Picking a wedding color palette was perhaps one of the most difficult decisions I’ve come across during my own wedding planning process. Deciding on a color combo that represents you as a couple, that speaks to the season and that hasn’t been done a million times is no easy task. After pairing an obscene amount of swatches together, overloading my Pinterest board and with the guidance of my amazing stationer, Katie Fischer Design, I finally came upon gold, light coral, light turquoise blue and papaya for my late summer/early fall nuptials.
Seeing how difficult it was firsthand, I turned to some top-notch wedding experts for advice that I could share with others. These 12 tips are spot-on and will help you navigate the rainbow of options.
- The importance of a wedding palette varies from couple to couple. If you have some specific colors in mind, that can be a great way to start visualizing your wedding. But, if you don’t have anything in mind and it seems foreign to pick two colors, don’t stress it. Your palette can be something that is developed a little later in your planning if need-be. Though people may be asking, there is no reason to force it. Instead, think about a general idea of colors like ” warm neutrals” (ivory, tan, cream), “cool neutrals” (off-white and gray) or “summer brights” (yellows, coral, pinks) or maybe just “sparkle” (add a some shine wherever possible!). That isn’t a specific color, but helps create a feeling and allows your vendors to understand your aesthetic. — Viva Max Kaley of Viva Max Weddings
- Pick the venue first. Select colors that work with your venue space. It’s much easier to create a palette that works with the colors around you than to try and force a palette that may not work well in your space. No need to compete for attention when the attention should be on you! — Ruthie McDonald and Lauren Mace of Eutopia Events
- Think Texture: When you are thinking about color, also keep texture in mind: stucco, wood, stone, paper qualities, metal, cotton, silk, etc. — Ashley Douglass of Ashley Douglass Events
- Use Pinterest. Pinterest is a great way to show what you like and better communicate that to your vendors. It is also helpful if you are still developing your palette. If you keep pinning, you’ll find some patterns will begin to form. Even if you were not planning on it, you may realize you keep pinning tables with dark linens or all the bouquets you pin have a lot of white and blush colors. You will learn something from your own Pinterest account so keep pinning and pay attention. (Editor note: I took this route in creating my palette and surprised myself that the inspiration I was attracted to took a completely different route than I imagined!) — Viva Max Kaley of Viva Max Weddings
- Hit the paint aisle. Where else can you go and find almost any color imaginable right at your fingertips than at your local home improvement store? Here you can grab all of the colors you are drawn too in varying hues and play with them until you come up with a combination that feels right for you. And if you get stuck, you can always go back for more! — Ruthie McDonald and Lauren Mace of Eutopia Events
- Don’t focus on seasonality. Forget seasonality if you don’t like its colors. A job well done with design, is just that! I love fall colors but your wedding doesn’t need to go as far as being branded a “fall wedding.” Make it your wedding first and foremost. — Ashley Douglass of Ashley Douglass Events
- Enlist in your vendors. If you are hiring a florist, let them guide you and provide you with suggestions based on your venue, budget and what flowers are in season. Your caterer may be helpful, too—they often assist in choosing linens and place settings from your rental company and can suggest color combinations based on what is available to rent. Your wedding vendors see a lot of events and can be a wonderful source of inspiration. — Viva Max Kaley of Viva Max Weddings
- Choose colors that reflect the feeling and style you are going for. A black tie affair would use more soft, muted tones, while a carnival-inspired party would use bright colors like red and yellow. — Ruthie McDonald and Lauren Mace of Eutopia Events
- Balance. Ask yourself where you want to put your color. Every detail doesn’t have to have each color. Small amounts of color smartly placed can be more effective sometimes in terms of evoking a feeling. — Ashley Douglass of Ashley Douglass Events
- Colors do not need to be matchy-matchy. If you love the look of perfect coordination then run with it, but it is absolutely fine to be laid back about your palette. In nature, flowers and plants are all different shades of the same color and they are stunning together—same can go with your wedding. Don’t worry about an exact shade of green, but rather try to be consistent enough to tell your guests a story. Let them recognize that your wedding has beautiful varieties of spring greens—some a little brighter, some a little softer. Not all your guests are super observant, they will naturally pick up on general patterns of color, but they won’t notice more specifics than that … no one is holding up the green invite envelope next to your green dinner napkin and noting the difference, they are just noticing that there is a lot of pretty green going on. — Viva Max Kaley of Viva Max Weddings
- Build your color palette from something(s) that inspire you in your everyday life. It could be a pillow on your couch, a favorite necklace or a painting on the wall. Not only will this help you choose colors, but your wedding will also reflect your personality and style. — Ruthie McDonald and Lauren Mace of Eutopia Events
- Don’t be afraid of color. White is a color, gray, grass on the ground of the tent without a floor … too much color is never too much unless used wrong. This is why you have to practice with both rentals and flowers. Color and lighting create feeling, so don’t be afraid of them! — Ashley Douglass of Ashley Douglass Events
Brittny Drye is the founder and editor-in-chief of Love Inc. magazine. A fierce cheerleader for marriage equality, she launched loveincmag.com in 2013 as a way to to celebrate both straight and same-sex love, equally. She lives in New York City with her fiancé and their cat, Scout.