Students and friends of CircusMASH, Kirstie and Phil, commissioned us to coordinate and deliver a 3 day wedding extravaganza, and extravagant it was indeed! With over 2 years in the planning, much of this wedding was a secret to friends of the bride and groom, with a few surprises for them too.
During the lead up, many planning dinners happened to discuss ideas of creating a magical event which immersed guests in a festival environment, celebrating love, laughter and friendship, with circus integrated throughout. In addition to the layers of entertainment across the 3 days, the wonderful couple also wanted artistic director Zaq Andel to lead their ceremony, which was a beautiful spiritual handfasting ceremony. But even still, there was more….
They had an idea to reimagine their first dance into an aerial duet, which company director Joe Fearn choreographed in a series of secret rehearsals over the course of a year.
Friday morning on 3rd of August arrived and off we set to a beautiful stately home set in the luscious fields of Kidderminster. Park Hall leant itself perfectly to the array of activities we wanted to unfold around the guests, and as we began setting up the arch adorned with ivy and blue hydrangeas, the excitement was palpable throughout the grounds. As guests arrived, they were met with a tour of the estate, then welcomed into the Walled Garden where the smell of BBQ filled the air and an array of circus games and equipment awaited them. The idea was that we could break the ice, and circus has no competition when it comes to icebreakers! But much much more awaits…
Saturday morning began with a resetting of the Walled Garden, to ready it for a magical ceremony. Gold chairs glistened in the sun, ivy and blue hydrangeas covered various sized orbs dotted in clusters around the arch and tall statuesque performers dressed in champagnes and golds, glittering and ruffled from head to toe awaited. A bespoke handfasting ceremony brought the bride and groom together in a beautiful spiritual symbolism of love. A legal ceremony followed and then guests were brought out to the front of the house for photos, canapes and a cocktail, served by our decadently dressed stilt walkers.
As the bride and groom snuck off to ready themselves for a first dance unlike any other, guests enjoyed sunshine and pimms unaware of what was to follow. As they entered back into the walled garden, the bride and groom are set under the arch in costume, placed in a beautiful double hammock aerial apparatus and the empty space was soon filled with sounds of shock and excitement. A truly beautiful aerial dance followed and guests were left in utter shock and delightment! After the morning breakfast, speeches and cutting of the cake (complete with samurai sword), an evening filled with a variety of performances every half hour, ranging from aerial silks, net, hoop and flying pole, to acrobats, fire breathers and LED artists built a lively energy into a full out spectacle of circus extravaganza! The evening finished with an LED aerial finale and guests went to bed, unsure of what the last day might hold.
Filmed by tndphotography
Sunday was always going to be a surprise for everyone, including the bride and groom. After many consultations, we discussed different ideas and essentially, Kirstie and Phil wanted us to populate the grounds, encourage people to explore the beautiful spaces all around and make it feel magical. So, we created a series of interactive installations throughout the grounds, which guests could explore in their own time and leisure, which was loosely guided by a riddles and clues card they received at the beginning of the weekend.
Filmed by EMAGIC
In total, 8 installations invited guests to interact in an “offering” which would later be gifted to the bride and groom in final ceremony. We had a “paino man” who offered a classical take on modern pop songs, in a decadent grand room complete with grand piano. A fortune teller awaited in a living room completely coloured in blue, but in order to receive your fortune, a written memory of the couple was required to be placed in a jar. In the front of the estate, a ringmaster awaited you to “roll up, roll up!”, get your photo taken with one of our interactive circus signs… hey, why not even put on a circus hat!? These photos were collected onto a canvas which would later be one of the ‘offerings’. A fairy awaited guests by a fountain hidden amongst a wall of greenery. Inside, she offered magical coins to make a wish, one for the bride and groom, the other for themself. Once the wish was made, she dusted guests down with a magical ‘glitter kiss’, glitter coming from her magic wand. In the large tree next to her, awaited two birdlike creatures, who encouraged guest to find the ‘key to the heart’, with keys spread around the tree. Once they offered the crows a shiny key, they offered a mini performance on the aerial hoop dangling from the trees large branch. As guest made their way through a forest draped in saris, they were met with a beautiful hula hooping fairy, who hosted mini workshops for guests to enjoy. Inside the walled garden was an array of circus equipment for guests to explore. And finally, we had a mermaid pool party, where our real mermaid offered pearls to guests who answered her riddles, later to be offered in a vase to the bride and groom.
At the end of the Sunday, the performers entered through the wall garden while our piano man played singing a special tribute song. Each performers offered a different gift during the ‘offering’ ceremony, which were made up by the guests throughout the experience. Each ‘offering’ symbolises something different, but all made up of love and inspired by elements of the couple.
A beautiful Sunday roast completed the last day and guests slowly made their way home, explaining what a magical weekend it was before they left. Truly, there was something for everyone and this celebration of love was beyond a success. We would like to thank the beautiful bride and groom, Kirstie and Phil, for allowing us the privilege to work with them on this spectacular celebration of love and unity.