Love, sex, weddings, and marriage for feminists, the LGBTQ community, & woke folk.
"I met this beautiful woman on a lesbian dating website. On the surface, we had only a few things in common, but we emailed each other for two months before we met—turns out, she absolutely spoke to my heart. I never thought I would get married, let alone meet someone. Things in my life led me to believe that I was meant to be alone and that merely surviving in this world was the best it would ever get. But Marilee completely transformed my world; now we have a beautiful home, a dog, and a bright future ahead."
My partner and I are recently engaged and can’t wait to get started planning our big day! We are hoping to buy our first home soon, so we’d like to keep our wedding budget under $15k. Any tips on how to manage this budget?
Newly Engaged & Economical
Our goal for this shoot was to have fun and highlight color and love! Our theme was Girls! Girls! Girls!, and we were able to put together an amazing team of women, The Richmond Association of Boss Babes. We thought, what would a real life couple do when they woke up together on the day of their wedding? Morning sex, obviously! Boudoir images are usually just of one woman, and even less often do you see images of lesbian boudoir featuring an actual couple. We wanted to capture our girls in their element, being themselves together, whether that was dressed or undressed.
Liz: Is there anything else you would like to share with folks reading who are also working to find their own place and their own identity?
Bri: I would say to others that it starts with stepping out of the denial. Don’t deny how you feel or think because it is beautiful, and it is you. Once you stop denying you can start loving, and that extends to yourself.
It was a perfect fall day in the East Bay. Nicole hung out with her best friends, sister and grandmother while getting her hair and makeup done while Stephen and his mom practiced their first dance, and his dad was there to help with his tie. The ceremony took place in the beautiful redwood grove at Piedmont Community Hall with many friends and family in attendance. A special chair was set aside with flowers in remembrance of Nicole’s mom.
Jasmine speaks with bride-to-be Hannah Easterly about splitting her wedding celebration up into three events, sharing your vows with an audience, allowing your wedding vendors some creative freedom, and choosing between a legally binding marriage or something less defined.
The inspiration for this shoot came, for the most part, from my own personal experiences. I knew that I wanted to embrace the romance of an elopement (my husband and I eloped!) and that I wanted to showcase the beauty of unconventionality by adding subcultural elements. I wanted there to be courtship and passion without losing a sense of self; I wanted there to be strength and individuality as well without losing the aspect of soft femininity. Three of my favorite styles of fashion and music are 1960-1970s ska (Rudies), psychobilly, and punk rock; this was the driving force behind making my vision a reality. There are no fancy venues or elaborate décor here. This is meant to be the down-to-earth, private, backyard celebration you’d love to have with the people closest to you.
Searching for wedding rings can be exhausting. There are seemingly millions of options — and you don’t want to choose something flippantly because it is something you plan to wear for the rest of your life. It should be special. It should mean something. You should love your ring, right? After all, the wedding ring symbolizes your never-ending, unbroken devotion to your chosen life partner. It’s a big deal.
Roxann and Trey have traveled in the same orbit since they were 18 years old, their lives circling around each other and convening at certain points. When tragedy struck they got closer, but it just was not the right time yet. Through relationship after relationship, they stayed in each other's orbit being that shoulder for each other but declaring nothing because the orbit was just not perfect. After a decade of love, support, and caring it all finally clicked, and they knew the other was their person. Seeing them together, it's obvious that even though it took a while to get to this point, it was the exact perfect point for them both. They are already a family, and their wedding in June of this year will just solidify what was known by all.
Mitch and Erynne are a special kind of special, man. Mitch met Erynne at a show they played together at Chicago's Double Door, and the rest was quickly history. So it seemed only fitting they'd marry in a place where they met: onstage. They wed at the Bottom Lounge, a venue in Chicago's West Loop, surrounded by over 200 of their closest friends and family.
It didn’t take our team long to get to a point where we felt like we were bending and molding to a pre-existing set of norms surrounding what a wedding is “supposed” to look like. Here we were, a group of incredibly intelligent and progressive women trying to change The Conversation, hitting up against a wall because, as one of the brilliant minds on the team commented, “trying to create something and perform according to the rules of the ‘typical wedding fantasy’ really doesn’t feel very queer at all.”
The jewelry industry is wrought with problematic paradigms—beautiful things are often created at a high human and environmental cost. It does not have to be this way. If we educate ourselves as consumers, we can support a transition to safer and saner practices.
Amber Marlow is a New York City wedding photographer who opens up in this interview about her challenging upbringing and the journey that followed to find ease with her racial identity and a sense of self worth.
Jess and I met at Arizona State University when we were 18 years old and freshly out of the closet to our very religious families. We started dating in 2011, without acceptance or support from our families. My sisters were the only supportive ones from my family. We lived at the dorms for a semester because we had no where to go. We moved into our first apartment when the semester ended and slept on the floor for months. We didn't have anything but a few blankets, pillows, clothes, and towels. We saved the first nine months together to buy our first couch and continued saving for other basic things. Five years later, on our 5th year anniversary (10/26/16), we tied the knot! Our parents aren't fully on board, but Jess's are a little more supportive. I'm still struggling with my parents. We have been through very rough lows and some good highs, we have grown stronger together, and been there for each other when it's most needed.
Jasmine talks with Catalyst Wedding Magazine's Editor in Chief, Liz Susong, about long-distance marriage, racism and sexism in the wedding industry, making peace with discomfort, and finding more reasons to celebrate.
Vanessa meets Nick in the woods to ride ponies, and he’s like, “This is a week that’s filled with mutual decisions,” even though it’s obviously not, and nobody should be more acutely aware of that than Nick “Always the Groom’s Competition, Never the Groom” Viall.
These ladies are a beautiful couple madly in love. They were just friends for years, both dating other people. When they both found themselves single, a love blossomed. Both are simply divine people...and both are hilarious. The shoot was a blast. Cammie is a coach and is back in school. Marie is an area food safety and nutrition agent. They live together in a cute lil' house in Greenville, South Carolina.
Q: Pricing for wedding flowers is often confusing to couples—sometimes even a shock. Often, couples budget a lot less than floral designers charge. Why do you think that is, and what do you wish couples knew about it?
A: The two main components that impact price are the flowers themselves and the labor to design, transport, and deliver or install the flowers.