Allix Cott is the Head of Editorial Communications at Carats & Cake. Launched in 2013, Carats & Cake curates the best of weddings across the country in order to allow couples to find top vendors and venues by location. The platform empowers local businesses by bringing their brands to life through real content, and enabling them to run more efficiently through smart, elegant tools.
Traditional color pairings like black and white, yellow and blue, and pink and gray have filled our wedding mood boards long before the bended-knee moment. While looking to branch out of traditional color palettes for the walk down the aisle, we relied on the experts who have used their years of real-life wedding experience to create visions of colorful day-of celebrations. Saturated hues of moody jewel tones and vibrant odes to tropical color schemes make for a range of wedding color palettes that fit a variety of venues and design styles.
When integrating unusual color pairings into your day-of style, there are a few things to consider to guarantee your vision doesn’t quickly go from inspiring to tacky. Look to the season to help guide you in the direction of proper tones and hues. For spring, blush pinks or corals paired with periwinkle and light blue make for a romantic display that can perfectly correspond with seasonal florals. Around the latter months of the year, leaning on cheerful holiday pairings like red and gold can make for an event that’s both sophisticated and festive.
For more inspiration on how to take your color palette—and your design—to the next level, we spoke with the industry’s elite when it comes to planning and execution to help steer us on a path toward color schemes that evoke elegance and originality.
Black and White
“An important part of our design process will always include paper goods, such as the invitation suite. The invitation is the first wedding detail your guests will experience, so it’s important to make a good impression! There are chosen colors and font styles that speak to the look and feel that you’re creating with your wedding design. Black and white is such a sophisticated color combination, and translates so elegantly on the page.”
– Ashley Culiccha Cash, Owner, The Graceful Host
Pink and Blue
“A traditional color pairing that can be adapted in a variety of ways (blush with powder blue, magenta and cobalt blue, etc.), we love the use of this color scheme when used for a vibrant tablescape display. The use of blue glassware made for a unique detail that complemented the pink florals in the centerpieces.”
– Alicia Fritz, Owner, A Day in May Event Planning & Design
Blue and White
“Blue and white is a classic combination because it transcends seasons and can read preppy, traditional, modern, or rustic. Using blue and white in a pattern is an easy way to create interest as well as highlight, with additional tones to create a deep design. Blue in and of itself can definitely be a helpful undertone—making itself formal, but not taking itself too seriously like black.”
– Laura Ritchie, Principal Event Designer, Grit & Grace
Burgundy and Purple
“When capturing more of a festive fete, I find that colors like burgundy and purple really translate well throughout a couple’s day-of photos. For this seasonal reception, the reds from each place setting really seemed to pop against the purple in the florals, as well as other aspects of the reception’s decor.”
– Rachel May Clarke, Owner, Rachel May Photography
White, Emerald, and Blush
“White and green make for a clean and natural color combination that can fit into a variety of wedding styles. Whether you’re integrating this pairing into a rustic barn space or a blank-slated home property, adding a touch of blush will make this pairing feminine and romantic.”
— Diana Chouinard, Lead Event Planner and Designer, Jubilee Events
Cerulean and Orange
“I always look to the location and season for inspiration, in addition to the client’s own personal style. This wedding was held on a family ranch in Colorado, with acres of stunning wildflowers surrounding the wedding site. The colors of those wildflowers, plus the color of the mountains at sunset against the backdrop of that brilliant blue sky, really inspired this rustic color palette of orange and blue.”
– Marina Birch, Owner and Principal Designer, Birch Design Studio
Red and Pink
“Like so many brides, our bride had originally thought she wanted an all-neutral palette. With direction from Blossoms Events, the design plan evolved into more of an ombre of blush to deep fuchsia and red, in order to give the wedding more definition and interest. The flowers were still soft in tones, but the vibrant colors came out when a statement needed to be made!”
– Neillie Butler, Owner and Executive Planner, Mariée Ami
Green, Gray, and White
“Enhance the chicest of color combinations by using green and white with a pop of metallic. The silver is still soft and romantic, but it also feels slightly modern.”
– Heather White Sherrill, Director of Operations, Aster & Park Events
Varying Monochromatic Shades
“Go monochromatic with shades of your favorite color. For a fall wedding, we love shades of pink. The lighter shades will add a hint of romance, while the darker mauve colors will add the full-bodied pop of fall color to tie in your seasonal accents.”
– Demi Meeker, Senior Sales Manager, Cannon Green
Blush and Ivory
“Blush and ivory is a color pairing that always translates in wedding photos as the perfect touch of romanticism and sophistication. For this outdoor affair, white linens and chairs paired perfectly with the blush floral centerpieces and hanging white lanterns—a color combo that made for a collection of striking photos.”
— Jane and Michael Shauck, Founders, IRIS Photography
Ivory and Emerald
“Green and white is a color combination that is both fresh and elegant. It’s feminine, but not pink. This versatile combination also connects well with high-end interior design that can elevate your wedding furniture.”
– Lauren Chitwood, Owner, Lauren Chitwood Events
Navy, Gold, and White
“Navy, gold, and white are reminiscent of a nautical color scheme, creating a crisp, clean, on-trend look that never goes out of style.”
– Ramsey Price, Event Designer, Kehoe Designs
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