Wedding Colour Palette

I’ve got a thing about colour! After spending a year at a course on interior design and colour I’ve learnt the importance of the colour palette. Colour will create emotion, ambience and effect your guests psychologically. Each tone will create the mood of your day. Sadly, many brides or coordinators are not trained in using the colour palette or what colours are complimentary of one another.

So here are a few of my tips for today:


Before you select your colours, create a mind map that describes you as a couple. For those of you who have never heard of a couple mind map, it is essentially a drawing that maps out who you are as a couple. You use this to visually organise information about  yourselves. Within your mind map try to associate words with colours. For example, if you loved ‘the sky’ then you’d be looking at colours such as shades of blue and white. Then make a list of all the colour associations you’ve both found. Then you can style your wedding with colours that represent you as a couple.


When deciding on your final colour selection, it is important to consider the reception and ceremony space. Some venues already have colours within them, such as carpet or wall paper. For example, if your venue has brown walls with red carpet, then you are best not decorating the room in bright fuchsia and mid purple. It is bound to look ridiculous. You’d be better off using colours that are complimentary such as gold and navy.

Use the list developed in your couple mind map to then select the most appropriate colour palette for your venue. If you can’t work with colours that compliment your space, I’d suggest picking a venue that is a little simpler.

(Image source:  Karen Tran  by  Monique Simone Photography )


Colour evokes an emotional response. We call these Yuck and Yum colours.

  • The Yuck colours are colours that you don’t have a great emotional response with. For example, you may find that red is a colour that gives off a mean, fiery or masculine vibe?
  • The Yum colours are colours you do like. For example, you might feel warm, soft and fuzzy when looking at the colour peach.
Image from   Valiant Hire   in Sydney

Image from Valiant Hire in Sydney

It’s totally fine to have different yuck and yum preferences. There is no right or wrong answer. Just consider what emotion you feel when you look at a colour. How do you think your guests will feel?

Colour will also dictate the feel of a place. With these images, for example, one looks like a American sea side bar, whereas to me the other depicts a tropical island bar, think mexico or Jamaica! Same setting and decor - just different colours!

Colour is subjectiveWhat you consider to be baby blue, another person might consider to be soft mauve. It is therefore important to show ALL your suppliers samples of the colours that you have selected.

Ask them if they can match the colour and possibly provide you with a test bouquet or sample.

Colour sets the mood and gives visual impact. Consider the type of event that you are hosting and the season you are getting married in. If you are having a black tie affair, it would be suitable to pick colours that are more striking, bold and glitzy such as gold, black, magenta or white. 

If you are planning a garden style function, it might be better to have softer tones such as pastel colours, creams or earthy tones. If you can tie in various shades of colours you will create depth and a unique visual impact.

Colour first. Pick your colours in a timely fashion so that it doesn’t hold up your wedding styling process. If you are not confident in picking the colours give them a range that you are happy with and go from there. It always helps to have some professional styling advice, just be across the final decisions as it might impact other areas of your wedding styling.

(Image source:  Design Collective )

(Image source: Design Collective)


To create visual interest I’d suggest picking no more than 5 colours. With each of the colours you’ve selected then take two-three shades of this colour. For example, if one of your colours is fuchsia, then I’d suggest you have a scale of colours that are slightly lighter and slightly darker. You’ll end up with a few softer pinks and a few darker pinks.  Just think of it as like adding a touch of white to the original colour to lighten it or a touch of black to the original colour to darken it.


This will diversify your colour palette and allow you to create depth and interest. If you were to just pick all of the same colour for everything it would be a little boring. You should apply this principle to all of your styling and stationery.


Don’t match your bridesmaids to the table decorations. They don’t need to be the same colour as your flowers or chairs. They simply need to compliment them! Make them stand out on their own. Pick a dress colour that is complimentary to your decoration theme and your bridal gown. For example, if you want a wedding in a pastel palette, you could have your bridesmaids in baby blue and your tables in soft pinks, creams and peaches. They tie in nicely together but certainly don’t look like your dresses could be made from the same material as your table draping!

Consider each individual bridesmaid: their hair colour, skin tones and body shape. Not everyone looks fab in cream or yellow so try to find a colour that works with all your girls. Sometimes simple is best. For my black tie wedding, I picked black bridesmaids dresses. They were flattering, simple and the girls could wear the dress again! If you pick a dress that is a colour that is complimentary to your table decorations, you can always select a bouquet that ties in nicely with your table flowers. That way the girls can put their bouquets on the table at the reception.


Create your own story boards to reflect your colour palette choices. These story boards should have clippings and images of all the things you’d like in your wedding. They can be broken down in to stages, such as reception, garden party, ceremony, bridesmaids and so on. I’ll talk more about this in a future post as such a great way to professionalise your ideas and use them when dealing with suppliers. 

If you are not sure how to match your colour palette, take a look at the Colour Lovers site. This can give you some inspiration on some popular choices!

I love colour so will be sure to write about it again soon.



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