Magazines: WHITE magazine
Shuffling through a cupboard of stuff amidst a de-cluttering rampage these past holidays, I came across a box of wedding trinkets I had forgotten about, which rekindled many fond memories of sitting, office-bound, working out which stationery and music and sweets we would offer to our guests (at lunch time, of course!).
It is easy to lose sight of the purpose of marriage amidst the finalising of the minutest of details, much more how you might negotiate life together as a couple once you've wed, which doesn't always swing to the sound of a Van Morrison song.
Mezzanine Media's WHITE magazine is refreshingly helpful, and optimistic, as far as this matter is concerned, with the potential to reignite the spark in the most stagnant of partnerships as well as guiding engaged couples along the right path.
"We started the magazine after a few couples we know broke up within 12 months of marriage," says publisher Luke Burrell from his Newcastle base. "We used what we had in our hands to do something that would bring some positive and meaningful editorial into the wedding industry."
With its matte cover, sweet illustrations, vintage feel and earnest but jovial editorial, WHITE is for to-be-weds, newlyweds and anyone with a vested interest in the business of marriage, and it's for guys and girls. It is the feel-good, art-house romantic comedy of magazines.
With a penchant for the quirky, the cool and the real, its latest edition gives readers a glimpse into 3D technology being used by wedding photographers and videographers (with 3D glasses tacked inside for your viewing pleasure and tips from the '3d wisemen'), illustrated crafternoon ideas for the dexterous and a range of single-page articles with gentle advice.
"I really want your marriage to begin well," writes editor Carla Burrell in her letter. "A good start with clear expectations, boundaries and roles will help set the stage for many years to come. You'll notice that we've listed a few places that offer pre-marital counselling on page nine. Don't let the 'c' word scare you off. If a much older/wiser person has already walked down that road, why not learn from their experiences?"
To this end, editorial intern Emily's pre-wedding planning diary is complemented by a page called 'Still the one I love', a reflection on 53 years of marriage ("tolerance and give and take", say Joan and Noel) complemented by beautiful black-and-white images, as well as a 'Your relationship' section, which I found most enjoyable.
It includes Lachlan Meurer's musings on keeping the spark alive ("Intentionally share what you are going through with them, even if it's uncomfortable") and managing the mother/wife relationship when you are the husband in between; and Elizabeth Baker's advice on managing the fair distribution of domestic tasks ("It doesn't take Dr. Phil to work out this domestic debacle, but it does take honest effort from both parties").
A street poll of happily wedded people; ideas and treats for couples who are pooped; Valerie Antaki's couple's cuisine ("Cooking together as a couple is more about the bonding time and the feeling of creating something together than the actual food itself"); and Kevin Buckley's advice on balancing the budget when two people have different thoughts on money round out the offering for the marrieds.
Styling and grooming is given an edge with a 'Hairy time' men's hairstyle page and 'Trash to treasure' DIY bridesmaid dress spread, and 'Bespoke bouquets' complement the themed section ('Rustic garden'; 'The Hamptons'; 'Beach boho'; and my favourite, 'Mexican fiesta'). Choosing the right photographer ('The moment it clicked'), injecting creativity ('Eclectic hearts'), sensible beauty regimes ('Element attack') and pre-wedding fitness ('Summer loving') are also covered.
As with other wedding titles, several couples share insights (one couple opted for no bridal party and Dr. Suess inspired vows) and photographs of their big day, which will delight up-and-coming brides and grooms and rekindle memories for those long since wed. It may even make you more grateful for the marriage you have and cause simultaneous gestures of affection towards your partner (just sayin').
Illuminating lovely possibilities for creating a truly unique wedding day, but invested in ensuring your marriage thrives past the exchange of vows, WHITE magazine is a commendable publishing venture with heart.
WHITE, $11.95, is available at all good newsagents nationally.
Girl With a Satchel