Most people base their wedding colors on a favorite shade or favorite flower. You’ll want to choose one primary and one or two accents. Start off by seeing if there are any predetermined factors.
- Does either the reception or ceremony site have strong colors?
- Are you set on having a particular flower?
- Have you already chosen your bridesmaid dresses?
If so, you’re halfway to finding your wedding colors. If not, start by thinking about the season when your ceremony will take place. Spring and summer affairs usually include pastels or brights. Winter suggests deep purples, burgundies, grey-greens, and silvers. Fall brings harvest tones - oranges, reds, and yellows.
What to avoid:
- Too much black - while sophisticated, it can end up looking like a funeral, rather than a celebration. If you love black, balance it out with a bright color, or lots of crisp white.
- Losing your personality - Don’t just do pastels because I’ve suggested it above. Think about what you wear normally in your clothing and the shades you’ve used to decorate your home. These are probably colors you are comfortable around already.
- Picking too many wedding colors - two are perfect, and three will still work, but any more than three wedding colors will end up looking ununified and strange. The purpose of wedding colors are to tie everything together, and the best way to do this is to have everything in one of two shades.
If you have a favorite shade, but don’t know what else will go with it, try consulting a simple color wheel. Artists and designers have used this tool for years as a design principle.
- Consider going monochromatic; many shades of one color. A bride I worked with used blue for her ceremony by the sea. Each bridesmaid had a different shade of blue for her dress, and the bouquets include irises, lilies, and delphinium, along with several white varieties of flowers.
- Consider having related tones; ones adjacent to each other on the color wheel. A bride I’m assisting now has green bridesmaid dresses with blue sashes. You might also consider green and yellow, or red, purple and blue.
- Consider having complementary shades- located opposite each other on the color wheel. For example, lavender and pale yellow, or forest green and burgundy.
- If you really love one hue in particular, you might want to highlight it among neutrals. So, bridesmaid dresses might be cream with purple sashes, groomsmen might wear off-white tuxedos with purple boutonnieres, and bouquets might be stephanotis, white roses, and lavender sweet pea.
Once you have some idea of your wedding colors, try out this handy web tool to see how they will look together.