Carnival Wedding | Unique Themes

carnival weddingA carnival wedding is, indeed, unique. Your interpretation will be different from everyone else’s. At what level you choose to incorporate elements of a carnival wedding will set you apart from the crowd.

Things like the color scheme, centerpieces, venues, the menu and general decor are areas you can use carnival theme items to enhance. It doesn’t have to cover all those areas, carnival touches here and there will certainly get your theme noticed, but go all out if you want to, too!

It’s your unique wedding — make it reflect your vision.

Color schemes for a Carnival Wedding

As with any color scheme, white, black and shades of brown can be added since they are considered neutral but below are 4 of the many, many color combinations you could use for a carnival wedding.

classic carnival wedding colors carnival wedding colors

new carnival wedding colors rainbow carnival wedding colors


Decor Elements for a Carnival Wedding

carnival wedding decorThere are certain things everyone associates with carnivals that you could incorporate with a carnival theme. The list below is for inspiration — to get your creative juices flowing. It is by no-means an exhaustive list. Make any and all adjustments and additions you need to make this theme unique to you and your fiance.

  • paper pennant bunting
  • paper fans
  • Tissue Balls
  • Popcorn & Candy Containers/Holders (Cotton Candy Cones, Paper Bags, Animal Cracker Tins, etc…)
  • Stripes – Tents, Canopies, Fabric, Table Cloths, Napkins, Straws,
  • Signage – Using classic Carnival fonts for menus, guest book, buffet, ceremony or reception directional signs, welcome signs, photo booth, games or arcade area signs, etc…
  • Make signs from chalkboards, reclaimed wood, poster board with vintage frames, on pennant banners, etc…
  • Balloons
  • Admit One Tickets made into chain garland
  • Paper Lanterns

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Games – Arcade from the Carnival Midway

ring-toss-carnival-weddingGames are a huge part of carnivals so you might want to incorporate them into your reception. Whether during the cocktail hour or all through the reception, it gives guests some fun alternatives to dancing.  You will need some volunteers to man some of the games. Guests could win inexpensive prizes like lollipops, magnets, sunglass, etc… (Oriental Trading Company is a good source for this kind of stuff.)

Or, have guests collect tickets for playing the games and make your own “redemption center” where they can turn them in for cute prizes. Any kids at the reception will love this!

  • Any Arcade Games (rent some)
  • Classic Croquet
  • Ring Toss (over old soda bottles)
  • Basket Toss (land a ball in bushel baskets that are mounted on backboard)
  • Cornhole Bean Bag Game
  • Lucky Ducky Carnival Game (weighted duckies floating in galvanized tub of water — choose the right one for a prize. Great kids game)
  • Oversized Checkers or Tic Tac Toe

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More Carnival Elements to Add to your Wedding

  • Balloon Artist
  • Caricaturist
  • Magician
  • Juggler
  • Ticket Booth
  • any type of roaming entertainment

Carnival Foods

carnival wedding foodHere you can make this carnival theme your own. You can add carnival foods to the cocktail hour or your dessert offerings after dinner. Alternatively,  make it more of a cocktail, fun reception with carnival foods being offered at stations throughout the evening. To me, this is this most fun option. Guests will mix and mingle better as they roam to the different food stations you have chosen. Work with your caterer or hire food truck vendors for the catering. Here are some ideas for you:

  • Cotton Candy Maker
  • Popcorn Maker
  • Peanuts in the shell offered in paper bags
  • Candy Buffet — taffy, lollipops, rock candy, bubble gum machine, colorful M&M’s,
  • Dessert Table loaded with pies, cakes, tarts, cookies, brownies and more!
  • Hamburger sliders
  • BBQ Pork or Beef Sliders
  • Mini or Regular Corn Dogs
  • Chicken Fingers
  • Tenderloin, Gyros, Steak, Kabobs,  sandwiches cut into fourths on toothpicks
  • Corn on the Cob on a Stick
  • Soft Pretzels
  • Onion Rings
  • French Fries

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Drinks —

  • Lemon Shake-Ups
  • Watermelon Slushy
  • Snow Cone Cart
  • Spiked Sno-Cones (for those of age, of course)


Make this theme unique by brainstorming the keywords that “Carnival” brings to your mind. Look to the internet for inspiration photos and ideas. Make a plan and watch it come to life. Don’t forget to have fun!

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About the Author

About the Author: With 20+ years in the wedding and event industry, I have seen a lot of unique, unusual and funky weddings. Every one of them were a journey of discovery and a reflection of the bride and groom. I had a ball and am now passing along some of those pearls of wisdom to today's brides and grooms. A wedding is personal -- it's about the two of you and your relationship -- let's make it as unique and offbeat as you each are! .


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  1. Susan says:

    Great theme for a unique wedding – have to share this daughter! Especially the food ideas – she’ll love it.

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