Credit: Betty Clicker Photography
Liz Susong and Carly Romeo, founders of the new Catalyst Wedding Magazine, felt it was time the bridal industry had a "feminist disruption." Their magazine, which launches later this month, aims to do just that.
Instead of just featuring the white, wealthy heterosexual couples that usually grace the pages of popular bridal publications, Catalyst celebrates the underrepresented: people of color, diverse bodies, same-sex couples and the many, many people who can't spend anywhere close to $40,000 on a wedding.
"Carly and I see a need for a magazine that publishes real, authentic love celebrations and diverse love stories that doesn't allow advertising revenue to drive its content," Susong told The Huffington Post.
In March, Susong, a "progressive" wedding planner, and Romeo, a feminist wedding photographer, set up a Kickstarter page to raise funding for the project. They surpassed their original goal of $8,500, ultimately raising $13,490.
Credit: Cassie Rosch
Susong explained to HuffPost that Catalyst considers itself feminist on three counts: representation, roles and rights.
"Part of our mission is to increase diverse representation in wedding media," she said. "We want to see all sorts of couples and bodies being presented in full-color, beautiful print! The editorial content engages in critical dialogue around wedding traditions and the industry at large, especially around gendered roles in the wedding planning process."
And while Susong says the publication is a "strong voice in favor of marriage equality," she explained that Catalyst is not a gay wedding magazine.
"We're not just looking for a new niche market to sell glitter to!" she said. "We're celebrating authentic love and community -- no strings attached."
Credit: Pop! Wed Co.
Some of the features in the first issue include "Let's Ditch The Diet," "What Makes A Rebellious Bride" and a personal essay titled "Here In Your Love" about planning a wedding while writing a Ph.D. dissertation. And then, of course, there are the beautiful real wedding photo spreads featuring couples not traditionally pictured in mainstream bridal print publications.
"It's important to us that the magazine is in print because while some offbeat wedding resources exist online, we rarely get to see diverse bodies in beautiful, full-color print spreads," Susong said. "Magazines provide a tactile experience, and all of the couples together in the magazine tell one story. We think that's really special!"
Susong and Romeo say they are aiming to produce two volumes a year, with the second issue coming out in January 2016. So far, they have sold around 600 copies of the first issue -- and counting.
Watch an interview with Liz Susong below: