{Real Weddings} Janine & Ryan's Carnival Theme Wedding

We are thrilled to be able to feature Janine & Ryan's uber cute carnival themed wedding, especially after seeing the amazing scavenger hunt proposal that Ryan created for his lovely bride to be! If you didn't get the chance to check that out, be sure to click here to read the story of their meeting, and then see the action unfold-it's a must see!

Janine & Ryan's wedding was submitted to us by Tracy Moore Photography.  As soon as I saw the carnival fun, I had to reach out to Janine to get some deets on how their wedding came together.  She graciously shared with us all that went into their big day.

Behold Janine & Ryan's wedding, captured by Tracy Moore Photography:

Vision for the day
I always knew I wanted something different and non-traditional. I am not the type of person that really wanted to do the same things that are traditionally at every wedding. I never really thought of my wedding and what it would look like until Ryan and I were together. I knew I wanted something that represented us and people would enjoy and know how perfectly fitting it was. We are so childlike in spirit with our scavenger hunts, building forts in our rooms, we love playing games so I knew we would need a wedding where we could just laugh and play with our friends and family. The idea of a carnival was something I thought would be so fun but never thought it would turn out in the ways it did. We didn’t want a public wedding so we were able to schedule our wedding the day before the Montana Fair opened up so we could have the whole carnival to ourselves! I wanted a Ferris wheel, the zipper, games, and all the sweets you could eat! I wanted to keep the elegance of a wedding but bring the joys of a carnival and everyone’s inner child to the forefront of my imagination. It was this vision that helped me plan every step of the way.

The color palette
I didn’t really have a color in mind. I went with some pastels colors so it seemed very summer like and fun. The bridal party was in different colors and I used yellow as a color to tie everything together.

The details
There were truly so many creative ideas that went into making this wedding. I have always been one to make unique crafts and getting to do this for our wedding day was very exciting for me. Almost all the decorations for the wedding were handmade by me with some of my own ideas and some inspiration from things I found online. For the ceremony we kept it very elegant but added a few touches of the carnival to bring it all together. Our bouquets and boutonnieres were designed to look like cotton candy.  We matched the colors of the bridal party in the flowers which made it simple but again making sure it didn’t look like a costume wedding. The ring bearer had a large whirly pop instead of a traditional pillow which was a big hit with the kids. We also designed and handmade fans since it was very hot here in August. On one side of the fan there was a picture of us from our engagement photo shoot that said, “thank you for celebrating with us.” The other side had a fun crossword puzzle on it with carnival themed words to pass the time . The ceremony was short, elegant and simple. We then took a trolley to the fair for our reception.

This is where we put most of the focus on our details and decorations. One of my favorite details where these lanterns that I handmade that hung above where all the food was. I handmade stencils and then used a frost spray on different size vases. There was a merry-go-round, ferris wheel, fun designs, Mix Carnival, every single lantern was different and carnival themed. I filled them with a little sand and a candle and by the time the sun went down they lit up the area beautifully.

We had three dessert tables we planned out. We had a candy table with different vases and mason jars which were all labeled with handmade signs. We had a pie table which we wanted to look like it was a pie baking contest at the fair, complete with vintage utensils and first place ribbons. We also had four flavors of cupcakes that were carnival themed. We had popcorn red velvet cupcakes, coconut with fondant balloons, cinnamon with mini whirly pops, and lemon flavored cupcakes to look like lemonade complete with a candy lemon wedge and straw. We also had a popcorn machine and cotton candy machine. We had all different kinds of vintage sodas with cute swirly straws to keep with the vintage feel. We had a few flower arrangements and decorated center pieces with tickets around them. Ryan also built a photo booth “Ticket Booth” where we made some fun mustaches and had some fun props for people to take pictures.

To top the night off I wanted a really fun getaway vehicle. My bridesmaid decorated a siri (6 person
bike) and we were off peddling away through town! My mom had also made a sign that lights up that
said, “Mix carnival” that we kept on the front of the siri. It was such a fun and beautiful wedding. We put a lot of thought into every detail which made it fun and truly unique.

The Venue
We had our ceremony in the back yard of a friend’s house. I wanted to it be outdoors but not in a typical location where most people have their weddings. It was beautiful and perfect for the size wedding we had. The carnival doesn’t have any personal significance to us, we just wanted something fun and unique so we rented out the fair before it opened to the public the next day.

The Planning Process
I started planning the wedding right away. Once we knew we wanted a carnival we really were at
the mercy of that for choosing the date of our wedding. We ended up having about 9 months to plan
the wedding once the date was set. I think that every free moment I had I was making calls or making decorations for the wedding up until the week of the wedding. My mom helped with the Mix Carnival sign and putting the fans together for the ceremony. We had a decorator that I met with who put everything together the day of the wedding. We had a lot of friends and family helping obviously the day of the wedding. We don’t live near any family so Ryan and I did all the planning and decorations ourselves other than what I mentioned above. Ryan was a huge help and I couldn’t have imagined doing everything without him. For the most part I loved making all the decorations and coming up with new ideas. I really took the time to enjoy the season of being engaged and planning a wedding. I think because I really enjoy crafts that I took a lot more time into making things for the wedding rather than buying items or sticking with tradition. Because it was a fun theme I could just have fun with it. There was no blueprint for the wedding so we had the freedom to do what we wanted.

The search for the dress
Well, we moved to Montana a few years ago from Los Angeles so most of my friends and family live
in CA. There aren’t a whole lot of options here in Montana to find a dress and I didn’t want to run into someone having the same dress as I did, so we made a fun girls trip to LA with my best friend here in Montana and meet up with a few friends and family. We went to a few stores the day we arrived and didn’t really find anything I liked. I had never looked at pictures or ideas of what kind of wedding dress I would like so we used the first day to have fun and try on absolutely every style so I could define more of what I wanted. I let everyone pick a dress they liked so I made it fun for my friends and family too. The second day I looked up online one of the places we were going to scroll through some of the dresses in the morning. I found one that I liked on the picture and decided to save it to my phone. We ended up going to a few places that day and ended up heading to Newport to The White Dress. I had tried on a few dresses but wasn’t really in love with any of them. As we were almost finishing up I remembered I had saved the photo of the dress and asked if they had that one in store. The moment I saw it I knew it was going to be perfect. I took a moment in the fitting room to imagine what Ryan would think when he saw me walking down the aisle and I knew this was the dress that I would be wearing. I came out and everyone loved it! They popped open some champagne and we all celebrated. It was a really cute boutique and the girls were very helpful. They had me make a wish on the cork and put it in this big jar where they keep all the brides wishes. So adorable! My dress came strapless but I ordered some more of the fabric my dress was made of and had cap sleeves made for it back here in Montana. It was just a joy picking out the dress and it was simply the perfect dress for me.

The lovely bridesmaids and their dresses
My matron of honor was my sister Jannette. It was never a doubt that she would be in that
position, in fact I think she called it at my birth! She has been a huge role model in my life and is one of the most thoughtful women I know. She planned a scavenger hunt bridal getaway for me to LA to tie in with my proposal. She was there for me if I needed anything and her entire beautiful family played a role in the wedding. My bridesmaid was Katie who has become my closest person here in Montana.  She has the most generous heart and it is no wonder why she has literally been in like 20 weddings.  She is just one of those people you couldn’t imagine not being there. Both of their dresses were from a website called light-in-the-box. I had a few things altered on the dresses to make them a little more different but they came out perfectly.

Favorite moments from the day
There were so many wonderful moments. The prayer Ryan and I said before we walked down the aisle between a wall was the perfect start to our lives together as husband and wife. The smile on kids faces when they saw all the candy their little hearts desired. The moment I caught my grandpa with a huge grin on his face on the marry-go-round. The time on the bumper cars where I was smashed from behind to turn around and find my mother-in-law just laughing! There were so many lovely moments created with so many wonderful people. It truly was the perfect day!

Honeymoon travels
We had a very adventurous honeymoon in Belize. We spent a week in the rainforest and a week on the beach. It was the most incredible time of our lives. Instead of registering for gifts we registered for our honeymoon. People were able to buy our zip line in the jungle, cave tubing, kayaking you name it. It was the best gift we could have ever received. As a thank you to everyone we made a video of our trip so they could see the amazing time we had due to their generosity. Here is a link to the video…


Vendor raves
Photography: Tracy Moore Photographers
Cup Cakes: Jayne’s Signature Sweets
Candy and Sodas: Candy Town
Flowers: Gainan’s Flowers
Pies: Stella’s Bakery

Advice for brides when it comes to wedding planning
Have fun with your wedding. If you like tradition then embrace it, if not they try something new. There are no “rules” or specific ways you have to do anything. Make it the best day that the two of you will remember the rest of your lives. Take one step at a time. Don’t get too overwhelmed and know when to ask someone for help. Give yourself plenty of time to plan. We had 9 months and I still felt like we were cutting it close. Really take the time to enjoy the season of being engaged. You have this one day that you have thought about most of your life, don’t be in a hurry to get it over with. This is just a wonderful season that you will be in for such a short time, enjoy it and take time to keep building your relationship in-between planning. Always remember when you are stressed what it is really all about, marrying the man of your dreams. Let the details go. If you don’t have everything” tied the right way”, you don’t want that to keep you from enjoying the day. NO ONE remembers the little things that go wrong. Only your wedding coordinators and you are the ones who will even know if something goes wrong (and something always will). Most of all take a deep breath and if you feel like planning the wedding is starting to stress you out…take a break! Good luck!

I must say, Janine & Ryan make a beautiful couple.  Their love for one another shows in their smitten stares and beaming smiles.  Tracy Moore Photography captured their vibe so well, from the sweet prayer before the ceremony, to their fun playful moments at the fair.

I love all the thought and the details that went into the decor ideas.  The bouquets that were made to look like cotton candy, the whirly pop ring bearer pillow, the programs with the carnival themed crosswords-it's all so cute!  Although I don't images of programs and cupcakes, it's great to see so much imagination and creativity put into the wedding planning process!

My favorite quote from Janine is: "There was no blueprint for the wedding so we had the freedom to do what we wanted."  It's great advice, it's a great motto!  If you have the liberty to have freedom, make it yours!

Many thanks to Janine for sharing with us your amazing proposal video and all that went into planning your beautiful wedding day!  We wish you and Ryan all the best in your new marriage!

Many thanks to Tracy Moore Photography for submitting to us your beautiful work!


Photography: Tracy Moore Photographers
Cup Cakes: Jayne’s Signature Sweets
Candy and Sodas: Candy Town
Flowers: Gainan’s Flowers
Pies: Stella’s Bakery

1 comment:

  1. What an unbelievably fun looking wedding! Carnival rides and lollipops?? How cute!


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