Tuesday, February 15, 2011

an old world circus wedding

TA-DAH!!! i am so excited to share my sister-in-law's wedding with you all...

this wedding was SUCH a labor of love for our family. it took a year and a half of blood sweat and tears to get it done…seriously everything was custom made – the dress, the benches, the ceremony backdrop, the linens, the games, the signs, the bridge, the dancefloor lining, the electrical rigging/light installation etc. every vase and decor piece was either sourced in missouri or brought in from LA by me… its a one of a kinder!

the idea for the wedding started off rustic and european with some "granny-chic" thrown in...but after watching the movie "sherlock holmes" last christmas, we were inspired by the scene where rachel mcadams wanders through the streets of downtown london amidst a bunch of dirty circus performers...so with that, the theme was born: "old world circus"

the day ended up coming together better than i could have envisioned...it was like a band of traveling gypsy performers had just set up in the middle of the woods and were having their own private party...it was pure magic...

now sit back and enjoy the show :)



doing flowers out of state was a different experience for me...i had to work with what i could get in the midwest but i think we pulled it off! erin's bouquet was made entirely of reflexed "black magic" roses and the handle was wrapped in a peacock feather trim...it was probably the only thing about her day that was "normal" but we wanted her dress and accessories to pop more than the bouquet...so we kept it classic...

and how rad are those black lace gloves and top hat veil?!?!



every wood bench was hand made by my in-laws and brent's family...and those DRAMATIC curtains?!?! hand sewn by a family friend, laurinda cox! we strung a wire up between two trees at the ceremony site and swagged back each panel with a huge gold tassel...the effect was so amazing and yet didn't look overdone...


a cute little carnival game my father in law created using old bowling pins, wood and some homemade rope rings...


for the bridesmaids bouquets, i went with a muted palette since each girl was gonna be in a different and unique dress...i didn't want any bold colors clashing with the attire...so i chose beige scabiosa pods, dark burgundy dahlias, brown/orange cone flowers and gray dusty miller...i accented each bouquet with brown pheasant feathers and finished each one with velvet ribbons and beaded trims...


of course the invitation had to set the tone of the entire day! we kept the european idea and erin called it "le cirque du missouri"...







another insane sign my in-laws crafted...i couldn't get over this one - look at that patina!!


the bridal party attire was as eclectic as everything else that day...


cute little welcome gifts waited in each guests hotel room...more custom signs pointed the way to the venue...


what's a circus without a unicycler?!!?


only my sister-in-law would think to hang long underwear, bloomers and pantyhose as a guest entrance...but it really added to that "carny" vibe!!



on the path to the ceremony sat a "family tree" that i watched my father-in-law create the morning of the wedding...we all work well under pressure ;)

guests were given paper bag programs filled with birdseed to toss during the recessional...




the reception was magical...there are no other words i can use to describe it...it really felt like you were walking onto a movie set...


every linen was hand made by a family friend and the amount of detail that went into each one was so impressive...


erin rented a popcorn machine and the event planner, sharon taylor, brought in that cool vintage drawer set that we filled with peanuts...


that amazing bar was also brought in by sharon...it was such a killer focal point!


the couches, red chair and orange chair were sharon's...everything else we found at missouri flea markets...




sharon's super cute chalkboard signs explained the beverage station options...


i knew i really wanted to find a bathtub to hold all the beer...since i don't live in missouri and dragging a bathtub across the country can be costly, we asked sharon to search locally for us - and she came through!


the "i do" brew sign was another creation by my family...and as a nod to where the bride and groom went to college, the bottle opener attached to the sign is a KU one :)


fun and games...




i ADORE this photo...it's so euro cirque!!!


pretty much every little vase and knick knack on all the tables was either brought in from LA by me or sourced locally at flea markets and grandparent's basements...we borrowed some from sharon too...


when hosting an affair for 200 people at your own home, it makes more sense to bring in port-a-potties...so we ended up putting them in the garage to hide them...but of course my father in law can't just make a sign that says "restrooms"...he dreamed up the idea of an "elephant wash" and made this amazing sign with a bucket and all...and then he proceeded to dump bales and bales of hay all over the garage floor so you really felt like you were at a circus...he's a genius :)


the FIRE BLOWER!!!! this was one thing erin went back and forth on...she wasn't sure if she should spend the money but ultimately she knew she had to have him...and the effect was INSANE!!! walking back up the path from the ceremony only to be greeted by this guy...again, it felt like walking into a movie...


the food was all fun comfort food...a little bit midwest and a little bit circus...like the fried chicken and corndogs below...




my personal fave of the night - the "BBQ sundae" served in a mason jar...basically a layer of baked beans with a layer of bbq brisket, topped by coleslaw and a pickle spear! so, so delicious...


probably my favorite sign...


and finding a unicyclist that also JUGGLES?!? what are the odds in a small town like springfield? the jowetts have connections ;)


i love that erin asked every waitstaff and helper that day to dress in basic black/white attire, then "circufied" them up with suspenders, bowties, top hats and feather hair pieces...it really made the event design feel authentic...



i actually sourced this light fixture at the long beach flea market and carried it on to missouri with me!



nothing like your guests chopping logs for the fire to make it feel like a wedding in the backwoods...


the first dance was so rad...guests lit sparklers and surrounded the couple on the dancefloor...tons of vintage parasols hung overhead, along with glowing cafe lights...




erin had seen the idea for the "first dance" sign online...but they decided to give it a twist and make it double-sided - written on the back? "DANCE OFF"!! you better believe this sign made its way around the dance floor all night...


me and bri...


as the sun went down, everything just glowed...my father in law did an amazing job of laying down and burying all the electrical throughout the backyard so everything was properly lit...




how AMAZING are the upside down umbrellas?!? my husband and father in law spent the day before hanging them and the result was spectacular!



more gorgeous lamps i found at a flea market in missouri...



this band knocked my socks off...they were SOOO much fun and their energy was contagious! and how cute is the top hat erin gave the female vocalist to wear?



no circus celebration is complete without a photo booth and carny props...so we created a backdrop out of burlap and some amazing drapes sharon found...erin sourced all the props which included top hats, tattoo sleeves, an accordian, moustaches, dumbbells, a beard, clown noses, a trumpet, a lion mask, a gypsy turban and plates balancing on sticks...ya know, all the usual circus items...





this wedding is SO near to my heart and after all the hard work i can honestly say it was worth every second...the feeling i got when i saw it all come together was of immense pride...my in-laws and their friends and family really did an amazing job of seeing everything through and making it all happen for brent and erin...they really got the wedding of their dreams and in reality i don't even think they had dreamed up what was ultimately created...it was so much more...

congrats to erin and brent on the start of their amazing journey...i love you both and wish you years and years of making each other smile...

and here's a HUGE thank you to the awesome list of vendors who helped pull off this fantastical day!

Floral & Event Design: JL Designs & Events
Photography:
Gabriel Ryan Photographers
Day of Coordinator & Prop Styling:
Sharon Taylor Designs
Umbrella rental:
Bella Umbrella
Invitations + Programs:
My Blue Tulip Design
Dress Designer:
Silver Moon
Cake:
Cakes by Darlene
Band:
Hey Jimmy Band
Makeup:
Makeup by Tabitha
Caterer:
Simply Delicious

lastly, be sure to check out green wedding shoes and 100 layer cake for their joint feature of this wedding on their blogs today!!

and my sister-in-law, the bride herself, writes a really funny blog called erin pot pie...if you wanna read more about her experience planning a crazy circus wedding like this in a small missouri town, check it out!

32 comments:

Troy Grover said...

AMAZING!!!

melanie said...

carissa, this is freaking AMAZING!!! every detail is thoughtful and intentional.... i adore everything about it.

shannon said...

wow! what an affair! love the umbrellas, so clever. and the theme is adorable but not kitchy.. beautiful images. love love love!

deborah said...

Truly Inspired, Bravo!

Liz said...

Carissa - I'm seriously in love! Every last tiny, tiny detail is perfection!! I can ONLY imagine how much hard work went into this, and it shows! What amazing in-laws you have, serisouly!! :)

Gorgeous :)

Erin Jowett said...

THANK YOU CARISSA! I love this! I'm so lucky to have you in my life! You are so talented, awesome and true to yourself! Let's do it again! :) Love you!

Wedding Gifts for Bride said...

Lovely couple. The venue is also one of a kind. I rarely see couple getting in that type of location.

Joyful Weddings and Events said...

Killer! Great job friend!

Lydia said...

You and your family are amazing!! Thanks for not only sharing the pictures but describing all the details!

Mandie @ ShutterBrugs Photography said...

Absolutely love it! Where did she find those fab green earrings please?

Brooke said...

Wow, that is so, so SO cool! We just went to the Ringling museum last year and LOVED it, and our wedding theme is music, so we'll be doing some things that are similar. Awesome job, that is very neat and DIFFERENT!

loveandsplendor said...

seriously carissa??? i just died right now. seriously, this is insane. amazing. RIDICULOUSLY fantastic. i am in love with it all -- phenomenal job!!!!!

Erin Jowett said...

Hey Mandie, I got the earrings at http://www.robertachiarella.com/. They got all kinds of goodies!

Kiana Washington said...

your father in law rocks! and you are my hero!

Karlie said...

Amazing! I absolutely love it!

Jessica Leigh said...

I just had to leave a comment because this is the best carnival themed wedding I've ever seen (and there are so many out there). It's fun, but still classy and elegant. What an accomplishment!!

Nicole @ Tradewind Tiaras said...

Utterly spectacular! What an amazing effort, vision, execution, and most importantly, gift of great love from the whole family. It's absolute perfection!

Melissa C said...

This is stunning! WOW!!

The Seaman Family said...

Just wanted to let you know that I featured your absolutely amazing party on my blog. http://theseamanfamilyblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/featured-event-old-world-circus-wedding.html

I can't stop looking at all the wonderful details!!

Kathy said...

Utterly. Flippen. Speachless. !!! I work with a ton of amazing event planners who come into my store but can unequivocably say this is the most awesome wedding Eh-VER! EVER! Vintage lovers' dream come true! You and all involved are simply amazing. Bravo. Off to pick my jaw up off the ground now...

Naomi ♥ said...

This is BANANAS!! I'm at a lost for words at all the amazing details. Awesome!!

Jitterbug Vintage Weddings said...

Wow I am speachless this is one of the most amazing weddings ever!!! Fantastic

Something Old, Something New said...

Ohmygosh. This is absolutely amazing! I love all the details and how much was done by your family. So wonderful! I definitely plan on sharing with others!!

jacin {lovely little details} said...

i LOVE all these details and the couple are gorgeous! love that black birdcage veil!

Alicia@CharityWedding said...

This is beyond amazing! There are SO many details to love! Beautiful job!

Karen Hill Photography said...

Beautiful, love the design, there are so many great details. Great photos too!

Katrina George said...

This wedding blows my mind, love all the amazing details! All the colorful umbrellas hanging over the dance floor gives me goose bumps.

Donna said...

OMG... Absolutely wonderfully fantastic...... love it love it love
Well done to all who created such and awesome wedding

Anonymous said...

Nice and thanks!

Blue Velvet Chair said...

One of the most incredible DIY weddings I've every seen! I had to blog about this for my readers over at Blue Velvet Chair. And I loved seeing a blue velvet chair in your outdoor seating arrangement! Fun!
Michael

http://bluevelvetchair.blogspot.com/2011/11/diy-weddings-circus.html

2 button suits said...

One of the best wedding that I saw. I absolutely like the outfit of the couple.

Mary Stratton said...

The wedding photographs that you have shared are really awesome. The wedding is full of artists, entertainers just in case to make the wedding more entertaining. It seems like the wedding has gone really entertaining. Congratulations to the married couple!! If in case anyone wants to organize an event then he/she must go for artists in Dubai.