SOMEWHERE IN ESCONDIDO, CALIFORNIA...

Seriously.. this is "somewhere" in Escondido, but I couldn't tell you exactly where. This backyard style wedding reception was held on some private property owned by the family of the Bride.  The place was really beautiful on this spring day back in April of 2015. Last year, you say?  Yes, but don't let that put you off. The fun, whimsical little details of this Carnival themed wedding reception are definitely worth having a look at, especially if you're thinking of doing something similar for your own reception.

You might be thinking, "What about the ceremony?"  

Well, when the wedding is on one day and the reception is two weeks later, and both are happening about 900 miles away, making the trip twice isn't really doable for most folks. So when I told my brother I could only make it to one or the other and asked him which he would prefer I attend, he said without hesitation, "The party, of course!"   

The Bride and Groom are Jason and Kelley.  Jason is a recent graduate of the UCLA school of theater and film.  Kelley is the artist and owner of Kellsworth Ink, located in Orange County, California.  Kelley is an extremely talented artist, and does custom art creations of various sorts.  See those adorable wooden cake-topper statuettes above?  She hand-painted those.  In fact, every little artistic bit of detail you will see in this post was created by Kelley; the programs, the table decor, the signs, the large wooden photo prop cut-out, the stationery... if I remember correctly, she even made her own dress and hair embellishments.  If you'd like to order your own custom hand-painted cake toppers, you can get in touch with Kelley on {Facebook} or check out her shop on {Etsy}.

And now, some photos of the silly couple:

"Mutual Weirdness" indeed.

Just inside the entrance to the Reception area were these adorable programs.  The outer covers were colorful, carnival themed drawings of the happy couple while the inside of the programs had love letters -- one from Jason to Kelley, and one from Kelley to Jason. Sooooooo cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute.  

More hand-created bits of awesome from the bride.  That photo cutout prop was a big hit!

I loved all the bits of red and white throughout the decor of this Carnival reception.  The way Kelley planned out the coloring really ties the whole event together.  

The tables each had mason jar drink glasses with chalk-board labels affixed to them, and pieces of red and white chalk so that guests could write their names on their glasses.  Every table also had a small framed chalkboard, each one with a different saying written on it in white chalkboard paint.  What a fantastic idea, right?!

Other little details on the reception tables included red gumball machines, brown paper bags of peanuts, pints of fresh red strawberries and small glass jars with sand and tea light candles.

I absolutely adore the red and white striped straws, and the striped twine and ribbon on the peanut bags.  The little red Carnival tickets are such a perfect finishing touch.

Everything was set up underneath a large white tent, and thank goodness for that because it was pretty toasty outside even though it was only April.  The signs and garland pictured above were of course made by the Bride!  :)

How cool is this??  The guests loved having this retro popcorn station at the reception.  

There was plenty of ice cold beverage options to keep everyone cool and comfortable.

Jason and Kelley kept the catering simple and easy, yet crowd-pleasing at the same time. Relatives set up and ran their hot dog station and everybody LOVED it.  All of the fixin's were there--Mustard, Ketchup, BBQ sauce, Deli Mustard, and even a slow cooker full of Chili to top it off.  Little ears of roasted corn on the cob (on a stick!) made a great hot option for a side dish.

These individual potato salad cups and macaroni and cheese cups were a great idea for a cold side option, along with an assortment of fresh veggies and chilled watermelon wedges.

The sweets table was truly spectacular!  Consistent with the Carnival theme, sweets included cotton candy, Cracker Jacks, taffy, red vines, pixie stix and swirl pops.  There were also candy buttons and circus animal cookies, and cute little striped containers to take a treat home.  Love!!!

I like to find interesting little ways to incorporate something from the wedding day into the ring shots, and these colorful swirl pops were just perfect for that!  

Instead of cupcakes or cake, Jason and Kelley opted for an assortment of pies and candy apples for dessert.  A tower of frosted doughnuts with sprinkles replaced the traditional wedding cake.

This Carnival themed reception was a big success, and I loved all the little details!  Being able to be there and to document this special occasion for my brother was well worth the 30+ hour drive to San Diego.  Thanks for having us, guys!  Happy Anniversary!

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