How to Plan Your Wedding When You're Struggling with Your Mental Health

How to Plan Your Wedding When You're Struggling with Your Mental Health

I am not a mental health practitioner in the slightest, but as someone who suffers from anxiety, ADHD, and owns a wedding planning firm, I can speak uniquely to how to handle the two. Here are my tips to manage your mental health while you’re wedding planning.

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It's YOUR Wedding — Pump the Brakes on Your Parents' Toxic Behavior

It's YOUR Wedding — Pump the Brakes on Your Parents' Toxic Behavior

The stress to perform and pull off a wedding flawlessly can make anyone crack, but add in the pressure of complicated family dynamics and, baby, you’ve got the perfect recipe for a volatile soufflé on the edge of collapse.

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Stop Asking Engaged People About Their Weddings

Stop Asking Engaged People About Their Weddings

What a horrible situation this puts engaged couples in, especially women. What should be a joyous occasion becomes so much work that you can't even enjoy it. It becomes yet another thing you have to do.

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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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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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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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Ask A Wedding Planner // Why Do I Need A Wedding Planner?

Ask A Wedding Planner // Why Do I Need A Wedding Planner?

As a wedding planner for a little over three years, I get asked quite frequently what a wedding planner does. Being a black woman, I’ve grown to understand that it’s just not common to hire a wedding planner in the black community. It’s just not the cultural norm. Typically the mother of the bride, Auntie FeeFee, or the family’s self proclaimed fashion guru handles the “coordination.” There is the possibility that the wedding day can run smoothly using such “coordinators,” but isn’t it easier to hire a professional? Yes!

So recently, I’ve been making it a point to make random posts on my social media page about what it is a wedding planner does and ask my followers why they would or would not hire a planner. So, to counteract the feedback I’ve received, here’s why you NEED a wedding planner.

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Woke Wednesday // Meet Cindy Savage of Aisle Less Traveled

Woke Wednesday // Meet Cindy Savage of Aisle Less Traveled

Liz: Would you tell us a bit about what the coming out process was like for you?

Cindy: Yeah. It was horrible from one side and totally great from the other. So: good stuff first. During that first relationship, my best friend had come to visit and totally called me out on what was going on. So she was the first person who knew. And honestly, she knew before that, I'm sure, as I know we'd had some theoretical conversations about it, in which I'd said I could easily imagine being with a woman. I wasn't really worried about acceptance among her, or really any of my friends; it was more that I'd been keeping this secret at the behest of my ex, and now a year and a half in, it felt shitty to have waited so long to tell anyone. I told her, and two or three other people in our tiny theatre department also knew, since I'd needed an occasional confidant. But I started making a concerted effort (mostly via AIM, laughs) to tell my other friends, and every single one of them was instantly supportive. Which was awesome.

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Tulle & Fury // Being Sexually Harassed by Married Men at Weddings

Tulle & Fury // Being Sexually Harassed by Married Men at Weddings

To make it even worse, the large majority of men who’ve hit on me at weddings are married. Physical safety aside, there is an emotional cost to working so hard to plan a celebration of marriage and then witness someone else shit all over theirs. What is it about weddings that emboldens guests to act like they aren’t married? Is it the desire to feel in control? Or to assert power over a woman? Especially a woman of color?  Is it simply because they’re A-holes?

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4 Ways to Stay Sane While Planning A Wedding

4 Ways to Stay Sane While Planning A Wedding

IS IT POSSIBLE TO PLAN A WEDDING WITHOUT GOING MAD?

Well, aside from what a whole LOT of media would like you to believe, people do it all the time. They decide to get married, they plan a wedding, and then they are married. And if they didn’t throw the most interesting/beautiful/fun/unique/fancy/quirky wedding any of their guests had ever seen—no one noticed. Because all the wedding industry expectations and Pinterest boards and so-called “must haves” don’t actually matter on a wedding day.

I’m sharing a few things to remember throughout the planning process to keep the spiraling in check and your priorities straight.

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Woke Wednesday // Meet San Francisco Planner Chanda Daniels of A Monique Affair

Woke Wednesday // Meet San Francisco Planner Chanda Daniels of A Monique Affair

Liz: Can you tell us a bit about your background? What was growing up like for you?

Chanda: I grew up being raised by my grandmother, "Granny," who had the house where all the kids went to get a hot meal! She was always cooking and entertaining. She was always at home, her number was everyone's "emergency" number, and she influenced me to graduate from high school. But little did she know, she was planting the seed for me to become an event planner…

Liz: Your grandma sounds wonderful. How was she planting the seed?

Chanda: I wanted to be like her. She found joy in making dinner and setting a fancy table with Sunday china and having everyone over. She didn't like being in the spotlight, but she loved how everyone felt after they left...I didn't know that then, but that's what I loved and love to this day!

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Tulle & Fury // People Are Politics

Tulle & Fury // People Are Politics

Why does a wedding planner want to talk about politics and identity? As a Texas-based business owner, you can imagine how often I get asked that question. But the answer is always the same: because politics and identity affect everything I do: my choice of hairstyle, who I work with, the very fact that I’m a black-owned business that loves working with same-sex couples in a state that makes its position on that very well-known. I could go on. But ultimately, do you know why? Because people are politics.

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Woke Wednesday // Meet Jordan Maney of All the Days Event Co.

Woke Wednesday // Meet Jordan Maney of All the Days Event Co.

I was definitely sipping the Kool-Aid growing up, thinking somehow I was an exception to the rule. That changed a few years ago after a horrible experience with some police officers. It was the October before the Mike Brown shooting. I thought a middle class upbringing, pearls, and dresses were going to save me. But I learned that to some people, all I ever will be is black and a problem. I hated it. I hated the microaggressions I denied were problems. It was really an unlearning of a bunch of different things. It was being honest about how I felt as a black woman in a world that hates black women. It grew into advocating for everyone else who gets sidelined into the margins. I learned to listen and I learned to speak up and out.

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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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