Our 10 Favorite Weddings and Elopements from 2017

We have published more real weddings and engagement this year than ever before and we have been absolutely blown away by the love stories of all of the couples we've featured, but these 10 couples and the ceremonies to share their love and commitment to each other have helped us get through this dumpster fire of a year. Thanks for helping us to keep believing in love, beauty, and happiness!


Photos by Laura Babb

Where do we even begin? Not only way 2017 the year of Catalyst heading to London for {un}convention and meeting up with photography Laura Babb at her conference SNAP in Wales, and therefore we are very biased towards her work, but the jewel tones and venues of Megan and Sarah's London wedding are so amazing. We love that neither opted for a white dress and that their wedding portrait in the London Eye looking over the city are STUNNING. We could gaze at this photo all day long.


Photos by Amber Robinson

Corina and Corynn had a small 35-person on the beach in Cancun, Mexico where Corynn proposed. The couple met in high school, but it took awhile before they reconnected as adults. "We met in high school and were friends, but we ran in different circles. We fell in love nine years later when we ended up working for the same company. It was only a week into dating that we both knew: this is it!," says Corina. This couple's destination wedding was magical, meaningful, and shared with just their closest family and friends, but was still full of love and lots of celebration! Also, it was totally stunning. The couple lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, as does their photographer, Amber Robinson. We are huge fans of Amber's work!


Photos by Nessa K Photography

It isn't often that we at Catalyst get to actually meet the couples in our feature. So often we gaze at their love through the images on our site, but it's so rare that we get to witness their love out in the world. We were so lucky to get to meet Jess and Karolyn, the wife and wife duo from behind Honey and the Moon Photography in Northern Ireland, while we were at SNAP in Wales, and they are truly wonderful and loving people through and through. 

I'm sure it sounds cheesy, but all of our couples are celebrities to me. When I saw Jess and Karolyn in the parking lot at SNAP I literally did a 180 degree turn in my car to say "OMG HI!!!!!"

We also had the privilege of meeting their photographer Nessa K this year, and she could not have done a better job capturing their intimate elopement on the cliffs of Carmel, California. Plus, can we talk about Jess's leaf patterned trousers? SO SO GOOD.


Photos by 43rd Avenue Photography

Y'ALL. Two words: BRIDAL OVERALLS. Okay, but also Nora's backless lace daisy top. And her heels, and everything about how gorgeous and casual this elopement at San Francisco City Hall was by 43rd Avenue Photography. Their intimate elopement ceremony reminds us that you don't need an over the top wedding to show off your love and personality. 


Photos by Erin Morrison

26 years. That is how long Diana and Sue have been together.  There are probably some people reading this post right now who weren't even ALIVE when Diana and Sue got together. And after all that time, they finally got to say "I Do" in the backyard of the home they share together with all the people who are important to them. When you've been together for 26 years, you get to be completely yourself with your partner, and we love that their Diana and Sue were completely themselves on their wedding day. 


Photos by Madison Hope Photography

Sometimes ditching the big wedding and opting to elope allows a couple to be their true selves on their wedding day. This elopement did just that for Ricky and Ethan.

"In true Ricky and Ethan fashion, our wedding did not end up the way we had initially planned. Of course we envisioned the traditional wedding and traditional reception. But we are not the traditional couple," says Ethan. "After a year of planning and mind-changing and late nights comparing venues and colors and flowers, we got tired of waiting and planning. So we stopped. We told our parents and siblings and picked a Friday we could get everyone in town, and we went to the courthouse in a floral suit, tiara, and all. After our beautifully short and intimate service, we met our family for brunch on Lake Eola on a perfect sunny afternoon in June."


Photos by Samantha Lauren Photography

So many couples are introverted and are overwhelmed at both the concept of being put on display in front of hundreds of guests and having to deal with all the stress of planning a big wedding. For Tazz and Sunny, the solution was simple. 

"Both my husband and I wanted the day to be special but not overwhelm us with everything we’d need to do for it. We figured the easiest and most low-key way would be to rent an Airbnb that would sleep 14 people. We limited our guest list to 14 and basically had a weekend getaway-turned-wedding with our closest friends. As two people who hate being the center of attention, this was absolutely perfect."

Airbnb weddings are officially our new favorite trend!


Photos by Alex Bee Photo

"Appalachia is our homeland. It’s where we first met, it’s where I began my transgender journey, it’s where we found a queer community that taught us how to radically love and be loved, it’s the smell of the mountain air, the clean crystal creeks, and the raw beauty of the fall foliage, so it was very easy for us to choose that location for our wedding," says Peter. Peter and Hannah met in Asheville, North Carolina, but opted to marry in Tennessee due to high wedding prices in Asheville. They chose to be intentional with every aspect of their wedding and worked to challenge gender norms anywhere they could.

"My father spent most of my life hoping to walk his daughter down the aisle, and as a family we didn’t see why my transition into his son should have to rob either of us from that experience. Our niece donned a dapper little suit as our ring bearer, and our family friends were our leaf boys throwing fallen leaves collected around the farm instead of flowers." WE LOVE IT.


Photos by Kaitlyn Stoddard-Carter

Joe and Andrea have both spent time coaching basketball for middle and high school kids in their hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. It was through their basketball coaching that they met their photography, Kaitlyn Stoddard-Carter

"As a coach, it's awesome to talk about teamwork, but I think when you exemplify it off the court, the field, the track, etc. that's when you earn the respect of your athletes. Likewise, perhaps the same principle applies to marriage," says Kaitlyn. "It's easy to talk about, to say what you should do, but a little bit harder to live out. I've never known Joe and Andrea as anything but a team, and I’d venture to say their approach to marriage is pretty similar to their approach on the basketball court." 

Their joy in building their team in marriage is so apparent in their photos, and that's why we're in love with this wedding.


Photos by Bri McDaniel Photography

This couple had a very traditional two-day celebration filled with modern elements, so much color, and love. On the first day they hosted the Mehndi Ceremony and Nikah Ceremony. The Mehndi Ceremony is when the bride gets her hands and feet painted in henna. The patterns are completed with intricate details, and she sports them for the rest of the ceremonies. The Nikah Ceremony is the traditional signing of the marriage contract. The couple repeats the word qabul,which means "I accept" in Arabic three times to demonstrate they are freely marrying each other. The Shaadi Ceremony is the actual wedding day. They held a huge reception and at the end of the night performed the traditional giving away of the bride. The bride's family walks them to their get away car and reflects on the joining of their new families. 


 Jen Siomacco

JEN SIOMACCO

Jen Siomacco is the Creative Director of Catalyst Wedding Co.Jen Siomacco is the Creative Director at Catalyst. She works to mesh together her love of feminism, love stories, equality and design into the layout and brand of Catalyst while she sits on her couch and snuggles up with her SUPER lazy cats.