The Catalyst Wedding Review Podcast: Launching in February 2018

In case you haven't noticed, we at Catalyst love to take a critical look at how weddings are represented in media, and pop culture plays a massive role in how we think about weddings.

Whether it's weddings we see in Disney movies as small children, royal weddings (oh, we see you Harry and Meghan!), The Bachelor and The Bachelorette enterprise, or the newest rom com to grace movie screens, the average American has a million ideas planted in their head about what a wedding should look like before they are even old enough to give consent to marry.

So in 2018, we are pleased to be launching a podcast dedicated to taking a closer look at pop culture and its impact on weddings, love, race, sexuality, gender norms, and more!

Join us each week as our Creative Director, Jen Siomacco, sits downs with special guests from the Catalyst Community and beyond to talk about their favorite (or least favorite) movies or tv shows that include weddings. Together, we'll PICK THAT SHIT APART. We'll talk about our favorite moments, the most unrealistic parts of the wedding, why there are is unbalanced representation of people of different races, cultures, sexualities, and gender identities, and why oh why do they need to blow up so many balloons in My Best Friend's Wedding (there aren't even any balloons at the wedding or reception?! What a waste of balloons and helium!) We'll discuss it all. 

Special guests will include: Carly RomeoKevin Lowery, Erika Swift, Tomayia Colvin, Allison Davis, Amy Shackelford, Liv Lyszyk, Renée Dalo, Raquita Henderson, Jessica Hunt, Lucy Baber, Erica Greenwold Reisen, Amanda Hartfield, and many more. 

Meet Jen

Jen Siomacco is the Creative Director of Catalyst Wedding Co., and a user experience designer who manages, creates the layout and visual design of each issue of our print magazine, and is an advocate for net neutrality and web accessibility.

Jen is also a pop culture JUNKIE. She loves television and there very few shows are considered too bad for her to watch. Her favorites are Buffy the Vampire SlayerBob's Burgers, and Parks and Recreation. She loves movies, and while her favorites include cult classics like Heathers and Reality Bites (love you Winona <3), she also has a deep love of foreign, classic, and independent film.

Fun fact: Her brother Ed Siomacco works for Industrial Light & Magic and is currently working on the film adaptation of her favorite YA book A Wrinkle in Time, so she is only two levels of separation away from Ava DuVernay. That's right. Be jealous. 

Watch Jen's TEDx RVA talk to better understand why we need to take a critical look at pop culture and wedding media and why diverse representation matters.

The Avowed Podcast

Join dynamic contemporary wedding cake baker Jasmine Lilly as she explores how and why we are married in the modern world. Tearing back the immaculate veil, Lilly takes listeners on a journey through love, marriage, and the multi-billion dollar industry that fuels the wild world of modern weddings.

Utilizing a celebratory and investigative approach, Lilly explores wedding tradition origins, societal expectations, and boundary pushing concepts in through inclusive conversations with wedding industry rebels, real couples, and bad-ass people with something to say about love. Lilly leaves no stone unturned in her pursuit of innovation and understanding.

Through joyful investigation The Avowed Podcast seeks to refresh the spirit of weddings, shred obsolete boundaries, and give voice to contemporary perspectives on love and marriage. With a direct approach, humorous heartfelt moments, and refreshingly honest revelations, Lilly is actively creating the space necessary to cultivate a revolution of intention and understanding around habitual notions of love and marriage.

Listen Now

Read the Show Notes

We are looking for awesome couples and wedding professionals to be interviewed by Jasmine on the podcast! 

If you are interested in being a part of this podcast magic, apply to join us.

Meet Jasmine: Rebel cake baker + Artist + Writer + Entrepreneur + Renaissance woman

Photo by Orange Photographie

Photo by Orange Photographie

Jasmine Lilly was more surprised than anyone at finding herself in the wedding industry, but with an extensive background in studio art and over ten years in the restaurant industry Lilly decided to marry her passion for food and artistry by opening her revolutionary wedding cake business, Whipped

Lilly’s ferociously contemporary wedding cakes may have been her introduction into the wedding industry but it is her inquisitive mind, and rebellious tendency to question established social scripts that sparked the simple yet radical concept for The Avowed Podcast. Drawn to the wedding industry for its collaborative artistic approach, Lilly quickly realized the dangerous expectations, social pressures, and disconcerting future of an industry that has celebritized “Bridezilla” behavior and enabled unrealistic expectations of perfection and heteronormative representation. Her unique approach has inspired a deeper exploration of this intrinsic piece of the human experience, as she invites a diverse array of people to open up about deeply personal moments in their journey’s to and from the altar.

Despite a family tree riddled with divorce, Lilly remains devoted to her partner of ten years, Patrick Burr (owner of Roots Kitchen & Cannery). For most of the last decade the question of marriage between them has been a relative non-issue but as she delves deeper into the wedding industry Lilly has begun to address her own motivation and desire to tie the knot.

Lilly’s work has been featured in People Magazine, Style Me Pretty, Destination I Do, and several other wedding publications and blogs.