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The Ring

The Ring

Pre-owned: cool or not cool? Alternatives to diamonds; creative bands; making a vintage ring your own

By Clare Boerigter

Engaged couples have been exchanging gifts since the time of the Romans. Before betrothal rings became the dominant tradition around the 12th century, couples often exchanged thimbles or a piece of gold or silver.

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Preparing Your Inner Self to Wed

Preparing Your Inner Self to Wed

What to do before you say “I do”

By Erin Geesaman Rabke

In the midst of a Buddhist meditation retreat, in the summer of 2001, Carl asked me to marry him. With eyes and heart aglow, I said yes. It was so "us," to get engaged at a Buddhist retreat. The shared intention to wake up, to open our hearts, had always been central in our relationship. Our meditation teacher kindly but firmly invited us to get real about our motivation and not to function from a romantic trance. Why are you doing this? Why do you want to involve others in your intimate relationship and vows? Are you looking for their blessing? Are you hoping to bless them?

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Spring Planting

Spring Planting

Seven practices to guarantee a summer of bounty.

By James Loomis

When spring is in full swing, it's almost as if being indoors is engaging in inappropriate behavior. Hiding inside is to live in exile, to squander precious sunlight. Fortunately, you know better than that. It's barely May and you already have a tan line. This season's ridiculously early warm weather has given us all plenty of time to prep our gardens and reconnect with the soil and, with the last frost date rapidly approaching, we can finally throw off the shackles of restraint and plug in those warm weather crops!

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The Wedding Venue

The Wedding Venue

Museums, shops, gardens and parks.

By Clare Boerigter

Nontraditional wedding and reception sites offer their own special charm and often cost less than traditional full-service venues. However, be sure to factor in time, effort and additional cost if you have additional needs: tents, portable potties, a dance floor, maybe even electrical generators. If you're considering an outdoor gathering, visit possible locations at the time of day (and, ideally, the season) you will be marrying, and consider accomodations for inclement weather. Also, the venue may provide all you need in the way of decor. Or not. Take note.

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Marrying Mr. Wright

Marrying Mr. Wright

A tribute and remembrance of the awesome connection of love in whatever shape it takes.

By Stephanee Grosscup

On May 31, 1999, my loving friend Brian Wright and I did something completely unconventional. We married each other. Brian was one of the most extraordinary, funny, loving, talented, literate, athletic, musically inclined, intelligent, strong, sensitive, communicative, sarcastic, live-in-the-moment and wise human beings that has walked upon this planet. Brian was also a super gay man.

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Shall We Dance?

Shall We Dance?

Mind your metaphors: How to organize a wedding dance.

By Amy Brunvand

Finnish anthropologist Edward Westermarck recounts some alarming traditional marriage rites in his 1891 book, The History of Human Marriage. Con­tents include the bride or groom beating the other, shutting up the bride in a box, the use of animal blood...yikes! But Westermarck also has something to say about the reason for dancing at weddings.

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The Betrothed

The Betrothed

Four stories of four weddings.

By Katherine Pioli

I was not what you'd call the marrying type. I never wanted a big day with a white dress. As a non-practitioner of any faith, the idea of walking down an aisle and standing in front of a person who had some magical authority to bind me to someone felt foreign and disingenuous. For a long time, even after I met the man I knew I'd be happy with for the rest of my life, getting hitched wasn't a terribly pressing matter. That changed after a friend lost her partner of 10 years.

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Editor's Notebook: From Bridesmaid to Officiant

Editor's Notebook: From Bridesmaid to Officiant

From bridesmaid to officiant.

By Greta Belanger deJong

My first foray down the aisle was when I was nine years old. My only sister, 11 years my senior, was abandoning me for some guy. It was a consolation, the honor of being a junior bridesmaid and the opportunity to own a sapphire blue taffeta dress (with matching shoes). Still, I knew this was a net loss for me. I was not happy.

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The Re-Wedding

The Re-Wedding

Sometimes, you get to start over again.

By Alice Toler

By the time Trent and I had been married three years, our relationship was in pretty bad shape. All the joy and fun we'd shared when we first tied the knot had somehow trickled away, and left behind were the giant piles of emotional baggage that, it turned out, we'd each been toting around.

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The Power of Ritual

The Power of Ritual

Choosing your officiant with care.

By Clare Boerigter

A skilled and sensitive officiant can do more than simply guide your wedding ceremony. He or she can guide you through the process of creating a ritual that is meaningful and memorable. We reached out to two practiced officiants, Reverend Tom Goldsmith of the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake and local actress and singer Dee-Dee Darby Duffin, to get their advice on wedding ceremonies and choosing the right officiant for the big day.

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Natural Health & Beauty: Healthy, Sexy "I do!"

Natural Health & Beauty: Healthy, Sexy "I do!"

Natural bridal beauty prep guide.

By Nicole Devaney

Nothing is more beautiful than a woman in love. To help that beauty shine through naturally on your big day, follow these health and beauty tips.

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The Timing of Eternity: Electional Astrology

The Timing of Eternity: Electional Astrology

Getting married under the stars.

By John deJong

You might marry for time and eternity, but it doesn't have to seem like eternity. If you get it right, you'll be amazed to find that 20 or 30 years have passed and you still love your partner at least as much as you did when you said "I do." Not much in a wedding is left to chance—with the distinct exception of the wedding date. It's usually chosen to fit the travel plans of out-of-town guests, and on a day when the celebration can go well into the night. If you've ever consulted an astrologer or asked someone, maybe even the one, what their sign is, you may be interested to know that when you marry is important. That's where electional astrology comes in.

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What They Carried, What They Wore

What They Carried, What They Wore

The flowers and the dress.

By Jane Lyon and Jodi Mardesich Smith

Two of Salt Lake's most eclectic florists are generous with their advice, and Jodi Mardesich Smith takes us beyond the bridal boutiques.

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Catalyst Blogs

  • Apr 30, 2015
    The Aquarium Age: Apr. 29 - May 6
    Written by

    I won't lean so far into the positive and proclaim this week to be "a great one"—too much is happening in too many places on the planet to be that optimistic and cheerful. But I will say there is less negative planetary interference this week than we've grown accustomed to, and because of that absence of pernicious alliances, we have another week to catch our individual and collective breath and replenish our reserves, internal and external. Use this time wisely, please, because by the end of next week, attitudes will once again bristle, as tempers once again turn testy. But for now we're still basking in the glow of "not so bad."

    Posted in Aquarium Age
  • Apr 22, 2015
    The Aquarium Age: Apr. 22-28
    Written by

    The planets continue to align in dynamic, industrious formations this week, and the routines of daily life continue to reflect their celestial resolve. Anticipate plenty of planetary support for accomplishing your goals or all your tireless work helping others to accomplish theirs. The good news is that you can also expect tangible results for your efforts. But don't worry that the week is all-work-and-no-play. Flirtatious interactions spice up what might otherwise be deemed a highly ambitious atmosphere.

    Posted in Aquarium Age
  • Apr 22, 2015
    Bounce: This is not a freestyle movie
    Written by

    Bounce, which plays at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival tour in Salt Lake and Park City on April 22 and 23, is only about three minutes long, but in that time it takes you on a journey of a couple thousand miles.

    Posted in Sophie Says
  • Apr 17, 2015
    Sophie Says: What if planet Earth had a Facebook profile?
    Written by

    German short film about earth's social media page, Earthbook, premiers in SLC, April 22 at the Tower Theater.

    Posted in Sophie Says

Regulars and Shorts

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CATALYST Guide to Offbeat* Weddings

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*Offbeat: Off-the-beaten-track; syncopated; unusual. Sometimes oppositional. To us, it means that which comes from the heart, with fewer nods to convention.

Once every decade or so, CATALYST turns its attention to the art of the wedding. This month, you’ll meet couples who did it “their way.” There’s a list of off-the-beaten-track venues, and astrological advice for choosing the best date.You’ll read about preparing your inner self to wed, and employing basic health practices to help you look your best; investigate the world of rings beyond the traditional diamond; explore clothing beyond the bridal boutique; hear from a few officiants on the subject of vows; meet two epic floral artists; and consider ways to liven up the all-important wedding dance.

There’s a story from a woman who “marries” her gay best friend who is living with fullblown AIDS; and another from a married couple who weather some rocky times and celebrate their growth with a “re-wedding.”

Obviously, you can enjoy these stories without the need to engage in the ancient ritual of commitment. You may even find it useful in planning other celebrations in your life. Marking important moments in our life gives us the opportunity to bear witness to what matters most in the lives of our nears and dears.

If you read just the HTML version, you're really missing out this issue. Click the "Flip-Through Magazine" link on the left-hand column of the home page to see the issue as it looks in the print version (or, of course, pick up a copy!).