Ray and Paul had two wedding days. The first was an intimate ceremony in Poland, with just close family members on Valentine’s day. Then, a week later they had a crazy fun, fancy dress circus themed wedding at Circomedia in Bristol!
“The thread through everything was magpies – two for joy”, wrote the bride. “But how that worked in Poland and Bristol was, well, pretty diverse! Our Bristol party was approached from a magpie’s perspective. Pick everything you like best in the world, add shiny stuff, mix it all together, add more shiny stuff. And a tiger. And some games. And some more shiny stuff. And lots of French 75s. That was it, really!”
“We also wanted to avoid what we called ‘wedding tax’ and so chose our suppliers based on the fact that we wanted to support good people, not buy tonnes of wedding ‘stuff’ that would end up in a landfill. We tried to spend our money with small businesses and specialists where we could, and where we couldn’t, we involved people and companies that have always been good to us.”
“Our reception venue is an independent arts charity space”, she continued. “so we felt really good about supporting them. We also had lots of things that will be reused like plastic plates and fancy dress stuff. Even all the balloons went home with our guests. Paul will wear his suit and coat again and again, and I’ve already worn my red coat and shoes with my normal clothes!”
Ahh the circus! So colourful, so fun, such a perfect theme for an alternative wedding! Tamara and Chip’s Florida wedding was a true DIY labour of love. They did almost everything themselves.
“We are both light-hearted and fun people, so we wanted our day to feel like a party with our family and friends”, explained the bride. “We are not stiff and formal, but love vibrancy and uniqueness! Our whimsical circus theme fit perfectly with how we wanted our wedding day to feel.”
“Almost everything we did was DIY, unique and local”, she continued. “Aside from a few amazing vendors like our day-of coordinator, Ashley Packett, who was amazing and seamlessly took my vision and DIY projects and made it come together! We did not want a cookie cutter wedding. I am far too crafty to have let someone else create our wedding day. From our wedding ceremony in front of our DIY circus tent, to our reception under the stars and string lights, to our bartender serving drinks and locally brewed beer from a canoe cooler, to our guests playing shuffleboard, our wedding was far from the norm.”
Jess and Matt were married at a cemetery. Although this might sound a bit ‘weird’, they thought it was anything but, “Many people get married in a church, and pretty much all churches have graveyards so our venue was not too far from the ordinary when you think about it”, Jess said. “Arnos Vale is a place we hold deep affection for, so the surroundings were the focal point and the building was an aside.”
“As neither of us are religious or keen on upholding tradition were very eager to do things our way, creating a day that was so obviously ‘us’ every step of the way”, she explained. “We only the kept the traditions we want and threw out those we didn’t. We got dressed on the morning of the wedding together – we get ready with each other every time we go out, trusting each other implicitly to be honest about how the other looks. We are each other’s mirror, so to get dressed with anyone else would’ve started the day on completely the wrong note.”
Unlike so many Italian weddings that they’d been to before, Michelangelo and Francilla wanted a day that was big, ridiculous and most of all fun! They went for a vintage circus theme, and oh boy, they really did go all out on the theme! Francilla told me all about it, “In Italy it’s quite impossible to have a different wedding and not do everything traditionally. It’s so hard to get away from the ‘rules’ that everyone says you have to obey, but we worked hard to make sure we did! We would have never been happy to marry in this way, and luckily our families knew it!”
“We love vintage images of artists and we love vintage images of circuses. In fact we feel like our life is like one bit circus so this theme was perfect for us! We wanted a wedding that was like us, with our energy, with our irony and with a few little freaky things (again, just like us!) We originally thought about having the party in a circus tent but we really wanted to do something more different still. We spoke to the Casa dell’Architettura, a gorgeous historical place in Rome, but it NEVER been used as a location for a wedding. There is a historic garden there and the ruins of the ancient Roman aquarium! We told them about our ideas and what we wanted for our wedding. We told them we wanted to bring in an authentic antique carousel… and to our surprise they said yes!”
Niki and Andrew were married at Fazeley Studios, Birmingham in April. Their wedding had a boho circus theme and they used some of my all time favourite Brummy suppliers to make it happen. The amazing Ava Event Styling made all their décor dreams a reality. They had a small wedding which meant they could invest a lot more of their budget on making the space look utterly amazing.
“We only invited immediate family and close friends to make it an intimate affair”, explained Niki. “We didn’t want to do anything traditional like readings, speeches or a first dance. We worked closely with Ava Styling to include items and pictures that epitomised us and our quirky personalities. At least half of the guests were actively involved in the wedding making it really it feel really special. Lots of our guests commented that they felt like they had entered a magical world like a fairytale or Alice in wonderland. We turned one of the bistro’s seating areas into an absinthe booth. Our cake topper from Little Ruby Red was AMAZING, us in full circus regalia and our gorgeous cats in top hats.”
I love Lucy & Adam’s wedding SO MUCH. Not only did it take place in my home town of Reading (yey!) but they hired a big top to host their reception! But this wasn’t any old circus wedding, oh no these guys went all out. An airstream stage, a granny’s living room and musical performers a-plenty!
“We knew our priorities pretty early on – lots of people partying late into the night”, explained the bride. “We put lots of effort and thought into the wedding being fun and no thought towards ‘impressiveness’. We didn’t care about the venue being fancy – we just wanted a patch of land which had a 24-hour license (preferably with no charge). We found it with Rivers Health Club in Reading and we hired our big top tent from BigTopMania. Amazingly, it was only a little further down the Thames from the church, so we loved the idea of having a boat get the guests from one to the other.”