A Feminist Wedding Magazine? Yup, You Heard Us Right.

by Hannah Baxter

For the average bride-to-be, any mention of disruption can incite a wave of nightmares about botched seating charts and drunken groomsmen. Yet that is exactly the goal of Liz Susong and Carly Romeo, the two twenty-something founders of the new feminist publication, Catalyst Wedding Magazine. They want to disrupt and revamp the image of a modern wedding, an industry that has too long been marketed to the overwhelmingly white, heterosexual, affluent and thin. 

As millennials reach the age when marriage no longer seems like a scary, grown up thing to do, it can be hard for us to rationalize our feminist leanings against a patriarchal institution with heteronormative traditions. And despite the growing trend of “alternative” weddings, bridal magazines have done little to debunk the stereotypical imagery of a blushing bride and typically absent groom. Catalyst aims to shift the focus back to the real celebration and purpose of a wedding: love, in all of its varying forms.

Marketed as, “the first-ever print wedding magazine with a feminist consciousness,” according to Susong’s article on Medium.com, “its mission is to increase representation in wedding media and to engage in critical dialogue about wedding traditions and the industry at large.”

Gone are the cookie-cutter versions of the happy couple, replaced with non-traditional, though still fabulous, people who are much more representative of the partners looking for guidance in planning their wedding. Without the guise of the elusive “perfect” ceremony, the couples featured in Catalyst’s pages are real, relatable and creating their own unique version of happily ever after.

Susong and the aptly named Romeo, met after the former wrote an article for Offbeat Bride about the possibility of having a feminist wedding. Romeo reached out, discovered a similar mentality towards marriage, feminism and the industry, and together subsequently planned {un}convention, a, “collaborative workshop for progressive wedding vendors,” last November.

The duo received such positive feedback to their non-traditional approach that, as Susong stated in an email, “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.” Thus Catalyst, through an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, was born.

While the face of marriage is much different than it was for our parents’ generation, in that millennials wait longer to get hitched, often have kids before the vows, and 36 states sanction gay marriage, it seems appropriate that the industry evolves with the times. Discussing the joys and limitations of weddings and the marriages they precede is vital for the longevity of the institution as a whole.  It is exciting that Catalyst will act not only as an unique resource for multi-faceted couples, but as a shining example of the type of equal representation we should come to expect from the media in terms of race, gender, sexuality and above all, love. Who can’t be happy about that? 

Be sure to check out Catalyst‘s blog, and if you find yourself in the Fort Collins, CO, area on April 18th, be sure to check out the next installment of {un}convention! 


Images c/o: Two Spoons Photo, Melodie Ann Photography, Pop! Wed Co., Cassie Rosch via Catalyst Wedding Magazine

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