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Why not get married two weeks before your novel launches? | Susan Rebecca White

Why not get married two weeks before your novel launches?

I’m not a glutton for punishment, I swear. It’s just that Sam and I are both second-timers with this marriage thing and what seems important to focus on is the relationship, not the bridesmaids. (If I tried to focus on the bridesmaids I’d be squinting at the air cause I ain’t having em.) In fact I am having the world’s smallest (home) wedding. It’s just the minister, Sam, me, and two witnesses. And our cats. The cats will be there to witness it all. Perhaps Peanut will bring a live chipmunk in through the cat door just as we are saying “I do.”

I’m sort of picturing my June 2 book launch as our wedding reception because so many of our family and friends will be there. But I know I shouldn’t get the two events confused, right? I mean the wedding is a tax write-off while the launch is not. (Just jokin’ IRS! Seriously. Just joking.)

Back to the wedding: Yes, it’s crazy to be doing this right before launching a book, but the thing is, Sam and I aren’t getting any younger. I mean, I’m not ancient or anything but the other day my back hurt after playing frisbee. Frisbee. Which is all to say that time is ticking and when you find the person you want to build a life with you want to do it now. (Pretty sure I just stole that line from some famous Hollywood rom-com. Sorry bout that!)

This is also the world’s cheapest wedding. DIY, baby. Well, I didn’t make the dress or anything, but I bought a simple white sundress off the rack and ordered a birdcage bridal veil from Etsy. I’m wearing a pair of blue strappy high-heeled sandals I already own, and my friend is making me a bouquet  of blue hydrangeas from her garden. She’s also making me a cake. We’re trying to decide between chocolate with white frosting or lemon with cream cheese frosting. I think I’m leaning toward lemon. Sam’s brother made us the most beautiful wooden box to symbolize the merging of our lives. The box is made of two different woods, combined and polished till the whole is better than the parts. I think we’ll put our wedding photos in there.

On advice of our pre-marital counselor, tonight Sam and I are supposed to go off by ourselves and say goodbye to our single lives, which makes me think  of my favorite Joan Didion essay ever, “Goodbye to All That,” in which she bids farewell to being young in Manhattan. I can’t think of much that makes me sad as I join my life with Sam’s, but I do think it’s a good idea to be conscious of how utterly huge this commitment is that we are about to make to each other. The first time I went around the wedding block I was more casual in my approach, more cavalier. My thought process was pretty much, “well, let’s see if this works!” This time the vows feel very, very profound. How much more real does it get than “till death do you part?” Just saying those words is acknowledging a truth that I (at least) am always running from: That we will die.

But there’s so much good stuff to experience before we do. For me, right now, it’s a white dress, blue shoes, hydrangeas, a lemon cake and a beautiful wooden box. And a book that I wrote that is about to be born into the world.




darling alone


with Sam in Highlands

but better together


6 Responses to Why not get married two weeks before your novel launches?

  1. Jo Ellen Roe May 14, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    This is beautiful. Best of luck to you both.

    • Susan May 15, 2013 at 12:25 am #

      Thank you, Aunt Jo!

  2. Anita May 16, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    You may not be getting any younger, but you look awfully darn good in that picture! Wishing you and Sam the very best. I’m married 23 years this Sunday, and honestly if I had it to do over, I’d go small…..all that money spent on one day was lovely, but in the end, it’s the daily things that have made the 23 years a success, not the white dress and flowers and pictures. Personally I’d never skimp on the cake…I hope your friend is a good baker!!
    Congratulations Susan!

    • Susan May 16, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

      Thanks so much Anita! Small feels very, very right for Sam and me. And my friend is a crazy good baker, so I know I’m in good hands!

  3. Melanie Levs May 21, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    So happy for you, Susan! All the best on your marriage AND your new book (which I may have to have my NEW book group read!)! Congratulations!

    • Susan May 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

      There’s lots to discuss in the book. So in my totally biased opinion I think it would be a good choice!