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Equally Wed

Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your LGBTQ+ Wedding

Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your LGBTQ+ Wedding by Kirsten Palladino (May 30, 2017, Seal Press)

equally-wed-book-render

PURCHASE

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ABOUT

By and large, most wedding books in the market are still centered around one bride and one groom. And yet, the advent of full marriage equality in the United States has made a new, polished wedding planning book dedicated to guiding LGBTQ couples both timely and essential. Kirsten Palladino will fill that need with this definitive book to inspire couples everywhere who are seeking a meaningful, personal ceremony and a momentous beginning to legally married life.

Equally Wed brings author Palladino’s expertise as the founder and editorial director of the world’s leading online resource for LGBTQ wedding planning to the page. Palladino walks readers through every step of the notoriously costly and arduous planning process with wisdom and accessibility. From how to incorporate hot trends among LGBTQ couples to advice on how to incorporate children into a ceremony to more serious hurdles like dealing with homophobia among family members, Equally Wed has it all. The author importantly includes an accurate picture of wedding budgets for couples from all backgrounds, and shares her invaluable insider tips for making the most of each vendor; she also addresses fashion advice specific for LGBTQ readers, such as suiting up a masculine person or attending fittings as a butch lesbian or a transgender woman. And best of all, she does it with the celebratory, joyful approach that all couples deserve.

With a beautiful 2-color package, a total absence of heteronormative terms and assumptions, and a wealth of advice on every wedding-related topic imaginable, Equally Wed is set to be the go-to LGBTQ wedding guide just as every couple is finally free to wed.

PARTY

Join us in Atlanta, the headquarter city of Equally Wed, for the launch party of Equally Wed! Get your copy of the book signed by the author, Kirsten Palladino, co-creator and editor of Equally Wed.

WHEN: Thursday, June 1, 2017

WHERE: Phillip Rush Center

RSVP / MORE INFO: Facebook

COST: Free (but bring some cash for our charity fundraising for Georgia Equality!)

TIME: 6-8 p.m.

BOOK SELLER: Charis Books

PRAISE

“No matter what kind of relationship you’re in or what kind of wedding you have your heart set on, one thing is guaranteed: You’re going to need the right guide if you want to get hitched without losing your mind. Luckily, Kirsten Palladino has got you covered. From using social media to get friends and family buzzing about your upcoming nuptials to effortlessly navigating the in’s and out’s of registry etiquette, her beautiful new book, Equally Wed, is all you’ll need to make your dream wedding a reality.”
—Noah Michelson, Editorial Director, Voices at Huffington Post and Executive Editor, Huffington Post Queer Voices 

“We are thrilled to recommend Kirsten’s book to our LGBTQ community! Her expertise and personal experience make this an invaluable resource with a unique perspective.”
—Carley Roney, cofounder, The Knot 

“When I first met Kirsten, she said something that I will never forget. She said, ‘I’ll know I can stop fighting when my job is no longer needed.’ How beautifully stated and how true in its purest form. We have a long way to go before Equally Wed is no longer a resource that this world needs but every day, Kirsten and her lovely wife, Maria, get us closer and closer to that goal. The idea that a wedding is a wedding is a wedding—and love is, indeed, just love—are what we hope our children will know as truth. Without hesitation or doubt. I feel grateful to be a part of this book in some small way and am thrilled for the soon-to-be’s that get to experience it so fully.”
—Abby Larson, founder, Style Me Pretty 

“Equally Wed seeks to simplify the wedding planning process for the LGBTQ+ community in a safe, comfortable and fun space! Take it from me, wedding planning is a laborious task to begin with—add to that the uncertainty surrounding the LGBTQ+ traditions and customs. My favorite feature in this book is the personal stories from real couples that have gone through the wedding planning process from a similar point of view. It’s always important to be reminded that love is the reason behind every wedding, because love is love and love never goes out of style!”
Colin Cowie

“Finally, the wedding guide we’ve been waiting for! Not just for brides and brides, but for everybody on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, Equally Wed is a smart, savvy, and life-saving guide to getting married, your way. Kirsten Palladino, the undisputed authority on wedding planning for our community has you covered. With traditions explained and trendsetting encouraged, Palladino offers a banquet of options, from budget building to bouquet toss. Her firsthand expertise means you don’t have to stress out on your big day.”
—Merryn Johns, editor-in-chief, Curve Magazine

Articles, featured, Fitness & Health, Food & Health, writing

A juice cleanse before the wedding

Warning: This isn’t a “how to lose weight in X amount of days before your wedding” article. Fact: I loathe those types of articles.

I was the kind of bride who eagerly showed up to cake-tasting appointments hoping to try all the flavors, not just the three I’d selected. Sorry, not sorry.

But beyond my personal weakness for sugar, there’s a difference between getting skinny for someone else’s vision for the perfect bridal size and achieving a state of wellness. That’s what I want to talk to you about today.

rainbow-juice-cleanse-book

There’s a new nutrition book that piqued my interest: The Rainbow Juice Cleanse: Lose Weight, Boost Energy and Supercharge Your Health by Dr. Ginger Southall
 (Running Press,
 April 2015, 
$17.00). The tummy-toning tome focuses on how juicing popular high-glycemic vegetables will affect the intricate physiology of the body. Each day of the program focuses on a different color of the rainbow—that is, drinking different colored veggies each day of the cleanse—ensuring the best possible nutrition profile and guaranteeing positive results.

While Dr. Southall’s book, The Rainbow Juice Cleanse, does promise losing seven pounds in seven days, those are likely seven pounds of gross things you don’t even want to know about. Toxic sh*t you need to get rid of. She also boasts that her book will help you boost your energy levels and supercharge your health. Well, I took her challenge—not the seven-day one (yet!), but I have felt extra wonderful when I’ve drank her recipes, so without further ado, let me show you what I did with her book, a trip to the farmer’s market, my newest kitchen toy, Omega juicer (NC800 series), and my Kenwood X-Pro blender (which I seriously don’t think I could live without in the summer or winter because it blends both hot and cold foods).

The first recipe I made was what Dr. Southall explains is definitely not juicing. It’s a smoothie. It’s a way to get your taste buds ready for the change that’s coming your way when you start replacing meals with liquid veggies. And these are veggies, not fruit. One tip I’ll never forget from her is “Eat your fruit, drink your veggies.” She’s still pro-fruit, but she explains over several useful pages how fruit is full of sugar, and how “eating whole fruit, with its fiber and full nutritional and phytonutrient package, is entirely different than drinking a glass of condensed fruit juice or even adding a few pieces of fruit in your veggie juice. This is especially true for someone facing a health challenge (as most of us are today) and for those trying to lose weight. From a healing and weight loss perspective, try to keep your total fruit consumption between 5 and 10 percent of your total daily calorie intake. The cleaner and healthier you become, the better your body can handle fruits and even fruit juice.”

Eat your fruit, drink your veggies.

— Dr. Ginger Southall

OK, doc. With that lesson, I think we’re ready to dive into Drink No. 1 that I tried, the Green Cilantro Smoothie, which was positively delicious, tangy, refreshing and filling.

 

 

Next, I made the Thai One on Tonic. Honestly, this one made me want to break up with cauliflower, for like, forever. But, it’s packed with many of the B vitamins, zinc, magnesium and omega-3s, which promote healthy sugar metabolism, according to Dr. Ginger, which she says helps with blood sugar stabilization. So I mentally pushed myself to finish it, and I was proud that I chugged it down. It tasted good, but it was more like a creamy soup. Mixing in some (pure) stevia and pouring it over ice could really help.

 

The Red Pepper-Mint Juice might resemble a Bloody Mary in appearance, but don’t add any vodka if you’re going for a cleanse. It’s full of vitamin E, manganese and more than 30 known members of the carotenoid phytonutrient family!

 

 

All photos except book by Kirsten Ott. Recipes copyright Dr. Ginger Southall, The Rainbow Juice Cleanse.

This article was first published on Equally Wed Magazine.

Articles, featured, Portfolio

Transcending time

Atlanta author Colleen Oakley wins hearts with first novel ‘Before I Go’

This article was originally published in the Jan./Feb. print issue of The Atlantan. Written by Kirsten Ott.

before-i-go-book-cover-colleen-oakleyThe looming threat of mortality is inescapable in our lives, but most of us can shrug off thoughts about it. But for Daisy, a witty Athens, Ga., graduate student who is lucky enough to have found lasting, meaningful love early in life is also painfully unlucky enough to have twice developed cancer before she turns 30. The protagonist for debut author Atlanta author Colleen Oakley’s novel Before I Go (Jan. 6, 2015, Simon & Schuster) is faced with a heartbreaking challenge when she learns that her breast cancer has returned, it’s in stage four, and she will not survive the year. Daisy’s husband, Jack, is a devoted guy with terrible life skills when it comes to pulling together the four basic food groups into an assemblage of a healthy meal, and unsurprisingly, Daisy’s more concerned about Jack’s future than she is her own. Putting his needs before her own health, Daisy starts looking for a replacement wife for him before she makes Jack a widow, employing her best friend Kayleigh to scout out potential suitors for her husband on dating sites and in coffee shops. Naturally, hilarity and hijinks ensue.

 

 

Colleen Oakley

Author Colleen Oakley Photo: C. Noel

Oakley expertly woos readers into Daisy and Jack’s love story with well-woven story arcs and characters you can root for. Her career as a former magazine editor and current freelance magazine journalist make Oakley a natural narrator, and it was one particular subject who sparked the creative juices for this book. “The inspiration for Before I Go hit when I got an assignment from an editor to interview a woman who was dying of metastasized breast cancer. It was a powerful interview for many reasons, but what struck me the hardest was the fact that she was around my age — late 20s at the time — so I couldn’t help but put myself in her shoes. I was a newlywed, and it surprised me that my first thought wasn’t ‘what would I do if I was dying?’ but ‘what would my husband do?’”

 

INKWELL

KO: What have you learned from this experience of writing (and publishing) your first book?

CO: “I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that I can actually do it. Writing a book is one of those things that I always vaguely said I’d do — like becoming fluent in Italian and moving to Capri — but I’m not sure I ever really believed I could. You type that first sentence, or first page, and realize you still have 300+ pages to go. It seems impossible. But then there’s nothing like the feeling of accomplishment when you write those two little words: “The end.” I imagine it’s a lot like running one of those ultra 100-mile marathons, but with less sweat and blisters. (Probably the same amount of cursing though.)”

BEFORE I GO LAUNCH PARTY

Benefitting Susan G. Komen for the Cure

WHEN: Jan. 6, 2015, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Room & Board, 1170 Howell Mill Road NW

COST: Free; raffle tickets and book available for purchase at event

RSVP: colleenoakley.com