How can we honor all the important people on our wedding invitations? Editor-in-chief and same-sex wedding expert Kirsten Ott Palladino weighs in.
Falling in love with a diamond when your heart was set on something simpler
Sara Gilbert and Linda Perry are having a baby!
Give yourself the gift of beauty. In truth, you already have the gift of beauty. If you consider the eyes of your bride to be as a mirror into a deeper reality, you are already the most beautiful woman in the world.
A few special deets on NPH's private marriage to David Burtka and who was there
There's nothing quite as personal or intimate as having your wedding literally in your own backyard. It's the perfect venue for smaller gatherings of up to 100 of your closest friends and family members. In fact, more couples than ever are choosing the great outdoors for their nuptials—it is reported that 43 percent of ceremonies are held outdoors. To join the happy fray with your own beautiful backyard wedding, make sure you include these five must-have details:
No matter how gorgeous your backyard is, you need an even, level aisle to walk down and a level surface for serving, eating and entertaining. Not only is this a safety issue (can you imagine tripping on your way to the altar or one of your guests twisting an ankle during the reception?), it's also an issue of aesthetics. You don't want cockeyed tables and chairs listing like drunken wedding crashers. So unless you plan on having guests sign liability wavers on their way in, make sure your walkways and entertaining areas are smooth and safe.
The most important visual element in your backyard is the spot where you'll be exchanging vows. It will serve as the frame and backdrop for your ceremony, and as such will be a recurring component in your wedding photos. A gazebo, arch or arbor covered in greenery and flowers in your wedding colors is a timeless choice. If you're going for a more rustic look, consider using indoor elements outdoors, such as a pair of wooden door frames with simple lace curtains or a freestanding hearth.
If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, incorporate it as a major design element. A liner for inground swimming pools is an easy and effective way to give your pool a classy upgrade. You can use the water's surface as a canvas for colorful floating candles and floral arrangements. Even something simple such as rose petals scattered across the water can add an elegant touch.
Whether it's long rows of banquet tables or several small circular tables, your tablescape is an ideal way to showcase your wedding's theme and style. For a vintage look, consider using lace-covered Mason jars as centerpieces. If your wedding calls for something modern yet simple, try Martha Stewart's suggestion of single peonies. Whatever your theme may be, you can't go wrong with classic white plates with napkins in your wedding colors. Just be sure to avoid plastic, unless you're going with a backyard barbecue.
The flowers you choose are the element that ties everything together, from your cake and decorations to the bouquet and boutonniere. For an outdoor wedding, it's important to work with flowers that are suitable to the region and climate. If you already have flowers that will be in bloom at the time of your wedding, that's a perfect place to start building a floral theme. However, if you're looking for something trendy, succulents are huge right now, especially on the West Coast, according to Garden Chic.
Photos (from top to bottom): younghouselove.com; elisaself via Flickr; r1aviator via Flickr; tommy.chheng via Flickr; Our Labor of Love
"While not a glamorous wedding, it really reflected who we are: a little tailored for Holly and little girly for me. And the most important people in the world to us were there to share it with us."Real Weddings 1639
Jason and Jason's love-filled wedding day was dappled with daisies, and shades of blue and violet.Real Weddings 2647
Couples are taking a shine to the glitz and the glam of metallics for their wedding cakes.Planning 812
Little problems make great stories but huge meltdowns, drunk guests and angry bowels can ruin a wedding or reception.Planning 849
Katie and Michelle’s engagement shoot encompasses their love of nature, cribbage, good beer, and, of course, each otherEngagement 1119
My partner and I have a unique engagement story. We both identify as queer and my partner, Owen, is transgender. Although we often subscribe to what "men and women" do in relationship, we wanted to be sure that we were being very intentional about how to move forward together and which traditions felt good to us.Engagement 1525
Josiah Carr proposed to Blake in Nashville with a flashmob and his own original music!Engagement 1902
Sara Gilbert and Linda Perry are having a baby!Celebrity News 344
A few special deets on NPH's private marriage to David Burtka and who was thereCelebrity News 478
Brittney Griner proposed to her girlfriend Glory Johnson last week and broke the news on Instagram over the weekend.Celebrity News 749