Real Circus Wedding

Today I  have a amazing guest post for you from the ever so stylish Gaby from Cap Classique. Gaby's South African weddings and stylish inspiration boards are some of the very best on the web. This little treat today is no exception. Gaby knows I have a total soft spot for Circus Weddings, and this one takes the cake. The bride Michelle's ability to create a stunningly elegant atmosphere among the spectacular revelry of a circus setting is nothing short of amaaaaazing! Thanks a million Gaby for sharing this!

wedding circus tent

Hello Hindsight Bride readers! I'm Gaby from Cap Classique, a blog featuring lovely weddings from South Africa, and I'm sooo excited that Christie has asked me to be here! A while back, I created a circus wedding inspiration board, which is when I discovered Christie is a huge fan of circus weddings. HUGE. (As am I, for the record.) So as soon as I came across this fantastic wedding from the awesome Heleen of Splendid Productions, I just knew I had to share it with her, and here I am! So roll up, roll up, because the circus is in town!

bridal portraits before circus weddingblack bridal shows and bride posing in gownbridal party portraitsblack and white bridesmaids heels

Michelle, the super creative bride behind all of this, took some time to tell us about her and her husband, and their wedding inspiration:
Werner and I met at his 21st birthday party. I was a waitress and still at school. Years later we bumped into each other at the University Sports Grounds. Werner played for the Tuks rugby team and I danced in the Tuks cheerleading squad. We became friends and years later we had our first dance in a club in Pretoria. I always knew I wanted a man who could shake it – and Werner really could! Not sure yet if our romance was going anywhere, Werner went to Paris, France, to play rugby for two years. We decided it was best to stay just friends. But I just couldn’t get this man out of my head, so I went to visit him in Paris (one could say stalked ;) ). It didn’t take us too long in the city of love to realise that we were made for each other. This was in 2006 and we have never looked back! When Werner came back to South Africa we were curious to look through his 21st photos to see if I was in any of them – it's uncanny to say the least that we found a photo of Werner where I’m in it by mistake – and in the background is an advert with the Eiffel Tower in it! It must have been Fate!

popcorn in monogrammed bagsservers dressed in circus garbsignature cocktails and cupcakesbride and groom pose with blueberry cupcakes

Werner and I knew from the very start that we didn’t want the usual wedding venue-type wedding. We were sure that with our huge circle of friends (our final guest list stood at 206 people) it would just be too expensive (my poor parents!). Lucky for us the Wilkies from the Boswell Wilkie Circus are family of mine. I grew up visiting them for school holidays and even considered joining the circus after school. So it was really a no brainer that the circus would be the perfect venue. It was such an honour for us to get married there since both my aunt and uncle got married there too.

So we had a venue… but there was nothing in it! I had to ensure everything was planned to a tee. Being the control freak that I am, I did absolutely everything myself, from invites to table decor, table placements, even the party music playlist!

I was very wary of letting the circus theme run away with me. It could easily have been tacky. The circus tent inside is very busy with lights, ringside decor, show curtains, etc. and lots of yellows, reds and blues – quite a challenge for table decor. So I decided on a 1920s Art Deco spin, with a colour scheme of black and white with black lace and black and white stripes everywhere. I felt that black and white would calm the space down a little, and keep the focus on the tent itself. We had lampshades as centrepieces instead of flowers to reinforce the Art Deco theme and also as they wouldn't be in the way of guests trying to speak to one another.

bridal party portraits near circus trailercircus bride dances in front of bridal partybride with white bouquet and groom on bike

I had always wanted to get married in a garden and fortunately the circus is based on a farm in Gauteng which has the most beautiful garden, so we had the best of both worlds. It helped that the weather played along perfectly – although there was a huge thunderstorm an hour before the ceremony, and my nerves were shattered! Then the sun came out with a slight breeze, and the rain had cooled the earth perfectly for our guests… unreal!

The whole wedding was a reflection of our relationship, and that’s what made it so special and fun to do! We love to entertain, joke, dance and have fun. Werner is a huge clown – always making jokes – and I love performing and dancing. For our favours, we gave our guests red noses – a great personal touch which related to the circus obviously but also to Werner and I. All of the guests put their red noses on as we entered the reception! Other circus touches were our popcorn confetti (with custom-made paper bags using our wedding logo) and a flying aerial act in the tent during the reception. What would a circus wedding be without a show? The artist, Tsogt, was kind enough to do it for us as a wedding gift, and it was one of my favourite parts of the day.

art deco tableblack and white art deco table decorart deco tablescapebride and groom dance at circus weddingcircus photobooth

It was only fitting that our first dance as husband and wife was to the same song as the night we first danced together (Hey Ya by Outkast). We found a slow cover version which we started off with and then the music went into the original and we shook it like crazy people! I enjoyed choreographing it with Werner and a friend, and practising it ahead of time – great laughs!

My hindsight advice to other brides is to hire a videographer in addition to a good photographer – it's such a great feeling to re-live the day through someone else's eyes! Even though it's an additional cost, you won't be disappointed. Also, don't sweat the small stuff. If something bothers you ask yourself if it's within your power to fix the problem and if not, get over it and accept it. And remember what the day is all about – you and the love of your life, starting a new life together – what an amazing celebration!

bride and groom hug next to a circus tent

Congratulations again, Michelle and Werner! Your wedding has to be one of my all-time favourites! And a big thank you to Heleen for sharing her pics, and to Christie for allowing me to visit with you today. Gaby xx


Photography & videography: Splendid Productions
Catering: Highveld Caterers
Flowers: Manor House
Decor: Decor-D-zign
Cupcakes: Sugar Catering
Bride's dress & jewellery: Bridal Wardrobe
Hair: Creatiev Hair
Makeup: CK Makeup
Band: Lemon and Limelight