What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of wedding planning? Is it your color scheme? It probably isn't. While choosing your wedding colors may not be the most important step in the planning process, they do help give boundaries and tie the whole day together. They also go a long way toward setting the tone for your big day — are you free spirits with a classic twist? Do you love botanicals, or are you going for more of an urban-chic atmosphere?
How to Pick Wedding Colors
Possible wedding color combos are endless. If you're not sure where to even begin, keep reading for our top 10 tips to get you started, followed by some example palettes based on season and type of jewelry.
1. Start With the Venue
If you're unsure where to begin with your colors, look to your venue. Are you hoping to have your ceremony in an old country church or a converted warehouse? Have you always dreamed of a reception in a wooded setting or maybe in a vintage hotel lobby?
You don't want your colors to clash with your setting, so take notes as you tour your venue. What decor is already present? Is a lush Persian rug the centerpiece of the room, or are the carpets a deep green? Are the walls covered in patches of exposed brick? What metallics thread through the space — bright silver or industrial copper?
You could include your larger setting in your color scheme as well. What view is outside the windows — bustling city life, tropical ocean or quiet countryside? Look to your surrounding setting for inspiration. If you are near the coast, feature some nautical hints in your colors, such as a sandy neutral or sea-inspired blue. For an urban setting, try some bold color with reds and golds to make a glamorous impression.
A good wedding palette enhances the existing beauty of your venue and setting. If you find a venue you adore but it doesn't quite match your colors, consider tweaking a shade or two — in the end, most couples remember the space of their ceremony and reception more than their color scheme.
2. Look at Your Closet
Walk through your home and take note of its style and decorations. Most likely, you'll notice a few theme colors weaving through the rooms. Open up your closet and look at the palette of your wardrobe — again, you'll more than likely see some repeating colors.
Ultimately, your wedding is about you, your partner and your personal styles. So if you're having a hard time thinking of wedding colors, start with the ones you love the most. Is your home filled with pastels, or does greenery peek out from every corner? Does your partner almost always wear some shade of blue, no matter the occasion? Are you drawn to warm colors or cool ones? Try including some of your favorite hues in your palette — you're much more likely to love your wedding if you are surrounded by your favorite colors.
Including some of your most-loved colors helps to personalize your wedding. As a bonus, you'll most likely have leftover decorations after the reception. If you choose some of your favorite colors, you'll be able to easily reuse wedding decorations in your home.
3. Take a Hint From Nature
As you figure out your wedding palette, think seasonally.
What month is your wedding? Just like seasons can influence your wardrobe, they can help you narrow down color choices. Dreamy pastels are perfect for spring, but brighter floral tones like fuchsia or coral complement the vibrance of summer.
Autumn is all about sunset tones, so try deeper colors such as hunter green to offset warm reds or purples. For winter, try classy neutrals like cream and beige to offset deeper emerald or maroon.
While it can be helpful to consider the seasons in your color choices, don't avoid your favorite hues just because they don't "fit" the season. Your wedding should be a reflection of you and your partner's personalities, so if you love bright pastels and have a January wedding, incorporate some bright pastels into the theme.
4. Consider Your Jewelry
When you choose wedding colors, consider your wedding jewelry.
The last thing you want is for your palette to accidentally clash with your heirloom necklace or pendant. If you choose your colors before you pick out your jewelry, you can match your jewels to your palette. For example, if your design features cool colors, silver jewelry will provide a lovely addition to the color scheme.
But if you have a rose gold engagement ring and wedding band, consider choosing hues that set off your rosy accessories such as warm, soft grays and blues or subdued greens. Similarly, if you have antique jewelry handed down from family members, match your colors to the vintage theme.
5. Go to the Color Wheel
You don't need an advanced art degree to design a stunning wedding palette.
However, it's helpful to look at a basic color wheel when deciding on wedding colors. Typically, shades that go well together are on opposite sides of the wheel. These colors work well because they combine a warm hue with a cool one, adding balance to your palette. Some opposite colors that work well include periwinkle and apricot, or coral and turquoise.
You can also choose your favorite color on the wheel and look to either side of it. Neighboring colors typically work well together, too — think about tropical orange and cheerful yellow, or sea-foam and a soft gray-green. Another classic method of building your palette is to combine a striking, saturated color with a subdued neutral, such as blush pink and gold.
6. Use a Spectrum
Another way to create a palette is to stick with one color and build a spectrum.
For example, if you love navy, choose your wedding colors from different shades of blue. Let your bridesmaids pick their dress color out of a few different blue colors for an ombré effect, and scatter blue-themed decorations around your reception venue. From a deep navy to a soft blue-gray, a spectrum effect gives your wedding an effortless, chic elegance.
7. The 1 + 2 Rule
But how many colors should you choose for your palette?
The key is to not choose too many — if you have seven different wedding colors, they will probably compete with each other and make your decor look busy and crowded. To avoid this, a good rule is the 1 + 2 formula: choose one dominant color and add one to two accents, plus an additional metallic.
This simplifies the decision-making process and adds depth to your color scheme without being overwhelming.
8. Get Inspiration From the Experts
To gather inspiration for your wedding colors, browse bridal magazines and websites. Take note of what color combinations catch your eye — are you drawn to soft and subdued color schemes, or do you love the boldness of bright, sunny shades?
Look for articles written by professional wedding planners and designers — they know what works and what doesn't through years of experience. Also look for textures, prints or patterns that could add interest to your wedding color palette — and be sure to save what you love, either in a physical file or digitally.
9. Know Your Priorities
When you are determining your color scheme, keep in mind your biggest wedding priorities. Have you always dreamed of an outdoor, vineyard wedding and a lilac-filled bouquet? Do you want to feature your grandmother's antique centerpiece on one of the reception tables? Important details could easily get lost in a swirl of competing colors.
Some things are more important than the perfect wedding palette. Instead of trying to work in the antique centerpiece at the last minute, know your priorities and design your color scheme around them.
10. Don't Overthink It
In the end, your wedding is the celebration of you and your partner. Choose colors that suit both of you, and don't spend too much time worrying about the perfect accents or the hottest trends — trends change every season, and what is popular now will likely be out of fashion by next year.
Below, we've listed some example wedding palettes to give you some inspiration. But use all of these tips as helpful guidelines, not as hard and fast rules — ultimately, a perfect wedding scheme is about selecting colors you love.
Wedding Palette Ideas by Season
Here are some wedding color schemes arranged seasonally:
1. Spring Wedding Palette
Spring is all about soft florals and new beginnings. For a classic "spring" color scheme, pair pastels with plenty of bright greenery. Some combinations include:
- Subdued pinks such as blush and rose pair beautifully with gray-greens. Try adding in a soft metallic like rose gold or copper as a modern accent.
- Combine coral and mint for a bright and festive flair.
- Pair dove gray, sunshine yellow and warm ivory for a sweet atmosphere.
- For a truly floral feel, balance a bright purple with a light pink
- Try pairing peach and yellow to create a fresh and simple look.
- Soft lavender goes well with a crisp green, and try pairing sage with neutrals such as white and gray.
2. Summer Wedding Palette
Warm summer months are filled with relaxed evenings and deep, rich greenery. If you have a summer wedding, tap into the full, warm colors of the season for a striking palette:
- For an outdoor or countryside wedding, pair rich navy with a brighter, cornflower blue and sunflower yellow.
- Take advantage of the weather and include warmer pinks, like peach, in your wedding palette.
- For a fresh, citrus effect, include bright and sunny colors such as tangerine and yellow.
- Pink and burgundy work well for vineyard-inspired receptions.
- If your wedding will be beachside, pair sea-glass blue with green and ivory for a versatile look that works with both formal and informal ceremonies.
3. Autumn Wedding Palette
Fall is the season of cozy weather and striking foliage. Take advantage of the changing weather and combine earthy sunset-shades with striking jewel tones to create a stunning color scheme:
- Balance an autumn red like rust with a warm blue for a charming effect.
- If your wedding is in early fall, try pairing navy and gray for an elegant and transitional palette.
- A butterscotch yellow pairs well with a deep maroon.
- Don't be afraid of browns, either — a subdued earth tone like walnut or coffee goes beautifully with purples such as grape, mulberry or mauve.
4. Winter Wedding Palette
A winter wedding was made for glamorous metallics and jewel-tones. For a holiday-inspired look, go with deep wine-reds and evergreen — you don't have to stick to green and red, though. Try some of these ideas:
- Merge classy neutrals such as ivory and beige with rich shades like burgundy.
- Pair a champagne color with icy greens and deep reds.
- Combine copper accents with soft greens, like eucalyptus.
- Merge dusty rose with brighter colors like teal.
- Infuse rich purples with luxurious gold details.
- Combine a brown-red like rosewood with a cool color like stone or Aegean blue.
Wedding Palette Ideas to Match Your Jewelry
Once you've chosen your wedding band, you can match your colors to your jewelry. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Gold Jewelry
As a general rule of thumb, warm colors go best with golds, and cool ones go best with silver. If your wedding jewelry features an abundance of gold accents, consider these warm color pairings to match:
- Yellow gold: For yellow gold, pair it against crimson for a glamorous effect. If combined with white, yellow gold brings a holiday or winter feeling. Yellow gold is striking against blues as well, especially dark tones like navy.
- White gold: White gold is incredibly versatile and complements a wide range of colors. If you have a white gold band, consider building your palette around neutrals to create a luxurious atmosphere. Combined with jewel tones like burgundy, fuchsia and royal blue, white gold jewelry takes on a regal tone.
- Rose gold: Rose gold is a sweet, pink-tinged gold that adds charm to many color schemes. Try matching rose gold jewelry with Caspian blue for a warm effect, or pair it against black for a powerful, striking combo. When matched with dove gray, rose gold looks elegant and soft. Make sure you choose warm colors to match rose gold jewelry — cool shades will clash with the metal's warm undertones.
2. Silver Jewelry
Silver is a classic wedding accent and adds sophistication to any ceremony. If your wedding jewelry is silver, try to create a color palette featuring cool tones to complement your accessories.
When silver jewelry is paired with black, it gives your ceremony an instant classiness. You could also combine it with cool neutrals like whites and grays for an elegant, luxurious look. Silver pairs naturally with blue, too, so you could build your palette around hues like navy or azure for a timeless effect.
If you want to include warm colors in your palette, go with soft hues such as blush or rose. Try to avoid using too many pastels — silver can be easily lost against pale colors.
Complement Your Wedding Palette
In the end, the ideal wedding color scheme is one that suits you and your partner. The same goes for your wedding jewelry — select lovely pieces that express your personality and build your wedding palette around them.
Your wedding is a day you'll remember for the rest of your life. You deserve only the best — at Mountz Jewelers, we provide the highest quality jewelry and a premier shopping experience. Browse our jewelry collections online, or find the closest Mountz Jewelers location to start designing your dream wedding. Trust Your Special Moments to Mountz!