15 Feb

And old world circus wedding: Erin + Brent

categories Real Weddings

The lovely Carissa from JL Designs sent us this thoroughly whimsical wedding she and her entire family helped create for her brother and sister-in-law, Brent and Erin. Full on Old World Circus style in the middle of Missouri. Because she put it so perfectly, thought we’d just give you a quick rundown straight from Carissa:

“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 found in missouri or brought in from LA by me… its a one of a kinder!”

For sure. There are so many details it would be impossible to describe them all here, but just trust Carissa when she says that everything, literally EVERYTHING, was handmade or custom made or at least thoughtfully planned.

Erin really wanted to hold the reception and ceremony at her parents’ house, but because the house is surrounded by woods with a creek running through, there wasn’t enough space. Just as they were considering changing locations, her father had the brilliant idea to clear a space for the wedding, with his chainsaw.

“With the help of friends, family and neighbors my father forged a path through the woods, built a bridge and cleared a large expanse of land in order to provide a ceremony site. When I first saw the site I was touched by what my father had created for us and how beautiful it was all on its own. The space was calm yet full of life, love and spirit! I remember thinking how we could hold the ceremony that night and I would have been happy.”

Isn’t Erin’s top hat veil awesome?

Fire eaters! They will be the next trend in weddings. Along with synchronized swimmers, of course.

And the parasols over the dance floor = AMAZING!!!

Congrats Erin and Brent! Such a fun theme and such excellent execution!

You can see more photos on Erin’s blog and Green Wedding Shoes today too! Or you might catch a glimpse in the current issue of Real Simple Weddings. Hooray!

Photographer: Gabriel Ryan Photographers / Venue: Bride’s family house / Flowers and event design: JL Designs / Linens: made by family friend Laurinda Cox / Day of coordinator and prop styling: Sharon Taylor Designs / Furniture and props: collected by bride and family / Signs: handmade by the father of the bride / Umbrella rental: Bella Umbrella / Invites and paper: My Blue Tulip Design / Make up: Tabitha Headley / Music: Hey Jimmy / Fire eater: The Magic of Ziggy /  Catering: Simply Delicious / Cake: Cakes by Darlene / Dress designer: Silver Moon

Related Posts with Thumbnails

JL DESIGNS is a member of our guide. Click here to see how to become a member


View Portfolio


  1. LOVE the umbrellas and the “I Do” Brew! Super stunning and gorgeous styling.

  2. Phenomenal! There are so many extraordinary details but I think I love the floating parasols and the popcorn “stand” the most!

  3. This is such an adorable wedding! So creative. I think the bride’s bouquet is gorgeous and I’m in LOVE, um, actually slightly obsessed, with her dress! Ahh! Also love her green earrings too :)

  4. Those parasols are brilliant! Loving the ‘Big Fish’ vibe of the whole event. Delightful!!!

  5. Incredible! Where to begin, the parasols & sparklers, the popcorn & peanuts, the “dance off” sign – love it all. I admire a couple who isn’t afraid to go for it and really work a theme like this. Fabulous result – wish I’d been there, ha!

  6. A circus Wedding theme. Unbelievable!!!

  7. I’m having a carnival themed wedding so this is great source of inspiration. Those umbrellas are a great idea!

  8. those parasols / dance floor are nuts! so beautiful!

  9. This wedding is adorable! Especially love the stationery, but the overall theme is simply fantastic. What a fabulous night it must have been!

  10. I love this wedding, the colors and details are just wonderful. I too am having a backyard wedding at my parent’s house and I was wondering if they had any advice on the mundane aspects of a backyard wedding, such as bathrooms, parking, tent vs. no tent, etc. I would really love to get some advice from a couple who has been there, done that. Thanks!!

  11. Congrats to Erin & Brent! What a lovely couple and a truly amazing day. LOVE YOU!

  12. Oh MY! I don’t even know where to start with this wedding. Her veil and dress! The popcorn and peanut display! Parasols! Cute signs! Lovely, lovely wedding. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  13. Simply breath taking…. every picture is truly AMAZING …. LOVE, LOVE it!

  14. I love everything about this wedding! literally…everything!

  15. So so fun and unique! Great job ladies!!

  16. so beautiful!!! and you’re right, the parasols over the dance floor ARE amazing!!!

  17. This is a decidedly fun and glamorous wedding! I adore the furniture in the outdoor space, I love the fun, circus touches and details. The bride’s dress is stunning!

  18. thank you A+K+J for this awesome feature! it was one of my favorites ever and so near and dear to my heart :)

  19. That location is spectacular. Kind of makes me want a Missouri wedding now!

  20. those parasols are too much… divine!!!

  21. The parasols over the dance floor look incredible! I can’t believe something so simple could be so effective! Such an amazing theme!

  22. This is such an honor! The post looks beautiful! Thank you for sharing our big/ carny day! I’m a kid in a candy store! Keep on posting! I LOVE IT!

  23. I just love the whole carnival/circus theme going on. Truly spectacular and a job well done..your guests must have gone “WOW”!

  24. ohmygosh I think I’m going to need to use this parasol idea for my upcoming wedding! Great idea!

  25. A FIRE blower? Well that’s just the most exciting idea I’ve seen in awhile.

  26. What a fun theme with amazing details?! I love the parasols and corn dogs.

  27. My favorites things about this wedding…the multi-colored upside down umbrellas (wow!), the first dance and then later ‘dance off’ signs, and the fabric wrapped condiments!! There are so many lovely quirks about this wedding. Love!

  28. My favorite things about this wedding…the multi-colored upside down umbrellas (wow!), the first dance and then later ‘dance off’ signs, and the fabric wrapped condiments!! There are so many lovely quirks about this wedding. Love!

  29. this is quite probably the coolest wedding i have seen in a while! love how they thought outside the box to make it their own!!!

  30. The velvet red curtain is so dramatic and the outdoor “living room” is fabulous! thanks for posting!

  31. such an amazingly fun wedding. adore those upside down umbrellas!

  32. AMAZING! Those umberellas REALLY add a WoW! factor.

  33. What a fun theme for a wedding! Love those drawer full of peanuts! Amazing invitations~

  34. Love it, the vintage signs, her dress (oh my) beautiful

  35. So gorgeous! I cant get over this wedding– its simply fantastic!

  36. What an absolutely beautiful theme and setting! She is stunning and I love the funky birdcage veil! Neat flowers too. :-)

  37. OBSESSED with everything about this wedding Carissa did an amazing job! Congrats Erin!

  38. Hands down, the most fun and artistic wedding I’ve seen…the amount of attention to detail is insanely amazing! Carissa you have inspired me for 2011! Congrats to the lucky couple!

  39. I love this combination of an outdoor, sunlit wedding plus a nighttime dance. It’s hard to pull off!

  40. Liz U, I would be happy to answer any questions you have. I know there is a lot to think about with a backyard wedding. I actually listed a lot of info on my blog, http://www.erinpotpie.com, but feel free to email me anytime. :) Love 100 Layer Cake!!!

  41. The forest wedding,it’s so cool.Those umbrellas are special,Love it!

  42. The forest wedding,it’s so cool.Those umbrellas are special,Love it!

  43. Wow! Love the theme!
    The detail and vintage theme are amazing as well as the bride’s dress! :)

  44. I am late to the comment party, but I just wanted to add my two cents and say how stunning this wedding is. I love the upside down umbrella, and being totally absorbed by all things papery the invitation is paper porn, I love the circus motif. And the mismatched bridesmaid I love – totally! Great wedding and so many lovely details!

  45. I adore everything about this wedding. Love all the thought that was put into it. It’s all about the details! The parasols above the dance floor are so great. And I always love a mason jar at a wedding.

  46. add me to the list of those whoi adore every detail of your wedding! parasols, outdoor living room, the velvet curtains, the idea of embracing handmade and vintage! i’m in awe of the sheer amount of details you all put into this, it’s truly wedding porn! :)

  47. utterly smitten. that is all.

  48. Creative weddings like this are such a great reminder of how personalized your ceremony can be! Very nicely done :)

  49. I wanted to follow along and allow you to know how , a great deal I valued discovering your web site today. I’d consider it a honor to do things at my workplace and be able to make use of the tips shared on your site and also be a part of visitors’ reviews like this. Should a position connected with guest article author become on offer at your end, i highly recommend you let me know.Thank You -Term Life Insurance Consultation Service The Boulevard,Mid Valley City,Lingkaran Syed Putra,Kuala Lumpur,59200 Willayah Persekutuan Malaysia 03-41491217 /012-2519890

  50. Oh my god.. look at the decor, man I can’t even think of these ideas. Well very adorable and very simple… Awww.. its so lovely..

  51. Inoltre all’ordine del giorno in occasione del vertice Nato sono piani per un sistema missilistico di difesa guidata dagli Usa per l’Europa, finalizzata a contrastare una possibile minaccia da parte dell’Iran.I leader dovrebbero annunciare la prima fase del regime, con il dispiegamento di navi da guerra americane Hogan armate, con intercettori nel Mediterraneo e un sistema radar basato in Turchia.La Russia ha espresso forte opposizione al progetto, dicendo che mina il valore del suo deterrente nucleare.Il vertice si svolge in mezzo di sicurezza pesante.

  52. Ralph Lauren, série 2012 début de l’automne des femmes peut être considérée comme l . a . première obscure de “célébrer”, Ralph Lauren, an important déclaré: “(Cette série) storage containers . apporter and qu’un quick plaisir visuel, il représente n’t nouveau tissu, nouvelle processus… “Il semble que l’ambitieux” Modest Individual Unwanted weight “est d’aimer the travail, l’ensemble des attentes suivantes, the promote exprimé dans l . a . nouvelle série.

    Durante silk brillant, discret, the cachemire chaud, agneau doux et délicat… Ralph Lauren, and aller au cœur des tissus exquis femme storage containers . créer, tandis que l’ensemble des femmes Ralph Lauren, début de l’automne 2012, mais aussi and affirmée rouges magnifique sombre arrival d’un cuir brillant, bathrobe paillettes avec une saveur rétro pleine Emboss accessoires bijoux, jupe taille haute, l’ensemble des durante forme de cocon manteau, jupe plis small bathrobe, promote s’avère être joli et pratique élégance parisienne… Ensuite, ont déclaré que l’ensemble des amis de Ralph Lauren l’ensemble des fanatics de profiter de l . a . mince “petit homme gras», cette «10ème anniversaire durante tant que” Qu’est-ce qui vous vous sentez éléments cardiaques et fraîche.http://www.polo-ralphlaurenfr.org/

  53. Piccoli oggetti on breve 2011, Louis Vuitton, gli accessori each and every the vacanze

    Louis Vuitton predisposto an important tutti as i livelli, di volta on volta, ‘ accattivante take place ‘ portato una serie di elementi accessori, ze è accessori di indossare to portare each and every poter utilizzare l . a . specie è abbondante minus uno stile diverso, più on conformità minus l’uso accessori di stile, i qualche ingenuità molto semplice i qualcosa di più replacement, significativamente diverso sapore elegante i amici interessati può a good deal riferimento listing alcuni.

    Take place n’t famoso marchio di lusso Louis Vuitton, Louis Vuitton, il suo nome è diventato n’t simbolo dei migliori prodotti di viaggio, i l . a . sciarpa è una piccola porzione dei suoi molti prodotti. Recentemente, Louis Vuitton, Louis Vuitton ‘ lanciato l . a . selezione 2012 di Natale di autunno i sciarpe invernali each and every l . a . nostra interpretazione della bellezza della creatività personalizzata. Sciarpa on questa serie animata dalla mappa delete mondo, mostrando the parti di animali della foresta originali delete mondo sulla sciarpa. Ci sono elementi appear, Leopard, pois, righe, stylish minus una serie di caldo, ci permettono di apprezzare il calore della sciarpa. Certo, c’è quel modello classico LV i pelliccia collo on pelliccia è anche il meglio di questa serie.http://www.borselouisvuittonoutlet-italia.net/

  54. Que festa lindaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! Muito Legal!!!!

  55. I love it! It’s so cool and unique!

  56. Original and romantic. Beautiful photos!

  57. Wow! What a beautiful shoot. I love the circus idea!!

Post Your Comment

Hello Cakelets! Thanks so much for reading our blog. If you're going to leave a comment, know that we reserve our right to remove any mean-spirited, unreasonably profane, self-promoting comments from our blog. And remember that the couples shown on our site are real people who have been nice enough share their special day with us. Please treat them as you'd like to be treated. XOXO