Amber's Birthday Party & Baby Shower

Amber's Birthday Party & Baby Shower

Co-Owner of Catalyst, Amber, is having a baby! And it was her birthday! The scoop on the double celebration, featuring Catalyst sponsors, new friends… and an embarrassing speech from her dad.

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25 Wedding Accessories We're Loving from Hushed Commotion

25 Wedding Accessories We're Loving from Hushed Commotion

I was so thrilled to come across the Brooklyn, New York based wedding accessory line from Hushed Commotion because it is full of unique and modern designs. They offer creative alternatives to your standard veil, hair pieces, tiaras, and belts, and they even have accessories for your pets!

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Wes Anderson Wedding Inspiration in Brooklyn, NY

Wes Anderson Wedding Inspiration in Brooklyn, NY

Futura, distinct colors, a symmetrical living room “scene,” and simple vintage style set the scene for this styled-shoot dream-land. Specific prop choices and 60s mod funky wedding attire and furniture choices allowed a real couple to step into a world inspired by Wes Anderson while in the heart of Brooklyn at Berg'n Beer Hall.

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Your Ceremony Has the Power to Change Weddings for the Better

Your Ceremony Has the Power to Change Weddings for the Better

It feels like we’re at a powerful transition point and the wedding industry is in a position to direct the collective mindset toward redefining marriage and relationships as a whole. How? We do it by steadily dismantling the falsehoods that our industry packages and sells.

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A Brooklyn 80s-Themed Pride Party

A Brooklyn 80s-Themed Pride Party

The neon colors, the upbeat music, that hair. The 80s were a booming decade for music, pop culture, fashion, and expressing one’s authentic self. For Brooklyn Pride 2018 (back in June), I decided to embrace all the colors and crimped hair the era had to offer in an 80s-themed Pride party. Donations were taken at the door in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, which was established in New York City in 1983. All bartender tips were donated as well.

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Real Wedding // A Brooklyn-Themed Bar Wedding: Abby + Joey

Real Wedding // A Brooklyn-Themed Bar Wedding: Abby + Joey

Joey and I met at The Cove, a dark and dirty bar in Williamsburg. We met on the dance floor... not the place you imagine meeting your husband, but we lucked out! And oddly enough our close friends who married a year before us met on the very same night at the same club! We were sad to see it shut down a few years back. 

Our wedding venue was TBD, which also closed down now. We loved the mixture of indoor and outdoor space and it ranked high for "dance-ability" as well. Aesthetically, I loved the mixture of cement, greenery, metal, and street art; it felt really "Brooklyn" which we both loved!  And since we had a lot of friends and family we wanted to attend, the size really fit our needs.

As some of our photos suggest, we really tried to include "the city," and namely Brooklyn in our wedding photo story.  Street art, hip hop, and the backdrop to our single lives before and now married life after. 

Rima was a huge part of that, including the memories we'll hold onto forever. She came to us with high recommendations and did not disappoint! We also found out that not only did she used to work with my best friend Kat in television, she also photographed a friend's wedding in Wheeling, WV as well. The coincidences felt too significant to ignore!

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The Catalyst Wedding Review Podcast // Episode 5: Gilmore Girls "Kill Me Now" with Amy Shackelford

The Catalyst Wedding Review Podcast // Episode 5: Gilmore Girls "Kill Me Now" with Amy Shackelford

In this week's episode, Jen sits down with feminist Brooklyn wedding planner Amy Shackelford of Modern Rebel and Co. to review Season 1, Episode 3 of Gilmore Girls "Kill Me Now" where the Independence Inn is host to a double wedding where twin brides marry twin grooms. They talk their love of Gilmore Girls, mother daughter relationships as they relate to weddings, and the unfortunate ableism, homophobia, and white feminism that exists throughout the show. But most importantly, they talk about Amy's fear of swans and her love of Shania Twain.

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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Altering or Customizing A Wedding Dress // AMadden Tailoring

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Altering or Customizing A Wedding Dress // AMadden Tailoring

For us lay-people, the mysteries of bridal gown tailoring can seem like pure magic. We sat down with the expert, Amanda Madden of AMadden Tailoring, and we asked her everything we have ever wanted to know about altering, customizing, and creating wedding dresses!

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Real Couples // A Jovial Urban Wedding in Brooklyn, NY: Andrei + Starsha

Real Couples // A Jovial Urban Wedding in Brooklyn, NY: Andrei + Starsha

Andrei and I met at a "horsewarming party" (or at least that was what the Facebook event was called). One of my best friends from Sarah Lawrence was moving in with her boyfriend, Andrei's friend from his youth. They threw a housewarming party in Lefferts Garden. It was a blistering hot day in the dead of summer, and earlier that day I helped a friend move a used air conditioner (read: heavy) from a tiny East Village apartment to her apartment in Bushwick. I could feel a "throat thing" coming on and was really tired, but mustered up the energy to go to the party. I laid on the couch for the first hour I was there when three boys walked in and the music stopped and everyone looked at them in 20 seconds of silence. Not really, but I did become upright embarrassingly fast once I spotted him: Andrei, the man I was going to marry. I accidentally exclaimed out loud, "WHO IS THAT?" He and is friends immediately went to the fire escape because it was unbearably sweaty inside and I followed them. I introduced myself immediately. I ultimately had to leave the party early before having the proper chance to declare my desire to marry him one day or at least get in a kiss. But I told all of my friends before I left—middle school style—to "tell that boy I like him." And they did!

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Styled Shoot // Brooklyn Industrial Glam at the Williamsburg Hotel

Styled Shoot // Brooklyn Industrial Glam at the Williamsburg Hotel

A significant focus of this inspiration shoot was on impactful and stylish details. From the unique mix of geometric pattern and calligraphy of stationery and signage by Cut Above Stationery, the custom written vows by Daniela at Once Upon a Vow, sustainable linens from The Bayith, the incredible pop of color in the florals by Rose Red and Lavender, and the classic pieces with modern flourishes from Party Rentals Ltd. all of the decor was carefully styled by Soiree & Cabernet to highlight but not overpower the features of the Williamsburg Hotel.

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Tales from a Wedding Planner // Amy of Modern Rebel Talks "Donut-Gate"

Tales from a Wedding Planner // Amy of Modern Rebel Talks "Donut-Gate"

Amy: I had so many back-to-back weddings with donuts (they're very in right now), and so at a client's wedding, while I totally knew in my heart of hearts they were not donuts, I had a brain fart and had the band announce that the donuts were now out at the dessert table! I was literally looking at these NOT DONUTS and saying, would you like a donut? Then, the photographer's assistant came up to me and said, “Amy, those are not donuts, right? They're like muffins, right?" And I was like, "no, they're donuts!" And then my assistant and I realized: WHAT THE HECK, THESE ARE CUPCAKES. I had a grandma or two ask for some donuts, and I had to sadly tell them we only had cupcakes. I'm a very on-top-of-my-shit lady, but that was the one moment I broke. Could have been worse! You have to laugh.

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Styled Shoot // Same-Sex Brooklyn Wedding Inspiration - with Sprinkles!

Styled Shoot // Same-Sex Brooklyn Wedding Inspiration - with Sprinkles!

It's not very often that a new venue pops up in Brooklyn. The American Can Factory in Brooklyn is just that. It's a work-space turned exposed-brick-dream-wedding-venue on the weekends. We snagged it to feature this gorgeous real life couple, Alexia and Charm.

Charm, a Texan, is a new NYC transplant, and Alexia is a born and bred New Yorker. They're planning to get married in the near future, and they thought, why not try it out before the real thing? We happily obliged by planning them a day that reflected them, their love, and NYC vendors who celebrate LGBTQ love stories.

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Wedding Inspiration // Tattooed Brides, Vintage Motorcycle, + Studded Cake

Wedding Inspiration // Tattooed Brides, Vintage Motorcycle, + Studded Cake

...a car drove by and its male driver slowed to honk his horn to harass us ... Thankfully, I had these two badass women in front of the camera. They coolly looked toward the car, and with the greatest of ease, extended their middle fingers as high as they could ... These two women were the perfect embodiment of what I wanted to represent. Be aggressively yourself.

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Real Families // Drag Pop Art Baby Shower

Real Families // Drag Pop Art Baby Shower

Color was obviously our biggest theme with every piece of decor in a different shade of a primary color. Dots and circles also became a big theme, serving as a repeating pattern on the party favors, cake, and of course the macaroon desserts. Plus we used honeycombs and balloons to decorate the tablescapes and food tables. One of my favorite decor details of the party were the black and white oversized photo booth props in shapes like ice cream cones, pretzels, and donuts. Everyone had a great time posing with them in front of the colorful heart backdrop.

I also can't talk about this shower without mentioning the entertainment! We wanted to do something as colorful and unique as the decor for Gina, so we hired the amazing drag queen Lauren Ordair to perform baby-themed songs for the party. It was so much more fun than playing another silly baby game. And it was so awesome to see Gina's surprise when she came in singing in that fantastic pink dress!

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21 Wedding and Engagement Gifts Hand-Picked by Vessel Brooklyn

21 Wedding and Engagement Gifts Hand-Picked by Vessel Brooklyn

Everyone can agree that no two people (and no two relationships) are alike. Yet so often we fall into a cookie-cutter trap when selecting gifts for the ones we love. The best gifts say something about both the giver and the recipient and the bonds and memories shared between them. If you’re looking for a gift, ask yourself: what makes this person unique? When thinking about the time you have spent together, what are the first images that pop into your head? When you really tap into these specifics and use them as your springboard, you will end up with a gift that is thoughtful, creative, and one-of-a-kind.

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Real Couples // Spontaneous Friday the 13th Elopement: Mariam + Fernando

Real Couples // Spontaneous Friday the 13th Elopement: Mariam + Fernando

I never wanted to plan a wedding, as I think it’s a waste of our time and money. I always believed that the plan would reveal itself when we’re ready. So a week ago, we jokingly talked about getting married before Trump becomes president. We looked at the calendar and saw Friday the 13th and thought it was perfect! Shortly after, we picked what to wear from our closets, we asked friends (and our witnesses) to come over on Friday, and we spent less than $500 in food, drinks, etc. We had no plan. Our only plan was to enjoy each other’s company.

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Black BeauTEA Talk // Silk & Lace Thrift Shop Inspiration for Nontraditional Brides

Black BeauTEA Talk // Silk & Lace Thrift Shop Inspiration for Nontraditional Brides

I never dreamed about my wedding day as a child. I am not that girl! I honestly feel as though I would breakout into hives just like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City if I were to try on a wedding dresses. This is not an anti-wedding dress rant. Wedding dresses are the most beautiful gowns ever! I just cannot do traditional anything, and the cost per wear is just a little too high for me. What is “cost per wear” you ask? Well, this is the total cost of the item/number of days you’ll wear it. For those brides who think similarly, I’ve found a loophole for you!!!!  
 

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Real Couples // City Hall Elopement: Natalie + Lucie

Real Couples // City Hall Elopement: Natalie + Lucie

Natalie and Lucie were visiting from London and got in touch with me before their trip because they knew that while here on holiday they wanted to tie the knot. I was not only their photographer, but also their witness at City Hall. They told me they both love architecture, so after their ceremony at City Hall in Manhattan, we went over to Brooklyn and took photos in DUMBO with the Brooklyn Bridge as an awesome backdrop, as well as the rest of the fun feel of the neighborhood. The colorful murals were perfect for their white outfits to pop against! They wanted intimate and romantic mixed with fun, and I think we accomplished that well!

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