Let a creative color combo inspire and guide your wedding day
By: Kelsey Casselbur
The color palette of your wedding takes a starring role on the stage of the day, inspiring everything from the flowers to the fashion. Because of this, picking hues that you adore makes all the difference.
In most cases, you’ll need to pick at least three colors, though some designers even recommend up to five. At minimum, choose a dominant shade — this should be your favorite hue; the one that takes up most of the palette — as well as two secondary colors. One of these accent colors can be a neutral, such as white, cream, black or grey — or not, as you might opt for two additional bright pigments and then add a fourth or fifth color in a neutral tone. Let your favorite hue take center stage with two-thirds of the attention, and then add visual interest with a complementary hue to filling out the remaining one-third. Resist the temptation to showcase the two main colors as a 50-50 split because it can overwhelm the reception with too much color.
But which colors should you choose? Take into consideration which colors flatter your complexion. Even though you’ll likely be wearing some variation of white, your bridesmaids — who will be surrounding you — will be wearing the dominant color of your choice. Therefore, a bride who looks best wearing purples, blues or deep greens should translate that into her color palette, rather than selecting less-flattering reds, oranges and pinks. Finally, don’t get hung up on the shades matching perfectly. No one but you will notice nor care if the bridesmaid dresses are a different shade of green than the tablecloths — in fact, purposely using several shades of the same color adds a little something extra to the overall color scheme.
If you need a little help finding the right vibe for your wedding day, take a look at these six color combinations. Unlike some pairings, these fresh groupings won’t look overdone on your wedding day—and some guests just might be in awe of your creativity and taste.
Six Fresh Color Palettes
Dominant color: Emerald green
Secondary colors: Lapis blue, deep mint
Emerald Green is the Pantone color of the year—and for good reason! This hue is super-luxurious, calling to mind gemstones and peacock feathers; pair with a just-as-rich deep blue for an ultra-glam look. Just think about how gorgeous it will look if your bridesmaids are donning classy emerald green gowns with deep blue jewels (real or faux is dependent on budget) as accessories. Let the deep mint color shine in bits and pieces across the reception as a way to lighten things up. Rather than sticking with matte hues, aim for iridescent versions — it will make it all feel little bit swankier.
Dominant color: Peach
Secondary colors: Blush pink, vanilla
Rather than follow the bright color trends of years past, take a fresh look at pastels — but not in the 1980s Pepto-Bismol pink kind of aesthetic. Rather, pull inspiration from soft spring hues such as pale peach and a blush pink. Skip the urge to pair this color combo with a bright snow white; a creamy vanilla will keep the palette in the vintage, romantic aesthetic. For a little 1920s glitz – think Great Gatsby – add a sprinkling of glittery gold into the mix.
Dominant color: Berry and Pink
Secondary colors: Aquamarine, muted silver-gray
Calling all warm-weather brides! This tropical color combo will add pep to any and all nuptials, while a pale grey accent color just gives it a touch of freshness (in contrast to the standard white accent color). Just picture it: The men suited up in a classy grey suit; the bridesmaids in a shade more akin to a pink rose than the neon alternative. The cheeriness of aquamarine – more blue than green – offers a lively complement.
Dominant color: Plum
Secondary colors: Lilac, navy blue
This color palette really shines due to its versatility — Whether you’re getting married during spring or fall, in a hotel ballroom or on a yacht, a plummy purple highlighted by a lighter shade of the same color and accented with classic navy just works. Dress your ‘maids in deep purple gowns and accent it with bouquets of paler purple and white flowers; maybe even throw in some light blue hydrangeas for good measure. Deep purple is the “it” color as of late, so brides who go for this combination will be in good company.
Dominant color: Lemon yellow
Secondary colors: Grey, navy blue
‘Twas never anything fresher or brighter than the shades of sunny yellow – except when it’s paired with navy! This is a springtime color combo if there ever was one, but the addition of grey makes it translate to the summer months, too. One of the most popular uses of the sunny yellow hue is in the ultra-hip ombre form, whether on cakes or stationery.
Dominant color: Merlot
Secondary colors: Eggplant, coffee
How about a color combo that’s just right for the late fall and winter months? The saturated dark red hue inspired by a bold wine provides a stunning base for this cool-weather palette, while the rich purple eggplant and coffee colors offer just the right complement. This is just right for the type of wedding that occurs in the evening, made magical by flickering candlelight and free-flowing wine.
By: Kathryn Bechen
When it comes to your wedding, what’s color got to do with it?! According to several popular San Diego florists, wedding coordinators, and event planners, a lot! We interviewed them to get the latest “luscious lowdown” on color tips and trends.
Bradley Dean Snyder, principle of the luxury wedding and events firm, Fun With Jack, says black and white combined with another color is popular right now, as are all the peacock colors including bright teal, shocking sapphire, and gold. “It’s so easy to work around those colors; buy one peacock feather and go with it!” he suggests. Snyder, who’s fond of creating “a juxtaposition of elegant flowers and gnarly crusty organic elements,” says peacock colors are “a beautiful color marriage for a bride who wants a stunning aspect, yet because it’s a masculine palette of colors there is something for everyone, and the palette is also very easy on the eye with its majestic vibrancy.” Other colors Snyder sees a resurgence of are lavender, bronze, and tarnished sterling, which he says lend themselves to a “hyperelegant plush” look. He also notes that hot pink is not seen much lately and instead, augmented tones like dusty purple, as opposed to shocking purple, are emerging.
Patrick Higgins, owner of Artistic Florals for 25 years, says colors seem to be “all over the place this year” but he notes that monochromatic tones are very popular right now, especially for his smaller weddings. Think all-white, all-red, all-pink or all-purple. He has one bride who has chosen all-purple hydrangeas and another all-red roses. And his all-pink bride? Her flowers are pink hydrangeas, mokara orchids, and roses. He also suggests adding color to your bouquet by including heirlooms. “We did Mickey Mouse for a groom who worked for Disney, and we intertwined a handkerchief that was three generations old into a bridal bouquet,” he notes.
Wynn Austin, owner of Le Chic Wedding Consulting, says one of the hottest colors lately for the 20-35 weddings a year that she coordinates is blue. “I’m seeing everything from cobalt blue to peacock blue to turquoise blue with a backsplash of white,” she says. She also notes that red is still popular, but it’s being used more as an accent color instead of the main color. As for pink? “The ‘girlie princess pink’ and fuchsia colors have morphed into a more mature and contemporary blush pink used more as an accent color rather than the main color,” she says. She also notes that black is more of an accent color too these days, and she is also seeing bridesmaids wear black dresses with blush pink or ivory flowers.
Veteran floral and event designer Kathy Wright of Kathy Wright and Co., says pewter and green are popular for bridesmaid dresses right now. “Both colors lend themselves well to white and cream flowers,” she notes. She said white was popular years ago and is now “back again with a vengeance.” Like Higgins, Wright is also seeing a lot of monochromatic colors. She also notes that orange is very popular and looks great with stainless steel/pewter and that muted tones of champagne and taupe are popular colors now as well. Purple has been on and off again for the past couple of years according to Wright, and she is also not seeing much hot pink, yellow, bright orange or lime green. As for linens? Wright suggests keeping them neutral and like jewelry, “let your accents/accessories be the ‘pop’ pieces in color and style.”
Alexandra RoseLee, owner of AR Affairs, says a mix of colors is popular with her brides, with gold and silver being classics, as are black, white, and red. She says fuchsia, lime green, orange, and yellow are still being chosen and that purple with leopard print is back in vogue. RoseLee is also doing shabby chic vintage weddings with some glamour accents in cream, tan, ivory, and very pale pink colors. She says black and yellow is also emerging as a popular color duo. “Yellow is an easily overwhelming color that should only be used in spirts,” she suggests. “Use it for paper product accents, or use all-yellow roses with black linens and black feathers.” For bright colors like lime green and orange, RoseLee says to do the opposite and instead of using them sparingly, use a lot of those colors all over for impact.
So, what’s color got to do with your wedding? “Color needs to be from each couple’s perspective,” says RoseLee. “Ultimately, choose what you like.”
By: Kristen Castillo
Your color choices reflect on your wedding, your personality and your style. Love bold reds? You’re a passionate bride. Adore soft pink or peach? You’re a fan of the classics. So what happens when you combine these colors with a neutral or an accent color? Your color scheme comes to life. What color combinations are stunners? What’s trending? We’ve asked weddings pros to share their favorite color combo selections.
Forget basic black. This season’s neutral choice is navy blue, which goes well with many hues.
Kristin Watkins of Stephanie Rose Events loves pairing the dark color with lime green or turquoise.
“Navy blue is a classic color that is always sophisticated,” says Watkins. “When paired with the brightness of lime green or turquoise it makes the combination fun, fresh and young.”
“I am currently in love with the lighter pastel color combinations,” says Ashley Frederickson of Always Flawless Productions. “I feel like they bring back old-fashioned romance.”
Her favorite pastel palette these days is mixing light lavender with mint green and ivory, a look she calls “natural and earthy look,” crediting the lavender for creating a “romantic vibe.”
Your color combo doesn’t have to be limited to two or three colors. Diana Romero of At Your Side Planning + At Your Side DMC loves the fusion of burgundy, orange, ivory, light pink and purple, explaining, “With a multi-colored palette comes the opportunity to incorporate all of these gorgeous colors into any aspect of your event.”
Balancing the delicate white and pink roses with bolder colors of peach, purple and burgundy creates interest and adds, “pop to the arrangement,” says Romero.
The combination of turquoise and gold with nude accents is a hit for fashion and event stylist Sophie Mae of Stylish Details Events because the mix, “just feels so fresh and light.”
Pairing trendy turquoise with gold can make the look very modern, especially since nudes are replacing traditional wedding colors like white and ivory.
- Color Coding
Your color choices are more important than they may seem. The right color choices will blend together to create a very cohesive look. The wrong color scheme might look dated or sloppy.
“We always advise that our couples choose two main colors that really ‘pop’ and pair them with a neutral, so that the colors don’t overwhelm the event,” says Mae, who recommends choosing colors you love that are also timeless.
“You don’t want to look back in ten years and regret the color of your bouquet because of a photo you saw on Pinterest,” she says.
Finding your colors starts with deciding which ones suit your style and personality.
“If your style is dramatic, then we recommend focusing on deeper colors,” says Romero. “If your style is more subtle, a focus on softer colors may be what you are looking for. There are countless options when choosing a color palette that suits your own unique style.”
- Using Color Correctly
Your use of color can be soft and subtle or bold and striking. It’s your choice. No matter what your colors are, be sure to maximize their impact during your celebration.
If you have a few colors in your wedding palette, use them strategically.
“A trendy decision would be to not only integrate one color into the attire, but two or more,” says Romero, noting bridesmaid dresses and men’s ties and vests can each be one of the wedding colors. For example, groomsmen can wear light pink, peach or burgundy ties (as part of Romero’s favorite color scheme, noted earlier).
Using coordinated linens is a great way to show off color at the reception. Try something unexpected too like placing a single flower at each place setting in your wedding color, suggests Watkins, who also recommends incorporating wedding colors in place cards, menus, table numbers and favor cards.
For couples looking to be bold, she recommends using colored uplights and “bathing the entire room in your wedding colors.”
Still you don’t need to color every moment of the party. “I think the biggest obstacle couples encounter with color is trying to keep everything within the two specific colors they chose for their wedding,” says Frederickson, who instead suggests “adding hints of other colors” which can give the “wedding more dimension and is going to help prevent it from looking too matchy matchy. “
- Other Combos to Consider:
Blush and Gold. Watkins loves this color combo, calling it, “so perfectly sweet and bridal.”
- Black and White. This classic color scheme is always a stunner, especially when highlighted with an accent color like red or hot pink.
- Yellow and Gray. Pairing sunny yellow with neutral gray is a sophisticated choice that “pops” in person and on camera.
- Orange and Fuchsia. A bold combo, these colors work well for a bright and beautiful event.