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A Vintage Backyard Carnival Wedding

November 10, 2015

With tears in his eyes, she walked toward him, glittering in the Southern California sun like a 1940s dream in a homemade gold sequin dress. Surrounded by most of their dearest friends and family in the backyard of her childhood home, they were serenaded by a solo guitarist to “Wagon Wheel” and a few other favorite jams. Dan + Michelle’s vintage backyard carnival wedding in Menifee this past weekend was the stuff that just make our hearts so happy.

Not only are they simply amazing people, truly wonderful from the inside out, but they have the most amazing families and some of the coolest friends – many of which flew halfway around the world to witness their intimate backyard wedding. Their wedding theme – the vintage carnival – was a nod to their first official date, where Dan took Michelle to the OZ circus, and their date – November 7th – was because they celebrate their love every month on the seventh day.

We knew from the very first Skype date that we had with Dan + Michelle were meant to be part of our lives. We have so much in common that we just felt this instant connection with them and from that point earlier this year, we looked forward to this wedding. Even though they were planning their wedding from all the way in Australia, we knew it would come together so beautifully … but we had NO idea just how beautiful and amazing their vintage backyard carnival wedding would come together. All of the details were carefully integrated from both Dan + Michelle, with the help of Michelle’s parents Trudie + Gary, and Dan’s mother Carol – every game, every sign, every carnival-inspired detail was completely made by hand over the last few months. The invitations? Hand designed by Dan’s amazingly talented sister, Jaqi (she’s the artist behind CreativeQ in Australia!). Even the Australian mud cake (which was artfully covered with white fondant) was made with love at home (Carol did an amazing job on it, didn’t she?!). And knowing that Dan is a professional musician (check out his Australian heavy metal band, The Amenta), we knew the music would be outstanding! Their friend Cass played beautifully, serenading everyone throughout the day.

Our favorite detail – among the multitudes – were the gifts that Dan surprised Michelle with (every hour, on the hour, up until the start of the ceremony). The gifts included maps of where they fell in love, a handmade comic book detailing the last 2 years since they met, the golden ticket that said “I can’t wait to kiss you” when Michelle scratched it off … but our favorite was the surprise love note that Dan wrote on the bottom of her shoe. It’s just the sweet little things that they do for each other that just – well, they just make us happy. And that Ferris wheel?! SO RAD!

Every wish that Michelle had for her dream wedding came true – from the beautifully romantic ceremony, to the fun ruckus of a reception filled with lots of dancing – all of their wishes came true. Our favorite moment of the reception was when John Farnham’s “You’re the Voice” came on, and all of Dan’s Aussie friends and family hopped onto the dance floor into a big circle, singing and laughing, dancing and having just the best time ever.

We’re so thrilled for our dear friends, Dan + Michelle – congratulations on your beautiful wedding and marriage! Here are just a few of our favorites from your big day!

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Vendor + DIY Love

Venue // Private Residence, Menifee CA

Planner // DIY (with help from Trudie, Michelle’s mom!)

Floral // Sweet Petals Florist

Bridal Hair + Makeup // Lyndsay Strong

Bridal Gown // DIY

Groom’s Attire // Politix

Bridesmaids Dresses // David’s Bridal

Groomsmen Suits // ASOS

Engagement Tattoos // Ocean Ink, Australia

Bridal Jewelry // Tiffany’s + Etsy

Officiant // Johnny Gundry

Solo Guitarist // Cassidy “Cass” Mack Rife

DJ // Dj David Pace

Cake // DIY (Carol, Dan’s mom!)

Catering // In-N-Out Burger

Invitations // Jaqi Quinlan, CreativeQ

Videographer // Amanda Madeline Videography

Photo Booth // DIY

Rentals // Heirloom Rentals + Abby Party Rentals

Ferris Wheel // Carnival Services

Carnival Games // DIY (Gary, Michelle’s dad, did an AMAZING job!)

If you’d like to take a look at Amanda Madeline Studios film of Dan + Michelle’s wedding, check it out below!

Michelle + Dan from Amanda Madeline Studios on Vimeo.

All photos by Randy + Ashley Durham, a husband-and-wife wedding photography team, located in Southern California. We specialize in intimate weddings for the joyful romantic, and we’re available for travel all over the United States!

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