Ideas for a carnival backyard wedding?

by DIY wedding planner on December 10, 2011

I’m getting married in 11 months in my grandparents backyard. Our theme is carnival. I’ve looked at practically every wedding site for other peoples wedding ideas but I haven’t found exactly what I’m looking for. We are trying to save money and I would like to do a lot of diy’s. I’m thinking of having mason jars as glasses with the barber stripe straws, we’re making customized wrist bands with our wedding date on it. We chose to have a photobooth, caricature artist, balloon artist and a couple games to play also. Our colors are cherry red, aqua, and cotton candy pink. I just don’t want the wedding to turn into a corny wedding. Any other fun ideas or items that will get the guest involved or help stand out?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Perse December 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm

If you want to avoid a corny wedding, ditch the theme.

That is my honest and helpful advice.


Alison December 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Carnivals are supposed to be corny; that’s the point of them. You will either have to seriously back out of this theme or embrace it for what it is.
Hopefully your wedding ceremony will be separate and more serious, and the question pertains to your reception only.
Since I don’t know which direction you wish to take at this point I cannot advise further.


Common Sense December 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm

I am going to be honest with you.

Your carnival theme wedding sounds like a seven year old child’s birthday party. And, yes, it is a very “corny wedding” idea. I am so sorry to say, but — balloon artist and carnival games?? Oh dear.

And, you want to add more stuff to this to “help stand out?” Oh dear.

Please reconsider what you are about to do as it really is quite silly. I just do not want you to have to embarrass the daylights out of yourself.


Jenny Lynne December 10, 2011 at 3:17 pm

What’s the first thing you do at a carnival, eat. Cotton candy, candy apples, hot roasted peanuts, french fries with vinegar and funnel cakes. Games darts and one of those water games where you pick up ducks with a prize number on the bottom. Ride rides. If guests really get into the spirit, gut one of those bouncy slides, not that much to rent. No matter how hard you try with your theme, it is going to be a corny wedding. Mixing the two, there is no way. What kind of food are you having, if you want, have bbq, hot dogs and burgers and maybe have more of a backyard party feel to it. Drop a couple of the goofy stuff, like the balloon artist (for kids) what adult wants a doggie shaped balloon. Honest answer, with this theme, you can’t avoid the corny.


Ebony Coston December 10, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I going to go against the grain and say that your Carnival themed wedding is GREAT! Its whimsical and fun! It’s non traditional. Its your wedding day to be created your way, but you have to be careful not to cross the line to corny carnival wedding, BE INSPIRED by the carnival.

Love the photo-booth and the caricature artist your guest will get a kick out of booth. You could even DIY some animal mask on a stick,hats, lips, mustache, glasses so guest can dress up. As for the balloon artist now your started to head in cheesy kids party area. Instead of roses use Gerberias(gerber daisy) they are affordable and come in bright colors. Instead of having the traditional money dance, do a kissing booth, where guest can give kiss and best wishes. Candle apples for wedding favors are just some easy DIYin projects. Instead of decorating with balloons kick it up with Chinese lanterns or floral ball(you can easily find at Micheal’s).

Since your DI Yin it check out Martha Stewart website, they have templates you can use

check out this carnival inspired wedding

Best Wedding Wishes and Planning


Mrs. Scarlet December 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I like this idea! It sounds really fun!
You should make some pennant banners and hang them around the yard.Or buy classic-looking bunting-

Make your invitations look like carnival tickets

Lollipop wedding favors-

Have a candy buffet table, With colorful candies!


iloveweddings December 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm


I agree with the others. Please ditch the carnival theme.

(1) It’s more suited for a young child’s birthday.
(2) You will save a ton if you DON’T have a theme.

A theme for a wedding is simply, “wedding.” Pick some colors and use that as a basis for decorations, invites, etc.


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