How to Choose Your Wedding Colors

Wedding planner Nicole Simeral gets colorful with your palette.

Billy Idol had it all wrong. There’s no such thing as a truly white wedding. From your centerpieces to bouquets, bridesmaids dresses to invitations, there are colors abound.

With a Pantone book full of options, choosing those colors can be a daunting task, so we asked local wedding planner Nicole Simeral for a few tips on choosing your wedding palette.

First thing’s first. According to Simeral, it’s the first wedding decision you should make as a couple. “The colors that the couple selects is the first statement of style and personality from them to guests and family,” she says. “The color scheme for the wedding has the power to set the vibe of the guest experience, so they should choose wisely. Focusing on the color theme early is important to ensure that everything else obtained for the wedding is well-coordinated, branded, and suited to the wedding organically.” So grab a bunch of color swatches and get going.

Location, location, location. “The colors are completely up to you, but you will need to take into account where you’re getting married, and the formality or informality of your ceremony and reception,” she continues. The couple should consider things such as carpeting, existing décor, lighting, setting, views, etc. If it’s an evening wedding, the use of ambient lighting needs to be factored into the color palette.

Neutral colors are her favorite “to create a timeless look perfect for a seaside background” of a New England coastal wedding, while she points to monochromatic colors as a fun statement-making visual for an indoor, urban wedding.

It’s a seasonal thing. Just like your dress and florals, your wedding color scheme can be inspired by your nuptial’s time of year. Consider the shades you want to use to bring out the season. Think cool for hot days, warm tones for chilly nights. For spring or summer, Simeral suggests blush, whites, dusty rose, peaches, creams, or ivories, while fall and winter weddings look best in jewel tones, midnight blues, or shades of gray.

Keep things simple. You might love color, but a wedding is no place to taste the rainbow. Simeral suggests a maximum of three colors in your palette: one to dominate, a second to support, and a third as the accent color.

For the Boys. The wedding palette isn’t just a girl’s game, with bridesmaids and bouquets having all the fun. Simeral believes that men can incorporate the color palette into their dress by using color in their footwear, bowtie, and shoelaces.


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