cake Cutting : "That's Amore" by Dean Martin
Bride & Groom 1st Dance : "I Still Love You" by Willie Nelson
Bride & Father Dance : "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
Groom & Mother Dance : "A song for my Son" by Mikki
Bouquet Toss Song : "Your Kiss is on my List" by Hall & Oates
Garter Toss Song : "Good Hearted Woman" by Waylon Jennings
Anniversary Dance : "Night and Day" by Frank Sinatra
CEREMONY & RECEPTION SITE:
50400 Gaffney Road
Contact: Sandra Wilson
Carmen Salazar Photography
All Seasons All Reasons
FROM THE COUPLE:
"You did a perfect job. We had a delightful day and we loved Justin's voice and the flow of the event. Thank you. We are putting a good word out for more business. You are the best! I think Sandy was going to contact you about doing more events at Wilson, too.
Sincerly and all the best,
Mike and Jen Carras"
- Current Location:Clarksburg, CA
Seating of the Family : "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong Ft. Kenny G
Bridal Party Processional : "Canon in D" Pachabell
Brides Processional : Violin Solo by Family Member
Recessional : "At Last" by Etta James
Cocktail Music Type : pink martini, norah jones, classical, jazz
Dinner Music Type : jack johnson, bob marley, corrine bailey ray, alicia keys, sade, coldplay, songs from playlist
Introduction Music : Viva La Vida for wedding party, followed by "Starlight" by Muse for bride & groom entrance
Toast By : Eliza Woo, maid of honor and Andrew Lee, Best Man
Cake Cutting : "Sugar Sugar" by The Archies
Bride and Groom Song : "On A Night Like This" David Barnes
Groom and Mother Song: "You Raise Me Up" Josh Groban
Last Dance Song : "Save the Last Dance" Michael Buble
List Special Dances : Bride and Mother: same time with Groom/Mother
CEREMONY & RECEPTION SITE:
The Spinnaker Restaurant
100 Spinnaker Drive
Sausalito CA 94965
FROM THE COUPLE:
We got so many compliments from guests and family members about the music and how well everything went. The guest liked the selection of music, the smooth transitions between songs, and how you kept the crowd informed with festivities. Thank you so much for being such an instrumental part in the planning and making our day magical!
Shirley & Lance Hershman"
- Current Location:Sausalito, CA
Introduction / Grand Entrance : Walk This Way by Aerosmith
Toast By : Cory Faria (BM), Jennifer Panag (MH), Dave Templeton (Groom's Father), Phil Varner (Bride's father), Marisa Varner (Daughter) Cheryl Sears (Close Friend)
Blessing By : Chaplin Mindi Russell
Bride and Groom Song : Amazed by Lonestar
Bride and Father Song : What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
Groom and Mother Song : My Wish by Rascal Flatts
Bouquet Song : Like a Virgin by Madonna
Garter Toss Song : Paradise City by Guns and Roses
Last Dance Song : When in Rome by the promise
Last Dance for Bride and Groom : Lost in this Moment by Big and Rich
CEREMONY & RECEPTION SITE:
Arden Hills Country Club
1220 Arden Hills Lane
Sacramento, CA 95864
Brian Knutson & Tom Engberg
- Current Location:Sacramento, CA
Dinner Music Type : requested slow songs and other love songs
Bride and Groom Song : Bryson, Peabo & Roberta Flack - Tonight I Celebrate My Love
Bouquet Song : Lauper, Cyndi - Girls Just Want To Have Fun
Garter Toss Song : Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
Last Dance Song : Vandross, Luther & Mariah Carey - Endless Love
CEREMONY & RECEPTION SITE:
Morgan Creek Country Club
8791 Morgan Creek Lane
Roseville, CA 95747
- Current Location:Roseville, CA
Bridal Party Processional : "Moonlight Serenade"
Brides Processional : "Calling You" by Blue October
Recessional : "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" by Natalie Cole
Cocktail/Dinner Music : Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin, etc.
First Dance : PERFORMED BY MAID OF HONOR "Only Hope" by Mandy Moore
Bouquet Toss : Decided by Hula Hoop Contest to the song "Jump In Line" by Harry Belafonte
Their reception was followed by a screening of an old 40's movie and roasting marshmallows over a bonfire.
CEREMONY & RECEPTION SITE:
Coloma Country Inn
Coloma, CA 95613
Erica B. Photography
Parties With A Twist
Chef Stephan Redmond
4035 Grass Valley Hwy, Suite M
Auburn, CA 95602
FROM THE COUPLE:
You did wonderfully! It was very nice to have you there to help get everyone moving when it was needed. Even after we lost a groomsmen things went smoothly. Thank you for being so great. Tiffany Petty"
- Current Location:Coloma, CA
First Dance : "Best Friend" by Tim McGraw
Toast Given By : Best Man - Scott & Maid of Honor - Alexa
Cake Cutting Ceremony
Bouquet & Garter Toss Ceremony
Dancing 'til Midnight
By Dan Markis - Trish
Specialty Cakes - Joelyn
Bella Studios - Misty
206 5th Street
Galt, CA 95632
Phone: (916) 832-9713
Serving: Galt, Sacramento, Modesto, Elk Grove and neighboring cities.
Touch of Mesquite - Frances
440 E Kettleman Ln
Lodi, CA 95240
WEDDING CONSULTANT / COORDINATOR:
Lisa Hegdahl : Certified Wedding Consultant
PO Box 186
Victor, CA 95253-0186
- Current Location:Lodi, CA
Bridal Party Processional: Instrumental
Bride Processional: On A Night Like This (Acoustic)- David Barnes
Recessional: Best Days - Graham Colton
Introduction/Grand Entrance: White Wedding: Billy Idol
Cocktail/Dinner Music: Anything Pop/Top 100/Country/Lite Rock, as long as it is not distracting!!!
First Dance: It's Your Love: Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
Father-Daughter: What a Wonderful World: Louis Armstrong
Mother-Son: My Wish: Rascal Flatts
Video Montage: I Loved Her First: Heartland
Cake Cutting: Grow Old With You: Adam Sandler
Bouquet Toss: Girls Just Want to Have Fun: Cyndi Lauper
Garter Toss: Shook Me All Night Long: AC/DC
Money Dance: DJ's Discretion...
Last Dance: Come Away With Me: Norah Jones
CEREMONY & RECEPTION SITE:
2020 Golf Course Road
Auburn, Ca 95602
Pastor Sharon Bollum
The Flower Station
Orangevale, Ca 95662
Cakes by Nancy
1548 Poole Blvd
Y.C. Ca 95993
4th Wall Productions
The Story: Brandon & Stepanie are definitely our young at hart couple. Absolutely a joy to work with! They were so much fun and they were having so much fun!
Bride and Groom Song: "Umbrella" by Marie Digby
Groom and Mother Song: "Have I Told You" by Van Morrison
Cake Song: "More Then Words" by Extreme
Bouquet Song: "Independent Woman" by Destiny's Child
Garter Song: "Oh Yeah" by Yello
Last Dance Song: "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles
Exclusive Club (they request not to be advertised)
Elley is very sweet and a pleasure to work with!
REEL to REAL Productions
Cael & Deana Kuhlman
We love working with Cael & Deana, it is a lot of fun for us to work with other couples. They are professional and very talented. Very dynamic team!
Behind the scene photo...
The Story: Steve and Nicole by far are the most visionary couple we have had the pleasure to work with! We were so impressed with how much detail they included into their day! They did a fantastic job of hiring really great and talented vendors to create the perfect dream day for their wedding and reception. We were also very excited that Nicole used Justin's mix of Canon D and Brick house from our wedding demo http://inthemix916.com/demo.htm. Below is a clip of the ceremony where Steve surprised Nicole with a song. This is a must see!
Introduction Music: Space Odyssey Theme Song
Bride and Groom Song: "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Elis Presley
Bride and Father Song: "I Loved Her First" by Heartland
Groom and Mother Song: "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra
Anniversary Song: "Unforgettable" by Nat & Natalie King Cole
Bouquet Song: "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar
Garter Song: "The Pink Panther Theme" by Henry Mancini
Last Dance Song: "I've Had - The Time Of My Life" by Bill & Jennifer Medley
1894 Six Mile Road, Murphys, Ca 95247
Contact: Lynn Darmsted
The IronStone Vineyards is an amazing place, so beautiful! Lynn was an absolute joy to work with and her staff is top notch! And the food was so good!
Amber & Alan
What a great team, they were very professional and have amazing talent! Truly enjoyed working with them!
Robert Pyne Media
Robert also a pleasure to work with, very talented! He has a great eye for detail, we could tell just by watching him work.
NOTE FROM THE COUPLE:
Hi Kisty and Justin,
We wanted to express our gratitude for all of your time, effort, and skills you put in as members of the “dream team” to contribute to our “our dream wedding”. I know you guys invested a lot of time and energy, and there were many compliments by the guests on how cool everything was, especially the live mixing and the grand entrance. Surely you will have picked up referrals from our guests, and it sounds like Ironstone is quite impressed and ready for you to return.
And as to your #1 goal, we were certainly delighted. Please feel free to use me as a referral. We hope to see you again sooner than later. Until then, best wishes.
Mr. and Mrs. Steven David Metzgar Jr.
- Current Location:Murphys, Ca
Tsakopoulos Library Galleria: 264-2800, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cody the event host for the galleria was fantastic! This was our first time at this venue, but we are booked there again next month and look forward to it!
All Seasons All Reasons (916) 451-9393, www.allseasonsallreasons.net
WOW the food was really good! Talk about excellence in customer service! I loved how they made sure to make the bride and groom feel like royalty by assigning a staff person to each and carry there plates for them back to the bridal table!
Christopher Knight Photographers: Peter Simek (Peter was a pleasure to work with!)
Introduction Music: "Today" by Smashing Pumpkins
Bride and Groom Song: "I've Got a Crush on You" by Steve Tyrell
Bride and Father Song: "Have I Told You Lately" by Van Morrison
Groom and Mother Song: "In My Life" by The Beatles
Bouquet Song: "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae
Last Dance Song: "Save The Best For Last" by Vanessa Williams
The Story: This was one of the warmest receptions we had the pleasure to play and assist for! It was perfect! We feel this couple did an amazing job of putting together the dream team of vendors! Everyone worked really well together and had a good time!
Venue: Opera House, Vacaville, Ca
Contact: Jema (707) 453-0393
Dinner Music: Frank Sinatra
Introduction Music: "L O V E" by Nat King Cole
First Dance: "Unforgettable" by Nat & Natalie King Cole
Bride and Father Song: "I Loved Her First" by Heartland
Groom and Mother Song: "Stand by Me" by BB King
Bouquet Song: "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper
Money Dance: "Feat" by Rod Stewart, "What a wonderful World" by Stevie Wonder
The Story: It was a fairytale wedding! Her colors where Red, White and Black.
- Current Location:Vacaville, Ca
Who is requesting the “Do Not Play List?”
Mostly we get the "Do not play list" requests from our bridal couples. They seem to be coming up with a lot more of their own ideas and not looking to the entertainment company for song suggestions. They are pre-planning, organizing and becoming more streamlined than ever. Most of our brides and grooms are computer and internet savvy and have already done the majority of their homework before the initial consultation. They know what they want and seem to be looking for a company that listens and incorporates their ideas rather than giving them a standardized version of the "perfect wedding reception" according to them and then sweeping the clients ideas under the rug.
What is the “Do Not Play List?”
The "do not play list" is as important if not, more important than the request list. A DJ can use either of these lists as a "doorway" if you will into the heads of our clients. It helps the DJ to understand the type of mood and setting the clients are looking for. It helps a DJ in decision making during the reception of what music to play and when to play it. The "do not play list" can consist of one or one hundred songs. It can even span an entire genre. "Please no country" for example. If I know that then when it comes time for me to pull a song for a special request by a groomsman for a "song for the groom and his buddies", I know that "I've got Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks will not be my initial instinct for that type of song.
When is a “Do Not Play List” requested?
Usually wedding couples have their minds made up by the first consultation of what they want and don't want. A company like ours that utilizes a website to help with our clients planning can get additions to that list right up until the day of the event if necessary.
Where can you find a “Do Not Play List?"
These are some songs that are becoming more and more of a "NO-NO": YMCA, Macarena, Love Shack, Shook Me All Night Long, Celebration, Butterfly Kisses, Old Time Rock and Roll, The Electric Slide and even some more current songs that in a short time got played to death like: Save a horse-Ride a Cowboy, Hot in Here, Tipsy, Yeah, and anything by Brittany Spears. Seriously, everything you thought knew is now being radically changed thanks prospective wedding clients becoming more educated and having more of an open mind to new ideas and song selections.
Why is there now a need for a “do not play list?”
Most of our clients have attended weddings as well and they give us "horror" stories of the entertainment or lack thereof. From playing outdated or overplayed songs, to being predictable and bland. I think from this spawned a smarter bride and/or groom who are looking for more than just the standard of what an entertainment company has to offer.
And how would you recommend putting together a “Do Not Play List?"
If you don't like it tell your DJ. Don't think that they will be able to read your mind. A good DJ will have somewhat of an insight to your likes and dislikes by the music genres and songs you are requesting but if you tell them what you don't want as well you can be assured that your DJ will be on the same page as you the entire event. Bottom Line...Tell your DJ. Don't be afraid. Most DJ companies welcome clients with these types of requests. Start with the songs that immediately pop in to your head that you would cringe if you heard. That alone will lead you down the path of "one hit wonders" to sort through. Remember every DJ is different, so ask a lot of questions about how they read a crowd and apply your requests with the requests of your guests. There is no such thing as too much information (from the client or the DJ) Work as a team with your DJ. DJ's love to discuss music because we love it and for most of us that is why we got into this business. And when you think about it the basic essence of a DJ is to provide entertainment to a group of people while following the guidelines set by our clients. The "Do Not Play List" is one more tool for the DJ and his or her clients to use to ensure an event to remember.
Questions Answered by: DJ Justin Rose - To ask Justin more questions contact him at 916.201.8270
A recent study done for the wedding industry indicates that about one half of all brides will use a wedding consultant or a wedding day coordinator to plan their special event. The other half of brides are do-it-yourself when it comes to planning their weddings.
Why do brides to be do the majority of the planning themselves? Simply, because they can't afford to hire a wedding consultant or coordinator to oversee the planning of their wedding. From rising prices in everything to the fade in traditional family support, the brides to be are finding themselves with limited budgets and little time. The 10 to 15 percent of what a wedding planner or coordinator takes off the top of the event is a nice chunk of change that can mean a huge difference in much of what the couple and their families can afford to put into the event.
Statistics from the Cost of Wedding website that is owned by The Wedding Report (Wedding Statistics and Market Research for the Wedding Industry) tells us on average, couples U.S. couples spend $28,800 for their weddings. You should note that wedding cost can vary widely and this is just an estimate of what couples will likely spend based on the research at The Wedding Report. Results are based on their research and responses from other married users of the site. Understanding the average wedding cost now can help you with your wedding budget later.
On average, couples will spend for their wedding in the areas of Vallejo and Fairfield, California.
$2,710 on Wedding Attire. These items include Bride Accessories, Groom Accessories, Groom Tux or Suit, Hair & Makeup, Headpiece & Veil, and Wedding Dress.
$2,627 on Wedding Ceremony. These items include Ceremony Accessories, Ceremony Location, Ceremony Site Decorations, Officiate, Pastor or Priest, and the Rehearsal Dinner.
$3,836 on Wedding Photography & Video. These items include Photographer and Videographer.
$1,166 on Wedding Favors & Gifts. These items include Attendant Gifts, Parent Gifts, and Wedding Favors.
$2,048 on Wedding Flowers. These items include Boutonnieres & Corsages, Bride Bouquet, Bridesmaid Bouquets, Decorations & Centerpieces, and Flower Girl Flowers.
$2,148 on Wedding Jewelry. These items include Wedding set for His & Her Rings.
$991 on Wedding Music. These items include Reception Band, Musicians, or DJ.
$14,737 on Wedding Reception. These items include Bride & Groom Hotel, Reception Beverages & Bartender, Reception Food Service, Reception Venue & Rentals, and Wedding Cake & Cutting Fee.
$881 on Wedding Stationery. These items include Invitations & Reply Cards, Save The Date Cards, Thank You Cards, and Other Stationery.
$426 on Wedding Transportation. These items include Limo, Car, Carriage Rides, or Other Transportation.
Modern day brides are independent women. And they do a lot! Mostly by design... they have a standard of living, goals they are determined to reach. They do their best and work with what they have. So what does the do-it-yourself bride do? Simple, they become overnight wedding experts. They buy wedding books and wedding trade magazines. The Internet savvy bride sifts through countless web sites looking for ideas and help. They interview vendors and order everything themselves. They coordinate with venues and vendors and request help from family and friends.
More and more the DJ is now being requested to handle the day of the event director duties. Coordinating with the venue and vendors to ensure the flow of the day of the event is seamless. Ensuring the bridal party, family and friends are where they need to be at the right times. As well as making sure the announcements' and songs are played at the right times. The line between DJ and Wedding Coordinator is getting blurrier every day. Finding a DJ service that offers the support of a second person to handle the day of the event director duties and online event planning forms is one way the do-it-herself bride can save a little dough.
Kisty Rose is the co-owner of In The Mix 916, a full service DJ catering to Northern California
In The Mix 916 provides their clients with a completely interactive DJ experience with quality equipment, personalized customer service, and entertainment designed just the way they want it. This husband and wife duo offers the talents of music knowledge and mixing featuring DJ Justin Rose, as well as the day of the event director Kisty Rose ensuring the flow of the event is seamless.
Finding and booking entertainment for a wedding reception can be time consuming and costly. As DJ entertainment we work with an assortment of brides who are the do-it-herself kind of bride. We can help eliminate one of the trying issues by professionally working with the bride and her family to plan the wedding reception entertainment they want at affordable rates.
To find out more about In The Mix 916 featuring DJ Justin Rose & Day of The Event Director Kisty Rose logon to http://www.inthemix916.com or simple call 916.201.8270
At Weddings, I love to watch couples dancing. There is always one pair, often an older twosome, who dances extraordinarily well together, with a kind of absolute confidence and verve.
Who are these stars, so happy with their marriage? How did life stay so good for them? What's their secret?
(You are reading a condensed version of "Lucky in Love" wrote by Catherine Johnson - My grandmother sent me the Reader's Digest issue while a way at school. I never forgot it! It's a good read! Enjoy!)
I interviewed 100 Couples from across the country, ranging in age from their 20s to their 80s. The shortest marriage was seven years old; the longest-married couple had celebrated their 55th anniversary. Regardless of length, however, I heard similar thing over and over again, common threads that have kept the marriages successful. Here are eight characteristics these couples share.
1. Happy Couples felt at home with each other from the start.
There is conventional notion that "mature" love develops slowly over time. But most of the couples I spoke to said they had experienced a striking rapport almost immediately. They felt a sweeping sense of connection, of shared values. Sometimes this sense of fit was sexual; sometimes it was emotional; frequently it was both.
This rapport includes a delicate balance of friendship, which is based in sameness, and passion, which is based in difference. The tension crates and sustains a vital marriage. One wife offered an interesting perspective. "Happy marriages," she told me, "come from two people who are opposite in personality but identical in background." Her husband was an optimist. She was a lifelong pessimist. But they had the same ethnic and religious backgrounds. She was attracted to his strength. He was attracted to her vulnerability. Theirs was the kind of opposition married people are talking about when they speak of a spouse as the “other half."
2. Happy couples share routines and dreams.
One partner makes the morning coffee, one walks the dog, and both read the paper over breakfast. All the stable couples with whom I spoke kept on track this way. Routines in and of themselves do not produce happiness, but they instill confidence and trust in the natural existence of the marriage.
From these day-to-day comforts, happy couples can move to the deeper realm of shared dreams. They strive to be more than just the "Wilsons"; they work together to become some kind of Wilsons-the Wilsons-who-bought-their-own ranch or the Wilsons-who-run-their-own-business. Whatever the content, working together to make a dream come true makes a couple glows.
3. Happy couples don't hold a grudge.
Many of the couples I spoke to rarely quarrel at all. But when a conflict arises, they become angry, storm about-and then move on.
A capacity for resolution was the common thread running through these couples' lives. How they resolved arguments varied enormously. Some partners set a policy to never go to bed angry; one couple told me they always went to bed angry, in order to sleep it off. Some couples shouted; some sulked. Some couples dealt with issues as they arose; others would let a problem go for days until they felt the time was right to address it.
One couple I interviewed had developed a unique system for avoiding conflict while working together on special projects. If either partner said anything provocative, the other would exclaim, "Derail!" After the third time, the offending party had to pay a quarter.
When they did end up in full scale battle in spite of their efforts, one or the other would leave the room. "If either of us walked out, we were back together in five minutes, " the wife said. "We didn't even have to say 'I'm sorry,' because we were so glad just to be with each other again." Knowing this about themselves, they began to walk out on arguments on purpose.
4. Happy couples look for the best.
Couples thrive when spouses focus on what is good and true in the other. That doesn't mean both need to be optimists. I interviewed many couples in which one partner was chronically anxious, quick-tempered or depressed. But the marriage held Strong in the face of these temperaments because the partner did not focus his or her dark thoughts on the mate. In spite of the anxiety, anger or sadness a troubled spouse might harbor within, each believed in the order.
Positive expectations exert a tremendous force. The marred people I talked to had learned to see the best, develop the best, and expect the best in their spouses. This "rosy realism," I found, was characteristic of thriving marriages. When we like someone, we do so in part because we see our best self in his or her eyes. This is what happy partners do for each other. They reflect a real but flattering image of their mate.
5. Happy couples learn to change.
Most couples told me they had changed a great deal throughout the course of their marriages. All felt they had changed for the better-and their mates agreed.
This is an important finding, because it offers hope to those spouses who despair of anything important changing between them. A surprisingly large number of the very happy couples had experienced a crisis in the relationship. A good quarter of them thought of leaving their spouses. Some had actually packed their bags and gone. The marriages survived-and flourished-because one or both partners changed whatever it was about himself or herself that was causing conflict in the relationship.
One husband, for example, was a gambler. it took time, but he came to realize his addiction was driving away his wife and their children. When he finally grew up and decided his family was his top priority, he quit gambling.
It is not a good idea to go into marriage hoping that your partner will change. But the fact is people do change. They cannot help but change. A good marriage helps people change for the better.
6. Happy couples understand the importance of sex. We are often told that sex is not what a good marriage is about. A good marriage rests upon friendship, respect, commitment-qualities that endure when passion wanes. Nonetheless, scratch the surface calm of these marriages and frequently a strong and vibrant sexuality, a clear sexual chemistry, soon reveals itself.
One husband described his wife as "America's most beautiful woman." To see one's wife that way is to see her as a woman first and always. Their love is fundamentally sexual-whatever the frequency and intensity of their encounters.
For most of the couples I interviewed, being faithful was not what made marriage happy, It was what made marriage possible. Marital fidelity was the "Of course," the basic requirement. When I inquired into their thoughts on the subject, the majority uttered a strong "Yes!" or Always!" the notion of an open marriage held neither logic nor appeal for them.
7. Happy couples do not struggle for the upper hand. By the time they reached their late 40s, the spouse I interviewed was not vying with each other for dominance, if they ever had. There were conflicts, of course, but they were not about power and status.
When it came to changing diapers or earning money, most older couples were divided along traditional sex lines-but they were untroubled by this division. Regardless of the contributions made, the efforts of each were viewed as equally important within the household.
The equal standing of happily married couples revealed itself most clearly in their handling of finances. Without exception, ever happy coupled reported that the money was theirs-not his or hers. They experienced no power struggles over financial matters.
8. Happy couples usually describe their mate as their best friend.
Every happy couple I spoke to spontaneously use the phrase. By "best friend" they meant much what the rest of us mean when we speak of a same-sex best friend. These husbands and wives simply liked each other above all others. They spent large amounts of time together, talking, working on their home, pursuing joint hobbies. Whatever they wanted to do with their lives, they wanted to do together.
In this respect, happy spouses support each other; have faith in each other-even when one thinks the other is wrong.
One wife I spoke to had spent 15 years as a social worker. Then, decided she needed "something more," she announced she was going to quit. Her husband feared show was making a mistake. But he said he would support whatever decision she made. She embarked on a new career, earning a Ph.D. in sociology. She is now a full professor at Hunter College in New York City.
The Point here is that the wife was entirely free to follow her own lights. She knew her husband's love and respect for her were unconditional, whether he understood her decision or not. This, ideally, is how a marriage should work.
Some experts tell us that romantic love is inherently delusional-an idealization of a flawed reality. But the spouses I spoke to have managed to sustain remarkably idealized vision of each other for remarkable lengths of time. After ten years, 20 years, 30 years or 40, they are still profoundly excited by each other.
Yet they think of themselves as entirely unremarkable. Many of them -in fact, most of them-know other couples just as happy as they. Indeed, few struck me as leading lives utterly different from the rest of us. Despite what the high divorce statistics of recent years have lead us to believe, their examples tells us that happiness in love is a genuinely realistic and attainable goal.
(Now doesn't that make you excited to get married?) ;)
- Current Location:Sacramento, Ca
- Current Music:Romantic