Real Wedding: Rebecca + Walt

Okay, guys, I have been waiting since the beginning of November to bring this lovely couple to your reading space! Rebecca and Walt’s wedding was the most entertaining and most adorable one I had the pleasure of assisting with during my time at Shadowland. Not only were they the sweetest people to the staff, but their ideas and creativeness are ridiculous! Just take a look for yourself…


Rebecca and Walt met in 2009 while out with their friends at Howl at the Moon in Chicago. At the time, Walt was stationed at Great Lakes Naval Base and was in the midst of training. He originally hailed from North Carolina while Rebecca was a Chicago native. From that first chance meeting, the two were inseparable and many train trips were made between the base and the city. However, after only a few weeks Walt had to leave for San Diego for more training. Knowing there was a real connection, the couple decided to try long distance. Six months lately and still going strong, Walt made the decision to pack up a U-Haul and move to Chicago in order to be with Rebecca. Nearly six years later, they were married in beautiful St. Joseph and chose Shadowland Ballroom to be there reception venue. We feel truly honored to be a part of their love story!


The ceremony was to be very simple and intimate. No programs, no readings, just a focus on the couple’s love. On the stage of the Bandshell, surrounded by all their loved ones, Rebecca and Walt opted to write their own vows and read them to one another. Fighting back the tears, the audience witnessed love becoming one as the newlyweds performed a tying of the knot ritual (fitting as the couple met while Walt was stationed near Chicago during his navy days) and sealed the deal with a kiss.


Rebecca and Walt always knew they wanted a vintage themed wedding. However, their surprise and pleasure upon finding Shadowland Ballroom was just too perfect. After discovering the history behind the Silver Beach Amusement Park, the couple quickly fell in love with the idea of using such history to create an experience for their guests from beginning to end. With having a carousel right on site of their wedding, the couple reckoned they had no choice but to base their wedding’s theme on the history of the area.

From the very beginning, the couple made plans as to how their wedding day would evolve. Rebecca is an art teacher and was determined to have her hands in every aspect of the decor and theme, so their entire wedding was do-it-yourself.


The bride and her parents shared many adventures antiquing and handpicking every bottle, jar, and soda pop crate used for centerpieces.  120 antique bottles were arranged by the couple, along with “gathered from the side of the road” textured and natural floral creations of Stella Event Design. The look was meant to be eclectic, as if they were remnants of a traveling carnival.

Speaking of travel, the couple utilized a vintage globe as a perfectly unique guestbook. But the special touches did not stop with these details though! Each table at the reception was named after an old-time carnival ride and held a “Did You Know?” card with a few fun facts on the rides’ histories.


To make their guests’ experience even more authentic, the couple spent several hours building their own ticket booth. As guests entered the boardwalk, they encountered this booth and received their ticket, which directed them to their correct table and seat. Unable to let the crafting end there, Walt also designed a vintage push ice cream cart (equipped with a kissing bell) as a card holder. It was a huge hit among guests!

The creative couple also thought outside decor when it came down to details for their wedding. Guests were transported back to their childhood days with fresh popped popcorn and hand-spun cotton candy inside the Silver Beach Carousel. The bar was tastefully donned the name “The Drink Show” where attendees could wonder upon the couple’s signature cocktails: The Bearded Lady or Midge’s Apple Cider Champagne. Even the desserts kept to the theme as various flavored pies dotted the Pie Stand, just as if one were walking through a country fair.


The fun continued all night long as the couple and their family and friends danced the night away. There was a few minutes when a late-night hot dog bar interrupted the dance moves. As the bride hails from Chicago and the groom from North Carolina, it seemed only fitting that the bar’s toppings paid homage to the couple’s hometowns. Guests were able to make their own Chicago or Carolina dogs and wrap them in retro hot dog foils. owens4

Rebecca and Walt’s wedding exemplified their ultimate goal: to share their love with their family and friends in an entertaining and unique way. As their loved ones were from two very different parts of the country, their wedding was a special occasion to bring these two parts and make them into one. It was a great celebration! Thank you for sharing your special day with all of us here at Shadowland! last

4 thoughts on “Real Wedding: Rebecca + Walt

  1. Looks like a ton of fun and how creative this couple is to make all these fun extras for their special day. Being that I run a picnic planning company out in San Jose, it’s my job to make sure we provide the ideas or options to the lead contact so the guests can have a great time. Did you help with their ideas at all or did they spark all of these on their own?


    1. Thank you for the nice comment, and your job sounds quite interesting. My position is more in managing weddings and events rather than planning. This couple sparked all their own ideas! Aren’t they creative!?


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