I’m going to level with you guys for a minute: I’m prideful in this arena. And it’s fair- I’m only human. But really, color selecting and pairing is what I consider to be a strong suit of mine. If you’ve been a reader for a while and thumbed through our shoots and weddings from the past year- you may notice it. But here I am to spell it out for you, because gifts are meant to be shared [and yes, I do consider this a gift].
You want to know how to create your perfect pairing?? Well, start here.
Pick a color. Any color. [I won’t get into the idea that your best bet is to match your venue/feel for the event- but, it’s true].
I’ll start with a few examples from our real clients.
Stacey’s Rustic Spring Wedding: chocolate.
Irene’s Ranch Summer Wedding: lime.
Sarah’s Quirky Feminine Wedding: navy.
Julie’s Outdoor Summer Wedding: red.
TYPICALLY- and I say this loosely even- typically, this prominent hue will be the bouncing off point for good reason, it’s the colors that the girls in your bridal party will be donning. Not always the case, as Irene’s gals will be wearing a different color entirely. But the rest, pretty true to fact.
So, you’ve got your first color. After that, we pick an accent. The accent color is defining for many reasons.
1. It typically will be what you use to give definition to your florals.
2. It will further push your “idea” or feel [i.e. feminine, romantic, rustic, etc].
3. It may appear in your paper graphics or other details quite prominently.
Here’s the example:
And a brief reasoning:
Stacey is a yoga instructor and really wants her wedding to be rustic, eco-friendly, and inviting. We knew that the indian-inspired color scheme would be the best way to go about it, but we wanted her “florals” to focus on leafy greens and nature, so we paired her truffle brown bridesmaid gowns with a natural green.
Irene booked a gorgeous sprawling outdoor area for her wedding- but didn’t want to go along with the “rustic” movement as she feels it doesn’t represent their relationship. Though she picked green for her main color, we knew popping in a modern tone like deep fuchsia would be the perfect compliment to the muted natural backdrop.
Sarah envisioned long formal bridesmaid gowns with rich tones to set a deeply romantic mood. You may be worried about how “dark” this scheme looks- but just wait to see the finished product!
Julie loves the eye-catching boldness of red but didn’t want to loose the soft feel of her wedding. Consider her venue and the natural stone they have in the courtyard where her reception is held, we suggested an uber feminine shade of peach to bring a “darling” element to it- while allowing the red to breathe and be placed in the areas that will leave the most impact.
Now what? It’s as easy as heads and tails. Yes, that’s right- heads and tails. Pick a top, pick a bottom. Each wedding should have a defined TOP color, and a base. The top color is easy- white or ivory? Stark or soft? Clean or warm? And no, this may not have anything to do with the exact shade of your gown. It has more to do with the feel of your wedding.
For the “base” color- be selective. This, I feel, may be the most defining color in the palette. The base is the new black [or, well, it can BE black as well should you chose]. It’s what the guys will wear. It’s what color your fonts are on the invitations and in the wedding programs. It’s considered to be that ROOT color that you’ve been missing this whole time. And don’t be afraid to push it. Though many people considered chocolate a base a few years back, it’s still an acceptable base. As is grey, navy, tan… and black! If you’re seeking a black-tie affair, put it in the color board! Don’t let what the guys wear be an after-thought, style it into your wedding. Make sure it flows. Make sure you LOVE it together- because they’re gonna be in a whole lotta pictures you don’t love if you don’t love your “base”.
The LAST STEP: add in the after-thoughts. These are complimentary tones that you already know will be present [In the room? In the space? What color are your chairs? Your plates?] or that you feel strongly will compliment the scheme either in floral design or fine detail. I push my clients to think a bit outside the box when adding these “notes” into their wedding colors. Extra pushes into the soft and feminine = romantic. Extra pops into the unexpected = modern and wild. I suggest adding up to 3 of these [no more than]. Typically I add two. Sometimes only one. It depends entirely on the balance of the scheme itself as you’re working along.
We mentioned that Stacey was a yoga instructor already, right? So, we infused her muted, “natural” [nearly granola] color palette with some super saturated hues to give her that pop of color it was dying for. It also instantly updated the look from a color scheme that was “last generation” and made it something lively, fun, and free spirited! Just so you know, her base color is tan and her bridesmaids are in truffle brown. Since her gals are wearing a common “base” color as well, we’ve chosen chiavari chairs in fruitwood as well as some colorful, nature-inspired bouquets and some unique seating/decor to infuse personality into their day.
Irene went out on a limb and trusted me with the idea to really pop some GREAT modern style into her day [after all, that’s why they booked us!]. Her original ideas of white, grey, and green made the board easy to start off, and then combining it with a soft fuchsia and a deep “hot purple” [my color of the year, for sure] gave it an ultra luxe feel. Adding in the fact that [because of her space] we’ve chosen wood tables and not linens for her outdoor reception, we knew tying in that deep chocolate tone was crucial. This scheme gives her the freedom to pair understated elegance that matches her venue with modern uniqueness that compliments their ideal style. Her base color is grey and her bridesmaids will be in a chic shade of hot purple.
Tying the knot at a quite popular quirky Los Angeles venue, Sarah wanted to capture that romantic candle-lit feel without completely losing the space itself. We paired her ideal colors [rich navy and eggplant] with a soft natural succulent green [almost minty- feel those fuzzy leaves!] and popped the color scheme up a notch further by adding in a bright coral/poppy tone. Considering, again, that the furniture that comes with the venue is all wood, we added onto the board a chocolate-y tone to ensure that the scheme would bring out the best of what this venue offers. Their base color is navy, and we may also vary the groomsmen to sport grey attire and give the groom a bit of significance.
From the moment I heard about a bold red being used as the main color for Julie’s day, I knew it’s perfect match would be an ultra femme peachy tone. Bringing in the romance and ramping up the softness, I suggested the tiniest hints of mint green [think lace wraps on the napkins]. The base color in this scheme is grey, which the guys will be wearing [but I could have equally loved navy for this one], and the fruitwood brown will be featured in the classic chiavari chairs. The girls, of course, will wear red.
Hope that this helps some of you truly define your palette. Remember, if you’re stuck or stumped… visit a paint store. It’s fabulous inspiration [and sometimes they actually have “designer palette” samples with random colors together- consider them!]. If you haven’t had luck, just email me and I’ll whip you up a color board, gratis!
Color your world today!