There is one question you'll be asked from every wedding vendor: "What's your color palette?" Your answer will dictate what flowers your florist can use, what color your cake will be, your linens, your bridesmaids’ dresses, the men's suits... the list goes on! Here are our tips on how to decide on the perfect wedding palette.
1. Get Inspired
The first step to choosing your perfect wedding color palette is searching for inspiration. For the most part, any palette you can dream up has already been curated, tested, and proven before; it's just a matter of finding it and making it your own.
The easiest way to find color palettes is to look at paintings and photos. The artist has already done most of the work for you. Find a photo or a painting that speaks to you and pin it to your wedding inspiration board on Pinterest; or, for those that prefer a hard copy, print it out and put it in your wedding book. This can be an image of anything: a breezy beach scene, street art, a building. It doesn't need to be an image of a wedding.
Let's not forget, your wedding is about a collective you, not just you, so you should take your partner's likes into account. Ask them their opinion on the inspiration image and make sure that it suits their taste as well. If not, go back to the drawing board until you find an image that speaks to both of you. This is the perfect opportunity to work together on finding a good compromise!
2. Consider Your Venue
Next, consider your venue. Is it a mostly neutral, blank-slate-type space? Or is it a vibrant pop-art gallery? Make notes of the colors that you see reflected in your venue. If you don't have a venue selected just yet, feel free to get inspired by collecting some photos of your dream venues and note the colors that appear in most of them. Are these colors reflected in your inspiration image? Would the image complement the space?
3. Keep it Timeless
One thing that always comes up when discussing color palettes is the Pantone Color of the Year. When considering using the Color of the Year in your wedding color palette, use discretion. Has it always been a favorite of yours? If so, you will probably continue to enjoy it for years to come– so, go for it! You can even use some of the photos provided by Pantone upon the unveiling of the color as your inspiration image. If you just like it because it’s of-the-moment, we encourage you to think twice and potentially reconsider.
It may seem like a lot of thought to put into selecting the colors for one day, but remember a photo is forever. These photos will hang on your wall, your mantle, your Instagram feed for the rest of your life; so, it's important to make sure that the colors you choose not only go with your current aesthetic but are timeless enough to evolve with you. Look around your home(s), are there pieces that have been with you and your partner forever? What colors are those pieces? Would your inspiration image hang well on the wall in your home?
4. Use the Formula
Now it's time to introduce the formula (that's right, we can get pretty scientific here at Classic Wedding Designs). The perfect color palette contains at least one light color, one medium color, one dark color and one neutral. Once you’ve established the base of your palette, feel free to add one or two more colors if you’d like.
Light Color + Medium Color + Dark Color + Neutral = The Perfect Color Palette Look at your inspiration material and select a color for each part of the formula. What colors do you see? This is a trick question because most of us would just say purple or blue, for example. Look deeper. Okay let's say it's blue–What kind of blue? French blue? Navy blue? So deep it's almost black, blue? Get specific! Even better, find a photo you can use for reference. Start with your dark color. Dark doesn't need to be super dark, it is simply the darkest shade in your palette. For some it could be Wine, for others, it could be Purple. What season are you getting married in, spring…autumn? This can help you determine how dark you want to go. Typically, the later in the year, the darker the color palette - but feel free to be bold no matter the season, it’s YOUR wedding! Next, go for your medium color. This will be your most saturated color. Think apricot or marigold. For the light color, choose a lighter shade of either your medium or dark color. This way you can be sure it coordinates with both. The hard work is done! Now all that's left is the neutral color–and it's neutral, which means it goes with just about anything, so you can't go wrong. If you're blanking on neutrals, fear not, here are some tried and true favorites: black, white, beige, champagne, nude, gray, gold, silver–really any metallic.
5. Check Your Work
You're almost there, I promise! Because this is one of the most important days of your life, I think a little fact-checking is in order. Look at your color palette, do you like it? Great! Is there a color that you feel would be flattering on your wedding party, including the neutral? Perfect! One more test, plug your color palette into the search bar of your choice–We prefer Pinterest, but Google works too. So…what do you think? Can you picture it? Amazing!
Remember when applying your palette to your wedding, use it thoughtfully, or defer to your vendors' advice. The bolder, medium, colors should be used sparingly with the majority being your neutral and light or dark (depending on the season).
Congrats, now you can confidently supply all of your vendors with your color palette and start picturing your dream wedding!