Boy, do I have a treat of a wedding to share with you all on this Friday. A carnival theme?! Talk about choosing a theme and running with it! I can’t explain it any better than Kathy Best, venue owner and event planner, so I’m just gonna let her do it.
When guests arrived they checked in at the ticket counter to sign the guest book and receive tickets to the show. Next, they enjoyed bottled cokes, lemonade, and water along with sugar nuts from the vintage candy cart. The ceremony was held on a custom stage with four large columns and draping to give the feel of an outdoor theatre production. Following the ceremony, guests moved to other areas of the park and discovered a concession stand, a popcorn machine, a caricaturist, and juggler/stilt walker. Picnic basket centerpieces were filled with goodies and the candy table was overflowing with every kind of treat imaginable.
Sounds pretty great, right? Now I’m gonna let the pictures, shot by Joe Hendricks Photography, and the bride, Janna, take it from here.
What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?
I am a broad thinker by nature so I had tons of ideas when I started planning the wedding but not a real detailed plan for narrowing down or focusing all my ideas. I never thought I would hire a planner but when we decided on the venue (Front Porch Farms), and the owner was also a wedding planner and PR event planner with established contacts, I knew that was the way to go. She (Kathy Best) definitely helped to get my big vision narrowed down into practical and budget friendly choices to fit my vision, all without going majorly over budget. I think hiring a planner helped save me time and money on the front end of things. I wanted to cut costs where I could so a lot of the things I did myself or with the help of my family and friends. There were a lot of little projects my family did before the wedding and even the day of. I couldn’t have done it without them!
What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?
I did not have a huge budget to begin with so I wanted to have the “best” without paying the high end money that sometimes entails. I know there are a ton of vendors out there but I wanted to work with the vendors that did not see me as just another bride, and just another wedding. I did not want to skimp on quality just because I had a budget to stick to. The planner helped to bring me vendors that could work with my budget but still had quality work and reviews. I think all the vendors I chose fit those qualifications beautifully.
Did any of your vendors do anything special for you before, on, or after your wedding day that you would like to share?
We were the 5th wedding that was held at the venue we chose (it opened the winter before our wedding as a wedding venue) so it was a somewhat new venue at the time of our wedding. Our theme was a vintage street fair/carnival type of wedding. The owner (Kathy Best), wanted to use our wedding to really show what Front Porch Farms could do for brides who have a smaller budget but big dreams. She definitely went above and beyond to make that dream come true. She provided part of the entertainment by hiring the unicyclist who also did juggling and stilt walking for the guests. She threw this in as a bonus as it was not in our budget, and he was the hit of the party. The kids loved him and even the adults too. He was great and really completed the overall theme and feel we were going for. All of our wedding party bragged on our photographers too. The feedback we got from people looking at our pictures that weren’t even at the wedding was amazing. No one had a bad thing to say about our pictures. They loved the theme too! We wanted a unique wedding and all the vendors definitely made that happen.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding?
Our wedding vows were my first favorite part. I was nervous about being in front of that many people, but during our vows, I did not even notice anyone else besides my now husband, the preacher, and me. It was very special and I will never forget that feeling of committment and love. My second favorite part was the balloon release when we entered the reception. When I was a kid, we would release balloons into the local neighborhood at the end of Vacation Bible School week. The balloons would have cards attached to them with special and encouraging messages. I LOVED doing that each year and the memories associated with that are such fun ones! I am a big believer in Missions and I had been on a mission trip to South Africa with my church the year before my wedding. It had such an impact on my life and I wanted somehow to incorporate that into my wedding. If nothing else was remembered about our wedding, I wanted people to hear about the message and work of Living Hope (the organization in South Africa my church partners with). They do incredible life changing work with children and adults in their local communities. I wanted to bring a little piece of South Africa to Tennessee so I got the idea from my childhood experience and decided to attach information cards about Living Hope to the balloons and release them at our reception. It was so special to release those ballons knowing my deepest passion and something that we believe in so much was attached to them. I wanted our wedding to reach others and encourage them to show love to others in need. The balloon release was perfect! It definitely made the day complete.
What is your best piece of advice for other brides?
I would say not to lose sight of what the wedding is truly about. It is easy to get caught up in the planning and romance of a wedding but even if things don’t get done exactly the way you want, you still will be married to the love of your life at the end of the day. That sacred union and love betwen the two of you is the single most important thing. Everything else will work itself out!!
A very special thanks to Joe Hendricks Photography for sharing this jam-packed wedding with us and to Janna for taking us right back to her big day.
What do you think, lovely readers? Are you as speechless as I am?
Vendors who made it all happen…
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