Welcome to the Freakshow!

Photography by Jane

March 20, 2015

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Roxy and Shaun met online. He was in America and she was in New Zealand. After three months of chatting he packed his bags and moved to Wellington so they could be together! Ten years later they finally married.

Their wedding had a circus freakshow theme! ” Shaun and I both love vintage circus, freakshows and curios”, wrote Roxy. “The whole aesthetic we find really appealing. I’m also involved in the body suspension and performance communities and frequently joke that my life is just one big freakshow circus so it completely made sense for us to theme our wedding around that.”

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“We had free, live tattooing on the day for our guests, as well as a fortune teller, carnie games with a spinning wheel, pole dancing performances, angle grinder burlesque and a fire show as well as a surprise performance of Roxanne by my new husband, his brother and his band.”

“Our sons were the ring bearers and they dressed as Ringmasters, as did our celebrant. Our guests dressed up to theme as well – we had bearded ladies, conjoined twins, strong men, marionettes, painted ladies, dapper gents and the usual menagerie of fantastic freaks and misfits. There really wasn’t much tradition about our wedding at all, which is just the way we wanted it.”

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There was also plenty of DIY in this eclectic wedding. “We designed all wedding stationery ourselves to suit the vintage freakshow circus theme”, she explained. “For wedding favours (which doubled as place settings), I trawled the second-hand shops around Wellington searching for old, hardcover books with appropriate titles to suit each guest. I then hand cut the centre out of each one to turn them into keepsake boxes, glued a vintage freakshow image inside each one and added a crystal geode inside. I also I hand picked the crystals for each individual guest so everyone got something personalised.”

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“I also made candles for the tables out of vintage crystal glasses that I picked up from second-hand shops with recycled wax. The table decorations were a mix of prop monkey skulls and real skull artefacts inside glass domes which were then surrounded by various wet and dry specimens that I collected and preserved. I did make sure that on the tables where there were vegetarian or vegans that I only used replica specimens and skulls!”

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“We decorated the marquee ourselves using drapery, upside down striped pagoda umbrellas, hanging glass ball candles and my brother in law printed out a huge banner for us saying Welcome to the Freakshow for us to get married in front of.”

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One of the bride’s favourite moments was seeing all their guests all dressed up. “I loved the cocktail hour”, she said. “Seeing all my friends and family dressed up, enjoying themselves, getting tattooed, playing carnival games and all in the same place for once was fantastic.”

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