Check the LIGHT UP WEDDING DRESS at this carnival wedding


carnival theme wedding
Photos by P.S. Cobia Photography

Offbeat partner: Ellie

Offbeat partner: Jake

Date and location of wedding: Oak Hollow Farm, Fairhope, AL — 11/01/2019

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: As a kid, I was obsessed with fall festivals at my school. The lights! The games! The cakewalk! After talking to my fiance, I found out he was, too! We blended our love of fall festivals and music festival lighting to create a rocking outdoor event for guests to get down in the outdoor autumn breeze in the gorgeous oak tree forest at Oak Hollow Farm.

…Oh, and my dress lit up! My gift to my groom was a neat pair of light-up sneakers. That was pretty rad.

 

There were tacos, LOTS of candy and sweets, popcorn, a cakewalk, pinatas, a dancefloor, margaritas, ice cream, a bonfire with smores, a bounce house, carnival games, prizes, a blending of a bunch people we love, and general tomfoolery.

Tell us about the ceremony:
At the beginning of planning our wedding, it was decided as a compromise to the groom's shyness that we would have a private ceremony in the barn of the property with just our parents, siblings, and niece and nephews. Actually, it caused some friction with some other family members, but I do not regret it for one second. It was the absolute right decision for us, and it was absolutely magical. My friend Haley, whom I have known since the fourth grade, performed my ceremony.

I found inspiration for my ceremony from Offbeat Bride!  We changed some things around, but I loved this script and found much inspiration from it.

I didn't walk down the aisle with either my dad or stepdad but chose to walk alone and meet my husband in the middle, and walk up to the stage with him. We walked to Peter Gabriel's "Heroes". (We're OBSESSED with Stranger Things.)

Tell us about the reception:
Our reception started on the porch of the barn at Oak Hollow Farm. Due to the fact that the temperature dropped suddenly that evening, food ended up being served inside of the barn, and then we took the party outside, although some older people chose to stay inside and visit. Outside we had a myriad of lights, carnival games, and a dancefloor under the oak tree forest of the grounds (the forest was what sold me on the property in the first place).

Our DJ was incredible, and totally open to the wacky activities we had planned that night, including pinatas for men, women, and children in lieu of a bouquet and garter toss, and a cakewalk where we gave away several carnival-themed cakes.

During our first dance, we invited everyone to dance with us to "Coloring Outside the Lines" by Misterwives. A great moment occurred when the groom's brother and dad danced with him to the "Thizzle Dance" by the late rapper Mac Dre. His dad actually never lost his hat dancing! My family can get down!

I don't have any photos, but I totally jumped in the bounce house in my dress! Guests won bears in the carnival games that my mom MADE all last winter when she broke her ankle and was bored, so she busted out the fabric and her 1940's sewing machine.

carnival wedding theme

My wedding planner's son and niece worked the carnival games, and they were precious! Guests also took home candy from the candy buffet we set out as a tribute to the groom's intense sweet tooth.

carnival-themed wedding

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Plan your wedding as far out as possible! Everyone sort of looked at me funny when a year and a half out I was talking finding the location and began planning before I officially had a ring, but I saw from my friends who had gotten married the stress they had been under in short amounts of time.

The results paid off! I had so much time that my (amazing and generous) mom and I had plenty of time to not stress about DIYing items, find time to thoroughly research and find the best vendors for us, and she had time to make the most BEAUTIFUL dress in the whole world for me. We found the fabric in Paris last year when another friend of mine got married, and we found it ON SALE. With our timeframe, this was a totally doable option.

Also, bring backup shoes! I might have died if I hadn't had a second pair of shoes, which were a pair of Kate Spade sparkly Keds. (No one noticed I was wearing them with my husband's socks.)

Finally, be true to yourself. It's your wedding. No one else's. Towards the end, there was pressure from various sources, and I am so glad I stuck to my husband and my vision for our day. We will NEVER regret that choice, and the people in our lives who truly love us for us stuck by our sides and were there to have fun with us and clean up the next day, no questions asked.

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