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Bride Guide > Planning > Finding Your Wedding Theme and Color Palette

Finding Your Wedding Theme and Color Palette

Selecting a theme and color palette for your wedding is one of the first creative and stylistic decisions a bride should make. The colors and theme will set the tone for everything from the invitations to the place settings, so choose hues and a theme that you absolutely love. Not sure where to begin? Here’s how we suggest you go about choosing a theme and color scheme.

  • Start by looking for inspiration — everywhere! You’ve probably already purchased a few wedding magazines and created a Pinterest page for your upcoming nuptials, but pay attention to the colors you see in everyday life. The color palette website, Design Seeds, proves that a palette can be found in a pile of pumpkins and gourds outside a supermarket, a city skyline at sunset, or a tile-covered wall in a building. Color is everywhere around us, so take note of the little things that move and inspire you. Your phone’s camera is an excellent tool for documenting vignettes that energize you.
  • Narrow your favorite combinations and themes down. You love navy, yellow, and gray, but you’re also crazy about gold, green, and cream. How do you decide which scheme to go with? Think about your wedding location – this could dictate what colors are best. If you’re getting married in a hotel ballroom that has red and gold carpets, a hot pink and green color scheme might clash. For a wedding at a beautiful location that already has a lot of natural color, like a beach or garden, you might want to choose a more neutral palette. A wedding in the woods will have a lot of natural brown colors, so a pop of purple or pink could be necessary.
  • Consider the season. Traditionally, darker colors work well for the colder months and brighter colors are ideal for warm weather. A sage green, burnt orange, and copper palette would look lovely in the fall because it matches the colors, think pumpkins and root vegetables, of the season. Likewise, strawberries and cherries are in season in spring, so why not throw a splash of ruby into your turquoise and lime green palette? The season also dictates what flowers are available. If your heart is set on pink dahlias, make sure they are in season before you design your wedding around the color pink.
  • Don’t forget about the time of day. What time is your wedding going to take place? Black or navy bridesmaid dresses may not fit your vision for a wedding that takes place in the middle of the day, but they would look gorgeous under moonlight. Will the sun be setting during the ceremony? A scheme with neutrals, peaches, and corals will match it perfectly.
  • Factor in formality. A black tie wedding in the city is very different from a country wedding on a farm and your colors may reflect this. For a super formal wedding, think about throwing in some metallic colors. Gold and silver accents are very chic. Hosting a casual affair at a winery? Use the grapes as inspiration and incorporate purple with khaki and green.
  • Think about what you want your bridesmaid’s to wear. They will most likely be wearing a color from your palette, so choose a shade that’s flattering to your friends’ skin tone. Five girls in fuchsia will pack a lot of color into your bridal look, so offset it with white or pale pink bouquets. Likewise, five girls in navy will look sophisticated with brightly colored bouquets.
So now that you’ve got your color code figured out, start to think about the theme in the same ways that you thought about the colors. Consider all of the above elements: location, season, time of day, and formality. Combine these components with your newly chosen colors and you’ll end up with your final theme! Go with your gut. A coral, blush, and turquoise palette, beach wedding at sunset in August screams a casual bohemian theme. A fuchsia, lavender, and green palette, mid-afternoon winery wedding in May brings to mind a romantic whimsical affair.
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