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These 12 gorgeous photos of couples celebrate the magic of love across race, gender, age, and size.

Catalyst features couples you wouldn't see in your mother's wedding mag.

When it comes to weddings, Carly Romeo has seen it all.

Between her gigs as a wedding photographer and planning her own wedding ceremony, she's noticed something:

The average wedding magazine doesn't reflect the diversity of what couples actually look like. At all.



Carly with her partner, Travis, on their love party day. Photo by PJ Sykes.

Which is why Carly teamed up with self-described "progressive wedding coordinator" Liz Susong to launch Catalyst Wedding Magazine. Tired of all the focus on spending a ton of money or losing weight for The Dress, they decided to make a different wedding magazine entirely.

They wanted to create a magazine that focuses on love — and celebrating that love in ways that are as unique as every couple.

Catalyst aims to feature beautiful imagery while staying true to its mission of reflecting the people that the wedding industry is actually serving.

And it definitely delivers. Check out these gorgeous photos of loving couples in an upcoming issue:

1. Elaine and Vikas had a hybrid Hindu wedding that reflected both of their cultures.

All photos used with permission. Photo by Rebecca Caridad.


2. Sarah-Jean and Kent got hitched in a small, intimate courthouse and Irish pub celebration with their closest family and friends.

Photo by Brandi Potter Photography.

3. After 30 years together, Annie and Janice finally got to tie the knot in a ceremony at their home.

Photo by Erika Nizborski.

4. Alexa and Stephen fell in love after working together at a Virginia Beach Ruby Tuesday.

Photo by Imani Fine Art Photography.

5. Jazmin and Ben displayed their love of beer and baseball with brewery tours and a food truck at their wedding.

Photo by From the Hip Atlanta.

6. Crystal and Jayleen celebrated their love with a wintertime wedding in Amish country.

Photo by Two Spoons Photography.

7. Stephanie and Felipe had their reception first, celebrating before a sweet backyard ceremony.

Photo by Hidden Exposure Photography.

8. Chicagoans Alissa and Bethany traveled to L.A. for an engagement shoot in the Arts District.

Photo by Elmer Escobar Photography.

9. Maria and Lisa got hitched shortly after marriage equality came to Illinois, holding a backyard ceremony with friends and family.

Photo by Oriana Koren.

10. John and Matt surprised their guests when they revealed their goodbye party was actually a wedding.

Photo by Pangtography.

11. Katie and Albert didn't need to get married to celebrate their love and commitment publicly.

Photo by Two Spoons Photography.

12. Hairstylist Brandy and DJ Conley celebrated their love outdoors in a small ceremony with loved ones.

Photo by A Lovely Photo.

Heart-meltingly sweet, right?

It's so important for us to see what couples actually look like. With all the wedding-themed TV shows, magazines, blogs, and Pinterest boards available, there's no shortage of content out there to serve as a guide for couples who want to get married. Unfortunately, the inspiration that makes the cut doesn't tend to reflect the reality for most Americans.

It's probably not a surprise to say that the wedding industry has a media diversity problem. A 2013 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire study of five bridal magazines found that the almost all the women were thin and light-skinned. And when it came to the covers? Only white women made the cut. All of the couples were heterosexual and very few were interracial.

So thanks to Catalyst for showing us what we really look like. Here's hoping other folks in the wedding industry take a page out of their magazine...

Like what you see? Order your own copy of Catalyst Wedding Magazine (and preorder the second issue!).

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

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