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  • Writer's pictureKatharine Snowden

How to have a 1970s inspired luxury marquee wedding

As the new wedding season dawns we’re getting excited about what 2024 has in store. We’ve heard it on the grapevine that 1970’s inspiration is set to hit hard. According to Pinterest Predicts, the emerging trend report from the visual discovery platform, the search term ‘groovy wedding’ has increased by 170%.

We’ve looked back at some of our favourite weddings and plucked out a few little gems of ideas to help you take inspiration from the 1970s for your marquee wedding. We’re not talking about stick on handlebar moustaches and full on disco fever decor here, it’s all about taking inspiration from the decade, playing with the details, reinventing them and making them fresh and modern. Read on to find out how to subtlety infuse a bit of retro chic into your wedding dress, flowers, decor, film and photography, catering, entertainment and more.

1970s inspired wedding attire

1970’s style went from folky to glitzy. The early seventies were still heavily influenced by hippie style, with lots of crochet, embroidery and tiered prairie dresses. In the mid to late 70’s disco took over and the looks became much more glamorous, think sequins, jumpsuits and high slit skirts. 

When designing your wedding dress, the decade offers a treasure trove of details that you can choose from to add that vintage sparkle, including; 

  • capes

  • sequins

  • bell sleeves

  • floral lace

  • high necks

Work with a designer to create your dream seventies inspired dress, or go and raid the vintage shops for an original that you can customise. This bride’s dress has the best origin story. She found her dream gown in a vintage shop by chance as she was making her ascent up Lincoln’s Steep Hill while visiting her then future in-laws, it was meant to be.

For your bridal tippy toes think white low heeled Go-go boots. Or, channel seventies fashion icon, Jane Birkin, in Mary Janes. If you opt for a seventies style mini dress you could complete the look with a fun pair of platform knee highs.

Keep long hair boho with natural waves and flower crowns. And for the visage? Seventies make-up was all about glowing bronzed complexions, extra long full lashes, bushy brows and nude glossy lips. 

Now, I know we said no to stick on moustaches but we’re not adverse to the real deal, so let's get the men and their facial hair involved too. We love this groom’s retro look and the fact that his friends grew matching bristles for the day!

A bride in a seventies dress and her groom walk arm in arm down a coir matting walkway as wedding guests hold up sparklers

1970s inspired marquee wedding flowers

Infuse some flower power into your seventies inspired marquee wedding with wildflowers and daisies mixed with big blooms like dahlias and peonies. Choose a palette of earthy browns and burnt oranges with shades of mustard and peach. The pristine white canvas of our traditional marquees makes the perfect backdrop for stunning floral displays. You can also fill the vast overhead space with blooms using our flower rings.

Bridal bouquets were simple and delicate in the seventies and the emphasis was on personal style. Interestingly, personal style is something we are now seeing couples prioritise more and more each season. 

The past few wedding seasons have seen the re-emergence of the dried flower trend which was popularised in the seventies, so why not incorporate these into your floral designs? Dried flower crowns look absolutely dreamy and make a beautiful keepsake for your bridesmaids and flower girls too, provided they survive the disco! 

floral displays in a seventies colour palette of burnt orange and  rust sit on long wooden tables inside a Peacock and Bow pole and canvas wedding marquee.

1970s inspired wedding marquee décor

When it comes to décor, you really can’t get a more flexible and bespoke option than a pole and canvas marquee. Choosing a marquee for your wedding gives you a blank canvas that you can style however you choose. Our traditional pole and canvas marquees are handcrafted using age old techniques and natural materials, so they can perfectly pull off a retro inspired wedding aesthetic. 

As well as showcasing your seventies floral designs, you can give nods to the decade by adorning your marquee with rag bunting, festoon lights, fairy lights and, of course, mirror balls. Creating chill out areas with rattan peacock chairs, Moroccan rugs and pouffes, ensures your guests can take a breather in style. 

We love how this bride used liberty print fabric to create table runners and napkins for her seventies inspired wedding at Lincolnshire’s chic countryside venue Aswarby Rectory. The napkins can be taken home as unique and sustainable favours, so it's a win-win for couples, guests and the environment, very groovy.

festoon lights give a Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquee a retro vibe.

Capturing all the best luxury marquee wedding moments, seventies style

Film is massively on the rise in the world of wedding photography, which does wonders for capturing that nostalgic retro vibe. Many videographers shoot on Super 8 which is a beautiful, timeless, perfectly imperfect format that brings bags of charm to your wedding story. If you’re going to take inspiration from the seventies for your big day, film photography and Super 8 is an absolute must. It will ramp up the nostalgia and bring you joy for years to come.

A bride and groom take their first dance inside a Peacock and Bow pole and canvas wedding marquee.

1970s inspired food and drink for your luxury marquee wedding

Now, we’re not going to suggest that you serve vol-au-vents, fondue and “a little cheesy pineapple one, Tone?” (IYKYK). But, when it comes to cocktails, the seventies served up some iconic tipples. Make sure your drinks list includes;

  • Tom Collins

  • White Russians

  • Harvey Wallbangers

  • Singapore Slings 

  • …and of course, Tequila Sunrise

Disclaimer to satisfy the cocktail nerds - some of these classics originated earlier than the seventies, but they certainly peaked in popularity during the decade.

Embrace the creativity and the alternative, laid back vibes of the seventies by hustling away from the traditional wedding cake and choosing a stacked cheese cake instead. This cheese wedding cake from The Cheese Society in Lincoln is made of four delicious cheeses and offers a peachy colour palette that will perfectly complement the retro aesthetic.

Inside a Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquee a bar tender juggles a bottleo f spirit and a cocktail shaker.

1970s inspired music for your luxury marquee wedding

From Folk to Glam Rock, to Krautrock, to Disco, the seventies had a genre for all music tastes. You’re sure to find the perfect first dance song and plenty of dancefloor fillers from the era to keep the party going all night long. 

Seventies music never goes out of style; According to the internet, Earth, Wind and Fire’s 1978 hit ‘September’ is apparently the most requested song at weddings (I may have helped push that one into the top spot with my own relentless requests as a wedding guest). While ‘Lets Stay Together’ by Al Green (1972) and Elton’s ‘Your Song’ (1970) are amongst the most popular first dance songs. 

Here’s how to infuse some seventies swing into your musical entertainment, without going so far as to hire an ABBA tribute band.

  • Provide background music during the drinks reception

    • An acoustic guitarist for some Joni Mitchell vibes or a pianist to tinkle out some Elton or Billy Joel classics

  • Start the party with a bang

    • A traditional folk band can rev up the crowd with some barnstorming ballads

  • A talented function band

    • Keep everyone up and dancing with a wide range of crowd pleasing hits from the era

  • Keep the fun alive into the early hours

    • A DJ spinning some irresistible disco anthems

A bride in a high necked lace dress and her groom sit on the shoulders of guests as fairy lights and flowers fill the overhead space of the Peacock and Bow pole and canvas wedding marquee.

Other ideas for your 1970s inspired wedding

Wheels on fire

Set the scene by arriving in an iconic car from the decade such as a Ford Cortina or even more quirky; a reliant robin. Want something a bit more luxurious? How about a Rolls-Royce Camargue, which was the most expensive car in the world when it launched in 1975. Or go full Bond/Bond girl with an Aston Martin DBS.

All that glitters

We had to mention the glitter station, after seeing it at this wedding. We think every wedding needs one, why? Because, they’re fun, they’re sparkly, they’re simple to set up and everyone can have a go. What better way to get the Studio 54 look (that’s legal!) than glitter!

A bride in a 1970s style fur bolero and glamorous up-do walks with her new husband away from a Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquee as wedding guests cheers them on.

Our marquees are perfect for that 1970s mediterranean garden party vibe. A seventies inspired luxury marquee wedding should be elegant and timeless with a modern feel, all qualities that our pole and canvas marquees famously exude. 

Leaning into the seventies means letting loose, adding sparkle and creating a luxe, vintage, bohemian, fun experience that you and your guests will reminisce on for all the decades to come.

For more wedding inspiration you can now subscribe to our blog and get notified as we publish more trends, opinions and advice to help you plan your perfect marquee wedding.


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