A Victorian Carnival Wedding Weeking Part II – Jo & Leigh


You may remember that I eventually got round to blogging the first half of Jo and Leigh’s carnival wedding a few weeks ago. The ultimate tattooed bride Miss Jo Black got married last year and, in the run up, blogged for Marry Me Ink with all her planning details. Jo and her husband Leigh decided to split their wedding celebrations over two days – One day for the legal part with their very closest family and the second day celebrating with all of their friends. Today I get to share with you Jo and Leigh’s second day of celebrations from photographer Matthew Harris Photo.


We decided to have a Victorian Carnival theme at the reception, a sort of freak show and circus vibe because we are far from normal people, and we wanted to just feel as comfortable as possible on our wedding day! Everything was also black and gold which looked amazing!


I basically hand made everything decoration wise, roped my sister in law, bridesmaids and my mother in to a lot of making bunting and pompoms, hand painting signs and decorating our own cakes! Being an artist I really wanted to have as much input into the design elements of the day as possible. I kept a lot of it secret from Leigh, I wanted him to be wowed on the day! Everything was in black and gold, the best part of it for me was doing the cakes, we had so much fun and they looked amazing!


Finding the right dress was a bit tricky because I had a very clear idea of what I wanted, and I couldn’t find anything that was right. I didn’t want to spend a lot because the dress for me is not the most important thing and I knew I wanted to start our married life not in thousands of pounds of debt just for my dress I would wear once. It cost me £80 and it was perfect in every way!

I knew I wanted a backless dress, but my back was pretty bare! So I actually booked in to have my whole back tattooed in time for the wedding by one of my favourite artists Paul Davies. People kept saying to me ‘what will you do about your tattoos on your wedding day will you cover them up?’ and I kept thinking “the more of them that show the better!!” I guess some people are still very old fashioned, but for me it’s about being different and my tattoos make me who I am.


For me the highlight of our wedding day was Leigh’s vows to me. He has never been great at expressing his emotions, he’s definitely a ‘man’ in that sense! But he had written the most incredible vows, with the most beautiful sentiments and hearing him tell all our friends and family how much he loved me was the best feeling in the entire world! I didn’t think I would cry, but believe me the flood gates opened then!


Don’t listen to other people, do what you want and it will make the day the best day you could ever ask for! People kept saying “Oh no you don’t want to do it that way, how about this?” and I just stuck to my guns and it played out perfectly!


How amazing was Jo and Leigh’s wedding celebrations? I love that Jo stuck to her guns and didn’t let anyone influence her or try to change her decisions on decor and planning for the day. And who else wants to wear a black backless dress for their wedding? I love that they had carnival performers during the evening celebrations too. Thank you to them both and to Matthew Harris Photo for sharing with Marry Me Ink. You can see a full list of their chosen suppliers at the end of this post.

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Photographer: Matthew Harris Photo
Wedding reception took place at: Cleeve House, Seend, Wiltshire

Flowers: Bramble & Wild, Frome
Hair & Make up: Lisa Caldognetto and Miss Bones Make Up
Food: The Bistro
Bar: Mambo Mobile Bars

Band: The Hammervilles
Carnival performers: Norté Promotions

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