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Whimsical Carnival Wedding

A bride with a short Nicole Miller dress, a Twigs and Honey cap veil, and a carnival-inspired theme — really, what’s not to love? Pop in some styling by laceandlikes, images from made u look photography, top it off with a bonus wedding film, and you’ve got one of our most playful and inspired weddings so far this year!

carnival themed weddings

From the bride, Dana: I wanted it to be whimsical, playful, colorful, and bright. I wanted it to feel fresh and exciting- like it was a a true celebration! That’s why we went with a carnival-inspired style, rearing just a little toward the dark side of carnival for a little edge. It had touches of rock & roll and imaginative, absurd qualities which best describes us as a couple.


ranch wedding venues

carnival themed weddings

bride getting ready

carnival themed weddings

outdoor wedding ceremonies

We didn’t want to really have a “theme.” We wanted it to just be a good time, and be the best party ever. What’s more fun than a carnival? We decided it’d be a carnival-inspired wedding, but by no means did it have a theme. Our color scheme however, we just slightly more specific, being “bright colors, lots and lots of bright colors.”


outdoor wedding ceremonies

carnival themed weddings

carnival themed weddings

carnival themed weddings

newlyweds during ceremony

pom confetti recessionals

basket of poms

My wedding planner Rachael and I talked a lot about definitely doing something outside; something leaning more towards “woodsy” rather than “beach-y.” I wanted more like a woodland fairy type of feel, and one day Rachael said, “Like the movie, “Big Fish?” and I said, “Perfect. Exactly.” She then researched places in and around San Diego, where we live, and when she suggested Julian- it fell into place. Julian is a small, quaint, charming town known for their famous apple pies. Kevin and I went on our first camping trip together there during the first month we were together. I met his best friends there for the first time. That town means a lot to me, and Rachael figured out what I needed without me even knowing what I wanted. Driving up on that ranch for the first time, I knew immediately it was perfect when a gaggle of geese ran across the road winding up into the ranch. Perfect.


bride and groom portraits

carnival themed weddings

whimsical bridal accessories

carnival themed weddings

teal wedding signs

carnival themed weddings

outdoor wedding receptions

We DIYed miniature plastic animals from Party City spray painted gold, handmade balloon dart board, wooden red heart with marquee lights as the backdrop during the ceremony, melted records for the bowls of flowers for the flower girls, handmade streamer wands for the guests to wave as they threw felted colored balls during the recessional, flea marketed postcards that served as the “guestbook,” handmade caramel apples as take-aways.


postcard guest books

carnival themed weddings

carnival themed weddings

carnival themed weddings

carnival themed weddings

carnival themed weddings

carnival wedding receptions

Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Find an amazing wedding planner like mine — someone who “gets you” and whom you trust. Enjoy every second of it, and reach out to your family and friends — have friends in an amazing band? Ask them to play at your wedding! Have an amazing, crazy, funny uncle? Have him be the officiant! Having your loved ones involved makes your day so much more personal and special. Also, and probably most importantly- trust in yourself and your gut. Do whatever you think feels the best to you. We didn’t follow a lot of traditions (no bridesmaids or groomsmen, no traditional processional/recessional songs, etc..) and it felt perfect to me and Kevin because of it. It was us. Do what YOU want to do.


pie dessert tables

carnival themed weddings

pie dessert tables


View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Music:
Processional: “And the Winner Is,” Devotchka from the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack
Recessional: “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” Guns & Roses
No first dance! Just many a dances!

Wedding Location: Julian, CA / Wedding Coordination, Design, and Floral: laceandlikes / Wedding Photographer and Videographer: made u look photography / Wedding Venue: Sentenac Ranch / Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller “BR0314″ / Wedding Veil: Twigs and Honey “223″ / Wedding Shoes: Prada / Hair: Brooke Dankowski of Hyde-Edwards Salon & Spa / Wedding Caterer: Phil’s BBQ / Wedding Cake: Julian Pie Co. / Rentals: Allie’s Party Rentals / Wedding Music: The Schitzophonics / DJ: Edgar Alminar / Wedding Invitations: Alexandria Manson

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