How to Create the Perfect Wedding Color Palette

by Bridestory Oct 18, 2016 | 12:00 in Wedding Ideas  


Photography: Megan Welker Photography

As soon as you step into a wedding reception venue or browse through our real wedding photos, what is the first thing that you notice? Perhaps it's the decoration, the flowers, or it could be the carefully-selected color palette that pulls everything together in harmony. In fact, you probably don't remember the particular details of a friend's wedding you attended one year ago, but you might remember the shades of blue that dominated the whole setting.

A wedding color palette is actually one of the things that makes a celebration so remarkable and memorable. It also sets the overall mood and ambiance of the whole day, while aesthetically complementing the wedding theme at the same time. All in all, choosing the right colors for your wedding day is not a step to be taken lightly.

Today, we're giving you a step-by-step guide on choosing the right colors for your wedding. A great color palette should be cohesive, beautiful, and most importantly it should reflect your personality as a couple. If you're ready to start creating a wedding color palette, go ahead and follow our simple steps below.

Step #1: Picking your colors

First things first, you need some colors to start with. If you have a favorite color that simply must be a part of your wedding celebration, then you've got this step sorted out. However, if you and your partner don't have a particular color combination in mind, here are some sources of inspiration to start with.

Colors you love
Start by looking for colors that you are drawn to. And where should you find them? Anywhere and everywhere around you. Open your wardrobe and identify the colors that you wear the most. Have a look at your furniture and home decor, taking note of the colors that appear often. Remember to ask your fiancée to do the same.

Photography: Michael Radford Photography

The venue
The next place to refer to is your wedding venue. Most likely, it's the first thing that you booked, and the last thing you want is for it to clash with your wedding colors. Pay another visit to your venue, see what it already has to offer and go along with it. If the venue floor is already padded with, say, a maroon carpet, then it's best that you choose colors that will complement the carpet, unless you're planning to cover the whole floor.

Color psychology
Another way to decide on your wedding colors is to think of how you want your wedding to feel like, how you want your guests to perceive the wedding. If you want the wedding to feel royal and elegant, you can experiment with colors that evoke a sense of richness like burgundy or purple. If a cheerful and fun atmosphere is what you're aiming for, then orange or yellow can be your pick.

If you want to adorn your wedding with plenty of flowers, keep in mind that some colors are easier to obtain during particular seasons. Do some research beforehand on what flowers are in season on the day of your wedding, so that you won't have to import expensive flowers in order to realize your dream wedding color palette.

Wedding priorities
Last but not least, keep your priorities in mind. Is there a particular thing that you must have in your wedding? Say, your grandmother's vintage pearls? Or perhaps you've dreamed your whole life to have a fuchsia flower wall on your wedding? If this is the case, then start with the colors of these essential items and then work from there.

Photography: Joseba Sandoval Photography

Step #2: Arranging a palette
After you've found your main colors, it's time to arrange a palette. Keep it simple, don't add too many colors. Having four or five colors is sufficient. On the other hand, don't be afraid to experiment with the colors you choose. Go beyond the predictable color combinations and don't forget to also experiment with textures. Also, broaden your color window. If you want to have a blue-themed wedding, be specific. What kind of blue? Do you mean navy or dusty blue? Experiment with different shades of blue to discover the one that you really like.

Still confused? Don't worry, we've prepared a few foolproof formulas based on color theory. Take a look at them in the infographic below.

Once you've created a color palette, find images to support the dream wedding you have in mind. Try as best as you can to create a comprehensive and cohesive inspiration board as a guide for yourself and your vendors.

Another tip, find an exact reference to the colors you've chosen. This way, your vendors will not misinterpret any of your choices and use a different color. Look no further than Pantone, the internationally-renowned color bank as the easiest reference for your wedding colors.

Photography: Corbin Gurkin

Step #3: Working with the palette
Now that everything is all set, what's left to do is implement your palette to your wedding elements. There are a lot of wedding elements you can add your color to: the flowers, bridesmaid dresses, wedding cake, favors, decorations, invitations, even your wedding dress if you feel like wearing something other than a traditional white dress!

The key is a balanced proportion. You don't have to even out the colors by using the same ratio of color on all the elements. Pick one or two primary colors and use the others as accents for a harmonious composition.

Color palette examples
To get you started, we've compiled some color palette inspirations right below. Simply click through the slideshow and tell us which one is your favorite on the comment section below!

  • Photography: Williams Photography

    Earthy tones

    Let’s start with earthy tones. Colors like green and brown, along with wooden textures evoke a tranquil feel. They provide a sense of relaxation and are often associated with fertility and longevity. Earthy tones are perfect for couples who love simple settings, making them a great choice for outdoor weddings.

  • Photography: Ale & Kim Photography

    Bright and bold

    Up next is a palette filled with lively colors; red, orange, fuchsia, and bright blue. This kind of palette will add a cheerful and lively atmosphere to any event. It will really liven up the party and your guests will also feel excited for your celebration of a lifetime. Be careful when choosing the colors, though, as too many bright colors can be distracting.

  • Photography: Jose Villa


    After the bright and bold, come the pastels. These soft hues are obtained by combining white with a basic color. Pastel hues evoke a sense of grace, gentleness, and romance. They are the perfect choice for feminine brides and are also great for grooms who often dislike too much vibrant colors.

  • Photography: Jeremiah and Rachel Photgraphy - Jose Villa

    White on white

    White weddings will never go out of style. This palette evokes a clean, timeless atmosphere that can even look modern and refreshing. To make your white wedding look less boring, add balance with accents of different colors. You can choose metallic colors like gold or bronze, or add any other hue you want.

  • Photography: Williams Photography


    Another inspiring wedding palette is one that incorporates metallic colors. Silver, gold, rose gold, ember, and bronze; there are a multitude of metallic colors that you can choose from. You can also create a metallic version of any color you like with a little mix of silver paint. To avoid making the wedding look too “shiny”, add metallic accents on your table decorations or invitation suite.

  • Photography: Amy Anaiz Photography - Christine Pienaar Photography

    Rich gem colors

    This is a palette that’s been pretty trending lately. More brides have incorporated jewel tones such as ruby, emerald, and burgundy into their wedding and we can see why, as these colors imbue a rich and royal feeling into a wedding. If you’re aiming for a luxurious atmosphere, incorporate these colors and feel the mood change in an instant.

  • Photography: Michele Beckwith Photography

    Black with accents

    Who says that black isn’t suitable for weddings? When done right, the color black can add depth and class to a wedding. You can implement it on your bridesmaids’ dresses or on your tableware, or even flowers. Don’t forget to add other color accents to balance it out.

  • Photography: Ballad Photography

    Shabby chic

    Up next is the shabby palette. To get colors that evoke a shabby chic feeling, add a touch of gray to make dusty versions of your favorite colors. Don’t create dusty versions of every color in your palette, though. Keep some colors as they are, so the overall look is not too shabby and drab.

  • Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography - Anna Roussos Photography


    Last but not least is the seasonal palette. This one incorporates colors inspired by spring, the season for flowers. Flowers in different shades, paired with bright and elegant colors will be perfect for a spring wedding. Aside from crafting a bouquet with wonderful flowers, adorning your cake with fresh flowers is also a great way to enhance the cheerful ambience of springtime.

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