Having ‘wedding colours’ is a fairly recent invention of the wedding machine, but nonetheless have become a very important decision for the bride and groom to make. The Colour palette of the event sets the tone for the whole affair and creates a sense of unity from the Save The Date and Invitations, through the fashion and reception decor, right the way to Thank You cards. So once they are chosen, they will be everywhere – hence the importance of getting the right palette.
So what is the right palette? To be honest there are no right or wrong choices for wedding colours – they might be favourites of the couple, or colours that mean something to them. They might be colours that work well with the venue or look particularly good on the bridal party. There can be one, three or none at all if the couple decide to go with a general vibe rather than a specific palette. Either way, as long as the bride and groom are happy with them, they are the right colours.
Every colour has a meaning and represents different things and while not everyone is into this kind of thing, it can be a good place to start when trying to decide what colours to use.
White represents innocence, purity and simplicity. It is the most pure and complete colour on the spectrum and thus brings with it a feeling of completion. It is also the colour of new beginnings and can be used to represent the new beginning of the bride and grooms’ life together. White can be used as the main colour of the event to create a pure, sophisticated look or can be used beside other colours to make them really pop.
FYI: In Eastern cultures white represents mourning and is used at funerals, never weddings.
The colour red is most well-known for representing love and passion, but it also represents joy, excitement, vibrance, courage and desire. It is an invigorating and powerful colour that focuses attention and is a great way to create a warm, inviting space for wedding guests that is full of love and energy. At the same time red can be a bit overwhelming if it is overused, so be careful with this colour and make sure to choose the right shade for the event.
Pink is a gentler version of red – it represents love, kindness and romance, tenderness, sweetness and a sense of playfulness. Pink obviously comes in many different tones and the stronger tones (like hot pink) give of more energy than the soft colour which tend to imbue a feeling of calmness.
While pink can be a particularly feminine colour, it is a lovely option for a wedding and several hues or tones can be used together to give the palette depth; it also works well with more masculine colours to balance out the overall look.
Yellow is the colour of happiness, hope, honour and joy – mostly. Some duller yellows invoke connotations of illness and decay, so be sure to choose a nice bright shade. Yellow can become overwhelming to the eye if it is overused in one space and should be broken up with other colours – it works really well with white to a create cheerful, warm ambience and is a great pop of colour against darker palettes like grey or navy.
Blue is a very calming colour and represents trust, loyalty, sincerity, wisdom, confidence, and stability. It exists in the palest of baby blues to the brightest of electric blues, and all can be used to create a positive, fun palette for a wedding. Navy blue is a great alternative to black and adds a certain amount of masculinity to the palette.
Green is often called the colour of life and is associated with growth, harmony and safety. It is also linked to jealously and ambition, so make sure to select a warm soft shade or to pair it with another happy colour to make the representative intentions clear. Green is another colour that exists in a plethora of tones and hues and this makes it an easy colour to work into almost any palette as either a highlight or a more subdued secondary colour.
Orange is the colour of joy and creativity. It is a combination of red and yellow and as such, represents a combination of the meanings of both colours. It is happy, vibrant and passionate and can be very stimulating when used in the right way. Orange is usually associated with Autumn weddings, but doesn’t have to be restricted to the Fall months. In the right palette it can be crisp and bright in summer or warm and cosy in winter – this is a great colour to experiment with.
Purple is another combination colour, mixing the fierce passions of red with the calm stability of blue. It is often associated with royalty, luxury, wealth, dignity, grandeur, devotion, peace, and magic and as it doesn’t occur a lot in nature it is often viewed as a sacred colour. Purple works well in most settings, but can look tacky in certain shades so be careful when using this colour.
For a long time black was a taboo colour at weddings and rightly so – it is associated with death, evil, power and mystery! But it also represents formality, elegance and sophistication and is required to show off the depth of other colours in the palette. Black is a great colour to use sparingly in a palette in order to make other colours pop and works really well at formal affairs – there is no arguing that black adds a certain something to an event. Be sure to balance black it with lighter colours so that the palette doesn’t feel too dark and gloomy.
Grey is another colour that looks wonderful in a wedding palette but doesn’t have the best meanings associated with it – it is a cool, neutral and emotionless colour that means dirty, dingy and dull, as well as sophisticated and formal and does not hold as much hostility as black. Grey comes in lovely warm hues and is a nice alternative to black – it can be softer on the eye whilst still making the other colours in the palette pop.
Gold is becoming a very popular colour in wedding palettes as it can be bright and sparkly or more subdued and traditional. Either way it brings with it meanings of wealth, richness, extravagance and wisdom. Like its cousin yellow, gold can be overwhelming when used a lot in a small space and therefore should be used in conjunction with other colours to keep the palette balanced and inviting.
Silver is the fun alternative to grey. It carries many of the same meanings but is more lively and playful. It can also denote sleekness, modernity and riches, and like gold can be cool and bright, or subdued and warm. Mix it with colours of the same tone (either cool or warm) to create an elegant, sophisticated and graceful palette. It looks great with white too.
***All the palette examples come from The Perfect Palette. They do a really great job of putting together all kinds of combinations with great mood boards***
Having trouble picking your colours? Check out this great step-by-step system to help work out which colours are right for your event. Click Here