Disco ball shining for 1970s-themed wedding

'70s-Themed Wedding Ideas: 23 Unforgettable Options

Sep 18, 2023
By Wedding Spot

Looking for ways to add some ‘70s-themed grooviness to your big day? These 37 ‘70s-themed wedding ideas will help you disco the night away with tons of color and nostalgia, without being too cheesy. Transport your guests back in time with -70s-inspired décor, venue, and attire—peace signs and all!

What is a ‘70s-themed wedding?

A ‘70s-themed wedding pays homage to the most nostalgic trends of the ‘70s. This includes everything from designs and colors to activities and music. Couples can choose between using elements of this style and modernizing the concepts or going full out with the theme by visually transporting their party back a few decades.

In an interview with Wedding Spot, Apryl D. Roberts of Memorable Events said it best: “The ’70s were full of vivid color and fun shapes, from hippie style to straight disco — free and fun was the overall vibe!”

23 ‘70s-themed wedding ideas for your ceremony and reception

The ‘70s were all about bohemian fun with retro hues, bell bottoms and flared sleeves, and plenty of classic rock. Whether you want to pay homage to Stevie Nicks or go all out with earth-toned rainbows, a ‘70s-themed wedding is guaranteed to be a lot of fun. Hold on to your fringe jackets as we take you through these awesome ‘70s-themed wedding ideas sourced from expert planners and industry professionals.

Decor ideas for your ‘70s-themed wedding

You’ve probably already seen the surge of neutral rainbows and earthy round shapes when it comes to home decor trends on Pinterest and Tik Tok. Everyone from high-end designers to YouTube DIYers are using natural elements such as macrame and terracotta to pay homage to this time period. Here are some easy — and inexpensive — ways to get the look for your wedding.

1. Add an archway. “A wedding arch with colorful blooms and/or lush greenery may be used for the ceremony,” Roberts said. “If flowers are not the intended vibe, an arch with macrame adorned with greenery may work.”

2. Get a groovy cake. Your cake can be part of your ‘70s-themed decor too! “Wedding cakes can be in hues of orange, yellow, green, etc. while incorporating geometric designs on them, placed on a wooden or white cake stand,” said Roberts. “Sugar fringe icing design may also be utilized in the cake. It will resemble a shag rug.”

You may even want to opt for a multi-layered cascade cake adorned with peace signs, colorful pom-poms, and fun 70s art motifs. Or, for a more boho or subtle look, add elements of nature to your cake design with fondant flowers and other earthy/woodsy elements.

3. Order a neon sign. Courtney Stables from Custom Neon told us that many of their customers are “choosing to light up their surname or initials in a retro font, or a funky disco-themed neon sign to light up the dancefloor, or even a jazzy bar sign to light up the bar.” Neon signs can go almost anywhere in your wedding design, and they come in all kinds of colors and styles.

4. Nail the color palette. “The color palette will be the star of the show if you’re wanting to evoke a ‘70s vibe with your big day,” said JoAnn Gregoli, owner of Elegant Occasions. “Opt for the classics — marigold, cinnamon, and terracotta — and think about incorporating these hues into your florals, table settings, invitation suite, and more.”

5. Think about texture. Gregoli also said that “dried flowers, yarn accents, and velvet textures are all perfect elements for adding some groovy dimension to your decor.” Luckily, weddings are a great place to mix and match textures. Get creative with contrasting elements, like your tablecloths and glassware, or vary your fabrics and metals to accomplish a similar look.

6. Lean into florals. “When it comes to decor, consider bright colors and floral patterns for an authentic 70s look,” Life Line Wedding Co-Founder John Anderson told Wedding Spot via email. “Choose colors such as oranges, yellows, reds and pinks to create a warm atmosphere.”

Also, consider unusual places to showcase your florals to really make them pop. As Anderson writes, “Think of incorporating flower walls or macrame backdrops with lots of plants—succulents and ivy vines are popular right now too!”

7. Bright up the dance floor. Like most decade-based themes, dance and music are a significant part of the culture, so make sure to highlight your dance floor accordingly! You can do this subtly with prop styling and temporary hooks to keep your venue safe yet stylin’ at the same time. “Consider hanging colorful paper lanterns or vintage disco balls above the dance floor to light up the room,” suggests Anderson.

8. Stack velvet cushions. Create a faux conversation pit at your reception with this 70s-inspired seating. Anderson told Wedding Spot to “use velvet settees with shag pillows in bold prints—think chevron stripes or psychedelic shapes” if you want something off the floor. “Accessorize any wooden elements”, such as wood bowls or table and chair accents, “with faux fur throws for an extra cozy vibe,” suggests Anderson.

9. Combine faux fruits and bright tablecloths. Make your 70s-themed reception tablescapes a total vibe with this easy trick. Simple add “retro tablecloths decorated with fake fruits such as pineapples or mangoes sprinkled around them,” to achieve the look, Anderson says.

Groovy ‘70s-themed wedding ideas for your reception

The reception is a great opportunity to emphasize your favorite elements of the decade — whether that's rock and roll music, peace signs, or even Volkswagen buses. The vibe of a ‘70s-themed wedding reception is often upbeat and includes a lot of dancing (with or without disco finger-pointing). Get ready to boogie!

10. Have custom drinks. “Custom beverages are a unique way to transport your guests back to the ‘70s, and they don’t have to break your budget,” Gregoli said. “Tiki drinks named after your favorite TV shows or bands from the decade are great conversation starters. Plus, you can add edible glitter, various fruit, or biodegradable drink umbrellas as garnishes for an added touch.” Need to brush up on your ‘70s pop culture? This list from RetroWaste has you covered.

11. Use ‘70s symbols. The reception gives you a little more room to play up the theme than the ceremony does, so take advantage! In an email to Wedding Spot, Katie Kortebein of Love Stories TV said that couples should stick with classic symbols of the decade. “Naturally, disco balls immediately come to mind[, as] well as paisley print, large daisies, and bold rainbows.”

12. Make your dance floor magical. Of all the places that you can incorporate the most fun aspects of the ‘70s, the dance floor may be No. 1. Depending on how much you want to lean into the theme, consider creating an entire playlist made up of only ‘70s hits. Combine that with a disco ball over a neon dance floor, and you have yourself the makings of an unforgettable celebration.

13. Do a costume change. “For an over-the-top reception, consider changing into a second look,” said Sheila Halali of Share The Lovely. “Jumpsuits and separates are wonderful options for dancing the night away in comfort, and sequined minis are perfect for a disco party. If dresses aren’t quite your style, opt for a structured blazer, a la Bianca Jagger’s 1971 nuptials — sleek, modern, and a little bit rock n’ roll. Accessorize with a wide-brimmed hat instead of (or with) a veil, and you’re ready for a chic, city elopement.”

14. Dish out popular 70s snacks. These don’t have to be fancy or expensive, just nostalgic. As Anderson says, “Serve snacks like pretzel sticks dipped into [Nutella] sauces which were all the rage back then!” If you really want to hit the fun—if a little tacky—notes, opt for baked Alaska or a fondue station.

Wedding dress and attire suggestions for your ‘70s-themed wedding

Wedding Spot asked gown designer Britney King of Threadora Gowns to give us her opinion on what makes an amazing ‘70s-themed wedding dress. Here’s what she shared:

“My mom was a ‘70s bride,” she said. “Her dark hair was left long and wavy, adorned with flowers. My grandmother made her dress for her; she was a talented seamstress, and clearly, it rubbed off on me. It was common to have your dress handmade back then, which made for a lot of unique and special dresses from that era.”

King suggests brides and couples consider the following when choosing their ‘70s-themed wedding dresses and attire.

15. Consider thrifting authentic ‘70s pieces. Scope out thrift shops in your city via Yelp, and check out digital thrift stores such as Poshmark if you’re looking for vintage designer dresses. Or dig through your storage unit for those old bell-bottom jeans and maxi dresses!

16. Shoot for a sheath style. Empire waists are welcome too. A simple spaghetti strap in this dress shape will work as a subtle nod to the time period, but lace sleeves will feel retro in the best way, too.

17. Look for delicate flutter sleeves. Flutter sleeves come off the shoulder in a loose, unstructured… well, flutter. Make sure you choose a sleeve length that’s flattering for your arms. Flutter sleeves look great in a solid fabric or lace, and they play up the 70s theme without feeling too stereotypical.

18. Go bold with floral prints. You don’t even need a traditional wedding dress for this one, as any decade-appropriate gown will do. You can find these at big brand clothing stores such as ASOS, or thrifted through Etsy. Contrasting colors and a large floral print feel straight out of the 70s.

19. Express yourself. According to King, “the ‘70s were all about freedom and expression. Today’s bride could draw inspiration from having something totally unique made for them.” That can mean trading in wedding dress traditions and doing something that better represents your own unique tastes. Even better? It’s a quick way to check “something new” off your list.

16. Use flower crowns. As for accessories, Gregoli has you covered. “When it comes to the wedding party, flower crowns certainly add a hip, boho element to the attire. Whether you want to stand out as a solo act or add custom wildflower crowns as an accessory to your wedding party outfits, there are plenty of ways to make a statement. Bonus points for adding a bold pop of color such as burnt yellow or plum.”

21. Remember that more is more! Dustin Sitar from The Groom Club recommended that, if you’re looking for a truly on-theme ceremony, the groom should consider a colorful suit with a patterned shirt, along with loafers or platform shoes. “Overall,” he wrote, “you'll want to incorporate bold colors, prints, and textures into your attire, including that for your bridesmaids and groomsmen.”

22. Choose accessories wisely. The devil is in the details for any decades-themed wedding and your attire is no exception!

In addition to the hats and flower crowns we’ve already mentioned, Anderson included the following: “For accessories delicate chokers necklaces would be perfect since they were very much en vogue during that era[. Plus] stackable earrings like hoop ones made from precious stones which again boast a classic yet modern touch at once making them an ideal choice here too!”

23. Add a touch of tie-dye. Wedding Spot also spoke to wedding favor expert Shelley Grieshop from Totally Wedding Koozies. Her tip? You can never go wrong with tie-dye for 70s themed wedding ideas! “Tie-dye is easy to incorporate in many aspects of a wedding including the groomsmen's ties and socks,” shares Grieshop. We also love how simple and fast this DIY is compared to many of the others out there.

Tie-dye is also great for—you guessed it—favors! Grieshop suggests tie-dye wedding can cooler favors and signage such as tie-dye welcome boards to bring the theme to life even more.

Still in search of some ‘70s attire inspiration? Maggie Sottero put together a list of 1970s-inspired wedding dresses for you to explore.

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Up next, don’t let the party end early! Check out these 26 wedding midnight snack ideas to ensure that your guests leave your celebration satisfied.

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Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.