What Happens to Boudoir When We Banish the Male Gaze

What Happens to Boudoir When We Banish the Male Gaze

We at Catalyst want to celebrate bodies of all types, and for folks that are queer, trans, and genderfluid or non-binary, these bride-centric ideas of femininity that have come with bridal boudoir simply don’t apply. That doesn’t mean we want to banish boudoir. Quite the contrary, in fact. We want to see it reclaimed.

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Styled Shoot // An Organic, Modern Love Shoot in Baltimore, Maryland

Styled Shoot // An Organic, Modern Love Shoot in Baltimore, Maryland

We wanted to create an organic, modern atmosphere mixing hard and soft elements. Combining the Assembly Room’s brick walls and graffiti with pastel florals, candles, and organic dress details really made that theme come alive. 

We also wanted the true love between Hassan and Dymir to stand out as much as possible. I used directions and fun techniques to make them feel at home and focus on the connection they have with one another. They were the most humble couple I have ever met, and so deeply connected, that it was a dream working with them.

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Styled Shoot // Love & Light Filled Wedding Inspiration

Styled Shoot // Love & Light Filled Wedding Inspiration

This past fall, I purchased a deck of Tarot Cards by Starchild Tarot that were so beautiful and inspiring, and ultimately ended up being the catalyst for the whole vision of this shoot. I knew I wanted to incorporate some "woo-woo" elements but wanted to stay away from the typical, trendy ways of incorporating these various elements. I envisioned the guest names being lettered on some type of crystal, using the tarot cards as table "numbers" and, most of all, having two brides be our models. I knew right away who would make the perfect brides, and luckily they were available and very open to being a couple, even though they had never met before. Their "reception" was spent getting to know each other!

The motivation for this shoot was to express creativity, get something atypical in my and the other vendors' portfolios, and connect all of my favorite woman-owned wedding vendors together in one room! It was truly an inspiring, uplifting experience to be with so many amazing women for the day as they supported my vision and made it a reality.

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Styled Shoot // Hip Engagement Inspiration in Asheville, North Carolina

Styled Shoot // Hip Engagement Inspiration in Asheville, North Carolina

For this styled shoot my goal was to take two models into an environment that was aesthetically less than ideal, and create a stylish, artistic vibe that captured a diverse couple. The two locations were a tennis court and an old archery range surrounded by burlap drapes. 

I wanted Jasmine and Chris to give off a hip, casual, urban vibe while simulating a comfortable connection between the two models so I asked them to wear black to give off that feeling and energy. I envisioned this mixing well with the unique, unorthodox setting. 

During the shoot I wanted Jasmine to represent the traditional "male" role which was a challenge but because of the height difference in both the models it ended up working out through experimenting with switching the "norms" of how a male/female couple should interact. 

I chose to capture this shoot using two different formats: film and digital. I felt this would add to the different urban feel that I was going for.

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Black BeauTEA Talk // Makeup Trends for The First Day of Spring

Black BeauTEA Talk // Makeup Trends for The First Day of Spring

Hey beauties, it’s March and the first day of spring, and I am so ready for some warmer weather and sunny days. It’s actually a bit rainy here as i’m sitting writing this but i’m still sipping on a half and half, or Arnold Palmer like the sophisticated people say. The weather seems to be lagging on getting the information that it's spring, but that doesn’t mean that we have to wait, so i’m going to drop my top 5 beauty products for the spring and a few makeup trends that I want to see in excess this season!

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6 Times Having Fur Babies at Your Wedding was Awesome

6 Times Having Fur Babies at Your Wedding was Awesome

What could make a wedding even more special than sharing it with loved ones? Sharing it with your fur babies, of course! Most couples consider their fur babies members of the family, so why should they stay home on this special day? Here are some of our favorite wedding fur babies.

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Styled Shoot // A Vibrant and Bold Bohemian Styled Wedding

Styled Shoot // A Vibrant and Bold Bohemian Styled Wedding

We wanted to highlight a real couple with real love who have been through real life together. Our couple, Jeanette and Corey, have a history that many can relate to. Their story is one of an experienced love built on lessons of patience and understanding for the both of them. 

Their story started similar to many. As Jeanette would say, "(Cory) made it really easy for me to love him." When the couple met, she was 19 and he was 20. They fell in love, made up, broke up, and even got engaged before deciding to take a break. It took long 7 years before they would reconnect again and eventually pick up right where they left off.  In 2015, the couple wed during an intimate ceremony in their home in front of a host of close family and friends. 

For the Bohemian styled shoot, we created a vision that was a tad different from what you would normally expect. Our designer brought in a color palette of blush pink, red, and teal while incorporating traditional bohemian elements like dream catchers along with vintage furnishings and china. The vibrant, bold design paired with real love was displayed throughout this entire shoot! 

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Black BeauTEA Talk // For Wakanda? Without A Question.

Black BeauTEA Talk // For Wakanda? Without A Question.

Now let’s talk about the representation of black women in this movie!! I’m a young black woman, I would say, but the narrative I’ve always received has been that women follow their men. Subconsciously, and very blatantly, I was told things like “let the man lead,” “The man is the head of the household,” “Women are the nurturers,” insert whatever else oddball Christian-based bullshit you can think of. Black Panther literally took every bit of that and said “fuck what you talmbout” and it made me cry. I’ll probably be crying weeks from now at the very thought of that!

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Styled Shoot // We Are Young: a Celebration of Young Black Love

Styled Shoot // We Are Young: a Celebration of Young Black Love

Our debut styled shoot, WE ARE YOUNG, is about diversity and exploring the ways in which weddings can look and love can be expressed. That beautiful weddings include imagery, past rustic, chic, and pastels.

We especially wanted to celebrate young black love, which we often times feel is underrepresented. WE ARE YOUNG is a representation of the vision that many millennials like ourselves share toward humanity: that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.

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Black BeauTEA Talk // Selfish Self Care

Black BeauTEA Talk // Selfish Self Care

I think that people have romanticized the idea of self care; we don’t talk about what it really means to take care of self. What I want you to do when thinking about self care is to keep in mind those things that you need so badly. This includes the physical, mental, emotional, and financial. What is it going to take you to get to the place you need to be in these areas?

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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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Styled Shoot // Same-sex Elopement in Montreal on a Boat

Styled Shoot // Same-sex Elopement in Montreal on a Boat

We are very privileged to have our photo-shoot done by these wonderful collaborators! Everyone was enthusiastic and so lively. Every detail was on point. We laughed all through the photo-shoot and that is of great importance to us!

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Styled Shoot // Farm-Inspired Sunset Groom Wedding: Kevin + Cam

Styled Shoot // Farm-Inspired Sunset Groom Wedding: Kevin + Cam

Cameron and I met through our cousins. Our cousins were friends prior to us meeting and thought we would be good for each other. Boy, were they right!  Ever since the first day I met Cameron, I saw my future in his eyes and his heart in my life. We have been inseparable ever since. Considering all the struggles of growing up as gay males, I would do it all over again if I knew he was awaiting me for our forever. We were all dressed up one New Year's Eve, and he asked me to marry him. It was very simple and nothing over the top, just like us. It was just one soul reaching out to another to confirm the connection we already have. What a happy New Years that was!

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Black BeauTEA Talk // Shopfe-line + Black Woman-Owned Business

Black BeauTEA Talk // Shopfe-line + Black Woman-Owned Business

Hey beauties, it seems like this has been a long-ass month, or am I tripping? Either way I have been waiting to come chat again; did ya miss me? I’m sipping some Teavana tea; it’s a winterberry blend, and it is amazing!! Seriously you all have to google it and order some and then let me know how you love it?! It is a loose tea and has like grapefruit and strawberry flavors; it tastes so good so if you’re into tea, then grab some! Onto the tea you’re all here for. This month I am doing another interview and actually trying something new! I want to add some “spotlight articles” where I will interview a business owned by a black woman that caters to black women. So this month I am putting the spotlight on my girl Felicia. She is the owner of Shopfe-line, a brand that if you follow me you are very familiar with, as I do makeup for her product shoots! So let’s see how the interview went with this bossbabe, shall we?!

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Halloween Inspiration // October Birthstones & Blooms

Halloween Inspiration // October Birthstones & Blooms

This shoot is one part from a series that a group of wedding professionals in Richmond, Virginia, collaborated to manifest, in which they matched birthstones to florals. Amanda Burnette created the floral designs, ReLove Events & Elements styled the shoot, the artists of Slingin' Pretty designed the hair and makeup, and Catalyst co-founder Carly Romeo and Co. captured the images. The October birthstone, opal, inspired this shoot.

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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 // Vintage Brides and Pythons

Wedding Inspiration // Vintage Brides and Pythons


Dealing in vintage, we find so many quirks in the wedding industry; hessian, jam jars, and lace aren't actually 'vintage' unless they're from before the 1980s, and a "vintage wedding dress" doesn't have to be a 50s styled short tea dress. As fashion itself borrows from styles gone by, we aim to showcase the diversity of vintage bridalwear, and that's exactly what we did with this ambitious shoot.

We shot in the Hive, a building being regenerated by live-in guardians who are turning it into a community space. In fact, we were actually interviewed by the BBC in the run up to this shoot for our role in supporting the use of derelict buildings. Eco wedding dresses and eco values galore over here! As Yvon Chouinard identified, wearing secondhand clothing is the best way to minimize our impact on the environment...and you can still look hot while doing so.

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Wedding Inspiration // Glam North Carolina Same-Sex Styled Shoot

Wedding Inspiration // Glam North Carolina Same-Sex Styled Shoot

The moment Carla and Lashanna met, they knew instantly they were meant to be together. As their love grew, they had no doubts in their minds that they were just "right." For this styled session, I wanted to bring out their personalities and showcase their love for each other. We had Carla's love for all things glam, while also having a more relaxed feel with Lashanna.

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