How Queer Radicalism and Gay Progressivism Can Meet in the Middle
Published: Wednesday, 30 July 2014 19:05
How Queer Radicalism and Gay Progressivism Can Meet in the Middle

Is marriage equality relevant to radical queer politics? Bird Pilatsky challenges the notion that engaging with norms of marriage is regressive and anti-queer.

Discovering Love in the Deep South
Published: Wednesday, 30 July 2014 17:05
Discovering Love in the Deep South

When I came out at the age of 17, I wasn’t met with love by my parents. I was met mainly by fear, and a little anger. After all, I was coming out in the deep south—South Carolina, to be exact.

Birds and Brides: Inspiration for a Summer Florida Wedding
Published: Tuesday, 29 July 2014 18:08
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A “Fly Away with Us” styled wedding shoot inspired by the lush landscape of the venue and brides in love

5 Fun and Unconventional Wedding Registry Ideas
Published: Tuesday, 29 July 2014 16:01
5 Fun and Unconventional Wedding Registry Ideas

Go outside the wedding present box for your registry with these 5 great ideas.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Rules Virginia’s Marriage Ban is Unconstitutional
Published: Monday, 28 July 2014 18:42
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Rules Virginia’s Marriage Ban is Unconstitutional

It seems Virginia really is for lovers, after all.

Tailored Suits for Masculine Women and Trans Men are on the Rise
Published: Monday, 28 July 2014 16:15
Tailored Suits for Masculine Women and Trans Men are on the Rise

Companies that offer custom-made clothing for transgender and gender non-conforming people are coming to the forefront.

backyard-wedding-driveway    backyard-wedding-post-card    backyard-wedding-table

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:

A Level Playing Field

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.

A Fabulous Focal Point

a-focal-point

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.

A Pretty Pool

a-pretty-pool

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.

A Terrific Table

a-terrific-table

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.

Felicitous Flowers

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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

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