Wedding Tips

Color Is Our Friend! Embrace It, Brides! – Southall Eden

February 14, 2011

Both as a venue owner and a stationery designer, it is surprising the number of brides I encounter who are either afraid of, or resistant to, using color in their weddings. Like many aspects of wedding planning, choosing a color palette can seem overwhelming at first. Often I hear brides say “We are just going to stick with natural tones,” but in most cases what they are really saying is, “I am scared to commit to a color palette, so I’m just not having one.” This just makes me sad. Color is a wedding’s best friend. If you are capable of making the huge decision to spend the rest of your life with this guy, you are capable of committing to a color palette. Here are some things to remember when trying to get over that scary COLOR hurdle:

“Color palette” does not have to be synonymous with “matchy-matchy”.

I have heard this on several occasions: “I’m not really into the whole ‘matchy-matchy’ look.” OK cool. You don’t have to be. Utilizing a color palette in your wedding decor doesn’t mean that every single detail of your wedding day down to your toenail polish has to coordinate. Think about it like you would think about your wardrobe. You may not be the kind of girl who matches her bag and her shoes every day, but you still try to put together some sort of cohesive look. The same can apply to your wedding. Like Stacey on What Not To Wear says, “It doesn’t have to ‘match’ is has to ‘go.’ If you are afraid of the matchy-matchy syndrome, maybe you pick 6 colors instead of just 2 or 3 so that there are plenty of options at each turn and you end up with cohesion but not matchy-matchy.

Flowers come in colors, not in transparent.

It’s likely that flowers are going to play a fairly significant role in your decor, so give your florist something to work with. I’m no botanical expert, but if you go to him/her and say “We are just using shades of taupes and grays” you are kind of limiting what they can do for you. While all-white flowers can be stunning, adding color can really give your wedding a huge “wow” factor. In most cases a smaller arrangement of brightly colored flowers will add the same amount of drama as a larger arrangement of white/ neutral flowers. And even without being an expert on the cost of flowers, generally speaking I can tell you that buying less flowers is cheaper than buying more flowers ;)

Using a color palette is a FREE way to personalize your event.

Everyone wants their wedding to be special and personal to them. If your friends and family know that you love a certain color, they will be delighted to see that color at your wedding. But even if you use a palette of colors you have never even thought about before in your life, if you use it throughout the event from invitations down to decor details and favors, you will have personalized your wedding. Last year I did stationery for a beach wedding where the color scheme was shades of aquamarine, red, and white . As favors, the couple gave out flip-flops to their guests to wear after the ceremony. Simply by buying all the flip-flops in those colors they were personalizing the gift, even without adding a custom tag.

Color can transform a space.

Especially if you have an indoor venue, you are not working with a completely blank canvas when designing your wedding. You may have wall colors, carpets, etc. to contend with. By having a color palette for your wedding decor, you are essentially saying to your guests “Things in this color palette are part of our wedding.” This can be a good thing if there are permanent design elements in the space that you don’t necessarily love. Your guests eyes will be drawn to the things that are part of your wedding, and away from the things you cannot control. If your wedding is being held in a space where your guests have been many times before, like your childhood church or a popular ballroom, utilizing a color palette will help transform it so that it looks completely unlike the way they have seen it in the past.

If you’re not creative, you don’t have to come up with the color palette yourself.

Your vendors can help. Believe me when I tell you that your wedding planner, florist, and even stationery designer would all be delighted to give you ideas about color. But even just leafing through one of your favorite clothing or home decor catalogs can give you ideas. And of course the online resources are endless. Two of my favorite are The Perfect Palette Blog, and

It’s ok if your fiance doesn’t want to give input on this.

I have spent many an hour of my life in invitation consultations where the bride keeps asking her fiance “Which color do you like best?” and he responds “Whatever you like best, honey.”  And repeat. Finally I jump in and say “If (insert fiance’s name here) felt strongly about this I think he would give you his opinion. Maybe you should take the reins on this one.” The hard truth is that unless you insist that every aspect of the wedding must be Pepto pink, dudes really just aren’t that interested in color schemes. Does this mean that they don’t care about you or the wedding? No. It just means that this is not something he feels strongly about, so if you pick something that makes you happy then he will be happy too. Let him give input on things he has an opinion about, like what band to hire or what brand of bourbon to serve.

The bottom line is DON’T BE AFRAID OF COLOR. Unlike your fiance, you are not marrying the color palette for better or for worse. You are just dating it throughout the course of your wedding planning process. If you decide after the wedding to break up with it and move on to a different palette, then on harm, no foul. It served is purpose and nobody got hurt.

Guest post by Southall Eden // Image by McLellan Style

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1 Comment

  • Reply Erika February 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    This has BY FAR been one of the most helpful wedding posts I’ve read over the past 6 months. I’m going through a fear of commitment phase with a color palette for serious! Thanks for the boost of encouragement, now giving me the excitement to move forward and just go with it!

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