Surprise Carnival Wedding: Lisa + Evan – Part 1


Lisa + Evan’s wedding is all about fun – a great party and making sure their guests had the time of their lives! :) Finding a venue that wouldn’t kick them out at 11pm was their first priority and The Book Bindery (in Culver City, CA) was absolutely perfect. No ride between the ceremony and reception, no curfew, and their space provided the open canvas for Paige + Kelly of Bash, Please to design the perfect party atmosphere. They also choose to have both a band and a DJ because they knew they’d be going until the early morning hours. :)

A bit more from Lisa…Neither of us felt the need to exchange vows on a bluff in Malibu surrounded by wildflowers; we just wanted an epic rager to celebrate our love so we needed the right space, an open bar, and great music. We also spent a ton of time picking out the right version of The Hora and had assigned some friends to be in charge of getting it going and keeping it going. Nothing sets the tone of your party better than your Hora and if everyone is into it, everyone is ready to let loose and have a good time. Those chairs don’t just get lifted on their own.

Seriously such a fun wedding (would love to have been a guest at this one!) and big thanks to Sarah Yates with Birds of a Feather Photo for the photos!

heart bridal shoes

lace wedding dress

Gorgeous lace details in Lisa’s Elizabeth Fillmore dress

carnival bouquet

red bridesmaid dresses

bridesmaid gloves

neon lights

Love the neon walkway connecting the ceremony space to the reception space!


And talk about the most amazing backdrop! Balloons + hanging white lights?! Yes, please!

balloon wall

string lights

Our Musical Choices

Processional: What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong; I Hear A Symphony – The Supremes

Recessional: Everybody Dance Now – C&C Music Factory

First Dance: We never got to do our first dance. The speeches were running long and we wanted to get the dance party started. But one day we'll dance to Make You Feel My Love by Neil Diamond

hung lights ceremony

balloon wall ceremony backdrop

balloon wall ceremony backdrop

Because we were not having a religious ceremony, we had to create one ourselves and it resulted in an intensely personal experience. We chose Evan’s cousin, Michael, to officiate since he knows both of us really well both as individuals and as a couple. He had the perfect mix of warmth, humor, and solemnity that really gave our ceremony a personal touch. Then we had a bunch of our friends stand up and tell the story of our relationship, each telling an anecdote that they were a part of. It was really nice to share these intimate stories of how our relationship developed with some of our guests who we don’t get to see in daily life, and it was fun for me and Evan to brainstorm, write, and be creative with our friends. That and Evan’s dad showed some videos of him as a child running around naked.

balloon wall ceremony backdrop

balloon wall ceremony backdrop

confetti exit

confetti exit

bride and groom neon hallway

Pretty amazing, right?! Just wait, their carnival themed reception is coming up next!

photography: Birds of a Feather Photo // venue name: The Book Bindery, Culver City, California // event design: Bash, Please // planning: Bash, Please // florals: Bash, Please // wedding dress: Elizabeth Fillmore // bridesmaid dresses: J.Crew // hair stylist: Lindsey Hunt at Chop Chop // makeup artist: Kim Greene // groom attire: Giorgio Armani // paper goods: Bash, Please // catering: Whoa Nelly! // music: DJ Gary Ames of The Flashdance // hairpiece: Bridesmaids were from Miss Ruby Sue, bride's was Jane Taylor Millinery // cinematography: Son of Shark Pig // pies: Whoa Nelly! // cocktails: Pharmacie LA // frill: Geronimo Balloons // vintage rentals: Found Vintage Rentals