Vintage Wedding inspiration for the bride who wants to partayyyy!
And we’re talking about how to use recurring themes in your DIY wedding projects to create a professional look and feel at your wedding!
Guys. The thing I remember most from planning my wedding was that I just wanted everyone to have FUN. I wanted every guest to spend the entire night laughing, dancing, chatting, and eating great food and to walk away saying, “Wow that reception was actually super fun!”
My wedding was without a doubt, an amazing party. But so much wedding inspiration today is so serious and moody that the question of, “Where did all the fun weddings go?” literally woke me up in the middle of the night. I have problems :) But for realsies?!?! Where did all the bright, fun parties go? Where are my “Wahoooo” brides who want to get down on the dance floor? (Name that pop culture TV show reference for $1,000,000 Monopoly monies) These burning existential questions woke me up, got my brain churning and couldn’t be resolved until I had culled a Pinterest board of retro wedding party inspiration and late-night texted my work besties to tell them they had to check it out when they woke up and that I may need professional help lol :)
I needed a wedding that was fun, flirty, and full of sass and I needed it now. And nothing says sassafrass to me like a 1950’s pin-up girl…those cat-eye sunglasses, tea length dresses, and cherry red lips??? Mmm mmm good. But you can’t go 1950’s pin-up girl and just stop there. So I collaborated with Ashley from Hawkeye Photography and Julie from Blushing Blonde (yep, totally my work besties who get my 2 AM texts) to bring you an entire wedding full of 1950’s Retro Soda Pop Wedding Inspiration.
This shoot is crazy full of details and I can’t tell you how amazing our entire team was. It takes A LOT of work to pull together a shoot with this many vendors, but each and every vendor was so gracious to work with and absolutely nailed it. They were such an example to me of the kind of person I want to be in my work and home life…gracious, fun, artistic, and totally on the ball (I’ll get there someday I know I will!) Excuse me if I gush a little – or a lot – about each and every one of the vendors and artists who helped me pull my late-night wedding baby together. So scroll on down and check out our fun and flirty Retro Soda Pop Wedding Inspiration and be sure see our feature on Bespoke Bride!
I knew the second we went retro that we had to have that old fashioned soda-fountain vibe, but with a modern twist, and nobody does soda nowadays like Sodalicious.
If you haven’t heard of Sodalicious before now, let me introduce you: Sodalicious, this is my friend who needs a ‘dirty’ drink stat. Friend, this is Sodalicious. They specialize in taking your normal, everyday Diet Coke and mixing it into a frothy confection of deliciousness.
They also serve the most divine store-bought cookie I’ve ever eaten (go for the Peanut Butter with Nutella Buttercream…trust me on this) and freshly popped popcorn. Perfect afternoon snack...or morning pick-me-up, or late night run, or, or, or…basically anytime! Keely Ballard with Sodalicious and some of her darling soda gals put together a drink bar with six of their signature sodas, popcorn, and those world-famous sugar cookies. That’s my kind of catering people. Nothing says fun like a sugar buzz of soda and sugar cookies and having Sodalicious cater a soda bar at your wedding. They were so fun to work with!
K so for those of you who know me personally, you’ll know that the filter on my mouth functions better somedays than others – I’m thinking of the time I said, “Holy Crap” REALLY loudly in my church services or when I literally shouted for joy in Costco because they brought back my dark chocolate-covered sea salt caramels. In my defense, it had been AGES since they had them in stock. Anyway, when I picked up the invitation suite from the printers it happened again :( Before I could even stop myself I was squealing, jumping up and down, and trying not to pee my pants that’s how excited I was.
And now you see why. For reals what did Cassia with Cassia Leigh Designs think my reaction would be when the printer pulled out a custom-cut vintage record registry insert?!?! So cute! And it was the perfect accent for the vintage vibe on this wedding inspiration.
And those bright florals and black and white polka dots?!?! These are the little details that make a style or decorating concept really pop.
But my very favorite are Cassia’s wedding favors. This was one of those ideas where I was like, “Hey Cassia you invite guru you – I need wedding favors and in my head this is what they look like.” And she reached right in there and pulled out my brain child and made it a reality. That’s when you know you’ve found an amazing vendor, because I know next to nothing about graphic design, layouts, paper, or any of the logistics revolving around an invitation suite and it appeared in my hands all ready to go. Thanks Cassia!
We can’t get over how fun and easy to assemble these Starburst wedding favors were! They’re a great, budget-friendly DIY project for a wedding and came together in a snap assembly-line style. Especially since our printer perfectly pre-cut all the tags.
Side note: If you’re looking for a printer to take care of your invitation suite, menus, signage, favors, etc. I can’t recommend J-Mart in Spanish Fork, UT enough. I work with them all the time and always have a great experience. Their printing comes true to color, they use fantastic paper, and they don’t break the bank for the quality work they produce. Love you J-Mart! Mwah!
Here’s a picture of the cake...
Did you giggle?!?! Because I totally giggle every time I see this cake. I can’t help it. It is so cute, so fun, and just so so…I don’t even know but I love it. But let me back up and tell you the story behind this happy little number. There was this one time that the most darling person in all of Canada, we’ll call her Rosie, started the happiest sprinkle shop in all the world, Sweetapolita. And there was this other person, we’ll call her Emily, who fell in love with her sprinkles at first sight and had been NEEDING to do a sprinkle wedding cake out of her sprinkles. They’re just whimsical and joyful and the color ways are all fantastic.
So, Emily decided that this shoot was it. She was going for the sprinkle cake. In her head she was seeing black and white polka dot tiers with pops of sprinkle tiers. She reached out to Rosie to see if she wanted to be involved in the shoot and imagine her surprise when Rosie a) responded to her e-mail - because can you imagine how many e-mails she gets from people? and b) was totally interested! Emily was thrilled! She’s really just a nobody…a small fish in a big ocean of brides and chiffon and Rosie didn’t know her from Adam, but Rosie was so gracious and sent her a product package of sprinkles along with A HANDWRITTEN NOTE WISHING HER LUCK WITH THE SHOOT. Insert all the fan girl heart eyes here while I swoon.
It makes my heart all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. Isn’t that the best story? Who takes the time to be that gracious and generous anymore?!
I’m thrilled that I got to partner up with Rosie from Sweetapolita to create this cheerful confection. The bottom tier is a vanilla cake dyed yellow and orange, with bright pink marbling throughout (I use and love Americolor food gel). It’s a fun surprise inside the cake! I frosted the tier in a yummy vanilla buttercream and then rolled it in Rosie’s sprinkle medley “Bright Skies”. I love the colors and textures of all the different types of sprinkles. It’s truly the happiest wedding cake I’ve ever made!
The top tier is done out of Satin Ice fondant in white with black polka dots. My mom and I could not stop giggling while we put together those dots :) And inside is another surprise inside cake with layers of Funfetti cake and vanilla buttercream.
My favorite part about creating a cake for a styled shoot (besides eating it afterwards) is that I have the artistic freedom to create not only a decorating scheme that matches the look and vibe of a wedding, but flavors that match as well. And to me, Funfetti and brightly-colored layers of marbled cake were exactly what fit the look and feel of this shoot.
I finished off this cake with a colorful selection of fresh florals and a bright red cake stand and laser-cut wooden “Happily Ever After” cake topper, both from Pick Your Plum. Pro tip – large cake toppers like this are a great way to add height to your cake without adding more tiers (a.k.a. more money).
Julie with Blushing Blonde pulled together a large portion of our inspiration for the bridal fashion, and from her head filled with luxurious pin curls clear down to her darling color pop pump toes, our model, Gabby Hawkes, is on point. Julie swept Gabby’s locks up into a combination of rolls and finger curls for a darling vintage up-do and topped it off with a white bird-cage veil.
We’re totally crushing on Julie’s vintage make-up vibe with cat-eye eyeliner and kissable cherry red lips. All the heart eyes to brides who can pull of this look because it’s truly one of a kind! You’ll also see some glitz and glam in Julie’s jewelry selection (can we just pause and admire those earrings?!?!)
But she keeps it fun and a little kitschy with those cat eye sunglasses…I’m dying! This is really just a look I could never ever in a million years dream of pulling off, but I love it. So hard.
We loved working with Sweetheart Bridal in Provo, UT where we found the most darling tea length wedding dress! Between the lace accents and the perfectly-poofed skirt, we didn’t think we needed anything else.
But then this happened…
Oh the shoes!!!!! How does a woman stop falling in love with shoes? Does she die? Julie found these adorable color-pop pumps on Amazon (of course – where else would we find anything?!?!)
The cherry red, the white piping, the darling bows…THE HEELS!!! K imagonna reign it in a little, but it might be hard ‘cause these shoes leave me squealing like a little girl.
We knew we had to expand on this shoe idea because the more shoes the better right?!?! Yay for our bride squad all in color pop pumps. Those high heels are some serious sass. This is the kind of shoe your girls are going to hate you for, but your pictures will make it all worth it.
See what I mean? Total flirty bridesmaid inspiration. And maybe we went a little crazy, but once we had a bride squad, everything snowballed and we needed a mini bride squad too! How cute are these flower girls?!
Julie’s taken our older flower girls (better hair to work with) and made these darling finger curl pigtails. I'm kicking myself that we didn't get a birds-eye view of those pigtails - next time Ashley! The youngest gals got the retro helmet bob complete with a little flip action at the bottom.
And since little gals have so much natural coloring, she finished off their look with just a little pop of sweet pink lipstick. I tell you what those girls felt so grown up wearing real lipstick. Plus it was cute and funny seeing them hold their lips all wonky because they were trying so hard not to ruin it :)
We had a blast dressing these flower girls up, and nothing beats the iconic Converse shoe for that retro vibe. The best part is that we were able to go online and find them in all sorts of adorable colors, making it easy to mix and match colors to fit our color palette.
And I love how the bright colors pop against the black and white polka dot skirts. One thing to remember when putting together your wedding is that details pack more punch when they happen in a recurring theme. Now, you don’t want to go crazy and have it everywhere, but you’ll notice we have a few repeating themes in our shoot, one of which is the polka dots. We had polka dots on the cake, in the invitation suite, polka dot flower girl dresses, and then you’ll see it later in the ribbon on our bouquet wrap. This kind of continuity is what brings the wedding together as a whole and makes it feel complete and professionally done as opposed to helter-skelter (comment below if you notice any of our other recurring themes…if not, I’ll point them out to you as I go!)
And if you’re an accomplished sewer, these little polka dot circle skirts are another great DIY flower girl project. We…are not…so we hopped on Etsy and found these at Vintage Galeria. They’re well-made and very affordable! Plus, Vintage Galeria had them to us all Johnny-on-the-spot like, so there’s that.
The shirts were sourced from Down East Basics and then with just a little run to Joann’s and Hobby Lobby we had darling ribbon sashes and flower bows. Again, an easy-peasy DIY flower girl project. But, the proverbial cherry on our fun and flirty cake? Little baby cat-eye sunglasses from Gymboree!!! Stop! I can’t even handle the cuteness! But I may be biased because two of these darling little retro flower girls are mine :)
Is this the area in a wedding that stresses anyone else out? I’ll be the first to admit that while my trades add to the general splendor, I’m not a decorator (unless you want only fresh flowers as your décor. Then I’m a decorator :). When clients ask me for ideas on how to decorate their space, I get totally overwhelmed because there are so. many. options. Like, more than my brain can handle. Hats off to you decorators because it’s just a lot! That’s why for this shoot, we collaborated with an entire team to decorate our venue.
Our photographed our little styled wedding at The Startup Building in Provo, Utah. It’s this great vintage brick wedding venue with the most amazing photo ops. On the outside, The Startup Building is killing it with their retro painted ads and on the inside, you’ve got so many natural backdrop options, from white painted walls, timber trusses, and oversized copper barn doors to old brick walls and white shiplap. It’s a decorator’s dream because it’s got interesting backgrounds and great lighting, but it’s empty enough that you can personalize it to any look.
We worked with Emily Herrick from Emily Herrick Designs to decorate our space using gorgeous hand-made quilts on the walls. Giving quilts as wedding gifts has been a much-loved tradition for centuries, and we were so thrilled to put our own updated spin on this by decorating with Emily’s modern quilts.
You’ll see her “Spin the Bottle” quilt as the backdrop for our soda bar, with other quilts decorating the cake table and as a backdrop for the wedding invitation. She made all the quilts from her fabric line “Sodalicious” (see what I mean about those recurring themes? It just feels good amiright?!)
Custom placemats from the same fabric line were sewn and tucked into our cake display, soda bar, and tablescape. Modern quilting is the perfect way for a bride to incorporate memories, colors, and décor into her wedding. I won’t say quilting is cheap or easy DIY wedding décor, but if you or a family member or friend are way into sewing and quilting, this is such a fantastic DIY wedding décor project that could then double later as home décor, bedding, a thank you gift, etc.
If you’re looking for easy decorating ideas, we loved creating this little vignette of rainbow soda pop bottles. I found the most colors in Jones and Stewart’s brands, but IBC had a couple of great colors/flavors as well.
The rainbow soda bottles also made a bright, kitschy accent to our tablescape, and would be a fun family-friendly drink option at a wedding lunch or dinner. If you’re the creative type, an entire display of rainbow sodas could have names tied to them as a soda seating chart, or could be passed out at the end as a wedding favor. There has to be all sorts of cute “soda pop” thank you quotes on Pinterest…excuse me while I go look…
Aaaand I’m back! And I found some, but I won’t go there. Moving on, I love Love LOVE Hello Maypole and they were a dream to send me a product package so that I could get my hands on those cute felt ball garlands! This perfect touch of whimsy adds depth and dimension to our décor. Plus, not to beat the “recurring theme” horse until its dead, but it’s like an entire garland of colorful polka dots! When you’re planning your decorating, don’t forget to look at what types of lines and shapes you’re using. Obviously in this shoot, we went with lots of circles, i.e.: balloons, polka dots, placemats, cake/cake stand, florals, felt ball garlands, etc. Again, the attention to these types of recurring themes throughout our entire shoot is what gives it the continuity; the “finished” professional feel.
Hello Maypole sells these felt balls loose or in garlands, so if you’re feeling crafty and needing a girl’s night before the wedding, this super simple DIY project requires no skill and looks good in pretty much any way, shape, or form. Basically, you can’t screw it up.
Other fun touches of décor include vintage cameras and old soda crates. These are great filler items in a display and add personality when decorating your wedding! For example, we got all the old cameras from our photographer, Ashley, who decorates her home office for her photography business with them. Don’t be afraid to pull items straight out of your home or that of a friend or family member if it completes your “look”.
And last but DEFINTELY not least, we love these over-the-top jumbo balloons we found on Pick Your Plum. They blew up to 36” in diameter (it took me three car trips to get all the balloons home and it popped the orange balloon :( But, they are still one of those over-the-top details that are just going to get everyone laughing! Trust me, I was in a SUPER bad mood today, but looking at these pics and thinking of how much fun everything was has totally brightened my outlook.
These suckers are big enough to stand alone as their own décor, but they’re so fun, who can resist using them for their bridal portraits??? Um definitely not us!
In a wedding world of white and pastel roses, be a gerbera daisy! Could anything be more charming? I went bold on our color palette and pulled bright yellow ranunculus, button poms, and crespedia. From there, we’ve got bright pink tea roses, orange ranunculus, red gerbera daisies (although I do wish I had used the mini instead of full size), pops of green hypericum berry and purple lisianthus, and a few cheerful sprigs of feverfew.
I specifically used the more traditional round, hand-tied bouquet because of the shape and style of the dress. A large cascade or free-flowing bouquet design would have covered up that dress completely and we can’t have that.
Instead, this rounded bouquet really pops with the white dress as a background, accentuating both the dress AND the bouquet instead of one over the other.
And I used these same flowers to create mix n’ match brightly colored boutonnieres.
Last, but not least, we’re sending this bride and groom off with custom-colored handmade confetti by Jan with Pity Partyer and a get-a-way moped! Jan creates custom color way confetti and was a doll to work with. She incorporates not just paper into her hand-cut confetti, but feathers, sequins, and so much more! And so much of her confetti creations reflect her great sense of humor. She's definitely one to follow on Instagram. Our flower girls loved tossing Jan's confetti mix so much that we may or may not have staged that…ahem…several times :)
You better believe I'd be hopping on the back of that thing with my hot new groom and riding off into the sunset! Or maybe his and her mopeds because they're not really built for two, but who cares about things like actual logistics ;) The skies the limit right?
If you’ve read this far, you’re a champ. I’m fully aware that I love to share, overshare, and then share again when I’m excited about something, but when you work so hard and then Ashley with Hawkeye Photography gets you back images like this, it’s pretty much next to impossible not to be over-excited. It’s so important for the photographer to catch the vision behind the look and feel of your wedding so that their images and editing style work seamlessly into all your tireless planning and preparations and Ashley gets it every time! Here is some of my favorite portrait work from Ashley on this shoot!
Thanks for stopping by my little corner today! I hope you loved this Colorful Retro Soda Pop inspired wedding. Feel free to drop a comment below, share this with your friends, or pin away! And keep scrolling for a complete vendor list. You guys are the best!
Vendor List: Retro Soda Pop Shoot
The Pear Blossom
The Pear Blossom
*Featuring Sweetapolita Sprinkles!
Felt Ball Garland:
Soda Pop Quilt:
Emily Herrick Designs
Cassia Leigh Design
The Startup Building
Meet the Designer
Emily first fell in love with flowers while studying floral design at Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2002. She did her first wedding that same summer and has been designing weddings ever since. With over 12 years of experience in the floral and wedding industries, Emily loves creating flowers that bring beautiful colors, textures, and most importantly, memories to every event.