The Details: Carnival Inspired Shoot

So you’ve seen the photos. But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and discuss details and where the ideas for each came from. Jen McKen did such an awesome job of capturing all the details. This wedding is clearly for a fun-loving couple who wants everyone to be reminded of the carefree times of childhood. What better to remind guests of that than a carnival?

I am personally a big fan of the sweetheart table. I think it is so sweet for the bride and groom to have a moment where they can chat alone. There aren’t many moments like that during a wedding day. Small votive holders wrapped in rope brought in a touch of rustic vintage from the Big Top.

When I approached Paulette from Urban Gypsy to do a few arrangements for us for the shoot, I knew I was in for something good. Let me just say that I was beyond impressed with what she designed. The colors were so vibrant and suiting of the fun-natured theme. And the old carnival glass vases and multi-colored ribbons she used were phenomenal! This just goes to show that you do not need to be matchy-matchy with your floral designs. If anywhere, this is where you can get away with using lots of color to really make a statement.

The key to having an elegant, yet fun theme is to add in key elements, but not overload them. The elephant pieces were a small touch we added in a nod to Water for Elephants. Don’t forget the ticket favors so the guests can enjoy a ride on the carousel after dinner!

The red and white striped table runners are reminiscent of the Big Top. The handmade “Mr. & Mrs.” pendant banner adds in a little quirky, fun to the table decor. It is pretty easily removed and would be adorable as a prop in wedding portraits. So it works double duty.

These chairs were perfect for the vintage-y feel we wanted to encompass. They just weren’t doing it for me by themselves though. Adding ribbon is an easy way to change it up a bit and add some flair. It also gets you away from the same old chair covers that just wouldn’t mesh with an outdoor carnival themed wedding.

Cake Creations by Hillary was the mastermind behind this amazing cake. As with the flowers, we left it up to the pros. I just provided the theme and Hillary ran with it. I must say, she did pretty darn well. I would die to have a cake like this! The small elements like the stripes and the golden angels and flowers (yes, they can double for popcorn depending on who is looking at it!) really bring it together with the theme.

What carnival is complete without peanuts, popcorn and candy? Take a slightly different approach to the popular candy buffet and add in all the snacks and treats you remember from the carnivals of your childhood. Who doesn’t love cotton candy after all? Just be warned that it does NOT like the heat. Luckily, I had backups for replacing it as it melted. 

Do you want to take a guess where most of the design elements were purchased? Come on. Take a guess…

I’ll bet you won’t believe that I shopped the Dollar Tree, Big Lots, JoAnne Fabrics, and a little from my own kitchen. Most of the elements are handmade by yours truly. That darn “Mr. & Mrs.” sign took about 2 hours. That little thing! I am slightly OCD when it comes to my crafts though and everything has to be perfect. So what I am trying to tell you is that you do not have to spend a fortune to capture your theme and make your wedding gorgeous. It just takes some creativity and willingness to DIY. If you are not a crafty person, recruit a friend who has the Martha Stewart touch. Or better yet, hire a crafty wedding planner. I happen to know one 🙂


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