Kin Aesthetics // Thinking Beyond Marriage

Kin Aesthetics // Thinking Beyond Marriage

By making what felt like my first adult decision, I had hopped on an escalator and couldn’t get off. We grew to love each other, and I wasn’t miserable. Yet I increasingly wondered, is this it?

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Why Not Have Wedding Rings as Unique as Your Marriage? // With These Rings

Why Not Have Wedding Rings as Unique as Your Marriage? // With These Rings

Stephanie Selle, owner of With These Rings, firmly believes that “you can’t buy love, but you can make it.” In fact, it’s her tagline! Her studio in Port Townsend, Washington gives couples the unique experience of making their own handcrafted rings!  

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Adapting to the Ordinary // For Better or Worse: The Reality of America’s Safety Net Programs for Married Couples with Disabilities

Adapting to the Ordinary // For Better or Worse: The Reality of America’s Safety Net Programs for Married Couples with Disabilities

The marriage penalty also affects non-disabled couples too. If you or a spouse become disabled while married, a couple must spend-down their assets in order to have the government provide basic needs indefinitely. Financial situations can be so dire, couples pursue divorce just to qualify, allowing the abled-bodied spouse to keep some of their assets. Divorce is a reality that no one should have to face because they got injured or sick.

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The 5 Biggest Reasons Why Budget Weddings Are the Best

The 5 Biggest Reasons Why Budget Weddings Are the Best

The easiest way to save money on weddings is to have a smaller one. The reason for this is simple: if you have fewer guests, you don't have to provide as much on the day. While this seems like you will have fewer people to celebrate with, a positive effect of a smaller wedding is that the wedding will feel more personal.

Reasons for this include:

  • Picking and choosing who to invite results in guests who are closer to the couple.
  • You can be more comfortable in front of your guests.
  • You’ll have a chance to interact with everyone.
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Divorced at 23

Divorced at 23

I was so desperate to believe I had found this person that I began to excuse the red flags erecting themselves faster than I could ever imagine. His disdain for my parents (and my parents’ disdain for him) was simply birthed from situational misunderstandings. His lack of motivation in education and work was an intentional (and brilliant) slap in the face of “the man.” His unwanted advances and coercing were a testimony of his attraction and devotion to me. Everything that soured my gut was immediately soothed the moment he kissed my forehead or proclaimed his endless love for my being. And I bought it.

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Your Wedding Pantsuit Fits You, But Does Your Wedding Ceremony?

Your Wedding Pantsuit Fits You, But Does Your Wedding Ceremony?

Marriage is changing (can I get a hallelujah?), and these days, getting married can be an act of social justice.  

A wedding is a symbol, after all, and like the marriage it’s ushering in, a wedding is full of potential and increasingly devoid of rules. In this way, its meaning deepens.  

One of the most powerful ways we can create meaningful shifts around marriage is by how we honor ourselves and each other through our wedding ceremonies and vows. Rewriting any social narrative means working in big blank spaces, and while that can be super liberating, it can also be super disorienting. Ultimately, though, like every creative pursuit, it’s an empowering act of self-discovery that benefits us all.  

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The Avowed Podcast // Episode : The Hunt for Extraordinary Love

The Avowed Podcast // Episode : The Hunt for Extraordinary Love

Jasmine speaks with Nate Bailey, the vision and voice behind The Loveumentary Podcast, about navigating the emotional landscape of your partner, developing your marital skill set, and bypassing unnecessary wedding planning arguments with a unique rating system. 

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Real Couples // Love & Board Games: Alex + Brooke

Real Couples // Love & Board Games: Alex + Brooke

Brooke and Alexandria are a couple who exude warmth. Spend 2 minutes with them, and you feel like you have known them your entire life. They are a couple whose love grew quickly and deeply, and you could not imagine one without the other. Brooke wanted to surprise Alexandria with a session that captured who they are as a married couple and that included some board games, some cuddling, laughter in spades, and that warmth that just brings you into their story.

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Real Families // Overcoming Adversity Together: Taylor + Shealynn + Cassidy

Real Families // Overcoming Adversity Together: Taylor + Shealynn + Cassidy

We got married at the courthouse, and most of it was a fantastic experience except for the man who officiated our marriage. He made it clear that he thought a marriage between two women was absurd. He did not allow us to say vows, kiss, put our rings on each other, not to mention he officiated for us right in front of the front doors of the court house. As hurtful and maddening as that was, my wife and I decided to not let it bother us. We decided that the important thing was that we were married and could celebrate our love for the rest of our lives. Our daughter, Cassidy is a beautiful, clever, hilarious child. We are in the long process of trying to get legal custody of her. We are so happy to have the privilege of loving each other and getting to provide a safe, stable home for a very deserving little girl.

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What It's Like to Combine Households Later In Life

What It's Like to Combine Households Later In Life

Prior to marriage, I’d lived alone for twenty years with no housemates other than felines; Steve had been bach’ing it with two boys for nine. Marrying at midlife comes with a lot of challenges: negotiating shifting family roles, re-learning how to share a bathroom, ensuring the bride’s cats don’t blind the groom’s dog in a territorial rage. But I’m not sure anything could have prepared us for the sheer amount of stuff.

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Real Couples // Sunset Beach Romance: Will + Mia

Real Couples // Sunset Beach Romance: Will + Mia

They got married last year and searched a long time to find a place in their home state that felt right for them. They landed on Siesta Key Beach, a natural and wild white quartz beach on the Gulf of Mexico. A year later, they knew they wanted their anniversary shoot to involve swimming and playing on that same beach.

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A Marriage Plan Is Key for Couples with Staying Power

A Marriage Plan Is Key for Couples with Staying Power

What if you and your spouse-to-be decided together how to measure the success of your marriage, even if it didn’t last “until death”? What if you decided to individualize your marriage so it was as unique as your wedding, as unique as the two of you are? After all, you don’t want to just create a life with him or her; you want to create a specific kind of life. Your kind of life. 

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Sex is No Longer Reserved for Marriage, and Neither is Sexual Empowerment

Sex is No Longer Reserved for Marriage, and Neither is Sexual Empowerment

Traditionally, marriage has institutionalized sex for women. Women have been expected to reserve sexual activity for marriage and then engage in sex exclusively with one’s spouse. While this relationship between marriage and sex may remain the underlying cultural ideal, it is no longer a practiced reality for the majority.

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Real Couples // Second Grade Sweethearts Wed: Kurt + Ronni

Real Couples // Second Grade Sweethearts Wed: Kurt + Ronni

Kurt and I have known each other since we were seven years old as elementary school acquaintances. After reconnecting later in life while we both had significant others, we soon ended those relationships and began dating each other. Kurt eventually proposed on the playground of the elementary school we both went to. Pretty adorable.

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Millennial Marriage: Long Distance Loving You

Millennial Marriage: Long Distance Loving You

My husband and I spent half of the last year apart. We were not forced into a distance relationship by factors outside of our control, but rather, like many Millennials with our privileged upbringings, lifestyle options seemed endless despite limited career realities, and our jobs and interests led us in different directions. Adam’s employer decided to transfer him from Washington, D.C. to Houston, Texas right before Volume One of Catalyst Wedding Magazine went to print and just as I began to feel rooted in a community of District creatives. We had been married a little over a year when I tentatively told him that in my heart of hearts, I was not ready to leave and proposed that he move to Texas alone. Always my biggest believer, he barely winced and got to helping me find a room to rent on Craigslist. Ever the realist, the day he left for Texas he gave a little spiel about what administrative things I should take care of if he were to die before we were reunited, and I verbally willed him eleven boxes of wedding magazines through teary eyes.    

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A Revolution that Begins with Cake

A Revolution that Begins with Cake

At a coffee bar off Washington Square Park, the stranger seated next to me noticed my gift bag. “Going to a baby shower?” he asked. “No, I’m a wedding planner, actually. Headed to a rehearsal soon.” “Oh, god. That sounds intense. Does that gig make you never want to get married?” I paused, unable to give him a straight answer. The truth: the answer was far too complicated to get into over an iced tea. I’d need at least a shot (maybe several) of espresso.

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