Kirsten Ott Palladino & Maria Palladino are co-founders of Equally Wed, an online wedding magazine celebrating love and weddings in the LGBTQ+ community. It also provides education and resources for same-sex couples and equality-minded wedding professionals. But this is far more than just a business venture.

In 2004, Kirsten and Maria fell in love, getting engaged just before Kirsten’s 30th birthday in Central Park. When Kirsten began searching online and in book stores for wedding planning resources as a same-sex couple, she didn’t see any content out there that reflected her relationship with Maria. Initially disappointed, Kirsten channeled her emotions into a project called Equally Wed — an online journal and national wedding magazine for LGBTQ+ couples. With Maria’s background in graphic design and web development and Kirsten’s experience in writing editorial content, the two created a national wedding magazine and resource guide for people in the LGBTQ+ community and their allies who want to learn, connect, and feel validation that love is love, no matter who you are.

At the time Equally Wed launched, only 6 US states had marriage equality, making Equally Wed not only an online resource for community and wedding resources for the LGBTQ+ community, but also a news and activism site during the movement toward national marriage equality. As the political and social conversation continues to evolve around same-sex marriage, so does the wedding market. Kirsten and Maria continue to push the envelope by developing relevant, thoughtful resources, including the publication of a wedding guide in 2017 specifically for LGBTQ+ couples planning their own weddings.

About the Interviewees: 

Kirsten Ott Palladino grew up in Georgia and is the co-founder and online editor for Equally Wed, the online journal and author of Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your LGBTQ+ Wedding. She has served a variety of magazine outlets and freelance clients with her editorial skills over the years before co-founding Equally Wed.

Maria Palladino hails from Florida and has a background in graphic design, marketing, and web development. After moving to Atlanta, she formed her own firm early in her career to work with a variety of clients before becoming the co-founder and creative director of Equally Wed. 

Show Highlights:

  • How Kirsten and Maria developed their careers in the editorial and graphic design fields
  • Kirsten and Maria’s personal story that was the catalyst for Equally Wed
  • Why wedding resources for same-sex couples are important
  • Personal stories from Kirsten and Maria about vendor and community reactions to planning their wedding as a same-sex couple
  • A brief overview of the same-sex marriage movement in the US
  • The importance of cisgender allies in the LGBTQ+ community
  • The types of questions same-sex couples ask themselves about creating an entire wedding experience– from traditions to honeymooning
  • How vendors who advertise their support of LGBTQ+ couples can impact their business
  • Important ways vendors can act as inclusive partners to better support LGBTQ+ couples

Links Mentioned in the Show:

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

Equally Wed – Online wedding magazine and resource

Wedding Equality Alliance

Also, listen to Andy’s interview on his other podcast, Extraordinary Ordinary People, with Zoila Fajardo: Tolerance, Love, and Raising a Transgender Child

Connect with Kirsten and Maria: