Melanie & Andrew’s Colorful and Cozy Amusement Park Wedding
Melanie is from Australia and Andrew is from Ireland so instead of choosing one place over the other for their wedding, the travel-loving couple decided on a halfway point — the Santa Monica Pier. They exchanged vows at the end of the pier and then the whole party walked through the amusement park, past street performers to the carousel building where the cocktail hour and reception were held. The celebration was catered via food carts that served signature theme park fare — burgers, fries, Philly cheese steaks, tacos, veggie skewers, and more. As you’ll see in a bit, their wedding provided them and their guests (who flew in from all over the world!) a meaningful and memorable Americana experience to cherish forever.
We have Event Planner Marisa Ronca with Marisa Nicole Events to thank for this wonderful submission while Tim Ronca with Ronca Productions is responsible for the beautiful photos. Please enjoy!
Melanie carried a brooch bouquet down the aisle and her ladies toted brooched clutches. The cute “flower girls” carried dolls down the long staircase aisle and they had the “ring bearers” carry a Here Comes the Bride sign.
The couple’s love story in the lovely Melanie’s own words:
My husband and I met in Ireland in 2007. We fell for each other straight away and within a few months had made plans for Andy to move to Australia (where I am from). I call him my Irish souvenir. We love traveling and have explored much of the world together. Our favorite place to holiday/vacation is Japan!
The theme of our wedding was fun and inclusive. My family are Australian and Andy’s are Irish so we wanted somewhere that was “halfway” and chose Santa Monica. It was somewhere we had never traveled and nor had our friends or family so we thought it’d be a fun adventure to take together (although we had both been to the States before).
We had just over 40 people travel from all over the world to attend. As everyone was traveling so far we wanted to really have a unique wedding that couldn’t be replicated in Ireland or Australia and I really think we achieved that. We tried to include everyone who had a talent to take on a role in some way e.g. Our “celebrant” is the friend who introduced us who works as a stand up comedian, he got ordained for the occasion. We had a wooden pole made showing how far everyone had travelled for the big day with signs saying “Melbourne 12,000km” or “Texas 300km,” etc. to represent all of our guests.
From event planner Marisa:
For the look and feel of the day, we decided to go all in with a nostalgic Americana vibe. The carousel building is so colorful and fun that we utilized a variety of diluted hues to accentuate what is already going on in the space. We had customized signs created for everything from the designer cocktails (all California themed) to a hand painted arrow sign that indicated the direction and distance to every city from which the wedding guests had traveled.
During the ceremony the guests were given sunglasses then served popcorn with old-fashioned bottled soda pop and then told to “enjoy the show.” For dessert, everyone enjoyed cake pops made by the bride’s aunt and ice cream sundaes from the in-house diner. The guests frolicked the night away alternating between taking a spin on the dance floor and taking a spin on the carousel.
The travel motif was kept alive by utilizing post cards as the couple’s guest book.
Lounge area table center pieces were a combination of old bottles with metal flowers which were later used in a “find our favor” scavenger hunt.
Melanie, on what made their wedding day uniquely theirs:
I think the brooch bouquet would be the biggest thing that made our day mine. I asked women in my family and Andy’s family to each add a piece to it and the Lionsgate designs added some pastel pieces and put it all together. Everyone contributed much a meaningful piece and it was a pleasure to hold it on the day. We choose a brooch bouquet because I wanted to be able to keep and display my bouquet. Due to strict customs laws in Australia we knew we would never be able to bring real flowers home, and hence the idea of the brooch bouquet began. The men wore brooch boutonnieres, I had a brooch in my hair, my mum wore a floral brooch, the bridesmaids carried handbags with brooches attached and our centrepieces were upcycled metal turned into flowers too. Those centrepieces later became the favours too.
A few words of advice from the bride:
If you think something might be a little too out there or a little too quirky save yourself the stress and keep it a secret until the big day. We served carnival food such as burgers and tacos and we knew everyone would have an opinion about it, so we simply said “Cocktail food” when our guests asked in the lead up to our wedding. When our guests attended the wedding they loved the food and understood why we chose the food we did.
Many thanks to Marisa for sending this gorgeous celebration my way, and congratulations Mel and Andy! I sincerely wish you a lifetime of married bliss. 🙂
Photographer: Tim Ronca with Ronca Productions
Event Planner: Marisa Ronca with Marisa Nicole Events
Reception Venue: Santa Monica Pier
Equipment Rentals:Dolphin Rentals
Invitation Designer:Five Sparrows Design Studios
Caterer:Let’s Have A Cart Party
Specialty Foods:Soda Jerks
Equipment Rentals: YEAH! rentals
Image submission via Two Bright Lights