Vintage lovers rejoice! I have the perfect inspiration for you, a perfect combo of modern, retro and luxe wedding ideas, all set at The Barn at Avington. This shoot was curated and photographed by the wonderful Laura Martha Photography and I have to say that the results are just utterly exquisite. First up, the colour palette is so dreamy, burnt orange, burgundy and mustard all combine in perfect harmony. Perhaps one of the biggest statements from this editorial shoots, and one of my fave elements has to be the vibrant floral wallpaper backdrop to the tablescape. It really adds a pop of colour and a lot of style.
The florals here really are in abundance and I have a feeling you will just love the pampas grass cloud delicately suspended above the metal backdrop. The bridal looks were true to the era, with a modern twist thanks to the flawless hair and make up plus the divine accessories. I especially love the crochet sleeved dress, wow!
Also be sure to keep an eye out for creative modern stationery, delicious cakes, desserts and drinks, not to mention a super cool photobooth and so much more. What a treat!
1970s Retro & Mid Century Wedding Ideas
One thing you can almost guarantee around winter weddings, is opulent gem coloured draped walls, rich tones nestled in floral arrangements, and décor that’s loaded with colour. Can I have these tones all year round please?! I am the photographer behind Laura Martha Photography, and adore creating shoots which can inspire future couples to have weddings designed around their interests.
When I dreamt up a Mid-Century 70’s shoot, I had in my mind an old granny flat with Ercol furniture, vinyl walls and browns etching their way throughout… however, we wanted to move the Mid-Century retro tones into a slightly more modern aesthetic. The Barn at Avington gave us the opportunity to work with a blank canvas to create something fun, colourful and unique with its blank walls, industrial feeling with some barn charm. Most of the supplier friends involved are 1970’s fans, and all of the household furniture and textiles used are our own! Beth at The Barn in Avington is always up for a new challenge! So, when I proposed the idea, she was excited.
Beth at The Barn in Avington
The barn at Avington provided the perfect blank canvas for a trip back in time… to an era when mustard ruled and sugared almonds were an essential. This shoot perfectly captures how to incorporate a love of retro and nostalgia into your wedding. The wallpaper backdrop was a huge highlight. The gorgeous floral print complimented the beautiful blooms by Iris and Co.
Meg, our unofficial model (the Labrador) joined in with the fun, as she enjoys cuddles. We couldn’t help including her in the day after she photobombed a few times.
Just by coincidence her chocolatey coat fitted in with the era, and lucky for any couples, The Barn at Avington is dog friendly!
The backdrop of the table-scape is an 8x8ft board created by myself for the shoot, which I decorated using actual 1970’s vinyl wallpaper bought off Ebay! So easy to create something incredibly unique for a wedding.
The hanging mesh panels and the boxed cages were designed and made by Sarah at Wild & Wonder Events, and they were coated black to fit in with the strong bold colour of the shoot. Sarah was so enthusiastic about the concept, and jumped right in amongst her hectic schedule. She is always energetic and positive, helping bring everything together, all her shoot creations are beautiful, and never ordinary with creative new ideas.
Gemma at Iris & Co
Our inspiration for the flowers came from iconic floral wallpapers from the era and also focussed on the mustard, tan, burnt orange and burgundy colours which were popular throughout the decade. For individual flowers, we took from popular house plants of this time including the anthuriums used in the bouquet and buttonhole, and of course the classic pampas grass and calla lilies used throughout the shoot.
We used a wide range of flowers to achieve the rich, velvety textures in the designs. The deeper colours came from burgundy chrysanthemums, beautiful draping Amaranthus and delicate chocolate cosmos. We brought in the brighter colours with pops of yellow craspedia, pink dahlias and orange ranunculus which give delicate frills and depth to the designs. Some of the deep mustards and tans came from the toffee roses and spiked leucadendrons. We also used a wide variety of greenery including seeded eucalyptus, pistache, sharon ferns and skimmia which added to the amazing scent which filed the room.
The asymmetric pampas grass cloud was a central point of the shoot with beautiful, fluffy textures against the backdrop of the barn with added texture from dried palms and livingston ferns. We tied bunches of florals to the mesh and added our tall coloured glass vases with cascading Amaranthus on the top of the gabion baskets creating a dramatic ceremony area.
With a mixture of Alice Gabb’s modern calligraphy across the stationery, signage and hanging banner we were able to modernise the beautiful table-scape carefully put together by Beth at Beth A Weddings and Sarah from Wild & Wonder Events.
The use of a rich golden velvet draped over the dark wood mid-century table gave a bold backdrop for the simple modern plates, glass-wear and candle sticks. Finished off with Gemma’s bold, bright vase in the centre.
The Barn at Avington has a river weaving past, along it beautiful greenery and trees. So we explored outside for Gemma’s beautiful flowers to pop against the beaming sunlight in October. The dress which Natalia wore was simple and modern, in contrast to her other dress which she wore indoors. The dresses and the hair accessories were provided by Jacky at Sixpenny Bride who has a love affair with antiques and vintage ware. Jacky at Sixpenny Bride finds the most beautiful vintage dresses across many eras, and creates accessories that brides love as much as she does.
For this shoot we fashioned a flower crown into a tiara for one look, and the second look nestled the crown into a relaxed look. I adored how the dress draped with all the soft fabric falling to the ground. We wasn’t going to originally go with a vintage dress, however I love the idea of maybe two dresses on a wedding day, one for the fairytale ceremony and another for the evening partying!
Cimone’s beautiful hair and Aria’s perfect make up were absolutely spot on, understated beauty.
After meeting Laura at a wedding last year, with her amazing photography skills and personality I was so excited to be asked for the opportunity to get involved with her 70s style shoot. I was feeling very inspired when I saw the mood boards and the hair accessories, I wanted the hair to show off the 70s vibe as much as possible.
By using twists and a pony tail it showcases to brides that you can have a half up / half down style with it still looking cool and modern.
The Camper Booth was the perfect accompaniment to the Mid-Century 70’s theme, retro 1976 VW campervan with all the photobooth mod cons. We created a lounge area around the booth, where the eager guests can chat, play and wait for their turn!
We wanted the shoot to feel fun, modern and most importantly, achievable for couples on their wedding day!
The first person I asked to be part of the shoot was Alice from Alice Gabb, who is a fantastic modern calligrapher who gives amazing workshops. She seems to always have brides attending her workshops so they can learn modern calligraphy for their own wedding. Alice is a huge fan of the Mid-Century 70’s vibe, and you just have to see her Instagram or Website to see this.
As much as I love the 70’s vibes, the typefaces of the era are not my favourite, so I used one of my favourite styles of hand lettering to keep the shoot looking nice and modern.
I really think banners are the way forward for weddings, so I was keen to squeeze one in! I love that they don’t require an easel, and they can convey really important information to keep the day running smoothly. My favourite use of them at the minute is to have a giant menu on them, instead of individual ones. It seems less formal to me, in the best way possible, and I think they look great in the background of photos.
Holly has been my cake rock, and she always creates such beautiful collaborations. We discussed how we could create a modern cake with a hint of retro, and I’m pretty sure the coffee roses were a perfect 70’s touch.
Her cakes are baked from scratch, using the highest quality ingredients. Depending on the design, and with this beautiful cake, royal icing.
Rosie Clayden kindly let us use her gorgeous rings for the retro shoot, which fitted in perfectly with the colour and style she exquisitely designs and makes.
I create a variety of fine engagement rings and am drawn to unusual diamonds and gemstones. I select each stone myself and enjoy using traditional jewellery making techniques to hand craft my jewellery.
The unique 70’s style of the shoot is what initially attracted me and lead me to becoming involved. I wanted to bring something interesting and unique to the shoot and so chose a bold cinnamon diamond cluster ring with a fitted gold band either side. The colour of the stones work well with the warm tones used in other areas of the incredible set.
I had a great time meeting other creatives during the shoot and enjoyed the experience of working together to create something special.
A velvety dessert station meant we could revisit retro cocktails, and incorporate some of my fav dessert queens, Meringue Girls, Maid of Gingerbread and Holly Clarke Cake Designs.
Emily created the perfect mantlepiece gingerbread clock and it nestled on the black cabinet perfectly with the retro ornaments.
Emily at Maid of Gingerbread
I took inspiration from a few different iconic mid-century clock designs, combining my favourite elements of each and incorporating painted edible metallic highlights to create a modern luxurious look.
And I would love to finish with saying how beautiful Cat’s honeymoon journal is from The Safekeeping Society! She also creates stunning safekeeping boxes in bespoke colours to treasure all those memories from your wedding day… imagine looking back 50 years from now at those memories!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Laura Martha Photography
The Barn at Avington
Dress & Accessories
Iris & Co
Maid of Gingerbread
Stationery & Hanging Sign
Oh what a very special set of images! I really cannot thank the team above enough for sharing the results with us here today xo Lou