Colour and style: a guide to designing your wedding day
This brilliant guest blog was submitted by English Wedding member Lace & Lemons. It’s a super useful guide to colour styling to suit your personalities, and a joyful read too!
Wedding day styling starts with colour. But how do you build a colour palette that reflects your true style and individuality, and then style your day in a way that creates the experience you’ve always dreamed of?
Whether you have a clear idea of which colours will lead the theme of your wedding day or are stuck not knowing which palette to choose, colour is the starting point for every design-led project. And for good reason. Colour evokes mood, and the harmonising of colours is an art form in itself. Colours say something unique about a space and a person, and how colour is used can give insight into your personality.
This guide aims to inspire you to follow your instincts but also to be open to exploring how different colours and styles might work together to surprise you.
An introduction to colour
At the very beginning, there was colour.
Seen and experienced differently by everyone, colour evokes memories of a time or place. Our minds paint pictures of how something looked. It applies colour with confident strokes in memories that are entirely unique to us.
Colour is both personal and shared. We associate colours with seasons, moods, places, entire countries, even.
For example, for many people the colour green symbolises nature and is often described as refreshing and tranquil. Green can also be associated with money, luck, health, and even envy. (1)
Blue and white is a colour combination that might make you think of Greek islands. The colour blue represents both the sky and the sea and is associated with open spaces, freedom, depth, trust, loyalty, sincerity, confidence, stability and faith. (2)
For me, yellow is always a Mediterranean summer. Yellow-stone buildings, sunshine, lemons and flowers. Yellow symbolises optimism, energy, joy, happiness and friendship. (3)
The specific shade of a colour can also affect associations and meanings. A light pink is often seen as soft, healing, and peaceful, whereas a hot pink might be seen as bold and exciting. (4)
The colours you are drawn to are often colours that you have pleasant memories of, and the opposite is also true. Memories and associations are the fibres that make up the fabric of our lives. And those fibres have colour.
Colours say something unique about a space and a person, and the merging of both of your personalities is something every good wedding stylist should capture in the details that bring your wedding day to life.
The colours you choose feed and guide the style of your day, and perhaps without knowing it at the time, colour and style fuels atmosphere. It’s often only when we recall moments in subsequent days, weeks and months that we realise how settings and surroundings influenced how we felt at the time.
And so it makes sense that when planning the most important day of your lives, selecting your colour palette should be one of the first visual decisions you make.
How to build your colour palette
If you have engaged the support of a wedding stylist like Lace & Lemons, the first thing a stylist should do is help you bring together the most important elements of your day in the form of a mood board. And our starting point is of course colour.
Ask yourself, “what do I want my wedding to look and feel like?”. Play with words like fresh and clean, soft and mellow, warm or cool.
Ask yourself, “how do I want guests to feel?”. Bubbly, relaxed, elated, special, joyous, free? There’s a colour for that.
As a rule of thumb, we recommend you choose one or two hero colours, and then two or three secondary colours; at least one of which should be a neutral to help blend the main hues without overpowering the palette. To finish, you’ll select an accent colour such as gold, brass, silver or even black which you’ll use across special finishing touches to help elevate a scheme and complete the look.
Your colour palette should be inspired by personal preferences as well as your surroundings. If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to picking your wedding colours, try these sources of inspiration:
Which season are you getting married in? Jewel-like tones work well in winter, while soft sage greens are great for spring. Bold pinks and buttery yellows work beautifully in summer, while warm rusts speak of autumn.
Revisit your wedding venue. A stately home will likely have artwork, furnishings or architectural details to draw on for inspiration. Consider what made you fall in love with your wedding venue and you might find answers there.
Look to the landscape. Whether you’re getting married at home or overseas, the native landscape will be filled with inspiration. Try to visit your wedding location in the season you’ll get married in to decide which hues will work best. If you choose colours found in nature, you can’t ever go wrong.
Look closer to home. Open your wardrobe door – which colours do you see? You’ve been curating your own personal style for years, and what you wear will be hugely representative of your overall style. Also take a look around your home. The colours on the walls, the patterns or textures in your furnishings. Photographs and paintings. You’re very much there. Draw on the work you’ve already put in.
Colour palettes need not feel limited to specific hues. Instead, you might focus on descriptors such as “cool and calm” or “bold and bright”, and then build out your palette with complementary or analogous tones to achieve the feeling you’re hoping to achieve. A wedding stylist will help you tell your story and curate an experience through colour, style and decor.
Wedding colours for 2023
The colours we’re seeing everywhere in plans for 2023 weddings include fuschia and bright pinks, tangerine and peach, and browns accompanied by modern, earthy neutrals.
Pantone’s colour of the year 2023 is named Viva Magenta and is – to quote its creators – “brave, fearless and pulsating”. Sound like you? This deep magenta is being used widely at the moment, often in lighter, brighter settings making it ideal for summer or destination weddings.
Brown is a deep, nostalgic, nature-inspired hue that counters the sweetness we often see in popular bright and feminine wedding tones. At Lace & Lemons, we’re enjoying experimenting with deep and bleached wood-toned palettes to accompany brighter colours or more muted pastel shades for weddings spanning all seasons.
Timeless wedding colours such as elegant, clean whites or vintage lace creams mixed with greens will never go out of style, so these colours can provide a solid base from which to build on. Whether you add your individual stamp through an additional colour or by working with a stylist to develop lighting concepts or incorporate personalised decor and props is entirely up to you.
A good wedding stylist will take your preference for popular wedding colours such as sage green and dusty pink, and suggest additional colours or decorative items that will draw out unique elements of your story, as well as facilitate the kind of mood and atmosphere you’re hoping to create.
For example, earthy tones always look great with sage green and dusty pink. We might recommend a shade of brown as an unexpected wedding colour and then lift the scheme with whites. We might suggest you add a bold magenta hue to add impact to a romantic, dusty pink bouquet. Sage green runners look fantastic with bold pink hero flowers which can be delicately toned with dusty pinks or emboldened by yellows.
“We always ask new clients if they consider themselves to be a minimalist or maximalist when we’re discussing the initial wedding brief, as it gives us an idea of how to tailor their preferred colour schemes and let their personalities shine through the styling.” – Karen, Wedding Stylist, Lace & Lemons
Letting colour lead wedding styling and flowers
Colour palettes and mood boards need not feel restrictive. In fact, once you’ve defined a mood and selected hues and tones to suit, you should feel free to hand your brief over to your trusted wedding suppliers.
A solid mood board complete with colour palette not only gives your suppliers creative freedom to make suggestions that they’ll know will work, it can also invite suggestions that are perhaps more budget friendly and environmentally conscious.
For example, designing your wedding day flowers by colour rather than a specific flower type enables florists to explore local, seasonal flower options as opposed to relying exclusively on imported flowers from overseas. This sustainable approach to floristry will not only make you feel great and possibly cost you a little less, it will also guarantee that your wedding flowers will be unique.
Choosing flowers that are locally available in your chosen season also means that you’ll forever be reminded of your wedding day through the local flora as your anniversaries approach. https://laceandlemons.co.uk/seasonal-wedding-flowers-2/
When it comes to choosing props, selecting decor, considering lighting and decorating tables, the clever harmonising of tones is an art form. A good wedding stylist should aim for balance with pockets of saturation. The overall look and feel of your wedding styling should manage to look intentional yet natural.
If you’ve an eye for design, you may be best suited to hiring on the day support to help you construct your vision, rather than opting for a full styling package which includes early design support and sourcing through to on the day setup.
Colour and style – because the details of your day matter
Working with a wedding stylist and florist who understands how to design your day in the most effective and sustainable way is a valuable asset to have in your wedding planning team.
Your wedding should be everything you dreamed it would, and more. It should be unique to you, leaving lasting imprints on your memory that mean you can no longer look at a colour or smell a flower without thinking of your day.
Rachel Zoe famously said, “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”. And as weddings are so often whirlwinds, it’s great if you can guarantee that you’re both present in the little details that make up a truly moving, fun and memorable day.
“Colours are kinds of light, all earthy colours such as black, earth, leaden brown have relation to Saturn. Sapphire and airy colours and those which are always green belong to Mercury. Purple, darkish and golden mixed with silver belong to Jupiter. Fiery flaming bloody and iron colour to Mars. Golden saffron and bright colours the sun and white curious green and ruddy colours belong to Venus. The elements also have their colours. They resemble celestial bodies in colour, especially Ling Things”. Cornelous Agrippa P77
“Brown is sweetness and nourishment.” p80
“Here is nostalgia in brown” p81
Moods are made tangible with colour; enhanced, explained and celebrated.