5 Easy Ways To Have A Mardi Gras Inspired Wedding

Holy post-Mardi Gras blues, Batman! I can't believe Carnival is over and that its already mid-February. Where is the year going?

We had a busy Mardi Gras week, not only because we went to a lot of awesome parades, but because we also relocated to the Old Metairie area (hence the delay in blog posts)- WOOT! It's been a busy last few weeks, but we finally got internet + cable hooked up at our new place! {But don't go spoiling The Walking Dead for me just yet.}

At any rate, in honor of NOLA's favorite holiday (let's be honest, we're all already having withdrawals) and since Mardi Gras-themed weddings are all the rage (especially in cities other than NOLA) I thought I'd 'tis the season and share 5 ways that you can totally pull off a Mardi Gras inspired wedding.

And no, it doesn't have to be over the top (even if that is the way we do it down here in NOLA).

before we get started

You should really decide just how inspired you want your wedding to be. Do you only want hints of Mardi Gras, or are you going full-blown Krewe? Keep in mind just how much you want to incorporate, and what makes sense for you and your fiance's tastes; it will really help you pull the whole look together.

idea #1: inspired wedding cake

Cake + Photo by Emily Cakeislife.wordpress.com

Cake + Photo by Emily Cakeislife.wordpress.com

The obvious choice. A super easy way to incorporate Mardi Gras is to have it take over your cake (+ and quite possibly your groom's cake) theme. Throw in some masquerade masks or some beads...maybe even a float depicted on the cake?! The opportunities are endless! You can work with your baker to decide just how to infuse some Carnival in there...whether you just want some fun colors, or if you want some real artistic details thrown in via fondant. Remember though, the more detailed your wedding cake, the higher the price. To reign in the costs, you could think about purchasing your own masks and beads through discount stores, or even in bulk on sites like Amazon, to adorn the cake with. Be creative- and resourceful!

idea #2: inspired bouquets

Fun, Mardi Gras inspired fans used in place of traditional bouquets!  Also a great way to save on money if you want to avoid the flower cost.  | Photo by White Rabbit Photo Boutique via Poptastic Bride

Fun, Mardi Gras inspired fans used in place of traditional bouquets!  Also a great way to save on money if you want to avoid the flower cost.  | Photo by White Rabbit Photo Boutique via Poptastic Bride

Bouquets (or similar items) can be a really fun way to add Mardi Gras accents to your day. You can do this by using just a few pops of color (via traditional flower bouquets) or heading down the non-traditional aisle (like in the fans pictured above). There's really been a big upsurge in carrying non-traditional items down the aisle and the only limit is your imagination! For example, while I carried a bouquet of white roses, black calla lillies, and black feathers down the aisle, my bridesmaids carried lanterns! I really loved the uniqueness of it, and it was a perfect memento for the day that they could keep. {An even bigger bonus was that I got them at Pier One on sale!}

I love the idea of a brooch bouquet!  |  Photo by Suzuran Photography via Offbeat Bride

I love the idea of a brooch bouquet!  |  Photo by Suzuran Photography via Offbeat Bride

Obsessed with how the accents of green, purple, and pops of yellow really pull the Carnival theme together!  |  Photo by Nikki Moore Photography via Ruffled Blog

Obsessed with how the accents of green, purple, and pops of yellow really pull the Carnival theme together!  |  Photo by Nikki Moore Photography via Ruffled Blog

idea #3: inspired centerpieces

I love a good Carnival inspired centerpiece- especially involving masks and beads (obvi)! But your centerpiece doesn't have to include traditional items; you could just hint with colors and accents (see the last picture). A mixture of yellow (or even gold), green, and purple in your colorscape can give the Mardi Gras feel without having to incorporate actual staples. Think flowers, place settings, candles. And you can't go wrong with some fleur de lis accents, though that's probably more of a NOLA staple than exclusive to Mardi Gras.

Photo via Party City

Photo via Party City

idea #4: inspired candy bar

A Mardi Gras candy bar or dessert table is probably the simpliest one to pull off. I mean, how easy is it to find Mardi Gras colored candies? You can infuse Mardi Gras with things like color accents, mini-masks, or traditional carnival treats. The first thing that comes to my mind is colored M&M's because they are so easy to find (and you can even get them with your faces on them!), but you could definitely be more creative than that. Check out the King Cake cookies below. Hello, yum! And don't forget to decorate the table with some beads to make it a little festive! Just a few here and there will give it that extra spark.

Photo via Miss Janice

Photo via Miss Janice

How about some King Cake inspired, Praline-flavored cookies?  Tutorial is up on Aimee Broussard's blog!

How about some King Cake inspired, Praline-flavored cookies?  Tutorial is up on Aimee Broussard's blog!

idea #5: inspired bridal party attire

Boutonniere and photo by Brenda Lewis of Glass Plumes via her Etsy shop

Boutonniere and photo by Brenda Lewis of Glass Plumes via her Etsy shop

No, I'm not talking Mardi Gras Indian get-up (though I think that would be pretty awesome). But spicing up your bridal party's attire with some themed or colored accents could really tie in the look. For example, if you're into sashes, maybe deck your bridesmaids in an outfit with a colored sash. Or if that's not your thing, what about their shoes- or even their dress/outfit color scheme as a whole? And how about playing with the groomsmen's boutonnierre's? Think about using mini-masks, or even some sort of bead concoction. I know there are people that make bead dog jewelery! {Another tip? If you like what a vendor is doing, but want something a bit different, don't be afraid to reach out to them and ask for something custom. The worst they can say is "no," but most of them will be happy to work with you. That is literally what made my wedding possible! However, keep in mind that it may cost a little more than an already made product.}

Of course, you can always outfit your party with actual Mardi Gras masks to wear, either during the entire event or just for the reception, like we did! They make great photo ops!

This bride DIY-ed her bridesmaids' shoes with Mardi Gras flair.  |  Photo by Crystal George via Rock n' Roll Bride

This bride DIY-ed her bridesmaids' shoes with Mardi Gras flair.  |  Photo by Crystal George via Rock n' Roll Bride

Styled shoot inspiration by Wren Photography via Mazel Moments

Styled shoot inspiration by Wren Photography via Mazel Moments

oh, and obviously this...

You didn't think I'd end this without giving some pet inspiration, did you?

As you can see, the options for infusing a theme into your wedding are pretty much only limited by your imagination. And I am definitely an advocate of utilizing Mardi Gras masks to their fullest capacity! But that's just me. If you live in NOLA, a cost effective and super easy way to incorporate Carnival themes would definitely be beads. Shops selling Mardi Gras beads are open year-round....and off season they are super cheap.

For our wedding, we took full advantage of our NOLA location and our easy access to beads. Re: we caught a lot of beads during Mardi Gras 2015. (It helps when your husband is pretty tall with long arms!) Closer to the wedding, we felt that we needed wanted a few more beads, so we went to one of the Mardi Gras outlets by our house and purchased some extra beads. {Off season is very cost effective!} Then, to pull the whole look together- keeping with our FQ Hallowedding theme- we put them in a black cauldron that sat on the balcony of our venue for guests to throw down to the peple on the street. And on Halloween, there's always lots of people on the street. Those beads went quick.


How many of you out there are hoping to add in some Carnival inspiration to your day? Mardi Gras is one of the best and most unique holidays there is. (But you're a NOLA bride so you already knew that.) Let me know if this post was helpful in the comments section below- I love to hear your ideas!

Until next time!

-Casey, the NOLA Bride