Mistakes You're Making with Wedding Colors


When I got married all the way back in 2010, it was really common to pick very specific wedding colors. I had friends all around me choosing aqua blue, or gold and white, or purple and yellow. These color combinations were based on very specific tones.

For my wedding, I didn’t want to stick to just one or two colors. I wanted a full palette, but I wasn’t sure how to do that. I have always had a lot of favorite colors, so when I went to the paint store to pick out some swatches, I picked four specific hues that were impossible to match in almost every aspect of wedding planning from bridesmaid dresses to flowers. Especially flowers. Because I gave such a rigid color assignment to everything, nothing turned out quite right. It was all off, and I was disappointed.

I did a lot of things wrong with my wedding. I’ve accepted that and moved on, but as a wedding professional I want to ensure that others don’t make the same mistakes. Lots of people need direction when planning a wedding. It’s not something most people do all the time! So, here is my advice about choosing colors that you will feel great about throughout the planning process and years later when you look back at your wedding.

One Color to Rule Them All

Start with one color you love. For example, let’s say you really like a vibrant, raspberry pink. This is your primary focus color. From there, build around it by adding the same hues. Go softer by adding blush, or dark and more dramatic with maroon.

Now think about different colors. You’re going to have greenery in your flowers, so you can count on that balancing it out a bit.

Then give your designing vendors (florists, cakes, linens) a little room to add in some supporting colors. Maybe your florist adds just a tad of light yellow.

Everything you pick should support the main color, not compliment it. All of the sudden you have a palette with a wide range of movement. And all you had to do was pick raspberry pink!

So let’s do this again. Instead of a specific couple of hues, choose one. White. Support with some creams. Another trick I use it to choose something that will make the main color stand out, so we’re going to pick a dark burgundy to use behind the white and creams. Really make them pop. The darker color isn’t competing or complimenting, it’s still supporting.

Why Is This Worth It?

This may sound too simple, but in the end, this will save you so many headaches. When you find those awesome bridesmaid dresses that everyone in your wedding party loves, but they aren’t an exact match to your color, they will still look fantastic in your wedding if you have a variety of support in your palette. Going back to that first example: if the dresses land somewhere between raspberry and blush, they’ll fit in just fine because you created a moving scale of color instead of something rigid.

When it comes to flowers, this is twice as true. Flowers can be fickle things. That specific color you love might not be in season, or the crop failed or just came out so-so. I want you to have gorgeous flowers on your wedding day, but that requires flexibility to account for which flowers I can get my hands on at any point in time. You will get the prettiest and best flowers if there’s more wiggle room on color.

Get Some Ideas

It’s way more common now to see this softer line of color palettes in weddings. Snoop around Instagram, and you should find some great examples of what I’m talking about. If you need help finding more specific things on Instagram, check out one of my recent posts where I lay out everything you need to know about searching for wedding vendors and ideas.

I loved my wedding colors, but nothing fit into the very narrow parameters I set. I had four complementing colors to choose from, thinking it would give enough flexibility. All it did was give four specifics that were never quite met. If you go with supporting colors instead, everyone who designs for any aspect of your wedding will have the room to create something beautiful that fits into your palette.

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