LETS TALK COLOUR, THE SECRET WEAPON IN YOUR WEDDING PLANNING ADVENTURE...
I’ve talked about it before, how easy it is to get caught up in the big photo moments of your wedding, the dress, the cake, the flowers… but one of the most valuable things you can start to think about right at the start of your wedding planning, is your wedding colour palette.
If you aren’t already aware, my background – before I even started working in the wedding industry, is graphic and branding design and I still run a successful bold and brave small business branding graphic design studio alongside my wedding stationery business (The Brand New Studio ) and within each project one of the key areas I spend a great amount of time on is developing a seriously enticing colour palette which reflects the projects values, personality, ethos and style. And once developed this palette sets a clear foundation for the rest of the project, it brings consistency and evokes feelings which connect with the customer and conjures up all the magical feels that the project seeks to portray.
Your wedding colour palette is the same. The more you can pull together all elements of your day, through a cohesive style and colour palette the more of a jaw dropping wow moment you and your guests will have.
APPROACHING YOUR WEDDING COLOUR PALETTE
There are many ways you can approach choosing your colour palette, but these are my key starting points for you to reflect on.
Neutral This will pretty much go with any venue, any style and any season. Whites, creams and nudes with a hint of green foliage. The only place this may not work is in a vast warehouse location where the venue is literally a blank canvas. It’s not for everyone and if you want a highlight colour to run through your day then this approach isn’t for you.
Ombre Using a key colour choose varying shades from light to deep, enhanced again with one other foliage. This gives an incredibly lush feel. Use more of the softer tones for a classic, romantic feel and use mixtures of brighter or darker hues to give more punch. Using the ombre effect in these ways will help this route work across any season and can be a great option if the other aspects of your day (see below) are busy with existing colours and patterns.
Highlight with supporting palette This is the most common approach to a wedding colour palette and is where you can work with your key colour and support it with an array of beautifully complimentary colours to enhance your vision. Using the colour wheel method to choose complimentary or analogous colours is a good starting point if you are stuck here.
THE COLOUR WHEEL METHOD What ever colours you choose for your wedding colour palette you may find consulting the tried and tested colour wheel to find supporting colours a good place for inspiration. These matching methods have been used for centuries in fashion, interior design and art to create complimentary or contrasting colour palettes, so if you are struggling to create a palette then maybe start here.
TIME TO PICK YOUR HIGHLIGHT WEDDING COLOUR
If you decide to go down the Ombre or Supporting Palette routes then now is the time to consider your wedding day as a whole, the venue, the season and time of year and day in which key aspects of your day will take place, what the light will be like, are their already colours within the venue, carpets, wallpapers, curtains, paint colours, planting and of course, your personalities and personal style.
1 - YOUR STYLE
It is likely that very early on in your wedding planning adventure you will have put together an idea of the type of atmosphere you want your wedding to evoke. A glamorous Gatsby style-wedding day will demand a completely different set of supporting colours to a natural whimsical boho wedding. So get your style determined early on in your decision-making.
Use Pinterest to start a few different mood boards in the style you are thinking of which support different colours, you will quickly find which route you are drawn too more.
2 - THE VENUE
Having chosen the mood you want your day to project, it is likely you will have chosen a venue / or are viewing venues which already reflect the type of day you have dreamt of, a more sustainable venue for a down to earth, natural outdoor vibe, a stately home for that decadence, a hotel for your classy city vibe or an off the grid blank canvass for an edgy, chic feel.
Many modern wedding venues will have been built in a way to provide a blank canvas in at least the ceremony and reception areas so couples can deliver their own style, and sometimes the venue might have a brand colour which works well, a lot of our couples getting married at Babington House choose to use a wonderful soft green which perfectly compliments the Babington Branding.
But sometimes you need to work with what is already there – if your venues carpets are antique tapestry and the curtains ornate brocade in dark greens then a bright modern turquoise may not work particularly well. So just take a moment to see what colours you already have to work with and chose something that compliments those, then half your job is already done! Again, go back to the colour wheel if you get stuck.
3 - THE SEASON
In my opinion this plays a key role in choosing your palette. Choose colours which work with your season, it doesn’t have to be a cliché with spring and summer weddings being light and bright and autumn and winter bring dark and bold but there is some method to these traditions which I will highlight below.
It is likely that you will choose to have some of your wedding photographs outside, so ask your venue what planting is abundant in their grounds. Maybe the woodland is full of bluebells, or in spring a host of soft yellow daffodils pop up over the lawn. Maybe the tangled vine over the front of the venue you viewed in the new year will be covered in purple wisteria or fiery red ivy leaves. All these things will be backdrops to your photographs so use them to your advantage.
Now I am not saying you CAN'T have a ‘light, bright, pastel’ wedding in the middle of Autumn, but there are reasons – apart from the natural visual qualities of the seasons and what is in bloom, that have traditionally made Springtime weddings coupled with pastels, summer weddings bright’s and autumn and winter weddings bold and dark.
The diminished natural lighting, fading earlier in the evening during winter months will of course take an effect. Your colours will lose their vibrancy sooner in the day as the early evening falls and instead of your wedding breakfast table displays being baptised in that glorious spring sun, highlighting your delicate blush peonies you will find most likely you are already in a romantic twinkly twilight by the time you all sit down at your tables which will demand a more punchy set up. Again, in winter months the surrounding grounds will become more neutral with branches on show, duller skies and deeper shadows, so choosing some colours and tones with more impact will help bring your venue and photographs to life. In the summer the surroundings will be lush with greens and other blooms, blue skies (hopefully) and bright reflections giving this as a background naturally.
So consider the palette as a whole. You can still use those soft peaches and calm yellows, but maybe they support a more bold foliage design helping them keep their visibility throughout the evening. It’s all about using a key colour and enhancing it with the rest of the palette. It might be that your soft yellow roses that would traditionally fit in a springtime vibe look incredible alongside deep navy Anemone’s and popping out from deep green foliage so play around with your supporting colour palette.
4 - BUT PINK IS MY FAVOURITE
You have a favourite colour, simple right? Go out and buy everything in that colour… but hold on, you’ve got millions of different suppliers all providing slightly different takes on ‘bright pink’ and once everything arrives it looks like some sort of marshmallow-land hell. This is where the word ‘palette’ really comes into play. Think about supporting colours which can enhance your bright pink. Is the main actual colour of your day a pale nude, which perfectly sets off the hot pink highlights and helps give them punch. Is the groom’s suit a pale grey which also works as a subtle napkin with a perfectly placed hot pink Ranunculus stem. Its about subtlety as well as consistency.
5 - YOUR PERSONALITIES
Crazy right, but this is so often overlooked when choosing a wedding palette. You may love pale coral but it does absolutely nothing for your complexion, or a certain shade of green might remind you of a negative memory… so feel free to knock it off your wedding palette. Also, you may be known for wearing a certain colour like our friends over at Yellow Tuxedo. Yep - Alan wore a Yellow Suit for his wedding reception...
So, remember it is likely that some of the bridal party will end up wearing this colour, so if it doesn’t compliment you then you don’t want to have 6 bridesmaids all stood next to you in Coral for your photographs. It goes the other way too, my husband when trying on suits was adamant he wanted to wear top & tails.. but they simply didn’t suit him and he didn’t feel like himself. Whilst on the suit hunt he spotted a deep red velvet dinner jacket and LOVED IT. It looked so much better on him and we went ahead, each groomsman donning a different shade of dark velvet. It looked incredible and went perfectly with the details of deep red we included in our stationery and throughout our day. It was one of the best decisions we made and helped tie everything together.
Start with a direction, Neutral, Ombre or Colour Highlight then work with your venue and season to pick a colour which compliments your day. Consult the colour wheel if you are struggling with supporting colours, and of course it goes without saying chat with your suppliers, we have years of experience putting colo