Zoe & Zach's puppet show park wedding

Updated Mar 15 2021

What what?! It's another puppet wedding! We heart these puppet-officiated, puppet-attended, puppet fantastic weddings!

Photos by Micah Bloom

The offbeat bride: Zoe, Artist

Her offbeat partner: Zach, Art Professor

Date and location of wedding: F.W. Kent Park, Oxford, IA — May 28, 2011

What made our wedding offbeat: Zach and I were married by a puppet! We created a puppet show to the poem "The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear (a childhood favorite of mine). The project was a collaboration with several of our artist friends. We made the stage, scenery, props, and puppets. Instead of bridesmaids and groomsmen, we had narrators and puppeteers.

The Puppet Show

The puppet ceremony and reception all took place at a nearby state park. Everything was kept fairly simple. We reserved a shelter overlooking the lake, covered picnic tables with vintage tablecloths and potted flowers, and served BBQ pulled pork sandwiches.


The view on top of the hill was so beautiful that we didn't need to spend a lot of money on decorations, just a few paper lanterns and some cute vintage planters to hold butter mints. There was no electricity at the shelter, so we hired an accordion player who provided us with fun polka music. Most of our time and energy went into making the puppet show, which was kept secret from everyone except those involved.

The Wedding Ceremony

Tell us about the ceremony: My sisters read "The Owl and the Pussycat" while we performed the story, and afterwards two friends sang "Anyone Else But You" by the Moldy Peaches while the puppets danced. Zach and I then emerged from behind the stage, and were married by the officiant puppet who stood at a mini pulpit.

The rings were delivered to us by a dove, which swooped down over the audience on a zip line! We then lit two sparklers attached to rockets, which rose up above the stage to reveal a sign that said "Zach and Zoe."

The Ring Dove

The puppet show ceremony can be seen here:

My favorite moment: It was so much fun to surprise our guests with the puppet show, and to hear their gasps and laughter. We were smiling throughout the entire thing. The silliness of the puppets prevented any potential weeping.

Vintage Hats
Vintage hats galore

My funniest moment: We dressed a puppet to look exactly like our officiant, Rudy, who was also our main collaborator. They had identical shirts, pants, belts, and hair. The puppet even had perfectly matching tortoise-shell eyeglasses! Everyone laughed when he popped up from behind the stage and started the ceremony.

Rudy & Puppet

My advice for offbeat brides: Making your own invitations can be really fun and easy! Zach and I painted a design together, which we had printed on cardstock through an online print service. We used a perforator to cut a dotted line on the invitation, so our guests could simply tear off the RSVP portion and mail it back to us as a postcard. No return envelopes necessary!

The Wedding Invitation

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. Haha, this is one of my absolute favorite OBB weddings!! That is so cute/funny! The matching puppet/officiant cracks me up! 😀
    AND I love your dress…!

    • Thanks a bunch! I'm glad our puppet officiant made you laugh–I was literally crying with laughter through the entire rehearsal!

  2. LOVE! You know what it really reminded me of–between the puppets and your beautiful dress–this wedding is one van trapp short of the Sound of Music!! Love it!

  3. This is exactly the kind of "feel" for a wedding that I want – truly, truly unique and just precious. How can ideas like this come to me? They just don't seem to be flowing. I don't want to be a copycat of others' original weddings. How can I make our wedding have something truly work for us? It is just perfect, the most precious thing. I cannot stress that enough.

    Zoe, I love everything, and I would like to throw in that I also love your dress so much! Where did you get it? And, do you have advice for "brainstorming"?

    • Talia, thank you so much for your wonderful, kind comments!

      When it comes to ideas, maybe just come up with a list of all the things you and your fiance love or are interested in, no matter how improbable they might seem for a wedding. I had been taking a puppetry class when Zach suggested doing a puppet show for the wedding. I thought it was a really cute and funny idea, but I just didn't think it would work. Then the more I thought about it, the more I realized that we could do it, and how perfect it was for us. I love vintage things, and animals, and so all the other ideas for the poem and the decorations fell into place! I would also suggest involving your friends in the creative process (the collaborative aspect was very important to us–our friend/officiant was unbelievably helpful in coming up with ideas and making props for the show).

      As for the dress, I got it from Timeless Vixen Vintage. If you like vintage, that shop has some of the prettiest stuff on Etsy!

      I hope that helps! Good luck with your wedding–I know it will be wonderful 🙂

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