8 Steps for Picking Your Perfect Wedding Color Palette

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by Rachel Harris

Whether you just started planning your wedding or you’ve been planning it since you were 10 years old; you understand the importance of selecting the perfect wedding colors. There are so many possible choices! It can be difficult to know where to start or to know you’ve gotten it perfect.

You’re in the right place. Keep reading to learn 8 easy steps you can take to create the color palette perfect for your wedding day.

Lavender, pink, ivory spring bouquet color palette.

What is a Color Palette or Scheme Used for?

A color palette or color scheme is used to establish cohesion in the visual elements of your wedding day. Your color palette will influence design decisions for every detail. Including your invitations, dresses, flowers, decoration, linens, and cake, to name a few. Your color palette can even influence the types of bulbs used in your lighting, the materials for the dance floor, and the ingredients in your custom cocktail.

Copper, rust, peach, pink and ivory color scheme.

Why Does a Color Palette or Scheme Matter?

Colors set a tone, vibe, and mood. They help express emotion. Warm colors like red, orange, and yellow can evoke passion, excitement, and energy. Cool tones like blue, green, and gray can add calm, serenity, and peace. This range of potential emotions requires a delicate balance. 

Color is also an extension of our personality. Pale pink, lavender, and cornflower are soft and muted. Jewel tones like ruby, emerald, and amethyst are bold and regal. Black and white are elegant. Some color mixtures are exciting, others are mellow. You want a color palette to represent your personality and set the mood for your wedding day. 

The colors you pick should feel like you.

How to Pick the Perfect Color Palette for Your Wedding

Here are 8 easy steps you can take to pick your perfect wedding colors.

  1. Venue and Location. Your wedding venue may be the biggest deciding factor in your color palette. If you’re surprised to hear that, let me explain. Every venue has a vibe or mood of its own. Venues vary a great deal, from a rustic outdoor barn, a historic chapel, or a modern art gallery. Your color scheme should complement the venue. Some venues have components you cannot change or remove. You have no say in the carpet, paint, drapes, or stained glass windows. You don’t want your wedding colors clashing with the established colors in the venues. It’s good to have an idea of the colors you’d like in your wedding, then adjust if you find a venue you love. Venues can be hard to find, colors can be adjusted. 

  1. The Season. If you’re getting married in July, aqua, citrus, and sand would make for a perfect color palette. Those colors fit the weather, the atmosphere, and our natural desire to vacation on the beach. A fall wedding would be the perfect time for colors of rust, moss, and gold. We’re excited about cool weather, sweaters, and cider. Seasonal flowers help inform your color palette decision as well. Some flowers are difficult to get out of season without considerable cost and effort. More on flowers in a moment.

  1. Personality. Your color palette should match the personality of the bride and groom! You already gravitate towards certain colors, hues, and combinations. Look around your home for inspiration. You likely surround yourself with colors you love that also compliment your personality. Your closet is another good place to find inspiration. What color is your favorite dress? Which jacket makes you feel most confident? What color have you painted the walls in your home? 

  1. Research. Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration. You can see a variety of color combinations, decor ideas, and floral arrangement suggestions. Done-for-you wedding color palettes, complete with inspiring decor. On the other hand, Pinterest can be overwhelming. There are almost TOO MANY ideas to choose from. So don’t get discouraged. If Pinterest is not the best place for you, look at the images you’re naturally drawn to. Do you have a favorite piece of art? Study it for color combinations and the emotions it ignites in you. As you begin to narrow your preferences, create a mood board to keep things cohesive.

  1. Consider florals and fruits. Your favorite flowers may be a good place to start building your wedding color scheme. If you know you want peonies in your floral arrangements, you may want a specific variety to be the primary color in your palette. Some flowers have limited color options while others are almost endless. You’ll want to consider the season in which you’ll be getting married for this step as well. It can be extremely difficult and costly to get ahold of some flowers out of season. Fresh fruits can be a beautiful and unexpected way to bring color to your wedding. Berries, citrus fruits, and melons are all vibrant additions. 

  1. Color Wheel. Play around with a color wheel. Often, colors on opposite sides of the wheel are complementary to one another. Try a variety of shades or hues. There are also free color palette generators on the internet. Check one out to get the exact shade and combination you like. 

  1. Keep it simple. Pick a primary color, a secondary color, and an accent color. Three colors are typically plenty, but definitely don’t go over 5. Things get chaotic and muddy if you have too many colors. You may also be happiest with one primary color and a few neutrals like shades of white or gray.

  1. Consult a professional. Your wedding planner is a wealth of information. Talk to him/ her to see what they recommend. They’ve had first-hand experience in collecting items for their bride’s dream wedding. Don’t forget to consult a photographer too! They know what stands out in photos based on lighting, time of day, and much more. The New Braunfels Wedding Guide has a list of professionals ready to help you!

Rust, sunflower yellow, ivory, peach, burgundy and chocolate fall color scheme.
Photo by Lauren Crumpler Photography

Inspiration

  1. Bo-ho Wedding Palette: For a bohemian wedding, consider indigo, yellow, pale blue, blush, and white. For a more earthy or rustic look, try sage, cream, acorn, white, and moss. 

  1. Classic Wedding Colors: Are you a classic bride? For a timeless elegance, you cannot go wrong with black, gold, and ivory.

  1. Spring wedding colors: Spring is all things fresh and new. Think of soft pastels such as lilac, pale pink, or green paired with neutral creams and ivory colors.

  1. Summer wedding colors: The hot sun, cool water, and get-away destinations are the inspiration here. Envision colors seen at the beach, in an open field, or on a tropical island.

  1. Autumn wedding colors: Let the foliage inspire your fall wedding color choices. Choose either burgundy, rust, or pumpkin as your primary color and paired it with a jewel-tone accent color and muted neutrals.

  1. Winter wedding colors: Cold ice, prickly pine, and cozy mittens help guide your thinking for a winter wedding color palette. Navy blue, maroon, or forest green paired with metallic tones create a formal winter vibe.

  1. Year-round Wedding Colors: Pairing neutral tones such as ivory with muted accent colors like black, blush, gray, and metallic tones work any time of year.

  1. Trending colors: Use trends with caution because they go as soon as they’ve come. When looking back at your wedding photos and video, you want to see YOUR personality shine. For 2023, lavender, emerald, navy, and terracotta are popular primary color choices. If one of those colors is authentic to you, go for it! If none of them seem to fit your personality, but you’d still like to be on trend, use one as an accent color. Remember, trends change quickly, so check with your wedding planner or other professional for current updates.

What to Avoid

You’ve got all the information you need to pick the perfect wedding colors. Here are a few things to watch out for when deciding on the color scheme that’s best for you.

Don’t rely on trends if they don’t fit your personality. Color sets the mood of your wedding and adds to the atmosphere. You don’t want to be surrounded by a color unless it brings you joy! You also want your guests to KNOW they’re at YOUR wedding as soon as they walk in.

Don’t have a palette full of colors NOT found in nature. A pop of neon can bring fun and vibrancy to your wedding day. But going full “80’s rave party” could be too much. Your florist will struggle to find complementary foliage and the appearance could be jarring to your guests. 

Don’t select too many colors for your palette. Less is more when picking colors for your wedding. More than 3-5 colors can look disorganized and confusing. Too many colors in your scheme will also add to your mental load, because you’ll have to coordinate ways to use them. 

At the New Braunfels Wedding Guide you will find everything you need to plan the Hill Country wedding of your dreams. Visit our website to find all the vendors you need. Wedding planners, venues, photographers, florists, and more!

Peach, ivory, sage, and blush color palette.
Photo by Jesse Schultz Photography

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