When you think of carnivals you think of big, bold, fun and colour. Why should your wedding day be any different? Carnival wedding styling will put a personal stamp on your big day, making it a one-of-a-kind, unforgettable affair.
Whether you want to go all out big and bold, or pare it back with a few carnival-style details, here are a few styling ideas to get your creativity flowing.
Bunting is a wedding trend that will never die. From the traditional triangle shapes to the more contemporary pom pom style, bunting is a great way to add some texture and colour to a venue.
Consider the room you are decorating and choose colours to complement. If your venue is neutral such as a marquee or barn, bright, warm colours such as orange, red and yellow will stand out beautifully.
Get your guests in the carnival spirit with a cocktail bar. Provide trendy Mason jars and colourful straws, and offer several drink options so guests can choose their own preferred tipple from quirky lemonade dispensers. Pimm’s or a tangy Gin Fizz are always firm favourites.
Your invitations will be the first taste of what guests can expect from your wedding styling, so make them memorable and fun by choosing circus style print. Invitations that look like a carnival circus ticket will certainly get guests excited. Follow this theme throughout your wedding day with table stationery and signs around your venue.
If you’re planning an outdoor or barn-style carnival wedding, use bales of hay as seating at long wooden trestle tables for a real carnival feel at your reception. Create cool chill out areas using hay bales and dress them with comfy throws, cushions and mood lighting for guests to relax in during your day.
When styling a carnival themed wedding, lighting is key. Use lots of festoon lighting around your venue and outside areas, and add some large light-up letters where possible. You could have BAR, your initials or Mr & Mrs.
Don’t worry about going over the top with your décor; for a carnival wedding, more is better. Add lots of balloons in different shapes, sizes and colours to really add to the festival vibe.
When it comes to your flowers you can really play with mixing colours. Use cheerful and colourful flowers such as gerberas, sunflowers and daisies, which all complement each other well. If you want to add some more neutral tones to your bouquet or table flowers, combine colourful flowers with some pastel peonies or roses.
A carnival wouldn’t be complete without some fun boxes of popcorn or fresh candy floss. Incorporate your chosen colours into the popcorn boxes to match the rest of your detailing, giving your guests something fun to snack on during the day or evening celebrations.
Provide some entertainment for your guests with games that you would find at a carnival or circus. Think lucky dip, hook a duck, coconut shy, ring toss and a sack race.
Use hand-painted backdrops with painted clown figures and holes cut out for guests to place their faces in for DIY photo booths or for throwing wet sponges! You could even put on a mini carnival by hiring a funfair carousel, a fortune-teller and big wheel. Don’t forget to include some kiss-me-quick hats!
Be specific about your dress code. Tell guests you are having a carnival themed wedding and ask them to dress accordingly. Make it a challenge by offering a prize for the guest with the best carnival outfit. Give guests examples of what to wear including wellies, hair glitter, plaits, flower crowns and bright colours.
Guest post by Lindsey Hunter of Get Knotted
Bunting: Matt Brown Photography
Pop-Up Bar* and Bright Table Flowers*: Get Knotted
Ticket Wedding Stationery and Colourful Balloons: Jo Richards Photography
Hay Bale Seating and Top Hat with Feathers: Neil Walker Photography
Illuminated BAR Letters*: Alex Martin Photography
Popcorn in Carnival Carton: Lorraine Claire Photography
Hook-a-Duck Game: Joshua Kane Photography
*Styling by Get Knotted