A Just Because Couple's Session in Downtown Charlottesville, Virginia: Jen + Cameron

A Just Because Couple's Session in Downtown Charlottesville, Virginia: Jen + Cameron

Even though I’m the Editor-in-Chief of Catalyst and I deeply believe in the importance of having photographs to remember the moments of joy throughout your life, not just photos of your wedding day, we had not managed to take any real photos of us together in the last four years. So when friend and photographer Ayesha Ahmad said she wanted to add more photos of Charlottesville to her portfolio, we were thrilled to get to spend time in front of her camera!

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A Romantic, Intimate-Feeling Wedding in Charlottesville, VA: Caroline + Jon

A Romantic, Intimate-Feeling Wedding in Charlottesville, VA:  Caroline + Jon

Our first date was at the best pizza place in Arlington. I was skeptical of Jon because his profile was explicit that he "didn't get dogs." Jon was skeptical of dating someone who lived in Virginia, as he had been living in DC for a decade and was only temporarily displaced to the Commonwealth due to a house fire (everyone was fine). There was an immediate spark, though, and by the third date (an afternoon cruise up and down the Potomac) we both knew that this could be special.

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Introducing The Hive Wedding Collective! Our Friends at Wood Grain & Lace Just Got a New Look

Introducing The Hive Wedding Collective! Our Friends at Wood Grain & Lace Just Got a New Look

The badass team of Wood Grain & Lace has taken on a rebrand in the last few months, and we are in love with the new look and vibe! Rebranding can have its ups and downs, but we know that for The Hive Wedding Collective, there will be nothing stopping this amazing team! 

We got some time with founder, Christine, to hear more about the rebranding process, what their new brand means to them, and what she wishes they knew when they started the process.

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Debunking Bigotry // Trump's Response to Events in Charlottesville and What Really Happened

Debunking Bigotry // Trump's Response to Events in Charlottesville and What Really Happened

Trump's Tuesday press conference demonstrated not only complacency in white supremacy, but also support of these acts. I sat in horror and disbelief as I watched the president of the United States condemn the "alt-left," a made-up term for those fighting for human rights and against white supremacy. I watched him talk over reporters, shout at people, and go completely off teleprompter. But really, were any of us surprised?

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Out of the Box Challenge // Uncommon Goods

Out of the Box Challenge // Uncommon Goods

Play. The idea of play is a form of connection, to each other and to their surroundings. We kept saying that in their world it would rain confetti. The wedding bouquet was edible. Hot pink and bold shapes. Swings, bubbles, ribbons, a hot pink bamboo altar, laughs, confetti frozen into ice, play. Anywhere you go in the world the happiest people you see are often the ones that know how to play, whatever that looks like to each person. It was fun. It was also fun to gather a group of dynamic, female, artists in the area to create together for the first time.

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More and Less // Sustainability in Weddings and the Home

More and Less // Sustainability in Weddings and the Home

We encounter countless small choices strewn about our day-to-day lives, and they tend to multiply in the significant moments surrounding weddings. We know these choices have big, yet often invisible, ramifications. We know we can choose to sustain our local economy and businesses whose work we respect or that we can feed into systems of inequality, oppression, and environmental destruction. 

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Real Couples // A Black Renaissance-Inspired Wedding: Adrienne + Joshua

Real Couples // A Black Renaissance-Inspired Wedding: Adrienne + Joshua

I am a co-owner of The ARTisan Cafe, an artisan cooperative in Richmond, Virginia so with my involvement in the arts and culture scene I really wanted to find a fresh and new muse for our special day. The wedding was inspired by classic charm, rustic elegance, and Black Renaissance. 

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5 Winter Weddings and Engagements to Keep You Warm

5 Winter Weddings and Engagements to Keep You Warm

Valdora and Isabel put their love and their desires for the day first. Which meant an early morning intimate wedding ceremony under the Bethesda Terrace in Central Park with only their closest friends in attendance. Later in the afternoon they invited a larger group of friends and family to celebrate a small ceremony, dinner and dancing a few hours north of New York City. It reflected their goals to create a day that invited their loved ones to be a part of their love, all while sticking to their guns in regards to having a small and beautiful wedding where they felt comfortable sharing vows and tears and promises.

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Real Couples // Spring Frost Engagement: Sally + Sophia

Real Couples // Spring Frost Engagement: Sally + Sophia

Sally and Sophia are two incredibly fun and in-love individuals who made the trek [twice] to Charlottesville from their home in Washington, DC. Due to some crazy winter temperatures (10 degrees, plus 20 mph wind chill) we ended up postponing the original session date and, instead, met up for a delicious brunch at The Clifton Inn. Many amusing stories were told, along with much discussion over some recent movie theater experiences.

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Celebrating Jen & Cameron's 1-Year Wedding Anniversary

Celebrating Jen & Cameron's 1-Year Wedding Anniversary

Even though Jen and Cameron originally considered eloping, they knew that it was very important to Jen's family that they have a big church wedding. They compromised by getting married in a historic church in downtown Charlottesville, The Haven, which has been converting into a day shelter for the Charlottesville homeless community. Couples who want to get married in the space are asked to make a donation to the day shelter, which makes it a no-brainer when you know you can get married in a stunning location and also give back to the community. 

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Keeping it Real with Elaine B Jewelry

Keeping it Real with Elaine B Jewelry

We are so excited to introduce our newest sponsor, Elaine B Jewelry! We sat down with founder Elaine Butcher to learn more about her sustainable and thoughtful approach to jewelry design. We love what she has created and we know you will, too. After seeing these pieces, you'll never go back to a traditional engagement ring again.

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Introducing Arley Cakes! - Mini Brown-Butter + Pistachio Donuts

Introducing Arley Cakes! - Mini Brown-Butter + Pistachio Donuts

We are so excited to be adding Arley Arrington of Arley Cakes to our list of recurring contributors! She is a baker who hails from Charlottesville, VA, and who is winning over hearts and stomachs with her amazing recipes. 

She'll be sharing new recipes with Catalyst on a recurring basis that are delicious, attainable, and most importantly, appropriate for celebrations! For the DIY couple that doesn't want to break the bank, her treats just might be the perfect alternative to the large traditional wedding cake. 

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Tutorial: How To Address Envelopes in the 21st Century

Tutorial: How To Address Envelopes in the 21st Century

As a wedding calligrapher, I think a lot about names. As a feminist, I also think a lot about names and the meaning that they convey. Particularly, I find the "traditional" way of addressing envelopes a bit, shall we say, dated. I've been gratified that many of my clients feel the same way and have instead been moving toward a new, 21st-century model of addressing wedding guests.

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