Circus Inspired Wedding from Elyse Hall Photography
June 2, 2011

Step right up, step right up! We've got quite the spectacular wedding for you on this lovely Thursday afternoon. Sent into us my the obviously talented Elyse Hall, this whimsical, circus themed wedding is so well executed that you really feel like you could be at the circus, sans creepy carneys of course! I just love everything about this wedding from the bride's dress to the amazing display on the dessert table. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to run away and join the circus! Meet me in the gallery for the main event!










Click here to see entire image gallery!

We are a modern, goofy, casual, laid-back couple. We love and appreciate incredible food, music, and style and wanted to surround ourselves with these components on our wedding day. Our event evolved from a word we kept using to describe what we wanted our wedding to be like, FUN. The vision included our dearest friends, family and my soon to be step-son, and that quest for intimacy limited our guest list to roughly 40 people.  From day one we promised each other we would make this day the most fun and whimsical experience we could for our guests, as well as ourselves. We truly wanted the opposite of a traditional wedding, for no other reason than we wanted this day to be about celebrating with our friends and family and focusing on experiencing those special moments instead of the stress of planning a stuffy event. The carnival theme introduced itself when we decided that we wanted our favorite hot dog cart, The Short Leash, to cater the event. We thought how could we incorporate them into this day and still make it feel like a wedding?

Then, as I was searching wedding blogs, I happened upon an event that took place at an old abandoned fairground, and the rest was history. I not only wanted the carnival feel, but a vintage circus aura as well.  I hunted through countless stores to collect as many cake plates as I possibly could, and scoured thrift stores to find all of the antique mason jars we used for the tables. Spray paint played a large part in our wedding decor, as every table showcased gold elephants and lions to surround the theme. My fingers were stained on a weekly basis! Bunting, medallions, mustaches and pinwheels became prevalent touches along with popcorn containers of every shape and size.

The venue was the easiest to choose, as we only gave ourselves 4 months to plan. We knew immediately we wanted to host the event in my mother-in-law's backyard, which meant a lot to all of us, and embracing a backyard wedding only made sense for the theme we had chosen. Together we decided to transform her pool into a big top tent, adorn the gazebo with pinwheels and medallions galore, and park a hot dog cart in the front yard.

When we met with Elyse, our genius photographer, and told her of our plans, a lightbulb went off in her head. She told us she wanted to shoot the engagement photos at our State Fair, which fell perfectly around the date, and the shots incorporated seamlessly into our table-scapes and decor. We literally ran through the fairground on a 100 degree day snapping shots and performing outfit changes, completely worth every drop of sweat!

My best friend and myself have an event planning business so it only made sense that we would create as many d.i.y. touches as we possibly could. My life became making pinwheels, pom-poms and miniature flags. We spent days, and I do mean days,  converting the private yard into a circus extravaganza.  The makeshift photo booth was a last minute touch intended to fill an empty space, but has since become my favorite feature of the day.

Our ceremony was simple, but captured everything this moment meant to each of us. My cousins have an incredible band, and played our favorite Coldplay song acoustically as I walked down the aisle. I was gaining a husband and a son, and the three of us held hands at the altar to accept that vow together. Our family played an integral part in our ceremony, and stood with us to share the experience.

My favorite part of the day has got to be Rich holding me at sunset as we watched children running around the yard, adults getting to act like kids, and seeing hot dogs and donuts devoured with delight. The day was absolutely everything we expected and more. We were able to share our love with our family and for us that was priceless.

This wedding meant to us a time to bring all of our talented friends and family together to create something we would remember forever. The day was all we could have envisioned and more, and dreams of corn dogs, popcorn and fried pickles still linger in our heads.

Photography: Elyse Hall Photography / Floral, Event Production and Design: Eventology Events / Hair Piece and Bouttonnieres: Mignonne Handmade / Dress: Bari Jay / Invitations: Blush Design Studio / Event and Tent rentals: JMS Tents / Catering: The Short Leash / Wedding Cake: Dunkin Donuts / Cake Topper: Eventology Events / Welcome Reception, Ceremony and Cocktail Music: Find your Smile / Celebrant: Reverend Carol Hushek / Event Venue: Private Residence in Gilbert, AZ