Inspiration Board #34: 1930’s Glam Circus – Water for Elephants movie

Yesterday, the hubby and I went to go see Water for Elephants. I loved it – the story, the fashion, the visuals – it was one of my favorite films so far this year! If you haven’t heard about this movie, you can watch the trailer here – but the quick version is: it’s a love story that takes place in the 1930’s at a circus. Sounds like perfect wedding inspiration to me! :) I loved the glam 1930’s gowns Reese wore in the movie. For this inspiration, I picture a fashionable glamourous couple married under a big tent in an open filed with lots of vintage circus elements.

circus wedding ideas

photo credits going clockwise: Water for Elephants website, photo by Gabriel Ryan from this fun circus wedding, josh golemanHello! Lucky, railroad lantern, circus posters from the film found here, circus tent found here

water for elephants gowns

I found these great costume sketches here from the wardrobe designer Jacqueline West. I think these dresses – esp the one of the left would be so amazing as a wedding dress. What do you think, anyone else inspired by the movie? Does anyone else want to wear a glamourous 1930’s dress and get married at the circus!? :) Well, if you are loving this and the movie and/or book, we have a styled shoot to share coming up next that is inspired by what Marlena + Jacob’s wedding would have looked like. I can’t wait to share it with you all!! Happy Monday!!

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  1. I loooved the movie too! For the exact same reason – it was visually gorgeous! I just love the style of that time period. Even Reese’s “casual” clothes were stunning! The board is perfect!

  2. ooohh… those gowns are to die for!!!! they are so sexy and look like liquid on her body! I cannot wait to see that movie, I’m sure it is achingly romantic!!!

  3. Those sketches are phenom!

  4. I saw this movie this weekend and was thinking the exact same thing: What great inspiration for a wedding! I loved Reese’s slinky dresses – I would totally wear a 1930s-style gown on the big day. So glamorous! Can’t wait to see the styled shoot!

  5. I adore those sketches and this wedding theme! Such a fun, glamorous theme. If you liked the Water for Elephants book and the movie, please join Bookclub-in-a-Box for a free online chat this Thursday, April 28 at 2 p.m. EDT! One lucky participant will win a copy of Sara Gruen’s novel, plus a book club discussion guide!

    If you’re interested in our online chat, you can register now at and submit a question — even if you can’t attend in person, advance questions are welcomed.

  6. I can’t wait to see that inspired shoot!!!

  7. Oh I was so hoping you would do an inspiration board from this film! I LOVE the wardrobe sketches you found…just gorgeous!

  8. ohmigosh… just saw this over the weekend and am in LOVE with this board! can’t wait to see the results of the shoot :)

  9. Great idea and the sketches are beautiful!

  10. I cannot wait to see this movie! I love this post, it would make an incredible theme for a wedding!

  11. Where oh where can I buy Reese’s white or black Water for Elephants dress?? I need it for my maid if honor.


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