Weddings

Catalyst Is A New Wedding Magazine For Feminists

"Let's embrace the idea that some traditions are meant to be questioned."

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If you've ever flipped through a wedding magazine, you may have noticed that most subscribe to rather retro notions of femininity and relationships.

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"Your groom." "The most important day of your life." The assumption that the bride is planning everything. Stuff like that.

"Realizing way too much emphasis is put on 'designing' the 'perfect day' instead of celebrating love and relationships, we decided to add another voice to the print wedding media conversation," Catalyst co-founder Carly Romeo told BuzzFeed Life.

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"[The founders] are both feminists working in the wedding industry, and couldn't help but notice that the wedding world isn't exactly progressive," Romeo, who is also the magazine's brand manager, said. "We also felt a deep lack of diversity in the representation we saw in print wedding media; not all people getting married are rich, white, young, conventionally pretty, straight women."

The idea for a progressive wedding magazine grew out of "{un}convention," a workshop for wedding professionals.

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"We had such an overwhelming response to our collective, nontraditional approach that we decided there was no better way to reach a national — even global — community of progressive creatives (in the wedding industry and beyond) than through a print magazine," Liz Susong, Catalyst co-founder and editor-in-chief, told BuzzFeed Life.

The founders raised the $13,490 they needed to fund the first issue in a single week on Kickstarter.

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"We feel like the online wedding spaces have done a slightly better job than print at being inclusive and thoughtful," Romeo said, citing Offbeat Bride, Rock n Roll Bride, and A Practical Wedding as feminist foremothers. "And while there's definitely still work to be done at dismantling the myth of Pinterest-ing your way to a 'Pinterest-worthy' wedding — see the conundrum there? — there's even more work to be done on the racks at Barnes and Noble."

Susong told BuzzFeed Life that Catalyst is a feminist publication in three respects: "representation, roles, and rights."

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"Some would argue that it's not possible to have a feminist wedding given the patriarchal history of marriage, the heteronormative nature of weddings, and the sexual politics of monogamous commitment," she said. "However, feminists continue to get married, and couples are increasingly seeking new ways to celebrate love that reflect an egalitarian partnership."

"Part of our mission is to increase diverse representation in wedding media; we want to see all sorts of couples and bodies being presented in full-color, beautiful print," Susong said.

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"Having one cover model per year who isn't white doesn't cut it," Romeo added. "Having one photographer featured on your blog per year who isn't straight doesn't cut it. People from all ethnic/racial/religious/financial backgrounds get married and we should be celebrating that. The people who benefit from perpetuating the singular narrative already have enough money, so let's expand the conversation."

"Let's also embrace the idea that some traditions are meant to be questioned," Romeo said. "The pressure and assumptions about doing weddings the 'right' way are damaging to creativity and authenticity."

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She said Catalyst encourages couples to do things in a way that is meaningful to them instead of just recycling old wedding tropes.