How to Incorporate Your Wedding Colors
When planning your wedding and trying to get every detail just right, incorporating your wedding colors can sometimes be difficult. We’ve all been to weddings where it seems that the only place you see the wedding colors is in the bridesmaid dresses, with possibly a matching or coordinating bouquet.
The bride might also tie ribbons in her wedding colors around things like bubbles or bells if she has them, or she may possibly use bowls of floating candles that match her wedding colors. But ribbons and candles alone won’t do a color scheme justice. If you don’t care much for the colors, and aren’t worried about color schemes, then this might be just the right décor for you. However, for those of you putting a great deal of work into your wedding color choices, you’re going to have to step it up a bit.
It’s true that sometimes brides don’t have a lot of choices when it comes to decorating. Churches don’t usually like brides decorating a great deal (because they end up having to clean it up), and traditional wedding venues may already have their own decorations that they won’t want changed. So what’s a bride to do? Well, many of them stick to using their colors in their bridesmaid dresses and bouquets. But these don’t have to be your only options.
If you want your wedding colors to truly stand out, you will have to get crafty and consider other ways to bring color to an area without upsetting the fine balance of the locations you’ve chosen. There are a variety of different ways to elegantly “color-coordinate” your wedding, even with so many things out of your control.
When you think about incorporating wedding colors, what's the first place you consider?
Think Like a Designer
Have you ever seen one of those makeover design shows on HGTV? When first entering a home, designers will consider the look and feel that they are going for in their designs before they even choose their colors or decorating items. The chosen colors can change everything about a room, so it’s critical that the colors and the look you want for your event match.
If you want a calm, beachy feel, reds and yellows are not going to cut it. Blues and purples would work much better to achieve this goal. If you want sharp, clean, and modern, beiges and pastels won’t really look right. Black, white, and other bold colors would just do the trick though.
At this point, you can now start considering how much of each color you want exhibited in the room and how you want them displayed. A large panel of color can make a dramatic statement, and you can do the same thing with your tablecloths. White, or light colored tablecloths will lighten and freshen up an event. Whereas black, or dark colored tablecloths will offer a dramatic look to take your guests breathe away.
Then all of the little items come into play and have their own parts in really finishing off the room. Consider your flowers, your attire, and even the color of your drinks to bring your theme to life, and create the feeling you’re looking for. A little creativity and ingenuity will go a long way.
To truly give your event the look you’re desiring, you will need to put on your HGTV designer hat. How can you revamp the space to generate that feeling that you’re trying to evoke? Generally cooler tones emote peace (green, blue, violet) and warmer tones emote energy and joy (orange, yellow, red). Ask yourself what kind of feeling you’re going for and then ask yourself how you can incorporate it. That’s the hard part, right?
Incorporating your wedding colors into your bridesmaid dresses, bouquets, and ribbons is easy. So how do you incorporate your wedding colors in other ways?
Centerpieces are a great way. You may think this is but a very small thing, but what wedding pictures do you see when you search on Google? The bride and groom of course, and then the dinner tables! The arrangements you choose for each of your tables will make a bigger statement towards the look and feel of your wedding than just about anything else will. This is where you can also be really creative.
It’s really important that you don’t overdo it on any one color though. Blue is a great color, but not if everything in your centerpiece is all the same color of blue. You could collect a bunch of different sized bottles and paint them different shades of blue. In the case of glass, they could all naturally be different colors of blue.
Consider mixing up the items you use as well. You wouldn’t want all bottles. Throw in a few other items to really make them look good. Maybe you could use candles, seashells, lanterns, birds’ nests, books, etc. Too much of one thing, whether it be color, size, shape, or item, can be overwhelming or just plain boring. By mixing it up, you create drama and interest.
Do the same thing with your flowers. If you really like the color red, for example, mix up your centerpiece with different kinds of red flowers and different shades of red. You might even want to temper it with some white or ivory. It’s best to keep any centerpiece you create full and complex, with different colors and objects instead of just one. This allows you to repeat an element with intention without looking like you didn’t know what you were doing.
For those planning a wedding on a budget, you may not want to go crazy at Pier 1 buying interior design accessories for your décor. You’re bound to spend a great deal of money (which is why I just don’t tempt myself).
Instead, get creative at garage sales, thrift stores, or second hand shops. They have so many items that would make for great decorations on your dinner tables, like bottles, window shutters, large or small picture frames, candles, vases, mirrors, and maybe even something more creative like books, action figures, doilies, tea cups, etc.
If you’ve seen Thrift Shop Divas, you know that there are tons of hidden treasures at thrift stores. You may just have to repaint, re-stain, or recover them to find what you want. But just because an item is a color you don’t like, doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. With a little spray paint and a little elbow grease, you can create incredible displays for all of your tables.
The walls in your wedding venue(s) may not be the most attractive part of the location. Most of the time, nobody even tries to mess with them unless they happen to be really bad (like holes or graffiti). In that case, you have many options for covering up, or making them look better for your event.
One of the best ways, but also one of the more expensive routes, would be to use pipe and drape. This is exactly what it sounds like; a fixture made out of plumbing pipe (plastic or metal) that fabric is draped on. Pipe and drape is used to create individual spaces out of one huge one, cover up walls, or even make the famous bridal show booths. (Oh! Now you know what I’m talking about!)
Fabric can be really beautiful if you use some of the fancier stuff, or it can simply help an ugly wall just blend into the background and become a non-issue. Caterers usually provide pipe and drape for you if you’re interested. As handy as this may be though, there are many more creative, inexpensive tricks for doing the same thing.
Don’t underestimate the power of art. Although no venue will let you hang your own art on the walls, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get creative. There’s no reason you can’t use corkboards, chalkboards, pictures from your home, pictures you’ve had enlarged, framed works of art, or anything else you have in your home in your wedding colors, or would like to make to showcase at your wedding. Here are a couple of very simple projects you can do at home:
Decorate an old frame, or a bunch of old frames, to coordinate with your wedding colors. You could put a picture of you and your honey in them, or fit a corkboard to one or more frames and feature several snapshots of you and your husband inside.
You might get away with using double-stick tape, or Command hooks if you really have to hang something on the wall. If neither of these are permissible, use an art easel or other kind of stand, hang your “art” from fishing line, string, or yarn, or even prop them up as centerpieces or features on some of your tables.
To really show off your specific colors, for instance, you could paint a variety of frames in your wedding colors, put your engagement pictures in them, and hang a few above each of your guest dinner tables from clear fishing line. Not only will everyone know what your colors are, but this type of display will make a definite statement.
Paper is also a great way to make a fun and flirty presentation of your colors. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Paper? Isn’t that a little too arts-and-craftsy for a wedding?” Believe it or not, paper decorations are becoming really popular as more brides are trying to be smart with their money and DIY many of their wedding décor projects.
Keep in mind, I’m not suggesting paper crafts akin to third grade projects, but beautiful works of art that are surprisingly made out of paper. This could be anything from toilet paper roll wall displays, to folded and cut out snowflakes, tissue butterflies, paper chandeliers or lanterns, or book page table runners.
One great paper craft idea is to make tissue paper flowers. Some could be giant, perfect for a venue with a low ceiling, and some could be dainty, perfect for adhering to strings and hanging like boughs or decorating tables. To bring in your specific wedding colors, use different shades of tissue paper in your colors. Tissue flowers done correctly can really bring an elegance to your event, along with beautiful pops of color.
Another great paper craft idea to showcase your wedding colors involves fringe. By using tissue paper in the right colors, you can decorate just about anything you please and make a beautiful statement. Add fringe to your wedding menus, to your tablecloths, to your cake table, buffet table, and/or gift table. You could even use this fringe on your wedding invitations and programs.
Consider also using your fringe to create a backdrop for your cake table by hanging it from the ceiling or attaching it to a board of some kind to stand at the back of the table. Fringe is both easy and very stylish.
Ever thought of wall medallions? You can use simple tissue paper (I would use the heavier variety) that has been folded like an accordion to make small and large wall medallions. This makes an incredible backdrop for wedding pictures, either behind your head/sweetheart table or behind your cake table.
As you are not normally allowed to attach anything to the walls, I suggest either Command hooks or hanging each of them from different lengths of clear fishing line from the ceiling. But what if your wedding is outside? This is a great question!
Outdoor Wedding Décor
If you’re having an outdoor wedding, there’s still an opportunity to represent your chosen wedding colors. If you are using a tent, gazebo or other covered area, you could easily string Japanese paper lanterns in your wedding colors from any wall or ceiling. Again, don’t go crazy at Pier 1 but make your own.
You could also string colorful décor from one side of the tent to the other. You could do paper flowers, Japanese lanterns, or even drape fabric across the tent for an amazing look. But what if you do not have a tent or covered area?
That’s what trees are for! Hang ornaments, leaves, streamers, wall medallions, flowers, mason jars filled with candles, and the list goes on and on. To bring in your wedding colors, use colored tissue paper, colored candles, glued on lace or cut outs from colored paper, or anything else you can think of.
Remember to put on your designer cap when considering your wedding colors for your wedding. While it may just be easier to let your bridesmaid dresses, flower bouquets, and wedding favors show off the hard work you went into color coordinating your wedding, consider thinking outside the box and bringing those colors into all of your wedding stationery, your tablecloths, your backdrops, and even the decorations for your dinner tables.
And you don’t have to stop there! To get some really great ideas about colors, check out my article on Incorporating Great Color Combinations Into Your Wedding. Here I offer tips and ideas for incorporating a variety of color combinations into your wedding.
Hopefully you’ll get some inspiration to use in your own event! And see more great ideas for your wedding in my new book 300 plus Ways to Make Your Wedding Your Own!
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© 2013 Victoria Van Ness