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How to Pick the Color Theme for your Wedding Day

Updated on February 2, 2014

Your Color Theme as a Backdrop for your Wedding Day

One of the most important decisions you will make as a bride or groom planning a wedding day is your color theme. Hue sets a mood both for you and your betrothed, but also family and friends.

No matter what you might hear otherwise the color theme for your wedding day is your decision. It does not depend on the color in which your mother, best friend, cousin, or mother-in-law looks best.

When I got married 17 years ago, my two favorite colors were deep purple and hot pink. I got married in May, so I chose hot pink. However, a late fall, early winter wedding would have been a great time to go with purple.

Your favorite color is just one aspect of consideration. You also may want to consider the season, the meaning of the color with respect to weddings, flowers that are in season, and the color that looks best on you and your loved ones.

The color theme for your wedding day sets the stage
The color theme for your wedding day sets the stage | Source

Pick a Color Theme for your Wedding Day

Before you plan a wedding around your favorite color, take the following items under consideration, as well:

  • Season and time of year: Consider which flowers will be in season and whether there is a particular theme you wish to evoke
  • Venue for the ceremony and/or reception: Will the color theme for your wedding day clash with any interior carpeting, wallpaper, or paint colors?
  • Photography: Where will you have photographs taken? How will the colors present in photos?
  • Meaning of the color (see guide below)
  • Current trends: Perhaps you wish to use popular colors for your wedding day. Some brides and grooms prefer to stick with "classic" colors that will not date the ceremony
  • Accent colors: Some people prefer to stick with basic hues (black, white, beige, tan) with an accent color, rather than selecting a full-fledged color theme for a wedding

Tips to Help you Pick the Color Theme for your Wedding

Before you Pick a Color Theme for your Wedding Day

First, go into your closet and see what shade you tend to gravitate toward the most. If that exercise does not give you a good lead, review recent photographs of yourself to determine the color you wear most often, and what looks best on you.

Next, consider flipping through wedding planning magazines. If you can, tear out the pages that you love the best and set them aside for a few days. Determine what you love best about the photos - time of day, location, flowers, colors, or all of the above.

When you start to get an idea of one or two colors that you love the most, think about different shades to evoke the atmosphere and season. Then, determine whether you want to go with a predominant or accent color.

The bride should decide early on which shade of dress she will wear - whether white, off-white, beige or another color. You may not want to have a harsh contrast with other colors of the wedding. Personally, I think the bridal gown should be selected first, then the color of the wedding should follow.

How to Choose Wedding Colors

Color Themes for a Wedding

If you are stumped in picking a color theme for your wedding day, think about the meaning of the color and the feelings it generally invokes.

  • Red is definitely a color of love and passion. With an orange undertone, it is perfect for summer or autumn weddings. Use a red with a blue undertone for winter weddings. Like gold, it is a dramatic color.
  • Navy Blue is often called the "warmer" alternative to black for weddings. It gives a traditional or nautical feel to the celebration. Many couples enjoy using Navy Blue because it is clean and crisp. Another plus is that the color can be used in weddings during every month and every season.
  • Green lends a fresh, clean, positive ambiance to weddings. Its particularly suitable for spring and summer celebrations. Darker hues of the color can be beautiful and dramatic for a winter wedding.
  • Yellow is a bright, happy color that is youthful and fun. Consider this shade for a spring or summer wedding. An orange-yellow hue is lovely for weddings in early autumn.
  • Orange is a beautiful accent to brown colors for fall weddings. Because not all people are comfortable with the shade, it is also considered sophisticated. For summer weddings, use a paler shade of the hue.
  • Gold is an elegant, rich color. When used in weddings, it gives a luxurious and traditional feeling. Many people love this hue in autumn or winter celebrations. It can stand on its own, or be used as an accent color.
  • Gray is a retro, yet modern neutral color. Like Navy Blue, it is a great alternative to black in weddings. It can be used on its own, or paired with an accent color like deep purple, vibrant orange or yellow. This color is popular during autumn and winter.
  • Light Pink is your wedding color if you are romantic, delicate innocent and sweet. The color also lends a youthful and playful air.This shade is best suited to spring and early summer. Pair it with green or gray for a charming palette.
  • Purple is the color of royalty and also has a religious association. It is a strong color that invokes sober feelings of warmth and depth. Generally, this hue is best for autumn and winter weddings, as it may be too powerful for the lighter weather in spring and summer.
  • Brown is rich, like purple, but seems to be a bit more down to earth. The shade is perfect for rustic settings, particularly in the fall.
  • Deep Pink is a great go-between color if you cannot chose between red and light pink. It is more feminine than red, but not as "innocent" as pale pink. The deep color gives the hue energy. Like navy blue, this shade is great for weddings year round.

Pick the Color Theme for your Wedding Day: All Seasons

What is your Favorite Color Theme for a Wedding Day?

See results

The Good News About Color Themes for Weddings

Gone are the days where guests were advised not to wear black or white to a wedding. The good news about color themes for weddings is that there are no longer any "rules."

Since I got married in 1995, many bridesmaids do not even wear matching dresses any longer. The same or similar hue may be used in a variety of dresses in unique styles. One of my favorite wedding trends is to use a color solely as an accent, rather than the predominant shade. A neutral backdrop such as beige or light gray is brightened up with a modest incorporation of a more colorful shade.

Bridal and bridesmaids bouquets have also become more streamlined. In fact, if a flower in your favorite color is not available, you might wish to make a bouquet using any blooms you wish, tied up with a satin or grosgrain ribbon of your color choice.

Finally, colors do not need to precisely match. Pick coordinating hues or accent colors and avoid "matchy-matchy" d├ęcor, which is out of date.

The bottom line is that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to color themes for your wedding day. Hopefully these tips will help you choose the perfect shade for you when you get married!


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    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you Ruby! All the best, Steph

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 

      6 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Picking the right color is so very important for a wedding, really makes it pop in so many ways. Love your tips, thanks a bunch.

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Jamie - I am with you! Rich browns, golds and creams together would be elegant and stunning for a wedding. Appreciate the read and comment. Best to you, Steph

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Lots of wonderful tips here about picking the right color for a wedding.. I would have never guessed brown would be a good color for weddings but I saw some photos of a wedding where the bridesmaids were wearing these rich dark brown dresses and I think gold colors were mixed in too.. they were stunning! I think a shabby chic themed wedding would be gorgeous.. with creams, light browns, etc.. Great hub, lots of useful info.. voting up! Thank you for sharing :)

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      You guys are the best - thank you! Nell, I kind of wish I could go back in time and use different colors for my wedding now that I've "matured" a bit. Anyway - thank you again for the comments, etc. All the Best, Steph

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Loved your color ideas..Thank you..

    • Ruchira profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Steph such an elaborate guide. I loved reading all the details.


    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      What a great guide, and so useful for all those planning on getting married. I don't remember having any theme for my wedding and look back at it sometimes with regret, so this is awesome, voted up! nell

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks for putting together this comprehensive guide! Choosing wedding colors can be an overwhelming decision. Having some initial resources like this can be very helpful with the process.

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      LOL - I hear you, Bill! Its funny, but before I pressed publish, I was wondering if you would be the first to comment - as always! :)

      And yellow definitely seems like your color! Sunny, cheerful and optimistic. Have a great evening,


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Steph!

      I know, this is a strange hub for me to visit, but if you wrote it, I'm here. :)

      I picked yellow although I don't have a clue why. I just wanted to pretend this hub had something to do with me. lol Great suggestions and tips my friend. Hopefully I'll never again need to use them. :)

      Have a great week!



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