{Wedding Color Palettes} Start with the Venue…ALWAYS!
Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 9:21AM
Louise in Color, Reception, Wedding Color Palette

There are color palettes that rape the eyes. Yes, rape. I’ll see some event and blink hard trying to get the offensive sight out of my eyes. Sometimes blinking works, other times, the image is seared in my mind’s eye, begging for another image to take it’s place. Then I run to Pinterest and help that process along…. Then I get a little mad. I get mad because I start thinking to myself, “Who did this? Who let the bride do this?” and then I calm down a little bit and realize that some people are color-blind or  just not all that great at color stories. 

Some of the eye-raping offenders? See below:







OK, first and foremost? I HATE chair sashes. Personal preference. If you’re going to have chair sashes, that’s fantastic. I personally don’t want to sit on something that looks like a gift wrapped ghost. Honestly, they freak me out a little. Like, WTF is under that thing? And nine times out of ten the sashes are satin and shiny and that just makes me gag a little. And I don’t really like bows either, so there’s that.

But getting over the chair sash thing, let’s talk about colors. There’s one common denominator in the photos above: too few colors. That’s right, not enough accent colors to create warmth, only eye-raping contrast.

Now I know that everyone isn’t a designer or stylist or event planner or whatever, but that doesn’t mean you can’t figure this shit out.

First of all, there are a BAJILLION links out there to figure out your color palette. Let’s just get those out there right now. These are my top color sites.

The Perfect Palette

Colour Lovers

Color Collective

Color Hunter

What you’ll want to note with these sites as well as when you’re deciding on your colors is that there are generally FIVE colors. That’s right FIVE. Pick too few colors and you could end up with a two-tone mess as shown above.

Now, if you’re the kind of bride who has been DREAMING of the pink wedding with pink accents ALL YOUR LIFE, remember a few things: first, you are an adult. Time to reconsider and seriously think about what you’ve been dreaming about. Fairytale or reality? Check yourself.

The next thing you should think about? Your venue. Yup. Not what your bridesmaids look good in, not the pink you’ve been dreaming of, the VENUE. Where the hell are you having this shindig? You don’t want to fight with your venues colors. If you do, you’re going to pay more to cover things up (i.e. chairs) and you’ll end up wondering why everything looks a mess.

One of the things that The Candyman and I instantly fell in love with regarding our venue (other than their famous She-Crab Soup) was the warmth of the place: earth tones, dark wood, subtle décor. Here are a few pictures of parts of the venue and the table setting. When I walked into the main room, I actually gasped because the candle light and warm tones were just so pretty. I chose my colors with intention – to create an atmosphere.

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People were screaming at The Candyman to smoosh the cake. And his facial expressions led them all to think he would. And I would have killed him if he had!  But just note the walls and gilded frames, dark wood chair backs.

All photos by Nashville Wedding Photographer Jonathon Campbell Photography.

Then I found this.

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SAME EXACT VENUE. Who? Who in their right minds would desecrate such a lovely setting with KELLY GREEN and then add in the horrid mod white sofa to a venue that is so clearly classic? Wanna know who? Someone who isn’t embracing the venue.  This? This is a perfect example of fighting your venue. Just don’t do it.

So how do you create an atmosphere if you’re wedding is at the VFW? Do you throw your hands up in dismay because the chairs are gold and burgundy and the rug is a giant sea of cabbage roses? Speaking of gold and burgundy, the picture that’s fifth from the top above was *this close* to getting it right. The problem? The white table linens. Too stark against the warmer colors of gold and burgundy. Had they done an ivory overlay, or even a matte gold, it would have been less eye-rape-y.

Here’s a great example of working with your venue:


OK, on their own those chairs are bad, right? Banquet style, two tone monstrosities. GAH! But it looks so lovely with the color theme chosen to coordinate with them. Purple, lavender, silver, white, green = FIVE COLORS. See?


Loveliness created by Kristin Kaplan/Simply Stunning Events, Photography by Chris & Adrienne Scott, Flowers by Brocade Design Arts.

So before you start deciding on table linens and flowers and all that, go back to your venue and look at what you’ll be working with. Go with your planner or your florist or your MOH. Take physical color swatches with you to get an idea of how the colors will react to the venue’s lighting and overall feel.

But for the love of God, don’t force a round peg into a square hole. Embrace your venue, whether it’s The Ritz or your local community center.

How are YOU choosing your colors? Have you considered the venue? How are you going about the wedding color process? Do tell.

I almost forgot! There's still time to win your veil! Enter HERE to win!

Article originally appeared on The Thirty-Something Bride Wedding Blog (http://thethirtysomethingbride.com/).
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