Disco ball shining for 1970s-themed wedding

'70s-Themed Wedding Ideas: 22 Unforgettable Options

Sep 3, 2021
By Wedding Spot

Looking for ways to add some ‘70s-themed grooviness to your big day? These 22 ‘70s-themed wedding ideas will help you disco the night away with tons of color and nostalgia — without being too cheesy. Keep on stepping to discover these classy ‘70s-inspired decor, venue, and attire ideas to help transport your guests back in time.

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!”

Explore 22 ‘70s-themed wedding ideas for your ceremony and reception

The ‘70s were all about bohemian fun with retro hues, flared-out pants and sleeves, and plenty of classic rock influence. 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.

Decoration 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. Use thrifted glassware. Roberts said the “reception tablescape could consist of multitudes of small vases and/or jars with colorful flowers such as daisies, billy balls, and ferns. The more the merrier, as variety is key.”

3. 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.”

4. 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.”

5. 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.”

6. 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.”

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).

7. 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.

8. 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.”

9. 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.

10. 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.”

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.

11. 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.

12. Aim for a sheath style. You can do this with or without lace sleeves. Empire waists are welcome too. Or, a simple spaghetti strap in this dress shape will work as a subtle nod to the time period.

13. Look for delicate flutter sleeves. Flutter sleeves can be solid or lace. Make sure you choose a sleeve length that’s flattering for your arms.

14. Go bold with floral prints. What we love about this one is that you don’t even need a traditional wedding dress, as any decade-appropriate gown will do. You can find these at big brand clothing stores such as ASOS, or thrifted through Etsy.

15. 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.

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.”

17. Try pantsuits. Gregoli also suggests ‘70s-inspired pantsuits if you’re looking for a great dress alternative.

18. Include ‘70s fabrics. “Fringe and corduroy make for fun accent pieces,” Kortebein said. “Fringe can, of course, be on the dress, but if you'd rather save it for an after-party jacket or boots, that works too.”

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

Venues perfect for a ‘70s-themed wedding

The best part about finding a venue for a ‘70s-themed wedding is that you can go big with a space that already includes decade-appropriate furniture and colors, or you can makeover your own space to fit the era. Common characteristics of ‘70s-themed wedding venues include rock or wood plank walls, earthy tones, and fun furniture such as hanging chairs. You can also expect to see a lot of fringe, shag, and rattan materials. To help you get started, here are some bookable wedding venues that can accommodate a ‘70s-themed celebration. To find even more, search for “Vintage” under “Style” on Wedding Spot.

19. Gardener Ranch; Carmel Valley, California. What we love most about Gardener Ranch is its reception area. It's completely surrounded by a tall wooden structure with dozens of textured hanging lanterns that twinkle above the heads of your guests. Venues that have breezy or floating structural elements can help evoke the free-spirited nature of the ‘70s.

20. The Gardens at Heather Farm; Walnut Creek, California. Gardens are very groovy in general and perfect for a ‘70s-themed wedding. This bohemian venue has an outdoor ceremony space surrounded by wildflowers, which is perfect for this aesthetic. The 6-acre property at the Gardens at Heather Farm also includes an outdoor patio, a ballroom, and rose gardens.

21. Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel; Bella Vista, Arizona. The Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel is architecturally stunning, and the curved wood archways and windows that look out over the natural landscape are perfect for a ‘70s-themed wedding.

22. Bell Tower on 34th; Houston, Texas. As the venue itself says, the Bell Tower on 34th is like “stepping onto a movie set.” One of our favorite features of this venue is the colored background lights in the archways. Couples can coordinate the lighting to create a shimmering rainbow effect while guests are on the dance floor at the reception. What’s not to love?

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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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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.