I completed an accredited course on design and colour. I learnt everything possible about how to style with colour, how to make colour and how to interpret colour. I set about learning these tools so that I could help educate brides on how to style their weddings with colour. We work closely with them to help them make the right design decisions for their venue in conjunction with their theme and personalities.
Colour is a valuable tool which can help you create an incredible visual impact. However, you need to understand about colour so you can work well with it and communicate your vision. A savvy bride/groom should either speak to someone such as myself for guidance or do his/her utmost to learn as much about colour. Colour can make or break the mood of the evening.
What tools do designers use?
When designers use colour they also consider texture, shapes, lines and the dimensions of a colour:
- Tone: the lightness and darkness
- Hue: the name of the colour such as red, yellow, blue-green
- Intensity/saturation: the dullness or vividness of the colour
It is also important for designers to feel confident about communicating and deciding on the most appropriate colour. They therefore use tools, such as a colour wheel, to work out which colours work best together. The colour wheel is made up of different colours that are either primary or secondary colours.
- Primary colours: yellow, red and blue
- Secondary colours: orange, green and purple
- Secondary colours are made by mixing together the primary colours, e.g. blue + red = purple.
Then there are tertiary colours. These are colours made by mixing two secondary (or three primary) colours together. These are often known as “Earth” colours as they range from terracottas, to slate to caramels and are created by mixing:
- Metal range: green and purple
- Forest range: orange and green
- Desert range: green and purple
Light + Colour Perception
When choosing your colours it is really important that you select ones that will work well with the light in the venue. Light is necessary for our perception of colour (and why we only see black or shades of grey in the dark). All colour is based on the composition of light and how it is reflected.
In brief, light is made up of electromagnetic waves and not all of those are visible to the naked eye. Colour, and our perception of it, is the result of a way in which an object reflects and absorbs light (just like diamonds!).
When it comes to styling your reception room it is a great idea to pick colours that will work well with the light in the room as it will affect your guests overall experience.
There are two things you’ll need to consider: (1) the type of light and (2) the most appropriate colour to suit that light. Is the light natural or artificial? If natural, then colour will be shown in its truest form. Artificial light can vary the colour; fluorescent lights bring out sharper tones whereas incandescent light brings out warmer tones. Dark colours absorb the light and light colours reflect it. If a room has lots of natural light, you can have a darker colour scheme. If it has very little natural light then best to use lighter colours to reflect the little light it gets.
When applying this to your wedding check that the colours do not clash with your venue walls/surrounding. If there are blue walls it is best not to choose a contrasting colour such as orange. It can be a bit harsh and may not look as pretty as you may think. You will also want to check how your colour selection looks in the venue under the light. Take some mood boards / story board (and large panels of colour) to the venue and see what colour reflects the best. You may even want to revisit the venue at different times of day to see how it changes in the light.
(Some information above must be attributed to the International School of Design and Colour as they taught me lots of what I know).