Meet Our New Team Members!

As we at Spoken Bride look forward to continuing sharing the truth, goodness, and beauty of Catholic marriage in the coming year, we are grateful for each of you, the authentic, faithful women who support and participate in our mission.

Today, it’s our pleasure to introduce to you the newest team members who are joining us in carrying out this mission in a tangible way. Meet our Social Media Manager and Administrative Assistant!

Mary Wilmot, Social Media Manager

Though Spoken Bride launched after I was already married, I have been a reader from the beginning. I think my love for the Church’s teachings on marriage and family, not to mention Spoken Bride’s beautiful images, are what drew me in! I’m excited to join the team as Social Media Manager as I get to interact daily with a wonderful community of brides, readers, and talented vendors. As I start this new endeavor, I am most looking forward to growing my faith and my own marriage through deeper reflection on the sacrament of marriage.

I live in my hometown in Texas with my husband and two children. We actually live around the corner from my parents, in the same neighborhood I grew up in! Until recently, I served our parish as the coordinator of Religious Education, leading programs such as Catechism classes, First Communion, and Vacation Bible School. When I’m not homeschooling my four year old, you can find us meeting up for play dates at the park, zoo, or library. I also love to run, spend quality time with our extended families, and try new restaurants. I look forward to chatting with you!

 

Tasha Johnson, Administrative Assistant

Since the moment I encountered it, Spoken Bride has been a beautiful source of examples of how to discern and live out the sacrament of marriage in a radically faithful way. After walking with college-aged women for the past few years, I had been feeling the Lord tug on my heart to move in a different direction. I am thrilled to be joining the team here at Spoken Bride to help connect women with the resources they need to pursue their vocation as fully as possible.

I can be found in my native Minnesota, where I completed my undergraduate studies in Catholic Studies and Spanish Linguistics at the University of St. Thomas in 2017. I have since returned to their graduate school of theology to pursue my master’s degree. If not working or studying, I am always up for improvising new recipes, turning small errands into adventures, or hearing about the desires the Lord has been putting on others’ hearts!

I aim to follow St. John Paul II’s instruction to “be converted every day,” and am honored by the opportunity to do that alongside the beautiful women in this community.

Meet Our New Editorial Team!

This month, we’re thrilled to announce the addition of new members to the Spoken Bride team; women with honest, passionate hearts for the beautiful and the real to join us in our mission. We are proud and pleased to introduce our new editors to you today and to share their insights and the fruits of their hard work in the months to come!

Larabeth Miller, Associate Editor

I’m so blessed to join Spoken Bride as Associate Editor. When I got engaged three years ago, Spoken Bride was a pivotal resource as I prepared for my new vocation as a wife. I have continued to draw inspiration from this ministry even as a newlywed and have enjoyed watching it grow in beauty, truth and holiness. That is why I am honored to be able to aid in continuing this mission!

I am originally from Colorado but currently reside in North Carolina with my husband as he finishes up medical school. We have one 18-month-old son who is my constant companion as I write, paint, and keep our house running. In the past, I had the amazing experience of being able to work for the Little Sisters of the Poor at the Mullen House in Denver. I’ve enjoyed writing contributions for The Young Catholic Woman and Ignitum Today. I’ve also shared some of my artwork at Graced by Color on Facebook and in the summer 2018 issue of Radiant Magazine. My dream is to have more kids, be the best wife ever, and get my theology degree!

 

Mariah Maza, Features Editor

I first came across Spoken Bride googling “Catholic bride blogs” after getting engaged in the summer of 2016--only two months after Spoken Bride launched. I was immediately drawn in by the beautiful and professional website, tearjerking proposal and wedding stories, and poetic truth on every page. I have followed the blog ever since.

It is so crazy that, a couple years later, I now have the privilege to be your Features Editor. God is so good. I am most looking forward to crying happy tears as I edit beautiful, holy, and inspirational engagement and wedding stories.

The deserts of Arizona are my home and have my heart, no matter where I go. I still live here with my husband as he finishes school and will be commissioned as an officer in the Army National Guard. We are high school sweethearts and newlyweds approaching our first anniversary in December! I have a psychology degree from Arizona State and a theological studies minor from the University of Mary. I am extremely bookish, try to dress “librarian chic,” love country dancing, and want to become a saint. Writing and theology are my passions, and my dream is to publish a book someday. Ad Jesum per Mariam!

 

Stephanie Fries, Editor at Large

The time between engagement and marriage for my now-husband and I moved at top speed. Throughout our planning and preparation, the resources from Spoken Bride not only influenced our wedding program and requests for specific photographs, but also provided a community of like-minded women who, unknowingly, inspired many of the plans for our wedding liturgy. For me, working as the Editor at Large with Spoken Bride is an invitation to offer my love of Catholic theology, vocation, and creativity back into a community that has helped me grow in confidence as a woman, bride, and wife.

I am proud to say that Kentucky was my first home where I was born and raised. Although a cradle Catholic, I began to develop a deep affection for and understanding of my faith after being exposed to the teachings of the Theology of the Body. I spent my early twenties in Washington, D.C. where I played field hockey and graduated from American University, taught at a Reggio-inspired preschool, and ate my fair share of Georgetown Cupcakes.

In October 2017, I moved to San Diego to discern marriage with my husband; by August 2018, we were married and moving to Japan! We are settling into our first home on a Navy base, building community, exploring our new neighborhood, and practicing self-control against the temptations for endless gyoza and sushi and ramen. Needless to say, I have a love for food! When I’m not eating or writing, you may find me drinking coffee, hiking, reading a book, or getting lost in Japan with my husband.

Enter Our Summer Giveaway with Radiant Magazine + Anthropologie!

June brings with it bare feet, travel, reading that stirs the soul, and, hopefully, a marriage celebration or two on your calendar. We want to help you set the stage.

With wedding season in full swing, we’ve collaborated with Radiant Magazine, a quarterly print periodical for Catholic young women, to gift one lucky follower a copy of Radiant's Summer 2018 Love Issue, featuring Spoken Bride, and a $50 gift card to Anthropologie (also good for Anthro's wedding line, BLDHN!). To enter:

  1. Follow @spokenbride and @radiantmag on Instagram.
  2. On the corresponding giveaway post in Instagram, tag a Catholic bride-to-be or newlywed in a comment. Each separate comment is a chance to win.

The giveaway begins today and ends Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 11:59pm EST/ 8:59pm PST. Winner will be randomly selected and notified via Instagram on Friday, June 22, 2018.

Click here to read the official giveaway rules.

An Anniversary + Our First Reader Survey!

Today we invite you to join in our mission by way of our first Reader Survey!

Two years ago this week, on the Feast of the Visitation, we launched this corner of the wedding world: a place rooted in sisterhood, unafraid of the raw and imperfect, in love with love and with beauty, knowing they provide only a glimpse of an even more loving, more beautiful Creator.

It’s entirely due to the work of the Holy Spirit and to each of you, our brides, that the Spoken Bride community has grown since that first day. We read and truly appreciate every submission, comment, and email and continually hold you in prayer. Your willingness to entrust your intentions to our team and community, to offer advice and support to like-minded women, and to give reverence and attention not just for the outer, but the inner, is a gift. It embodies our mission to make manifest the truth, beauty, and goodness of Catholic marriage--in all its joy and purification. Thank you.

We look forward to sharing more distinctively Catholic wedding-related content and joining you in prayer and witness over this coming year! We have big dreams for this ministry and a simple desire to serve you with resources best suited to your practical and spiritual needs.

To help us accomplish that, share your thoughts in the Reader Survey below. It’s our priority to create content and tools ideally suited to your heart and your particular needs as a Catholic bride,. We’re looking forward to hearing your voice!

Saint Joseph, Mary Most Holy, Saints Louis and Zelie Martin, pray for us.

Longtime Married Readers, We Want to Hear from You! Introducing The Sophia Series.

Sophia is the Greek word for “wisdom.” With marriage comes an unveiling: emotional, physical, spiritual. The raw of who we are. And in that vulnerability, we are given the grace of a holy wisdom, born of experience and time. We invite you to share yours.

Sisterhood, community, and honest dialogue have become cornerstones of the Spoken Bride community, with all thanks to the Father and to your authenticity and sincerity. In that spirit of honesty, we know that behind every picture-perfect wedding photo is an imperfect bride and groom, striving always to live out free, faithful, fruitful, and total love. The Sophia Series will feature testimonies from longtime married women (five years or more) who have endured the fire of purification in their married life and emerged transcendent.

Maybe your purification has involved conversion to the Catholic faith, infertility, loss, addiction, or illness. Maybe your relationship has been tested by your own weaknesses or by others’ involvement. Here is a place for giving voice to the redemption of these trials. Our goal is that this series feels like sitting down with a friend, sharing in truthful, humble conversation and ultimately affirming the reality and goodness of Catholic marriage.

There is no Resurrection without the Crucifixion. The path to heaven comes only by way of Calvary. Yet there is never a doubt that suffering has meaning and purpose; that the Father never leaves our side and that through every cross, grace abounds. We hope you’ll trust us with your experiences and we pray your witness bears fruit for other brides--women who, like you, are on a lifetime pilgrimage in this vocation of marriage.

Feeling called to share your story of triumph from hardship? Submit your Sophia Series submission below.

Submissions are continually accepted and considered.

Name *
Name
Headshot, Wedding Day, and Current Photo of you with your spouse and/or family. Must be at least 950px. Please give credit for any professional photography.
Must be married for AT LEAST 5 years.
We're eager to hear your story of a cross that has ultimately strengthened and affirmed your married life. Please include how you met your husband, details about your courtship and discernment of marriage, the issue that brought difficulty to your relationship, its resolution or outcome, your takeaway from the experience, and any other relevant info you feel called to share.
Please check the following *

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 you will. In addition to wedding features, 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 not required for this submission. 

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

Weddings featuring mixed cultures and ethnicities - Our Church is beautifully diverse! We would love to showcase and share its 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 wish to have their marriage recognized as a permanent and sacramental covenant, do what is called a convalidation ceremony. It's our honor to share the stories of real couples who've felt called to make that covenant.

Styled Shoots - Are you a vendor who has recently collaborated with others to create a beautiful styled shoot? We'd love to share the inspiration and images from the shoot. Please 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 and our community 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. Editorial policies can be found here in full.

If you have questions or want more information on 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! 

Introducing Our New Associate Editor!

Starting this week, we are thrilled to welcome Christina Dehan Jaloway to the Spoken Bride team! A lifelong student of beauty and the Catholic faith, in and out of the classroom (she has a Masters in Theology from Notre Dame and taught high school Religion for nine years), Christina is the honest, observant voice behind the blog The Evangelista and writes as a missionary of the true, good and beautiful. 

Christina married her sweetheart, Kristian, this past Christmas season after a setup, courtship, and engagement that transpired in a whirlwind of certainty and peace. We're grateful for her perspective as she enters into newlywed life and eager to share her insights on the blog in the upcoming months!

From Christina: I remember seeing the first posts from Spoken Bride shortly before getting engaged, and I was so excited about the prospect of not only learning from the wisdom of others, but also sharing my own experiences during engagement and newly married life. I'm thrilled to begin my work as Associate Editor, using my love of writing, beauty, and all things Catholic wedding-related to bless our readers. 

A little about me: I'm an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by the grace of God, a double Domer (meaning I have two degrees from the University of Notre Dame--both in theology), and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's biggest fan. I spent my first 9 years post-graduate school as a high school theology teacher and loved (almost) every minute of it. Besides Austin and Houston, I've lived in Falls Church, VA, Washington, DC, Phoenix, AZ, and South Bend, IN. These days, I divide my time between freelance writing, blogging, speaking, reading, wine tasting, hiking, loving my new husband, playing with my nieces whenever I get the chance, and re-watching episodes of Parks & Rec