When you start planning your wedding, you’ll quickly realize that you have many many decisions to make, from choosing a wedding venue to picking your wedding date. One of the most important initial decisions is choosing a wedding color palette.
Having a designated color palette helps all the other details fall into place, from your bridesmaid’s dresses and bouquet to your table linens. But with literally millions of shades and hues to choose from, how on earth do you decide?
This step should be fun, but it can also be overwhelming. So here’s how to choose wedding colors that you’ll love.
CREATING A WEDDING COLOR PALETTE
When choosing a wedding color palette, aim for a combination of 3-5 colors that coordinate well with each other. Even if you want a “rainbow wedding,” focusing on a few select hues will make decision-making a bit easier.
While you can go with any color combination you like, a good rule of thumb is to have at least one color be relatively timeless and neutral. In the event that you can’t find a wedding invitation or table linen in your favorite shade of pink, it’ll be nice to know there are plenty of options in white or ivory.
Another thing to keep in mind: don’t pick a color palette just because it’s trendy. Bright yellow may have been one of Pantone’s 2021 Colors of the Year, but if you hate warm colors, you’ll just be miserable. Go with colors you enjoy!
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING COLORS
Even with the above tips in mind, it can still seem mind-boggling to choose from such an array of hues. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here’s how to pick wedding colors from the vast array of options available.
LOOK TO YOUR VENUE FOR WEDDING COLOR INSPIRATION
Consider your venue (or your ideal venue, if you haven’t booked it yet). Does it have any colors, features, or architectural accents that spark your imagination?
A Spanish Revival wedding venue with terracotta tiles might be begging for a warm palette of burnt orange and cranberry. A historic locale with an elegant white interior might inspire a more monochromatic palette.
Kelsey & Chris’ wedding at the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine | Photo by Ashley Izquierdo Photography
If you have your heart set on a particular color scheme, keep it in mind as you attend your site visits. If a potential wedding venue already has an existing color palette in the carpet, drapery, and table linens, you’ll want to consider how your favorite hues will coordinate.
CHOOSE A WEDDING THEME
For some themes, the wedding colors practically select themselves. For example, a romantic Halloween wedding would be gorgeous in shades of orange, cream, and gold. A Gatsby-themed wedding shines in gold, black, and silver.
Kimberly and Rockwell’s Halloween wedding at The Lightner Museum | Photo by Life and Love Studio
If you don’t have a particular theme, narrowing down your wedding style can help.
Certain colors evoke moods and concepts that you might want your guests to associate with your ceremony and reception. For instance, rich, deep purple creates a sense of luxury and royalty. Vibrant reds remind us of passion. Cool blues are seen as calming.
Try researching different wedding styles to see if there are any color combinations that spark your inspiration!
LET THE SEASON INSPIRE YOUR COLOR PALETTE
Spring, summer, fall, and winter have their own color palettes that can make choosing your wedding colors easy.
Picture a winter wedding with navy velvet bridesmaids dresses, or a spring wedding swathed in pastel tones.
Hannah’s bridesmaids looked stunning in pastel gowns. | Photo by Casie Marie Photography
USE YOUR COLOR SCHEME TO SET THE MOOD
What do you want your wedding day “vibe” to be?
A minimal, neutral color palette will keep your ceremony and reception light, bright, and breezy. Want to let your guests know they can let their hair down and party? Bright colors will evoke a bold and quirky vibe that’s perfect for celebrating. Add drama by choosing dark shades, like forest green, burgundy, or even black.
Carlie and Jack’s wedding ceremony was swathed in shades of white, creating a clean, classic look. | Photo by Ashley Steeby Photography
WEDDING COLOR INSPIRATION
Need a bit more inspiration? Here are some of our favorite wedding color palettes.
A neutral palette of cream, warm gray, tan, and bold green will coordinate with any décor or venue and will keep your wedding photos timeless.
Photos by Ashley Steeby Photography
Who knew deep red and hot pink could blend so seamlessly with muted hues like forest green and salmon? The result? These stunning pops of color that are a joy to admire!
By making this leafy green the star of the show, the rest of the colors blend together perfectly, creating the effect of a lush garden bursting with life.
Photos by Nate Puhr Photography
“Neutral” should never mean “boring!” By combining muted gray, mauve, and mushroom, sleek black accents become infinitely more glamorous.
Photos by We Are the Bowsers
The vibrant palette below evokes the warmth and energy of the tropics. Fiery orange and deep red are complemented by the earthy tones of blue, green, and soft taupe. If you’re planning a destination wedding in a tropical locale (such as Florida!), you can’t go wrong with this one.
Photos by Haileigh Nichole Photography
Pastels are a classic choice for a spring or summer wedding! This palette—opting for salmon mauve, sage, and lavender—is a welcome departure from the expected.
Photos by Dewitt For Love and Casie Marie Photography
This rich, saturated palette of peacock blue, aubergine, and wine red create a feeling of luxury, abundance, and glamour.
Photos by Ashley Izquierdo and Ivey Pictures
Choosing a wedding color palette when you’ve got every shade of the rainbow to choose from can be a daunting task, but there are ways to make the process easier.
If you don’t have any specific colors in mind when you first start your wedding planning, let the theme, season, and mood of your big day inspire you. But above all else, remember to keep your wedding venue in mind.
Steeped in history, luxury, and elegance, the Lightner Museum’s neutral palette and grand architecture are the perfect backdrop for any wedding, no matter which wedding colors you choose.
Allow our team of event professionals to help you plan the wedding day of your dreams.