Retro  Style Weddings in Iowa| Iowa creative weddings|Vintage style weddings in Iowa

Retro Style Weddings in Iowa| Iowa creative weddings|Vintage style weddings in Iowa

Lavender Blue had an AMAZING dream, inspired by the past , and it became REAL! As luck would have it, the vision won the curiosity of my favorite local vendors, and this is the result: PURE MAGIC!!

Retro wedding style at Hello Marjorie in Des Moines Iowa, with vintage gloves and jewelry, vintage hat worn by bride, bridal party sits together on long leather couch and bride wears a short retro wedding dress

The inspiration was sparked by an old photo from my birth mother. As a small infant, I was adopted into another family, and had to go on a long journey years later to re-connect with birth parents. After talking on the phone a few times, and realizing there was someone out there like ME, I received an old picture in the mail. It was a photo of my Mom and Dad when they were dating, back in the day. It was CLASSIC 60s, with bold floral drapery, martinis in hand, and a giant bouffant hair-do! A few years after a magical reunion, I would be thinking of photo collaborations that would exhibit my LOVE of all things FLORAL and VINTAGE! I went back to the photo, and the result can be seen here!

Bride wears a lace and satin retro-style wedding dress and it has a gold thin band at waist, bride stands under a vintage lampshade at a fancy bar and holds up her flowers from Lavender Blue

Des Moines wedding photographer, Raelyn Ramey, agreed to join me on another crazy idea, and we were off to the races…..or at least ‘Hello Marjorie’. This cool, upscale, vintage-inspired cocktail bar in downtown Des Moines was the absolute perfect setting to tell the ‘story’ of this couple and their special day, celebrating LOVE with friends.


The couple is Kali Ann Jarnagin, and Evan Ramsey, who made an instant transformation into the retro pair that I had envisioned. The color palette chosen for the florals immediately popped out of the background of dark blue and gold curtains.

groom rests arm on large table at bar in downtown Des Moines, known for their retro-chic style, wears a shiny floral tie and dark tux

Iowa model, Evan Ramsey, was brimming with vintage flair as he posed at the grand dining table at ‘Hello Marjorie’, and it felt like we had traveled back in time. I half expected ‘The Rat Pack’ to blow into the joint, and announce that they would be performing for at the club that night. The grey plaid tux from Skeffington’s Formal Wear was sleek and sexy and the silver floral tie took it’s place with pizazz!

bridesmaids and bride sit at a large table in fancy des moines bar and rest their floral bouquets on the table in front of them, in colors of gold, red, and orange

The day that Trixie’s Aveda Uptown salon agreed to style the models with hair and makeup for the wedding, “Hallelujah” played in my head , and all was right in the world for a moment. Jacob Zauche transported Kali Ann’s hair into a coiffed masterpiece fit for Grace Kelly. The magic continued with bouffant styles for the bridesmaids -Charlotte Anderson and Autumn Bradley. Cheeks were blushed, eyelashes were affixed, and lips were colored by Tricia Rivas, owner of Trixie’s , and makeup artist Haley Knight.

black and white image of intimate moment between bride and groom, groom kisses cheek and bride hold tulle from her vintage hat over her eyes

A trip to Valley Junction, a quaint, historical shopping area in Des Moines, provided some awesome accents for the lovely wedding party. I found the perfect vintage bird’s nest veil for the bride, and gloves in varying shades of pink to adorn the hands of the gorgeous bridesmaids.


The mix of colors in this photo is so rich in tone and contrast that it’s hard to look away! Raelyn Ramey is a genus with lighting and her posing directions to the models is always communicated with respect and clarity. She sees the story in her mind and then makes it come to life behind her lens.

Let’s talk about the dresses…….OH MY!!! Weddings by Design, an amazing bridal boutique in West Des Moines Iowa set the bridal party on fire with a mix of vintage-inspired dresses. The girls were ready to sway down a runway in New York City! Just like I had envisioned, the dresses evoked a style and feel that would be oh- so-glamorous and chic in a wedding of today! Without the hassle of finding a “real” vintage dress that may not be the right fit, we were able to style the ladies with comfortable, well-fitting gowns in current trendy colors like the blush seen here. Taking the blush as a main color component and pairing it with yellows and oranges in the floral and props made for an AMAZING result!


Hunter Frescoln, Evan Ramsey, and Conner Koberg, three amazing local models, also happen to be the nicest, coolest guys you could possibly know. It was a true honor to be in the presence of them as they “played” at their job and made everything light and fun that day! The rapport was felt and it rang through in the images, which is a REAL win-win for everyone involved!


This short dress, courtesy of Weddings By Design, was absolutely stunning, with lace overlays and twinkling silver sparkle. The many, many, fabric-covered buttons made for such a magnificent detail in Raelyn’s close- up shots. Not only was the dress beautiful, but it was lighter in weight than most trending dresses found today and gave the bride a chance to show of her shoes as an added accent.

‘Modville’, in Adel , Iowa offered the PERFECT style and props for the vintage-styled sets I wanted to create for this shoot. The vintage mini bar was just like what many couples would have had in their basements back in the 60s. Every last detail, from vintage bar ware to gold plexiglass panels and plaid couches created a true harmony that would not allow the viewer to ‘Walk on By’ like Dionne Warwick was chiming at that time in history.

Our bartender “on duty “ that night was Jeff Naples , aka ‘The Beard Behind the Bar’, a well-known mixologist and restaurant consultant. Jeff used his skills and experience to mix up some awesome retro-inspired drinks with olives and special accents to bring out our color palette of oranges and pinks.


This amazing vintage cocktail table held the art created in the form of a cake that we LOVED so much! Whitney of ‘Little Blackbird Bakery’, an award-winning wedding baker from the area made a phenomenal MACRAME cake that the whole world needs to see! It was breathtaking in it’s design and detail. Besides all that, the vendors and models present couldn’t resist eating some of the decadent dessert the minute we finished up that evening! When I work with my brides on their wedding plans, I ALWAYS refer them to Whitney for the BEST wedding cake you can get in IOWA!!


You cannot get more ROMANTIC and UNIQUE in your own wedding design than this! Macrame, lace, plaid, and pearls……OH MY!!


I bet you never thought of adding SUCCULENTS to a vintage typewriter and placing your wedding rings on top!! The only thing that would make this moment more unique and special would be to have a typed LOVE LETTER to your bride sitting on the platen, half- rolled to her starry -eyed view!


How about a giant LEAF in your wedding photos? WHY THE HECK NOT!!?? Every couple has a story to tell of how they met and how they fell in LOVE - maybe it was at a garden party?


‘Atomic Garage’ in Des Moines, a hip vintage store, had this lovely lingerie set that was perfect for the bride , as she prepared for an evening with her new groom. If you take a peek in the background, her wedding gown is in view, along with old photos on the mirror from my own family collection. There is a pictures of a man in uniform and a couple getting married in the 40s, reflective of what would probably hang on her mirror at that time.


A true REFLECTION OF BEAUTY is present here. Perhaps the bride was reminiscing of her days growing up in front of the large dresser mirror This is where she reflected on the past and dreamt of her future.


Granny square afghans are just as cool and interesting to me as they were in the ‘hey-day’ of macrame and fancy, sculpted ash trays.


Young love, full of hope and excitement , is a feeling similar to what I experienced in this project. I never gave up the desire to create a unique mood and style, but everyone that supported the dream and supported it coming to fruition is forever in my MEMORY. Every moment of creating, from lifting giant furniture to placing the last bloom in a bouquet, was etched into my mind, as it was all part of ME. It was part of MY STORY. Like I said before, I NEEDED to capture some of my own history and honor the BRAVERY of the woman who had to give me away, while presenting a style and uniqueness to any potential BRIDE that dreams of her OWN STORY and how she can have it represented on her special day.


If you wanted to create the perfect styled shoot, announce an ENGAGEMENT with images, or mark history with unique and stunning design ,floral, and photography- I think you know what to do?? Call on LAVENDER BLUE. We will reach out to our amazing local vendor friends. The next step is to enjoy the Experience- IT’S TRUE MAGIC!!

Des Moines Vendors

Photographer: Raelyn Ramey

Florals/Styling/Coordination: Lavender Blue Floral

Wedding Dress/Bridesmaids dress and shoes: Weddings By Design

Tuxes: Skeffingtons

Cake: Little Blackbird Bakery

Hair and Makeup: Trixie’s Salon

Hair- Jacob Makeup: Tricia Rivas and Haley Knight: life.of.haley_

Vintage jewelry/retro robe/gloves/bridal veil: Atomic Garage

Bartender: Jeff Naples/ Bear Behind the Bar

Photo Locations:

Hello Marjorie


Des Moines Models

Models: Kali Ann Jarnagin-@kajarnagin12

Evan Ramsey- @evanram_z

Hunter Frescoln-@hunna_fresh

Conner Koberg-@connerkoberg

Autumn Bradley-@phishfaaace

Charlotte Anderson-@charlette181

West Des Moines Prom Corsages  and Boutonnières

West Des Moines Prom Corsages and Boutonnières

Des Moines // Valentine's Pop Up Shop