Meet Carly Romeo

1.  YOU’RE THE {UN}CONVENTION COORDINATOR AT CATALYST WED CO. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU?

Collaborations are one of my favorite things in the world, and maybe it's because I'm a cusp-of-a-millenial but I really value getting together with people in real life and making shit happen. When we decided to do a magazine, it was like creating a product version of that experience -- touching, seeing, sharing in a more tangible way than online (no offense, internet). I love meeting wedding professionals from around the country who have the same dedication to equality and representation and helping them work together to make beautiful things.

2.  IF YOU HAD A TAGLINE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Carly Romeo, flying by the seat of her pants since 1985.

3.  EVERYONE AT CATALYST DOES A MILLION THINGS.  WHAT OTHER WORK OR HOBBIES DO YOU HAVE ON YOUR PLATE?

When I'm not spreading the Catalyst love, I'm running a feminist wedding photography business called Carly Romeo & Co. Usually that means I'm flying around the country shooting, or doing less-fun things like backing up files and drawing up contracts. In addition to that company, I'm the director of a program called Feminist Camp which is a conference based around feminism (unrelated to weddings). I'm a former assistant to Gloria Steinem, Planned Parenthood volunteer coordinator, barista, nanny, and record store clerk as well.

4.  HOW DID YOU FIND/GET STARTED AT CATALYST?

When Liz and I met, we knew we had to start a project together because the feeling of finding someone else who also sense that things are awry is too real and important to ignore. We opted for a magazine because it seemed the most obvious -- when you visit Barnes and Noble or even smaller bookstores, the wedding magazine racks are just awash with homogenous imagery. We're feminists and disrupters by nature, so we decided to give it a shot to shake that up.

5.  WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?

I have no idea. I started college as a Spanish major, then transferred into the architecture school where I met Jen, then transferred out the following year. I ultimately majored in Studies in Women and Gender, but that doesn't exactly point in a specific career direction. I think I've always been a businesswoman at heart; I just had to find a cause I wanted to hustle for.

6.  HAS FAILING AT SOMETHING OR QUITTING EVER LED TO SUCCESS FOR YOU?

I think the first time I realized that quitting something could be a good thing was when I dropped out of Architecture school and went back to "The College" as they call it at UVa (aka the part of the University for liberal arts folks). Everyone had made such a big deal about it when I was accepted INto the A-School (especially my parents and family, most of whom are blue-collar), and I felt like I was letting everyone down by leaving (even though I was terrible at it and didn't enjoy it one bit.) However, I was able to find a major that actually interested me, and in turn, studying something I was passionate about became more important to me than whether or not people were bummed that I wasn't going to be an architect.

7.  WHAT'S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE YOUR 18-YEAR-OLD SELF?

You were not meant for 8 am classes. Embrace your own weaknesses and plan around them.

8.  WHAT ARE THREE INGREDIENTS FOR A PERFECT DAY?

A good bike ride, Spotify, and time with friends

9.  IF YOU WERE IN CHARGE, WHAT WOULD THE NEXT BIG WEDDING TREND BE?

Dresscode-free wedding parties. Please stop telling grown men and women what to wear; just let them wear what makes them feel fly. And stop scapegoating photography — your photos will look good no matter what as long as you all feel comfortable and smile!