Nu Bride in Catalyst Wedding Magazine and Huffington Post

Catalyst

It’s my birthday today!

I always like to reflect on my birthday; and today, I’m reflecting on my progress with Nu Bride.

As with any worthwhile journey there are challenges and triumphs.

Sometimes I honestly feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall. Like I am constantly treading water, going against the current by continuously trying to encourage mainstream wedding media to be more diverse. Saying the same thing over and over again, with what, at times, feels like little results making me wonder if I am just being paranoid.

For every-step forward in the UK wedding industry we take several steps back. I mean, the fact that I am still having to write about the lack of inclusive diversity in weddings in 2016, 4.5 years after my blog started, says it all.

I recently wrote this article for Huffington Post discussing race and perception It was by far the hardest to write and I kept deleting it and starting.  It months before I felt brave enough to publish it. But with a reported rise in race relations in response to Brexit and the US presidential election, it felt as good a time as any to hit publish!!

Then just as I was about to run out of steam, as if by magic, around the same time I was procrastinating with Huffington Post, I was invited to write about race representation in the wedding industry for Volume Three of US wedding disruptors; Catalyst Wedding Co, then suddenly things started to shift!

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Hurrah! A wonderful publication who ‘gets it’ without me having to explain ‘why’ and more importantly a passionate team of human beings who are in positions of power and are doing something about it! Not just once. But consistently and with integrity.

I was given free reign to write candidly about the wedding industry, race, representation, desirability, beauty, I even manage to weave in the residual effects of slavery!

The way mainstream media chooses to market beauty and desirability particularly in the wedding industry is outdated and insults the consumer, assuming we wouldn’t appreciate, want or accept anything other than what is continuously proffered” Nova Reid

I got my hands on my own copy of Volume Three this week and I must say the magazine is curated beautifully. Everything you would expect to see in an inclusive publication, is there. Not for tokenism, but a beautiful and authentic representation of eclectic human beings who are lucky enough to marry. Flicking through their wedding pages was pure joy.

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Catalyst talk about not being aspirational, but to me they are…I’ll tell you why.

They effortlessly normalise and humanise every colour or creed. There is no badge of honour or tokenism. They don’t pass off one race or demographic of people as more beautiful than the other, they don’t pass off one body shape more aspirational than the other, there is a huge mix of all types of beauty and that to me hits the nail on the head.

Catalyst was founded in 2014 by the brilliant self confessed ‘loud-mouth’ feminist; Liz Susong and Carly Romeo (the BEST surname) and Jen Siamacco and in just 2 years, it is utterly soaring!

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Editor-in-Chief Liz says:

In spring 2014, after a carefree year exploring Colorado mountain ranges and teaching college wondering: what’s next for me?  That’s when I met Carly.  She was a spunky, outspoken wedding photographer who unashamedly pronounced the wedding industry, well, stupid. 

I had recently written an article that was published on Offbeat Bride about the dissonance I felt as a feminist planning a wedding. Carly read the article, realised she lived only two hours away, and reached out to me. We spent one late weekend morning eating pancakes in my sunlit living room and chattering away about our shared backgrounds in Women’s Studies, our conflicted feelings about planning our own weddings, and our pesky creative impulses.  And that’s how Catalyst Wed Co. was hatched. 

Well, it wasn’t quite that simple.  Carly and I both thought it would be awesome to meet people in the wedding industry who shared our politics and phase one of our plan was to host a workshop for wedding professionals.

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Not just a wedding magazine, they are activists. Catalyst host regular conferences (aptly named {un}convention) to help encourage progressive brands to be more visually inclusive and build on their wedding businesses.

Liz was also featured on Huffington Post after writing this thought-provoking article on White Privilege in the wedding industry which obliterated the internet. (My gosh, she really went there. lol)

To enable any kind of change we have to first raise awareness and have open and honest conversations and yes, they might feel uncomfortable and evoke some interesting attitudes and feelings, but we have to have them.

Catalyst Wedding Magazine takes a critical look at weddings without sacrificing visual integrity.   Volume Three boasts an article by Nova on race and representation in the wedding industry, as well as pieces on fatphobia in bridal, body positive boudoir photography, and genderfluid wedding wear

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Founder Liz says:

Before I started Catalyst I was working as a paralegal, a job I hated. Now I’m running a mission-driven small business that I can honestly say is making a real impact in our community. My hope is that through the work of Catalyst, Nu Bride, and other self aware leaders, the wedding industry as a whole will make an active commitment to diversity. Honestly, the world is moving forward. If the wedding industry continues to pretend it isn’t, it will be left behind.

In five years, I think racial and ethnic diversity will be the norm on all wedding blogs, leadership conferences will highlight the achievements of women of colour, and all of this will be possible because entrepreneurs will increasingly work together across lines of racial, political, and religious difference. And it’s up to us, Nova, to keep creating the space for the dialogue that will lead to this change.

I have a strange suspicion you’ll be seeing more from me and Catalyst.

I am SO proud to be associated with such a progressive brand and as Catalyst put it; proud to be ‘a wedding industry disruptor.’

To all my gorgeous fellow wedding disruptors, to read my article on race and representation in the wedding industry and to delve into this wonderful wedding treat grab a copy of their latest issue here. AND as a little birthday treat, you get to take advantage of a 10% discount courtesy of being one of my lovely readers, by using the code STYLE10. 

 

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