Friends, family, and children of all ages gathered for a carnival-themed celebration, where true love was the main attraction
"We're cheesy, goofy, and unabashedly silly with each other," says Cassie—a graphic designer by day and a burlesque performer by night—of her relationship with Chris, a graduate student in English literature. "We wanted to share those aspects of ourselves with everyone at our wedding." And what better way to do so than with carnival-themed I do's? The 29-year-old Chicagoans, who've been dating since they were teenagers in Montana, organized what Cassie calls "a super-fun-happy" outdoor event in August at a farm in Bozeman, Montana, complete with cotton-candy bridesmaid's bouquets, face-painting, and relay races. Along with the old-fashioned fun, there were some 21st-century touches, like an audio feature that Cassie's uncles created for everyone to play on their iPods during the ceremony. It led guests on a treasure hunt involving a conga line and squirt guns "that culminated in our first kiss as husband and wife," the bride says. "I laughed through the whole thing." Just as she and Chris plan to do in marriage.