How to Choose Your Wedding Colors
Your color scheme for the wedding has the power to set the vibe – so choose wisely. Focusing on the color theme early on is important to ensure that everything else obtained for the wedding is well coordinated and suited to the wedding as a whole. The colors are completely up to you but you will need to take into account where you’re getting married, and the formality or informality of your ceremony and reception.
The complexity or simplicity of color schemes are another part of your decision and these will depend on your personal preferences, budget, and patience! Here are the top determining factors to selecting your hues.
Use your favorite shade
You’ve been in love with pale lavender since the first grade, so this is a good place to begin – with what you love. You can tastefully incorporate any color into your wedding decorations by selecting the right hue, and combining it with the right accents.
- Which colors are you drawn to most? Is there one particular color or several? If there are several colors, are they compatible?
- Check your wardrobe. Leaving aside the standard office black, what are the other colors that emerge the most? These colors are a good indicator of your general color preferences.
- Make a color inspiration or mood board. Get a piece of thick card and place images you like from magazines on the board, images that highlight the colors you’re keen on. You can also use color paint charts to help you match the hues and to get subtle shade variations.
Consider the setting
Look at the colors used in your venue’s carpeting, drapery and decorations. If the site has strong colors, you’ll need to select a color scheme that complements. If you already have your heart set on a certain color, you may need to select a more neutrally decorated site but this needs to be sorted out very early on or you may miss out on a good location! However, keep an open mind about colors until you’ve chosen the venue, because the setting may well suggest the color scheme for you.
- Older buildings can have very rich, over-patterned curtains and carpets. Check these with care because they can clash badly with your color scheme.
- If the colors of the venue are very strong and you have your heart set on that venue, consider predominantly white and/or cream for the color scheme as this will be both effective and matching. This will allow you to add a touch here and there of a favorite color without overdoing it, but these splashes of color will tone down any spartan feel of the white theme.
- For outdoor weddings, look for fresh and light colors that suggest the brilliance of outdoors.
Be prepared to have two different/distinct color themes if your church or wedding building and reception venue are very different in tone
In general, it is probable that you will have more leeway to use colors with the reception than where the wedding ceremony itself is held. However, you can still carry the color theme in clothing and flowers from the place of marriage to the reception, even if you can’t decorate the church, town hall, or register office as much as you’d like.
Enlist your favorite bloom
If sunflowers are your thing, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t make it into your décor scheme. Incorporate your predominant flower color – either making it the dominant shade or using it as an accent – and it will all come together.
Consult the season
Decorating is simple when Mother Nature is your guide, so let the natural colors of the season be your inspiration. That doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with prissy pastel decorations during spring or brown and orange during fall/autumn. Just make sure that the wedding colors you choose complement the blooms and foliage that are naturally available during that time of year.
- Be wary of combinations that usually go with other celebrations, unless it’s the right time of year. For example, red and green is associated with the holiday season. While that would be fine for a winter or holiday season wedding, it would be less suitable for a spring or summer wedding.
- Pastels are best for warmer weather; otherwise they can appear too cold.
- When thinking about seasonal colors, think of variations of shades and not just the commonly recognizable colors. For example, for fall/autumn, consider maroon, russet, gold, amber, and ochre as well as the usual brown, orange, and red colors.
Remember the bridesmaids’ dresses
If you want your bridesmaids decked “head to toe” in your color, you’ll need to make sure it’s an appealing and flattering shade to wear. You may need to accept variations in the shades to keep each bridesmaid happy, especially if it’s a color that one or more of them are not happy to wear.
Get the groom and best man involved
The cummerbund, waistcoat, and tie can all be in the color theme of the wedding. And don’t forget the buttonhole.
Incorporate color with care
It is common to have a color palette with up to five main colors for many weddings now but you do need to be careful that the colors don’t overwhelm the wedding or create a sense of disjointed themes. Also, exact color matches on everything is overwhelming; instead, go for shade variations on the original colors. Rely on small touches here and there for getting across the wedding color scheme rather than huge bold displays of it, such as the font color on invitations, and little ribbon touches here and there.
- Use the color theme on the invitations, the place cards, the ribbons around flower arrangements, the flowers, in the flower girl’s hair or waist sash, and on the wedding cake.
- If the color of flowers you really wanted are not in season, rely on white flowers and use the ribbons and other decorative elements in the color of choice instead. This will still indicate the color theme without losing the beauty of the floral arrangements.
Take care with color on the wedding cake
Aim for simplicity of color with the wedding cake, as brightly colored food is not very appealing. Use a good cake maker who is familiar with color matching, and also consider adding flowers to the cake to reflect the color element.