Real Wedding: Lauren + Joe’s Vintage Carnival Wedding

A super fun wedding to end the week! Lauren is a mega talented designer and put so much thought into making their day perfect for her + Joe. Thanks so much to Paige Newton for the gorgeous photos! From Lauren, “From the very beginning, Joe and I had one goal for our wedding: it had to be FUN! The vintage carnival theme then came naturally out of my love of red and bright colors as well as all things vintage and re-purposed. Our goal was to use as many recycled/vintage items as possible to avoid buying anything new. It proved tough to stick to completely, but I spent over a year collecting bottles for the table arrangements as well as mis-matched china. I’ve always loved making things by hand so my mom and I (with the help of a few others) took on the laborious task of making nearly 1,000 feet of bunting from vintage fabric that I collected from various estate and yard sales.”

save the date carnival theme

I wanted our invitations to create some real excitement about our wedding, so I designed screen printed save-the-dates to mimic vintage carnival posters. The invitations were in the form of carnival/circus programs and were delivered in fun, moss-filled boxes. Joe grew up on a farm here in Texas and wanted the reception to be in a barn, and we also wanted it to feel like a mini-destination wedding even though we were only 45 minutes from Austin. Vista West Ranch was our perfect venue, and shuttling guests from downtown Austin made it feel like we were really getting away.

carnival wedding invitations

bunting at wedding

wedding dress

lemonade before wedding

programs hanging on string

My knack for design comes from my Nana, who passed away a few years ago, so it was important that I incorporate her into the wedding. She had a huge collection of cow bells that she and my grandfather collected while living overseas that she had hanging as a wall installation when I was young. I borrowed them from my aunts and uncles and had them hanging with ribbon on the ceremony chairs. Guests rang them as Joe and I departed down the aisle together.

cowbells on chairs

outdoor texas wedding

What song did you walk down the aisle to? A longtime Radiohead fan, it was easy to pick the band for my processional song. We had a strings trio performing during the ceremony, so I picked “High and Dry”, as it lends itself to strings instruments better than some of their other music. The band played Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros as we led the Grand March (a Czech tradition), followed by our 230 guests!

Lauren’s wedding coordinator Cortney surprised them with a painter during their ceremony! He actually painted as they went along.. how cool is that?!

painter at wedding

bridesmaids in yellow dresses

texas carnival wedding

wedding portraits

bridal party in colorful suspenders

groom in suspenders

red and yellow bouquet

wood place settings

Most Memorable Wedding Moment? Our favorite moment was when we entered the reception for the first time as husband and wife to Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine. There was so much energy between the music and all the cheers from all of our family and friends.

bride and groom enter reception

barn wedding with glass bottles

Each table was named after a place Lauren and Joe have been together. Lauren uniquely designed each sign.

table flag numbers

wood pieces at wedding

texas barn wedding reception

wedding games

barn wedding decorations

wedding cake with bunting

We splurged a little on the band, since we both love to swing dance and wanted a super fun band. White Ghost Shivers definitely gave the evening that “feel” we were going for. Our friends are still talking about them!

texas barn wedding

Any advice for those planning right now? Make your big day as much about the two of you as possible and (if you can), don’t let other people determine how you do things. Ignore most of those wedding advice to-do lists — they might only make you go crazy. And as stressful and time-consuming as planning can get, never, ever forget the reason you’re getting married in the first place! You’ll cherish this day forever, but in the end it’s your love and relationship that really matters.

One thing that really made our wedding was that we truly hand-picked every single vendor we used. Doing our research really paid off the day-of when everything came together perfectly. I cannot emphasize enough how amazing our coordinator, Cortney Zieky, and her team at BZ Events were to work with. Cortney truly went above and beyond in every possible way for us, making our special day exactly what we hoped it would be and so much more. We couldn’t have done it without her!

See even more photos + details from their wedding here on Paige Newton’s Blog

Venue: Vista West Ranch //  Wedding Coordinators: Cortney Zieky of BZ Events
Florist: Posey Floral & Event Design //  Vintage Display Items: Austin Antique Mall
Photography: Paige Newton //  Cake: Simon Lee Bakery //  Videography: The Wedding Theatre
Caterer: Royal Fig Catering //  Paper Goods: Creative Parasol (The Bride)
Calligraphy: Tracy Joe Calligraphy //  Reception Band: White Ghost Shivers
Lighting: FILO Productions //  Rentals: Marquee //  Photo Booth: Annie Ray
Ceremony Painter: David Breihan //  Ceremony Strings: Mother Falcon
Dress: Coutures by Laura //  Bridesmaids Dresses: Etsy; re-done by Coutures by Laura
Makeup: Be Belle (formerly Betty Lash)  //  Hair: Erica Rae
Spray Tan: On The Glo Mobile Spray Tan //  Suits: Jos A Bank
Ties and Suspenders: Etsy & Vintage Stores
Bottles: Recycled and Vintage (for rent via The Creative Parasol)
Bunting: The Bride (for rent via The Creative Parasol)


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  1. LOVE!!! The shoes for the bridesmaids and the Vintage Bells! Her dress is stunning! Amazing details. [wish i could plan my wedding again would take some of these ideas] LOVE IT!

  2. wow fiesta cake….
    love the bridesmaids’ dresses….
    pretty plates too! :)

  3. I love it!!! Seems like so much fun!

  4. AMAZING!! Makes me so excited for my wedding at VWR in June- so happy to see a wedding there with 230 peeps- Using Royal Fig as well!!!

  5. I love love LOVE this wedding! So fun, and full of color! What I wouldn’t give to be a guest at a wedding like that :)

  6. This looks like it was a super fun wedding! Great colors and details!

  7. such a fun wedding! Her dress is beautiful and I love all the details they included. xo

  8. Constance Curtis on:

    LOVE all of this!! Especially the glass bottles on the tables!! and all the special details that the bride did! Good job Cortney!!

  9. Wow-so many things I love about this wedding; the color, the texture, the mode of the day-outstanding!

  10. There are so many things to love about this wedding!!! Love the balloons, love the flag bunting, love the colors, LOVE the paper details, love the rustic location….super cute wedding!

  11. eeps! love their paper goods and the colorful flag bunting!

  12. Oh wow love all the details and colour. The styling of this wedding is gorgeous and i love the dress.

  13. Cute wedding and those invites are to die for!!

  14. Anyone have any idea on where to find the brides flower belt??

  15. white ghost shivers as your wedding band? that’s awesome. so jealous!

  16. Stacey, I had the belt and dress made here in Austin by Laura of Coutures by Laura. The dress was inspired by a Vera Wang dress I fell in love with that is no longer available…and a million dollars. :)

  17. This is one of my all time favorite weddings!! We had an amazing vendor team and a really creative decor plan to work with. We had so much fun pulling all of the details together. The wedding day felt like a story book fairy tale… even for the wedding day vendors!!!
    Congratulations Lauren + Joe!! Can we do it again? :)

  18. LOVE every stunning detail of this wedding! The colors, the shoes, the suspenders….my, my MY!

    The cowbell detail made me teary eyed. I love all things family and that was a beautiful way to honor your Nana. So touching!

    Best wishes on a celebration (marriage) well-started ;)


  19. Best wedding ever. The quilts on the hay make me want to just jump right into that photograph. This would be my dream wedding.

  20. Wow! They executed the theme flawlessly! So fun but still classy :) I loooove the bridesmaid dresses and shoes!!

  21. This wedding has so many incredible details – it makes me want to do mine all over again, still giving bright colors a starring role.

  22. What a fabulous wedding!! I especially love the on site artist and vintage b/w group photo. Lovely work!

  23. Wow, what a beautiful wedding! I love all the personal details!! I also adore the brides shoes, does anyone know where they are from? :)

  24. That. Dress. Oh my goodness. Seriously breathtaking! Only wish I had seen it BEFORE my wedding, as I am totally envious!! Congrats on a lovely wedding!

  25. WOW. Every aspect of this wedding is absolutely spectacular. Congrats to the lovely couple. xo

  26. adorable wedding, they even make someone paint their picture. So romantic.


  1. […] were jumping for joy to see Lauren and Joe’s Vista West Ranch wedding on the Green Wedding Shoes blog this morning! It seems like just yesterday that we wrapped up this colorful Carnival-esque […]

  2. […] cute is this vintage carnival wedding from Green Wedding Shoes? I love the bright primary color scheme going on and all the bunting […]

  3. […] Want something REALLY memorable from your wedding day?  Have someone paint you while you’re getting married.  Check it out at GREEN WEDDING SHOES. […]

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  5. […] cutie-pie jumping bride and bridal party, plus this incredible reception hall on Green Wedding Shoes. Wow! Can someone please recreate this and invite […]

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  7. […] A fun, Carnival themed wedding […]

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  11. […] bunting instantly adds colour to any cake!Photo credits (clockwise from top left): Paige Newton via Green Wedding Shoes, Cake Decorating, Our Labor of Love via Green Wedding Shoes, The Cake Parlour, We Love […]


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