Vendor Spotlight | Karly Jo Photography

In good times and in bad, it’s impossible to separate marriage from family: bride and bridegroom each approach the altar with their own particular origins, wounds, and strengths as they profess their love and fidelity before their relatives and as they embark on their first day as a new family. All of this transpires before the Tabernacle and the Cross, two realities that unite the entire Church: we, Christ’s sons and daughters, his body on earth.

Since marriage and family, life and love are so interconnected, then, it makes a lot of sense that Karly Schafer’s journey to professional photography was shaped by her own family. Karly’s grandfather taught his son, Karly’s father, the art of taking beautiful and technically skilled photos, and her father taught her, starting when Karly received her first camera from her mom in third grade.

Karly enjoyed photography as a hobby for years, and occasionally second shot at weddings. As she planned her own wedding, photography’s unique strength as a storytelling medium struck her, and as she entered into newlywed life, contemplating what sort of career change might lend itself well to eventual motherhood, Karly made the decision to go back to school and earn a Photography degree. By 2011, her business, Karly Jo Photography, was up and running.

These years of creative awakening were accompanied by a spiritual one. Though she’d been born into the Catholic faith, Karly’s family never practiced much. Following the death of her mother, a deeply prayerful woman, Karly was struck by a desire to make the Church the center of her life and entered RCIA. Five years later, as their family grew, Karly’s husband was received into the Church, as well. Though they’ve shot weddings together here and there, her husband generally cares for their four children as Karly travels throughout her native Wisconsin and beyond for weddings and family portrait sessions. Her intimate, film-like images convey Karly’s photojournalistic style, influenced by subtle direction and a desire to make your story--and your family--known and seen.

From Karly: I consider myself to be primarily a photojournalist. I’m capturing things in the moment, as they unfold, to tell the story of your day. Traditional portraiture is also essential, as formal & artistic portraits are a wonderful tradition which help tell the story of your family through the years.

My clients often become my friends. I love getting to know them and their families, being sure to tell the whole story from their day which includes the people they love most.

Karly Jo Photography has been featured on Green Wedding Shoes, Wisconsin Bride, Pretty My Party,  and Northwoods Wedding.

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Caroline + Matt | New Orleans Holiday Wedding

Caroline and Matt were friends at LSU for months after they first met. The night they became boyfriend and girlfriend, both made it clear to the other that they only desired to enter into a dating relationship with the possibility of marriage in mind. Matt said “I love you” for the first time while Caroline was baking his favorite Christmas cookies. She wasn’t sure if his heart or his stomach was talking more, but he said the words again shortly after. This time, Matt’s declaration was followed by a long talk about marriage, a future family, and a lifelong commitment to each other in good times and in bad.

By senior year, the two were discussing what their entrance into the real world would look like, praying their relationship could weather the storm of distance and new responsibilities.

From the Bride: Our campus parish equipped us in our faith life so fruitfully for the years to follow. We made a Marian consecration via 33 Days to Morning Glory, for instance, and our hearts have been on fire for Our Lady and the Holy Family ever since. My struggles with hypothyroidism led to a doctor who guided me in the Creighton Model of NFP, which has been a great gift to us in marriage. That same doctor presented a wonderful Theology of the Body-based talk at the university! I loved watching Matt’s involvement in ministry and the solace the Church itself, providing us great comfort time and again.

Seven months after graduation, Matt proposed in front of our favorite spot to say the Rosary at the Christ the King chapel where we’d spent so many hours at LSU. He gathered our friends and family at our favorite restaurant nearby for a surprise party, a night I’ll always treasure.

We found our Pre-Cana experience an invaluable gift from the Church--the priest mentioned during our wedding homily how sad we were when we completed the requirements! Our Engaged Encounter was life changing, a time of recognizing a renewed patience and loving acceptance to whatever Christ has planned for us in life.

Our engagement retreat also included the exercise of writing promises and prayers to each other, known as betrothals, Writing ours was funny, and also tender. When we read them to each other before of a statue of St. Joseph--Matt’s patron Saint--we could hardly speak through the tears. When the opportunity came to read them in front of the group, we knew we absolutely could not--it was too emotional. That moment made us even more grateful the Church writes our vows for us.

We hoped for a winter wedding and were able to get married on the birthday of Saint Bernadette, my patroness. To acknowledge the date, We placed a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes on our reception welcome table.

I found the Praise and Worship singers for our nuptial Mass while in the confessional at a holy hour event! One of my bridesmaids is a moving vocalist, also, who took part in the music. Our Mass selections ultimately included Forever Reign, How Can I Keep From Singing, Hold Us Together, Hosanna, How He Loves, and Ave Maria.

Family was central to the religious significance of the day. My grandfather is a Deacon who has celebrated sacraments for many of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He helped Matt and I choose our readings and keep everything organized so that the Mass, the most important part of our day, would be engaging and impactful. My godson was the ring bearer, carrying our rings in the rosary box we had with us the night Matt proposed.

I also wrapped my great grandmother's rosary around my bouquet. Her parents bought each of their daughters a silver rosary, but when it was my great grandmother's turn, they were in the midst of a crippled economy. Her parents scraped enough money together to buy it anyway. It fell apart over the years, but months before the wedding, my grandmother had it repaired at her parish! We included in the Mass a special family prayer said throughout the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Honoring Mary during our wedding was such a special moment for us. We were able to kneel before our Blessed Mother in the same spot Pope John Paul II did during his visit to New Orleans. The Blessed Sacrament is, of course, the absolute climax of our earthly life. Matt and I were able to be ministers of the Eucharist to our guests, which meant so much to us. The Mass truly felt like Heaven on Earth.

For the reception, my cousin designed a custom Fleur De Lis graphic featuring the words “Love will hold us together,” from the Matt Maher song I chose for my walk down the aisle and for our first dance. Our cake had the words Totus Tuus, or “totally yours,” written on it. These words were Pope Saint John Paul II’s motto, ones I chose to have engraved in Matt’s wedding ring. The cake had one traditional tier atop a stand of petit fours, a classic dessert in our city, with cake pulls, a New Orleans tradition wherein bridesmaids pull a charm out of the cake to tell a special fortune or attribute about the woman who pulls it.

Instead of a garter toss, Matt did a kickoff: he and his Best Man played punter and kicker, and my brother, a groomsman, was a holder. They teamed up to kick a football to all the single men at the reception.

Our reception ended with a Second Line, a tradition formed by African Americans after the Civil War. Membership benefits originally included a brass band for members’ funerals, along with at least one public parade per year with music. Second Lines celebrate not only the life of the dead at funerals, but also new life at weddings and other modern celebrations.

On our honeymoon we were blessed to meet Pope Francis for the sposi novelli blessing. We thanked our wedding guests with a blessing that we hope will one day be a relic!

I love that in the Catholic Church, we are always free to re-celebrate the most important part of our wedding day: Christ makes himself available to us in the Eucharist, heaven on earth. We are always welcome to join him, anywhere in the world. The love I have for my husband is but a fraction of the love that God has for me. Christ gives us the gift of intimacy with Himself, and His bride, the Church, is more beautiful than any part of any wedding day. Christ’s Church equips us with all of the tools for the marriage that we pray for, and then some.

Photography: JC Williams Photography | Church: St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans | Wedding Reception Venue: Intercontinental New Orleans | Videography: Second Line Films | Musicians: Colin MacIver and Karista Filopoulos | Second Line Coordinator: Accent DMC | Cake: Debbie Heyd of The Roosevelt, New Orleans | Hair: Gina Marie | Makeup: Emma Stasi | Dress: Oliver Couture | Veil: Blanca Veils | Flowers: A Floral | Graphic Design: Meredith Johnson | Tuxedos: Rome’s Tuxedos

Pre-marital Counseling: The Wedding Gift that Keeps on Giving.

 

CHRISTINA DEHAN JALOWAY 

One of the first things my now husband, Kristian, and I did after we got engaged was call his therapist--who also happens to be a marriage and family counselor--and make an appointment to meet with him as a couple. In the midst of the craziness of wedding planning and adjusting to new jobs, Kristian and I carved out time each week to go to counseling, both as a couple and as individuals. Both of us had been in individual counseling for awhile at that point, which made our premarital counseling even more fruitful. And while it cost money and time, we both agree that going to therapy was the best thing we did (other than praying together daily and frequenting the sacraments) to prepare for marriage.

If you’ve never been to therapy/counseling, this may sound strange. Why would you go to counseling as a couple before you even get married? Doesn’t that mean that you’re “messed up” or crazy--or that your relationship is already on rocky ground? Isn’t therapy just for people with a diagnosed mental illness or serious relationship issues?

Absolutely not. The reality is that we live in a fallen world, and even if we came from a relatively healthy family, we have been wounded by the sins of others--often in ways that can remain hidden until we get engaged, married, or start having children. That said, I know that many Catholics are skeptical about the value of therapy, so I’ve compiled a short list of reasons why you and your fiancé might consider going--either as individuals, a couple, or both.

Therapy can strengthen your relationship with the Lord.

Our bodies, minds, and souls are so deeply connected that our psychological and emotional wounds can have a negative impact both on our physical health and our relationship with Christ. Some women (and men) have such difficult relationships with their fathers that they find it nearly impossible to address God as “Father.” Before I started going to therapy and taking medication, in spite of my excellent spiritual director, my anxiety was so intense that I could rarely sit still for longer than a few minutes, which made it almost impossible to pray. In my experience, a competent Catholic or Christian therapist can help you reach a deeper level of intimacy with the Lord by giving you the tools to clear out any psychological or emotional obstacles that may be in the way.

Individual therapy helps you identify your wounds and begin to heal.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to by physically or sexually abused to have emotional wounds. As you may have already discovered, engagement can bring out old wounds related to family, ex-boyfriends, etc, which can cause fear and anxiety regarding your impending marriage. Regardless of what your wounds are, we all have them. And the only way those wounds will heal is if they are brought into the light.

Self-medication through coping mechanisms (work, shopping, alcohol, food, dieting, exercise, Netflix binging, etc) only works for so long--and it definitely doesn’t work well when you’re trying to love another person in sickness and in health, till death do you part. A competent therapist can help you uncover your wounds, assess them honestly, and begin the healing process so that you can avoid hurting others, especially your future husband and children, because of your wounds.

Your therapist can help you break cycles of dysfunction.

Each one of us comes from a different “school of relationship”; that is, we all learned how to love (or hate), how to fight (or avoid conflict), how to forgive (or hold grudges), how to maintain healthy boundaries (or put up walls), from our families of origin, and especially from our parents--who came from their own schools of relationship that may have been dysfunctional to varying degrees.

No matter how well we were taught by our parents and siblings, we were still taught by flawed human beings. There are probably a few lessons we never learned and a few we need to forget. Therapy can help you and your fiancé sort through what you want to keep from your families of origin, and bring into your own marriage, and what types of dysfunctional behavior you want to avoid. 

Couples therapy can help you and your fiancé pinpoint and work toward resolving potential areas of conflict before you get married.

Marriage and family therapists agree that most couples come to counseling several years too late. The best time to get counseling is before any major problems surface, which is why pre-marital counseling is such a good idea. And while you may be required to meet with a priest or deacon a few times as part of your marriage prep, he simply won’t have the time or training to give you what a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) can. This is especially important if you or your fiancé has a history of addictive behavior, comes from an abusive family, or has experienced trauma of any kind in previous relationships.

A final note: I know many couples worry about the financial strain that paying a counselor may cause, but when you consider that you and your fiancé will be married for the rest of your lives, it becomes clear that putting money toward therapy is a better investment than buying your dream wedding dress, going on a fancy honeymoon, or having two meat options at your reception. Therapy is the only gift that will keep on giving for the rest of your married life.

If you have any questions or want more information on how to locate a Catholic therapist in your area, please email me at christina@spokenbride.com .

About the Author: Christina Dehan Jaloway is Spoken Bride's Associate Editor. She is the author of the blog The EvangelistaRead more

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Distinctively Catholic Ways to Commemorate the Dead on Your Wedding Day

As you and your beloved prepare to become one, transforming into your own new family at the altar, matters surrounding your families of origin, and their roles in your wedding plans, tend to highlight the nature of your relationships for better and for worse. One particular wound that might rise to the surface of your hearts is the pain of loss: how can you come to terms with the absence of certain loved ones on your wedding day, and how can you commemorate and honor them, holding them in prayer, as you celebrate?

Alongside thoughtful general traditions like lighting candles and displaying photos or albums of those who can’t join you earthside at your wedding, a distinctively Catholic approach to commemorating the dead could look like, first, intercessory prayer, and second, highlighting the uniqueness of every human person. Here, four ways to honor family and friends whom you’ve lost, while actively serving and praying for them:

Invite your wedding guests to pray for the dead.

Particularly if a loved one suffered before his or her death, it’s a common comfort to those left behind to consider that the individual is now at rest or “in a better place.” While, of course, we hold the hope of heavenly freedom for all those we’ve lost, as Catholics we also acknowledge that the road to paradise is merciful, yet just.

Your nuptial Mass presents an invitation to your guests not only to remember those no longer present, but to pray on behalf of their souls. In an In Memoriam section of your Mass program, or during the Prayers of the Faithful, consider writing a brief explanation of intercessory prayer and how it offers an opportunity to continue expressing love and charity for the dead, even when they are no longer with us. Here’s a sample passage from us that you're welcome to include in your text:

When it comes to heaven and eternal rest, Catholics put faith in God’s mercy and justice; that is, “All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC] 1030). Intercessory prayer is a form of petition in service of another: “In intercession, he who prays looks "not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others" (CCC 2635). As we lift up our intentions at this point in the Mass, we invite you to pray on behalf of [names of those you’d like to commemorate], all souls heaven-bound in purgatory, and all those you have lost, that they might be made holy and enter into the joy of heaven, the Father’s eternal wedding feast.

Raise a glass to a close loved one who can’t attend your wedding in the flesh.

It’s hard to illustrate the reality and emphasize the special nature of each individual human person to those who didn’t personally know him or her, simply because every person is entirely unique and unrepeatable, containing fathomless depths and complexities. If someone you were particularly close to, such as a parent or sibling, is not with you in body on your wedding day, it can be painful to acknowledge that some friends and relatives of your new spouse will never know him or her in this life.

But you can put forth your best effort at bringing this person’s memory to life. Consider delivering a toast describing your loved one to both those who knew him and those who didn’t, expressing the joy you found in your relationship and its effects on you leading to your wedding day. Sharing a glimpse of special individuals gifts others with a revelation of who they are, in a specific, personal way, and what they’ve meant to you.

Carry or use a special item of your loved one’s on your big day.

This might be a sentimental or religious item, like a Rosary or piece of jewelry, but if such an item isn’t an easily available option, brainstorm other family heirlooms or special belongings that might invoke the memory of the person you’ve lost. Ideas you might consider are serving one of her favorite recipes as part of a dessert table, using her china or servingware for you and your spouse’s wedding cake, or displaying a collection of his or hers as part of your reception décor.

Offer the crosses of your engagement and wedding planning for the repose of the souls of those you’ve lost.

What if, among those who aren’t able to be present at your wedding, there’s an individual you shared a difficult relationship with? For those with whom you struggled or those who hurt you in this life--and even for those with whom you didn’t--there is mercy and redemption in offering your trials for their souls. Through a mounting to-do list, spiritual attack, and stress as your big day approaches, you’ll find joy flows from putting another before yourself. Pray for the repose and salvation of the souls of your absent friends and family, and rest in knowing none of your difficulties are meaningless.

We know and understand that significant life events tend to increase the ache of loss. Know of our prayers for you if you’re planning your wedding day without someone you always thought would be with you on the journey, and don’t hesitate to reach out if we can pray for you in a specific way. If there are particular traditions or practices you’ve taken up or included in your Mass and reception plans, ones that have borne healing or fond memories, we’d love to hear them in the comments and on our social media.

Heather + Jude | Bohemian Bayside Wedding

Heather and Jude met and fell in love in college, where they built a foundation that sustained them through five years of very long distance dating: Heather's career took her to New York City, while Jude was living across the Atlantic in France!  "As difficult as it was, Heather recalls, "I wouldn't change anything about that time in our relationship, because we learned to communicate and appreciate our time together in new ways." When they finally got engaged on a cloudy Sunday morning on a beach in Florida, they had been together for seven years, Heather was on her way to becoming Catholic, and it was clear that the Lord had beautiful things in store for this faithful couple. 

From the Bride: We were engaged for 11 months, during which we relocated to the South to be closer to our families and I attended RCIA in order to be fully received into the Catholic Church. I was actually confirmed on the night of our wedding rehearsal, with all of our closest friends and family present. The next day, we were married in our hometown of Fairhope, AL at the prettiest little chapel called Sacred Heart.

For the ceremony, Roman Street played acoustic guitars as we arrived at the chapel. Jubilee Flowers created a gorgeous garland that arched the doorway with roses and other blooms. My father walked me down the aisle, telling funny jokes along the way, where we met my family, family-to-be, and Father Boni. With a chapel full of loved ones, the ceremony was as personal as it was spiritual. The sun was setting over the bay just as everyone exited the chapel, setting the perfect tone for our casual-yet-romantic reception.

The reception was held at a beautiful event space in downtown Fairhope called The Venue. Jude and I enjoyed our first dance together to the song "Only You" by Yaz while my dad and I shared a dance to Roman Street's cover of "My Girl" by The Temptations. The food was a combination of Southern-inspired dishes with a flair of Creole spice, and the cake was made by local cake artist Jan Taylor. A sparkler exit sent us on our way at the end of the evening. 

My dress was a two-piece ensemble, which included a custom crop top by Kelly Faetanini and silk chiffon skirt by Catherine Deane. My cathedral veil was made by the team at Kleinfeld. My talented cousin Mary of One Suite Day created our custom invitations, programs, and signage and Brad Burckel of Du Castel Photography captured everything through the weekend perfectly.

Heather's spiritual takeaway from her wedding day: Being married traditionally in a church was very important to my husband and me, and I'm so thankful we were able to have a wedding in the way that we did. We put God at the center of our planning process and He blessed us with perfect 75 degree weather, a brilliant sunset, safe travels for everyone who came from so far away, and much more. It's easy to get caught up in all the details of a wedding, but we did our best to focus on our purpose and people, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

 

Photography: Du Castel Photography | Nuptial Mass or Engagement Location: Sacred Heart Chapel (of St Lawrence Catholic Church) in Fairhope, AL | Wedding Reception Venue : The Venue in Fairhope, AL | Flowers (bouquet, flower crown, bouts, decor): Jubilee Flowers | Crop top: Kelly Faetanini | Veil: Kleinfeld Bridal | Skirt: Catherine Deane, BHLDN | Earrings: Samantha Wills | Bridesmaids dresses: Jenny Yoo | Groom Suit: The Black Tux | Groom Shoes: Allen Edmonds | Bride’s ring: Anna Sheffield | Groom’s ring: Benchmark from Ware Jewelers | Invitations, Programs, Signage: One Suite Day | Band: Roman Street | Illustrations: Illustrative Moments | Cake: Jan Taylor Cakes of Fairhope, AL

Writing Your Own Prayers of the Faithful

 

CHRISTINA DEHAN JALOWAY

Most of the elements of Catholic wedding liturgies are pretty set in stone, as they should be: the liturgy is not a human creation but a divine gift, and the structure and unity of the Mass reminds us of this truth. What many couples don’t realize is that, as long as you keep within certain guidelines, you and your fiancé are permitted to write your own prayers of the faithful for your nuptial Mass. Kristian and I ended up with 21 petitions (What can I say? I love intercessory prayer!), but I don’t think anyone at our wedding minded. In fact, a few guests asked me to share our prayers of the faithful with them after the wedding, so that they could use them during personal prayer.

If you’re not familiar with the process of writing intercessory prayers, or the idea intimidates you, be not afraid! It’s not as difficult as it sounds, and below you’ll find lots of tips and even examples that you can copy and paste directly from this post to include in your own prayers of the faithful.

Before we get into specifics, there are two things to keep in mind when writing liturgical petitions:

Petitions should not be mini-homilies. Keep them short and sweet, and keep the tone prayerful vs. preachy.

Follow the Church’s preferred petition order: pray for the Church first, then the world, the burdened, the local community, the dead, and your personal intentions.

Let’s break each of those down:

Prayer(s) for the Church.

Every act of liturgical Catholic prayer (including the liturgy of the hours) is the prayer of the entire Church. Thus, it makes sense that we always include the Body of Christ in our general intercessions. The minimalist way to go is to pray a broad and general prayer for the Church, which is fine, but if you want to be a bit more specific, consider including some or all of the following:

For the Holy Father, Pope Francis [add your specific intention for the Holy Father here]...

For Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI [add your specific intention for Benedict XVI here]...

For all bishops, priests, and deacons, especially those present at this Mass [you can name them here]...

For all religious and consecrated men and women, especially [insert name of religious men and women among your friends and family]...

For all lay Christians, that through prayer, the grace of the Sacraments, and acts of charity, we might become more credible witnesses to our friends and family who do not know Christ.

For the healing of the divisions among Christians--that we may all be of one heart and mind as Jesus prayed we would be.

For all persecuted Christians, that they would be strengthened and encouraged by our prayers and advocacy.

Prayer(s) for the world.

As Catholics, we are called to love all of God’s creation, including people with whom we disagree, those we consider our enemies, the poor, the disenfranchised, our government leaders, and so on. For example:

For an end to attacks on human dignity throughout the world, especially human trafficking, abortion, pornography, economic injustice, war, and religious persecution.

For our government leaders...

Prayer(s) for the burdened. This one is pretty self-explanatory, and provides us with the opportunity to honor those who are suffering from sickness or other burdens among our families and friends.

For all of the sick, especially those in our families, that they would experience the healing power of Christ. In particular, we pray for [insert names of family and friends who are sick here].

Prayer(s) for the local community.

This is your opportunity to pray for your guests. Kristian and I focused on vocations, specifically the vocation to marriage.

For all married couples, especially those who are carrying heavy crosses, that they would receive the strength and hope that they need to be visible signs of Christ’s love in the world.

For all couples who struggle with infertility, that they would know of Christ and his Mother’s closeness to them in their suffering.

For all couples who are divorced or separated, that they would receive the grace of healing and forgiveness.

For all of those single men and women who are waiting for the fulfillment of their vocation, that they would receive the grace to live this time well, with the hope that comes from knowing that their lives are in God’s hands. [Note: My friend Anamaria included a petition like this in her wedding Mass, and I was so touched that she remembered her single friends that I made a mental note of it in case I ever got married.]

Prayer(s) for the dead.

This is a wonderful opportunity to honor those in your families who aren’t able to attend your wedding in the flesh. Many couples opt to name all of their loved ones who have died in recent years. Example: 

For the salvation of all of our beloved dead, especially [include names of deceased loved ones here]. May all of those who mourn their loss be comforted by the hope of the Resurrection.

Personal intentions.

This is where you have a lot of freedom to pray for whatever is most dear to your hearts as a couple, such as your family’s role in bringing you to this sacrament, your friends, former mentors, and of course, your own marriage. Here’s what we did:

In thanksgiving for Christina and Kristian’s parents, who gave them the gifts of life, love, and faith in Christ and his Church.

In thanksgiving for Christina and Kristian’s siblings, nieces and nephews, and extended families, whose love, prayers, and support throughout the years have been instrumental in bringing them to the altar of marriage.

For the intentions of the Dehan, Lyons, Jaloway, and Ruhnke families.

For all of Christina and Kristian’s former students, that they would become the men and women God created them to be.

For Christina and Kristian, that they would never tire of loving one another as Christ has loved us.

We hope this guide is helpful for those of you who want to write your own prayers of the faithful, but aren’t sure where to start; please feel free to share it with all of the Catholic brides-to-be that you know. For those of you who are already married, did you write your own intentions or use the pre-written ones provided by your priest/deacon? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!


 

About the Author: Christina Dehan Jaloway is Spoken Bride's Associate Editor. She is the author of the blog The EvangelistaRead more

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We Want to Share Your Story

 

Our mission at Spoken Bride is to be a witness of the beauty of the Catholic understanding of the sacrament of marriage, and we are truly grateful for the ways that our vendors, contributors, and newly engaged and married couples help us do just that. If you haven't considered submitting your story to Spoken Bride, we hope that you will. Currently, we are particularly interested in the following: 

Proposal stories - This spring we launched our "How He Asked" series. We are always looking for newly engaged couples and their proposal stories. Professional photography is encouraged, but it is not required for this submission. 

Betrothal Ceremonies - If you and your fiance decide to take advantage of the Church's traditional betrothal ceremony, please share it with us. Again, professional photography is encouraged, but is not required. 

Weddings featuring mixed cultures and ethnicities - Our Church is beautifully diverse! We would love to showcase and share it's many countries and cultural traditions. 

Weddings featuring various Catholic Rites - Spoken Bride isn't just for Novus Ordo Catholics: we love to hear from couples whose wedding liturgies were celebrated in other rites (Byzantine, Tridentine, Maronite, Armenian, etc.). The Church is many parts and is universal! Let's celebrate it and share it with others. 

International Weddings - Know of a Catholic couple who got married outside the US? We'd love to feature their wedding! 

Convalidations - Catholics originally married outside of the Church who want their marriage recognized as a permanent and sacramental covenant do what is called a convalidation. We would love to share the stories of real couples who felt called to make that covenant.

Styled Shoots - Did you recently collaborate with other vendors to create a beautiful styled shoot? You can share the inspiration and images from the shoot. Just a note: If you attended a workshop with a styled shoot incorporated for the attendees and you would like to submit it, you will need to get permission from the head of the workshop before doing so. 

Original articles on anything related to engagement, marriage, wedding planning, etc- Your reflections, advice, and musings on the beauty of the sacrament of marriage are invaluable to us here at Spoken Bride. If you have an idea for a post that fits with our mission, please send it our way. Please note that we cannot use pieces that have been published previously on other websites or publications. 

If you have questions or want more information on the requirements for different types of submissions, check out our submissions page or email us at hello@spokenbride.com. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing what the Lord has done in your life with our Spoken Bride community!