Gina & Frank's circus-freak, carnival wedding and sideshow

Updated Mar 15 2021
Ivan Villa Photography-6496
Photos by Ivan Villa
The offbeat bride: Gina, Tattoo Artist

Her offbeat partner: Frank, Restaurant Manager

Location & date of wedding:Kennedy Mine, Jackson, California — October 10, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: We had a swordswallower/firebreather perform during our ceremony. While that was going on Frank and I had our ring fingers tattooed, on stage, out of a self contained tattoo trunk I built. Ivan Villa Photography-

We DIYed a bunch of things. I painted seven of the 4' x 6' sideshow banners. My fiance and a friend made the candy cart, ticket booth and face cut out. We had an Absinthe toast, fat lady cupcakes and carmel candy apples.

Also, friends surprised us with a vintage hot dog cart and then they served them. Another friend surprised us with a dunk tank, where I got to dunk my new husband at the end of the night. We had strolling entertainers, a magician, fortune teller, a "strong man" in a thong suit (tooooo funny) and a bearded lady! Ivan Villa Photography-6927

Tell us about the ceremony: We made the reading as short as possible and went with traditional episcopal vows.

My great uncle had worked at the mine where we were married, while it was still in operation. Unfortunately, he had lost his hand while working there. At one point, the reverend mentioned that and how I gave my ring finger "hand" in marraige there also.

Our biggest challenge: Just finishing all of the projects and props in time for our wedding. It was very stressful.

My favorite moment: We consciously made a big effort to make sure the wedding was nothing but FUN! We express our love to each other daily and didn't feel a need to have an "emotional" wedding. With the exception of getting our rings tattooed, our ceremony was very short overall. Ivan Villa Photography-6755

Since my father has passed away, I had my boss and man who apprenticed me give me away. He also gave a beautiful unexpected speech.

Dancing with my new husband to Prince's (my favorite artist) song "Friend, lover, sister, mother, wife."

My funniest moment: I think having my best guy friend dress as the strongman and walk around in a thong leotard was the funniest moment, along with my new husband in the dunk tank, heckling everyone.
Ivan Villa Photography-6423
My advice for offbeat brides: If you're an artist or craftsperson, make as much as you can. It makes everything more personal and rewarding in the end. And sooo appreciated by friends and family.

Ivan Villa Photography-7028
Frank in the dunk tank!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. Oh my goodness!!!! I totally want a circus theme for my wedding too. Thanks for the inspiration, this wedding looks so bad ass. 🙂

  2. um…. WOW! I genuinely wish I had been a guest at this wedding… it looks like a ridiculous amount of FUN!

  3. This is so full of win, I just cannot say anything cool enough to describe my feelings. Not something I could ever do, but so amazing! Well done!!!

  4. FREAKS LIVE REAL!! wow, wow, wow! this is such a kick-ass, fun wedding! I wish I could have been there in person!! Congrats!

  5. This is lovely! Everything looks so cohesive! We were thinking of doing ring tattoos on site, and weren't sure of the legality. I gotta read up on this.

  6. Wow this looks incredible! Sounds like you've got some awesome friends too 🙂 I wish I could have been invited to this one and I bet it was as much fun to plan as it was to attend!

  7. My birthday has passed, but please come throw me a party anyways! I love this carnival themed wedding! And the fact that it is in orange and not typical red is a win! The cupcakes have me drooling, and where did you get the images on top of the cupcakes? My boyfriend would absolutely love if I made him those! I can't say enough about this wedding. Win win win!

    • Thank you soo much! I printed the fat lady images off of the internet and pasted them with decorative paper to toothpicks..

  8. Having been a guest at this wedding, I do have to say it was the most well thought out wedding ever! Gina is such a creative gal and her and Frank's love and happiness showed throughout the day!!

  9. This is INSANE!!! Love it!!! Best wishes to the extremely creative bride and groom!!!

  10. I admire the people who put all the effort into making "productions" out of their weddings. This one is so brilliant, and I do have to say that Gina, you and your husband look so damn amazing.

  11. OMG! I love everything about this! Originally I wanted more of a dia de los muertos theme, but this looks so fun too! Gorgeous bride, amazing decorations! Congrats!

    • Aww! Thank you! A dia de los muertos wedding would be FABULOUS !! OOOh that sounds like a fun one to plan too!!

  12. Oh wow, that looks like such a fun wedding and you both look STUNNING! I love your hat, those cupcakes are to die for and how cool is it that you got ring tattoos on the day? Icy cool.

  13. I LOVE it, My nephew has always been his own person with an awesome personality and I see he found his TRUE soul mate. It looked like it was a blast, so original and FUN. Wish I was there. I love you Frank and much love to my NEW Niece, welcome to the family honey girl. Much love to you BOTH !!!

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