Broke-Ass Tag: Carnival Wedding

12/20

Affiliate Disclaimer NewOur wedding was the best day ever, so naturally we wanted some really fun ways to remember it. I talked about my way too expensive Instax guestbook a while back, and while it did cost a pretty penny, I am SO glad we ended up doing it. I am obsessed.

There was a time when we had no idea where the guestbook was going to be located. We discussed setting it up in the barn, which was our main reception area. It had the perk of being inside in case of rain, but we were afraid that there wouldn’t be enough room and it would be too dark. Fuji Instax cameras are cute and fun, but I wouldn’t say they take the most high quality photos. I had almost forgotten about this ugly wooden sign/bulletin board type thing that was right on the path from the entrance to seating for the ceremony, but when my mom reminded me of it we decided it would work. The location was great, and we could turn it from an eyesore to something pretty and useful.

My brother Justin, who was also a groomsmen, took one for the team and made us an amazing ticket backdrop for photos — what a tedious and time-consuming activity!  It turned out even better than I imagined and I cannot thank him enough.

Rachel's ticket photo booth backdrop

Credit: Jenni Bella Photography

Our volunteer Instax photographer, Cailyn, got situated before guests began arriving, and as they walked by she snapped their pic and they wrote a little note next to it in the book.

Guests get pics in front of Rachel's ticket backdrop

Credit: Jenni Bella Photography

Cailyn snapping a photo of two of our guests.

Rachel's guest book photo booth setup

Credit: Jenni Bella Photography

Once all of the festivities moved indoors, Cailyn brought the book and camera inside for more pictures. Toward the end of our reception, my bridesmaid Laura noticed that we had a bunch of film left over, so she manned the camera and got some gems of everyone dancing and having a good time. They are my favorite thing ever and are mostly unfit for public consumption. Our guestbook holds 104 photos, but we ended up with close to 140. They are the best.

In addition to that, we also had a custom canvas made for our guests to color. I saw the idea on the Interwebz one day and knew I needed it, but I wasn’t going to pay like $250.00 plus shipping to order one from the only company I could find who makes them. Just, #no. So my mom, AKA the Queen of All Things Wedding, set about making one for us. She found a carnival print she liked, traced it onto transparent film and used an overhead projector — middle school style — to draw it on a canvas she bought. I will say, she got super busy with other wedding-related items, so she handed it off to my brother Justin to finish up. He did a fantastic job, and even ended up free-handing some personal touches.

Rachel's custom carnival canvas

Credit: Jenni Bella Photography

That empty bucket was eventually filled with markers, I promise. Everyone really enjoyed adding names and colors all night, and we love the way it turned out, smears and all. I can’t wait to hang it in our office, where I can see it every day.

Rachel's colored-in canvas

I’ve talked a lot about fun being our main goal for our big day, and little touches like these really helped us make it an amazing and fun-filled day for everyone. The added bonus is that we have amazing keepsakes to look at whenever we want.

What fun little touches are you adding to your wedding day?

  • 12/6

    On top of having super yummy carnival eats for dinner, we had some sweet treats for our guests, too. Even though funnel cakes and elephant ears are some of the best desserts on the planet, I knew I wanted a wedding cake to cut as well. I can take or leave the actual cutting of the cake while everyone stares. And the whole smashing thing? #no If Russel had ruined my very beautiful and very expensive makeup by smearing cake and icing all over my face, we would have been talking annulment. Okay, not really. But I would have been mad. Luckily, Russel likes to get things done with as little fanfare as possible, so smashing was never an issue. What I really wanted the cake for was the whole save-the-top-layer-and-eat-it-on-your-anniversary thing. What can I say? I am a sucker for certain traditions. It’s the same reason we went with traditional wedding vows. I digress.

    I probably procrastinated a little too long on the cake thing. I knew I was getting something small and simple, so I wasn’t very on top of it. Kind of a mistake. My first choice bakery didn’t have any openings. Boo. Luckily, my next choice had a cancellation, and I was all too happy to step right in. They are actually known for being a cupcake shop, which made our tasting pretty awesome. We got to pick out full size cupcakes and chow down. In the end, we decided that the whole cake would be Death By Chocolate. So, we sampled like 12 flavors, and that’s what we picked — lol. Boring. But also delicious. We got the smallest cake possible, which was two tiny little layers — one for the wedding, and one to save. I wanted one layer covered in colorful sprinkles, and one plain white. If I am honest, I never really stressed about my cake, but I was SO happy with how it turned out.

    cake

    Photo by Jenni Bella Photography

    The hot pink, glittery Best Day Ever was perfect, and my mom handmade the bunting topper at midnight on Friday because I couldn’t find the one I bought. She is a queen. To me, it all screamed fun carnival, and it was $150 total. Yay! One cake tip: line up your baker before I did. Like ASAP.

    Candy. Candy, candy, candy. Candy buffets are boring. Can we all agree on that? Don’t get me wrong … I love them. I love candy. It is delicious and I want to eat it all the time. But candy buffets are pretty common at weddings. When you’re going all out on a carnival theme, doing something so “normal” seems weird. But when we considered the fact that we had no wedding favors, the more we kept coming back to the candy idea. Favors are so hit or miss, IMO. I have been to weddings where they are awesome: little bottles of wine at the dinner table? Yes, please. A lavender colored coaster with your name and wedding date? Eh, not so much. So yeah. I wanted something people would enjoy and I wanted it to fit in with our theme. Candy and carnivals really do go hand in hand, so I eventually got over my hangup, and I am really glad I did. Our buffet was such a hit, and it was cleaned out by the end of the night. I was actually bummed, because I was hoping to have a bunch of leftovers to snack on for weeks. No dice.

    candy

    So …it looks a little like a baby shower. I realize this. But try finding aqua and pink candy. It’s not easy. But other than that, isn’t is cute? And it was yummy! My mom and I started stockpiling candy a few months out. It wasn’t super cheap, but it wasn’t that expensive either. There were a few things I knew I wanted, like Blue Razz Blow Pops (hello, ’90s flashback) and pink Starburst, so I ordered those online. We got a lot of the other stuff at party stores. Reese Cups, Hershey Kisses, Pixie Stix, rock candy, etc. My mom also made caramel apples the Thursday before the wedding, because she wasn’t busy enough. (J/k, she was busy.) Everyone loved them, and all of my friends have requested an apple or two from her annual Christmas batch. As far as containers, I don’t think we bought a single one. We just used stuff we had around our houses. Yes, I had four vintage candy jars at my home. I don’t know, either. But that definitely helped us save a bunch of money, which is the name of the game, right? In the end, we were glad we went the candy favor route. It fit our theme, it was easy, and people loved it. Can’t beat that.

    Did you find any easy, delicious additions to your big day? What did you do?

  • 11/22

    food

    And other yummy treats! I detailed our food plan a while back, and if you recall, I was missing a fairly important detail: the total cost. We worked with our caterer to come up with the perfect menu, and we had a general price range of $12-$15 per person. We never had a contract and we didn't have to pay any sort of deposit. Kinda…

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    11/16

    20161106_152338

    I have always planned on having different centerpieces at each table. I saw a photo of another bride’s wedding that had her escort cards as little ticket stubs with each person’s name on one side and the name of their table on each. I completely fell in love with the idea. Unfortunately, the Etsy seller who made her cards no longer makes them. I found…

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    9/21

    Danielle Invites 2

    As a DIY, oh-so-poor bride, I have always planned on making my own invitations. I have been fussing with designs, envelopes, and patterns for about two years solid. I even went through a phase where I planned on having an Etsy shop to give brides invitations on the cheap. Then I realized I have no artistic ability. Sadly, that’s kind of a prerequisite for being a…

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  • 8/31

    confettipopper

    They add up! I mean when you buy things, they accumulate. Math was never my strong suit, but that is an easy one ... and holy shit. It's adding up. With under a month to go until our wedding, the time has come to concentrate on the little details. My mom and I collaborated on a giant list (109 items!) of stuff we need to…

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    8/5

    Etsy bomobob ferris wheel carnival photograph

    One of the main requirements that Russel and I had when it came to choosing a venue was the ability to choose any caterer/food option we wanted. There were several reasons for this: 1) You can't have a carnival wedding without fun carnival food and I don't think most traditional caterers are down with all fried everything; 2) We knew that a lot of companies…

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    7/6

    maiddress

    There is no question that bridesmaid dresses have come a long way. Hello, 1980s: you were cruel and unusual Even so, choosing the right dress for your girls can be daunting. Everyone has their own style, their own body type and their own budget. The more ladies in your wedding party, the more difficult it is to find something that works for every girl --…

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  • 4/27

    ringtoss2

    Bridal shows -- also known as insanely crowded, chaotic mob scenes. Well, that's my experience anyway, limited as it may be. Prior to April 3rd, I had never been to one. I had no desire, and none of the brides I'm close with ever asked me to tag along to one. I do understand their appeal, and I know they can be extremely useful, but they…

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