Whimsical Carnival Theme Vow Renewal Ideas

Family-Friendly Fun with a Carnival Theme Vow Renewal

If you are planning a late spring/ summer/ or early fall vow renewal with lots of family and friends, consider creating a vow renewal inspired by the whimsy and fun you’ve enjoyed over the years taking in summer carnivals and fairs. Whether you opt for a vintage look or classic carnival, it’s really a wonderful theme for young and old guests alike. Plus, a theme vow renewal allows you to showcase your creativity with DIY decorations, favors, and even food which can make planning and paying for your vow renewal all the more fun and affordable.

Color Scheme

The colors you select for your celebration will also help set the tone and level of formality of the event. For a carnival theme vow renewal, you have a variety of wonderful schemes to select from that will make your celebration a knock out. Here are a few classics to inspire you:

Bright red bright yellow cobalt blue
Bright red bright yellow bright blue
Bright red bright yellow teal blue
Rich red bright yellow black
Antique red gold yellow black
Rich red soft gold light teal blue white
Bright red pale yellow bright teal blue
Rich red pale yellow baby blue
Rich red pale yellow white
Bright red bright teal blue baby blue
Bright red teal blue black white
Rich red teal blue white
Antique red rich teal ivory black


Invitations give guests a sneak peek idea your amazing carnival theme and hint at how much fun they’ll have attending your vow renewal. RSVPs should come pouring in as soon as they get the invite in the mail!

Create your own invitation using an old-fashioned carnival font to really set the mood for your carnival themed celebration. Both Fontspace and 1001 Free Fonts have a great selection of fonts that conjure up memories of the great carnivals and circuses of years gone by.

Carnival Theme Vow Renewal Invitation Fonts

Looking for the perfect image for your invitation, dig through your old pictures to find some of the two of you attending carnivals or fairs over the years. Better yet, did you ever have one of those old-fashioned black and white antique-looking photographs with the crazy outfits? Or how about one with your faces showing in the cutouts of the strong man and bearded lady? If you have, use that! If you don’t happen to have one, create one with Photoshop!


The wonderful thing about a carnival is that it can be held almost anywhere. You can select from a variety of indoor or outdoor locations and decorate accordingly. Here are a few great options which are perfect for your carnival theme:

  • The traditional rented tent in white or stripes is ideal for a carnival theme. It’s probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a carnival or fair since they almost always use tents to protect attractions from rainy days. Something that would protect your celebration as well! The tent can be decorated with lights and draped brightly colored fabric to further enhance the carnival atmosphere.
  • A large lawn or park with a covered picnic shelter is also a wonderful place to have your carnival vow renewal. This venue will remind guests of quaint vintage and small town carnivals.
  • The local fairgrounds is also a great space and may include plenty of chairs, tables, and bathroom facilities. It’s truly an ideal space whether you opt for an indoor or outdoor space since that is truly where one would expect to find the carnival after all!

Food and Drinks

Guests have to get dressed up, drive to your vow renewal, say hello to friends and family, and then watch your ceremony. Chances are by the time the reception starts they’re parched and ready to have something to eat. This is the perfect opportunity to set the stage for the fun to come by offering fun carnival-inspired hors d’oeuvres and cocktails to delight your guests.

One of the fun things about a carnival theme, it that carnival food is designed to be eaten while walking around. Anything on a stick is sure to delight guests – young and old alike. Mini corn dogs, cheese on a stick, and assorted meat, veggie, Caprese salad, and fruit kabobs are all great options. Savory funnel cakes are another great option – serve flavors like bacon and sun dried tomato, chive and cheddar, roasted corn and bacon, or sausage and pepper topped with Crème fraîche or other toppings.

Planning your celebration during the heat of summer? Having a snow-cone machine at your vow renewal would be such a whimsical and practical way to treat guests to a carnival favorites and keep them cool on a hot summer’s day. Offer a variety of flavors in both alcoholic (margarita, strawberry daiquiri, pina colada) and non-alcoholic (grape, cherry, lemon) varieties and watch for the childlike delight in your guests’ eyes.

Looking for a lighter option? Server popcorn and peanuts in the shell in fun, retro bags. You could also have a server make fresh popcorn in of those retro popcorn machines. To suit a more sophisticated guest list, offer guests a variety of popcorn seasonings to enhance their popcorn.

Great options for dinner include corn dogs, hot dogs, walking tacos, turkey drumsticks, friend chicken, pizza, and food trucks. Serve dinner using a variety of food stand stations!

Cake and Dessert

You can go with a classic tiered cake with a carnival theme from your local bakery or cupcakes can also be decorated in a wide variety of ways to match a carnival theme. You can also get carnival creative with your dessert options!

  • Try a twist on the classic tiered cake by making a stacked funnel cake tower sprinkled with powdered sugar or individual mini funnel cakes with a variety of guests favorite toppings like cherry, peach, and apple pie filling, whipped cream, and cinnamon and sugar.
  • Hire an ice cream truck to arrive at dessert time and let guests choose from a variety of frozen treats.
  • Have an ice cream bar stand where servers hand dip vanilla ice cream bars on sticks into vats of chocolate and roll them in sprinkles or nuts right in front of guests.
  • Have a candy bar stocked with carnival favorites and provide guests with containers or bags to fill.
  • Have a cotton stand where a server makes cotton candy on sticks as guests watch in delight.
  • Offer guests a selection of pies to choose from which can be topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Carnival Theme Vow Renewal Reception

Reception Decorations and Fun

Your reception is the perfect place to go all out with your carnival theme. Decorate your space with bright or vintage carnival colors and accent with balloons, pinwheels, mini carnival ride decor, streamers, carnival character cutouts, game booths, and food stand stations.

The most obvious reception fun option is offering a variety of carnival games for guests to play and win prizes (instead of favors). Traditional games such as breaking balloons with darts, ring tosses, ball games, mini golf, or a shooting gallery are sure to delight guests of all ages. Reward guests with prize tickets that they can trade in for prizes at the end of the night to keep the fun going and guests engaged in the activities. You’ll also want to have a photo booth with fun cutouts or props to capture wonderful memories of guests. You can also enjoy a classic reception dance even with your carnival theme vow renewal!


While favors are absolutely not necessary for a vow renewal, they are a wonderful way to send guests off with one last memory of your celebration. Fun ideas for carnival theme favors include caramel or candy apples, toys such as stuffed animals, giant lollipops, whistles, pinwheels, kazoos, spinning tops, or silly putty.

Final Thoughts

The most important thing to remember when planning your carnival theme vow renewal is to have fun! Remember, this celebration is about the two of you, so create an event that you both love, and everything will turn out perfectly.

Ready to see how a Carnival Theme Vow Renewal might look? Check out our Carnival Theme Vow Renewal inspiration board on Pinterest.

Follow the I Do Still! Vow Renewal Carnival Them Inspiration board on Pinterest.

Have more great carnival theme ideas? Share them with us in the comments!