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Scheming Your Wedding's Color Palette

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For some brides-to-be, selecting the color scheme for their wedding may seem to be the most daunting task of them all. Picking palettes and deciding which hues best complement each other may be a foreign concept to a lot of brides. But before you get too flustered, heed some advice from the color experts to make choosing your scheme simpler than ever.

Adhere to Emotion

Picking colors for your wedding can be as easy as tuning in and paying attention to your feelings, says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

“Because this is a very emotional, important day, I think you need to look at color from the standpoint of what it says to you, how it speaks to you,” Eiseman says.

When browsing magazines, searching through Pinterest or wandering the streets, be sure to note any combinations that you are innately drawn to, as this initial reaction speaks a lot to what you love. And if there is a color that resonates with you, whether it is because it’s been your favorite since you were young or it has some specific meaning to you, don’t stray from it, says Eiseman.

Step Away from the Screen

Danielle Rothweiler, founder and owner of Golden Wedding Planners in Verona, N.J., stresses the importance of seeing the colors you select in person — not on the computer screen. Everything will look different when it’s physically in front of you, she says. Comparing and combining color swatches hand-on will be a tremendous help in finalizing a palette.     

From there, planning other aspects of the wedding will come easier. “Use those swatches as your bible for everything that you’re planning,” Rothweiler says. “Those swatches go to your florist, they should come into your venue for anything with your décor.”

Keep an Open Mind

In the past, brides would get caught up in the idea that certain tones are only appropriate for certain seasons. However, Eisman says that’s no longer the case. “I think you should leave yourself open to the potential of things that are a little bit different rather than just letting it be prescribed by the season of the year,” she says.

Rothweiler agrees, noting that although it might be a bit easier to work with the seasons when consulting with a bride, anything is possible when it comes to a wedding’s palette. It’s all about getting a little creative. “I believe that you can put together a winter wedding on the Fourth of July weekend if you want,” Rothweiler says.

Your wedding venue also should play into your color choice, says Alison Howard, owner and founder of Alison Howard Events in San Diego. If the colors you choose clash with those within the venue, adjusting the scheme might be necessary. For such situations, she recommends using a monochromatic palette filled with ivories, creams and whites.

“That always works best because then [brides] can put little pops of color throughout if they’re wanting to incorporate color in other areas,” Howard says. “It’s very simple, elegant and classy, and they’re not overwhelmed by it.”

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