With so many gorgeous colour combinations to choose from, it isn’t easy to pick one cohesive aesthetic for your wedding. Here are some pointers to help you arrive at the perfect colour palette for your big day.
1. Choose a champion colour
Your hero colour is the one that will feature most prominently throughout your wedding. Let this act as the starting point for fleshing out your full colour palette. It doesn’t matter which colour you choose as your champion – you have the whole rainbow spectrum at your disposal – as long as it’s a colour that you love! Once you have selected your signature shade, the next step is to pick a handful of complementary colours — generally two or three of them. These accent colours help to round out your wedding palette, adding dimension and variation. Dear bride-to-be, don’t feel pressurised into choosing colours that are “so right now” but so not you! Trends will come and go. Rather choose your colours based on what resonates with you.
2. Let your location lead your inspiration
Visualise your venue and its surroundings. Have you decided on a blank canvas venue with neutral, uncluttered walls, or an ornate and detailed manor house with existing décor? A neutral venue is versatile and adaptable to any colour combination while a more decorated space may have design elements such as painted walls, brickwork, hanging art, floor finishes, curtains, surrounding trees and plants etc, that you need to consider when choosing your colour scheme. If you’ve already found your dream venue, take note of the natural colours in the ceremony and reception areas to guide you in your colour choices. If you haven’t decided on your venue but you have a very specific set of colours you want to incorporate into your wedding, take some swatches with you when you start venue hunting to make sure that the existing colours of the space don’t clash with the hues you intend to use.
3. Be season-savvy
We get it! Covid upset the apple cart for many brides who planned a Spring wedding, for example, but ended up having an Autumn wedding instead. But, as a general rule of thumb, we encourage you to think about the season during which you intend to get married because certain shades have a natural seasonal fit. For example, delicate pinks and fresh green shout “Spring!” Vibrant shades like coral, papaya or yellow are great for a Summer wedding. Jewel tones like ruby, emerald and topaz are perfectly suited to an Autumn wedding. A mauve and grey combination makes for a stunning wintry palette. That said, you do not have to conform to seasonal colour “rules” if there is a particular set of shades you have your heart set on. A seasoned floral stylist will find a way to make it work by building in lighter / darker accent colours to lift or deepen your look to suit the season. The most important seasonal criteria to take note of is that some flowers are only available at certain times of year and it can be very expensive to source them out of season.
4. Identify your wedding style or theme
Pinpointing your wedding style or theme is an important step when choosing your wedding colours. Just like seasons, some shades are better suited to specific styles than others. For example, a laid-back boho style probably wouldn’t mesh with silver and blingy blue, just as an old Hollywood glam theme is better suited to ivory, gold, silver and black – rather than an explosion of citrus shades. Once you have settled on your theme or style, you will find it easier to whittle away the colours that don’t fit. A consultation with a wedding planner or décor and floral stylist is a great way to nail down your style personality.
5. Pick shades that flatter you – and your bridal party
There is nothing wrong with being uber practical and choosing colours that look good on you, your partner, and your bridal attendants. For example, if you felt that trendy mustard was a possible contender as your main colour, give some consideration as to whether this shade would be as flattering on you, your bridesmaids and your groom as on your tablescapes. Consider universally-flattering colours – or at least incorporate a range of shades that will have everyone looking their best.
6. Factor in non-negotiable décor elements
If there are any must-have décor items that need to be included, build these in from the start rather than trying to add them in later. It would be disappointing to plan your flowers and décor to the minutest detail, only to realise during set-up that your granny’s vintage cream table runner, or those sentimental copper candlesticks stick out like a sore thumb amidst the colour palette you’ve chosen.
7. Do your homework
Pinterest, Instagram, magazines (like this one), and wedding blogs are loaded with inspiration. While we don’t suggest you pick a colour combo just because it’s doing the rounds in the latest fashion blogs, doing your research on these platforms is a useful, and free, way to visualise the colour combinations you are toying with before you commit to your own colour scheme.
8. Consult a colour wheel
You don’t have to be a graphic designer or fashion guru to understand how a colour wheel works. There are a few simple principles to follow. In general, colours that work well together are opposite each other on the wheel because they combine a cool and warm shade e.g. lilac and yellow, or aqua and coral. Other pairings that work nicely are “neighbouring” colours, which are shades that are similar to each other and share a primary colour e.g. berry and blush pink.
It’s true that your colour palette will impact on many of your wedding decisions, such as your flowers, stationery, the groom’s suit and tie, and your bridesmaids’ dresses. But instead of feeling limited by your colour chart, use it as a guideline rather than an absolute rule. Not every aspect of your wedding has to match perfectly. If you have fun with your colours and pick shades that you genuinely love, you really can’t go wrong!
With huge thanks to Annie Hedley from Studio Petals for these insights.
Find your wedding stylist here
If you would like some assistance planning your colour palette, flowers and decor, chat to one of our experienced wedding planners and floral stylists. You will find our KZN magic makers here and Gauteng specialists here.