Kevin and Jenn wanted their guests to have fun at their wedding… and what’s more fun than a carnival!? The day was held at Oysterville Schoolhouse in Washington State.
“Our wedding was in Long Beach, Washington, which is an odd choice for a couple from Canada”, wrote the bride. “We had camped there the year before and fell in love with quaint town and the kitsch factor. There is really no equivalent in British Columbia. We had initially planned to have the ceremony and reception on the beach, but because the weather is often unpredictable in that area, we moved it to the Oysterville Schoolhouse. The Schoolhouse was actually perfect though as I come from a family of teachers. We couldn’t have been happier with the location.”
“Long Beach is about a seven hour drive from our home in Vancouver so we really wanted our guests to enjoy themselves so a carnival theme seemed to be a natural fit for us. We were inspired to make the reception area as carnival-like as possible, so we spent many hours creating the games ourselves.”
“The carnival marquee, the favours, the pinwheel banner above the schoolhouse, and all the games took quite a while to create, but it was worth it to have something different”, she continued. “We also had a lot of help from our family and friends.”
When I saw Courtney and Cori’s wedding for the first time I let out a little squeak of approval. Not only did these guys have a carnival themed wedding at a theme park but the bride used Hello Kitty (my favourite!) throughout her amazing outfit! Her shoes, nails and bouquet (!!) all had Hello Kitty on them. Is this the cutest thing ever or what?
The wedding took place at Rainbows End Theme Park in New Zealand. “We wanted to capture that feeling love gives you in the pit of your stomach”, began the bride “What’s better than a carnival full of love, laughter, rides and sweet treats?”
“Cori and I are not your normal couple, we don’t sweat the small stuff and have the most amazing relaxed relationship full of laughter and smiles.That thrill and excitement you feel when your riding a roller coaster is what it feels like everyday in our relationship so we wanted to have everyone feel it with us! We could not of had a sit down white tablecloth wedding as that is just not us.”
Carnival themed weddings might be nothing new, but when I see one as top notch as Matthew & Jessica’s I can’t help but want to share it with you. That dress! Those bridesmaids! That location! It’s just all so perfectly beautiful and utterly Rock n Roll.
“Neither of us really wanted a wedding to begin with, so when we made the choice to get married and have a celebration, we sat down and thought long and hard about why we were doing it, and what it meant to us.”, began the bride. “We threw all the rules out the window, started from scratch, and created the day we wanted to have. We always said that, if we were to have a wedding, that we’d throw a party and then, at some point in the evening, we’d get married. So we did just that.”
“One of the decisions we were most happy with was to get ready together. We had a big sleepover the night before with our ‘carnies’ (bridesmaids and groomsmen) and their partners. It meant we got to go to sleep together, wake up the morning of our wedding together, go and set up the venue together, help each other get dressed and then hold hands until the moment we were wed. I don’t know how I would’ve felt doing all those things without Matt sharing them with me.”
Roll up! Roll up! For the wedding circus sideshow… Where lovers meet freaks and fun meets frolics!
In the groom’s parent’s backyard, Tabitha & Cody hosted their circus wedding on 5th May – Cinco de Mayo! All these influences were incorporated into their day – the circus, the sideshow and the DIY touches with the help of friends…
“Every detail of our day was handcrafted through the hard work of our close friends & family,” began the bride. “We were so lucky to not have to hire or work with anyone outside of our own tight knit group (except the carnival games, but they were wonderful!). We have the most talented friends, without whom we would have been absolutely lost! From our close friends Sheri & Erik of Tangerine Tree Photography, to the bridesmaids’ dresses from my other close friend Lynn – the genius behind Mandolin Dreams, all the way down to our beer labels and caps… everything was personal and created with love!”
Well who doesn’t love a carnival? Exactly… no one. Hence why I’m super excited to share Dustin & Tara’s epic adaption of a traditional carnival theme into a totally non-traditional wedding.
The couple were married at home. They transformed their own backyard into the perfect carnival setting. They had a kissing booth ‘altar’, a bouncy castle for the kids (and big kids), a bell ringer, a snow cone machine, a popcorn machine and a photo booth! There was a paddling pool filled with rubber ducks and big carnival-style posters for everyone to take home with them. Carnival-style round lights were strung all around the garden and big wooden picnic benches, bales of hay and over 200 balloons decorated the space. They served old fashioned sodas and grilled hot dogs with tons of beer and cocktails. Even most of the guests dressed up to fit in with the theme. “We had a lion, a lion tamer, a ring master, someone on stilts and a ton of top hats and mustaches”, Tara explained.
“Our wedding and the events leading up to and directly after it were all beyond ridiculous”, Tara continued. “To start with at the bachelor/bachelorette party, a friend got arrested. Then, the day of the wedding, the cops came again… then during the wedding after party (at like 3am) our friends thought the bounce house was a good place to make whoopie (well who wouldn’t?) and our neighbor caught them!”
“We got married in our backyard in good old Salt Lake City. We walked out to a Beats Antique song that is carnival sounding and a little bit creepy. The friend who was supposed to marry us had been waiting on his ordainment documents for a while, and with only a week to go, we were getting a little worried. We ended up asking my boss to do it last minute, because we knew she was ordained. She said she was happy to do it, and even dressed up as a ring master! Whip and all… She did a Celtic handfasting ceremony that she modified to fit in with the theme of the wedding. It was perfect.”
Vintage themes aren’t always my bag, but throw a 1920s carnival idea at me and I go weak at the knees! A strong theme like this, done really really well, gets me very excited indeed.
Emily & Jesse were married at The Voorhies Mansion at Edenvale Winery. It provided the perfect canvas for their creative ideas! “I would encourage anyone planning a wedding to use wedding tradition as a springboard and focus on the experience you want your guests taking away from your event,” newlywed Emily told me. “My husband and I went through the traditional wedding/reception order and activities and then changed what didn’t work for us. Everything was a conscious choice from writing the hilarious ceremony with our officiant to deciding to have four bouquets which I presented to my mom, MIL and grandmothers. Once we knew what we wanted we could be very clear with all of our vendors about our ideas and every single one of them bent over backwards to help make it happen. Our guests still tell us it was the most fun, memorable wedding they’ve ever been to and that is exactly what we were going for.”
The speakeasy carnival theme was everywhere – from the homemade stationery, to the food, to the performers. “We have many talented friends and family who contributed performances that totally made the party,” Emily continued. “My sister sang old jazz standards before and during the ceremony, and friends performed our wedding ceremony, performed aerial silks during dinner, taught the Charleston to our guests, fire danced or played the part of a fortune teller, flapper or mime. True Love Sound not only took care of music but were great MCs and with their help we made a silent movie reenacting how me met… it was totally hilarious! You can see it here along with our guests’ reactions in the video below.”
“We also included a note on our invitations and on our wedding site to let guests know that we encouraged them to dress up to fit the theme in any way they wanted… And they DID! It was fantastic! I also want to thank Heather Goodwin, owner of An Inspired Affair, for being my advocate the day of our wedding. She helped me with all of the logistics while we planned and made sure I could have fun by knowing everything was taken care of on the day of.”