A wedding color palette has always helped set the tone for the big day. Black and white denotes a sophisticated, formal affair; green and pink can complement a garden wedding; gold dictates a more glam setting. But these days, an array of colors (or lack thereof) without a strong connection can work together to create a certain vibe — think a rainbow of hues to create a feeling of whimsy and fun, or neutrals for a timeless touch.
So do you really need a wedding color palette? The debate rages on.
“When I first started my business in 2010, it was all about themes and color palettes,” says Hannah Schumm of Weddings by Hannah in Kansas City. “It was one of the first things we talked about, and couples always summed up their wedding with the color palette and their themes. I would hear things like 'Peacock Theme,' 'Red and Gold,' etc. In the last two to three years, with the rise of blogs, Pinterest, and social media, my clients are more focused on a ‘feel or ambiance’ versus a specific palette and creating a matchy/matchy vibe.”
Instead of colors, Schumm is more often hearing words like “romantic,” “rustic,” “traditional,” etc. Clients don’t usually start talking about colors with her until they get into flowers and rentals — even then they tend to use more descriptive words such as “neutrals” or “bolds” versus colors.
And when couples do have their eyes set on a wedding color palette, they are more daring and adventurous than they were in the past. Cindy Sanchez Lark of Detaille Weddings and Events in Connecticut, notes that when she started in the industry more than ten years ago, couples often stuck to safe colors, such as pinks, peaches, reds, blues, or greens, using one of them in addition to the typical whites or ivories. “Today, couples continue to use these colors and every other in between...mixing different shades into their own custom color palette, incorporating lots of contrast, poppy colors, metallics, and even the occasional black,” she says, adding that today, color palettes act as more of a guideline of the color family being used, as opposed to keeping a swatch and matching the shade like in years past.
Amanda Allsbrook, owner of Magnificent Moments Weddings in Charlotte, North Carolina, has picked up on a similar trend, noting that wedding color palettes now reflect a range of hues with a focus on softer shades — think choosing a focus color and accent colors that wouldn’t steal the spotlight.
“I also find that couples tend to want lots of shades of a color as opposed to one exact color in everything,” she comments. “[Color palettes] are much more about a brand for your wedding day than the color palette itself. I think modern [marketing] and social media have changed the way [we] think about colors, and brides now tend to gravitate to what colors they consistently use in their everyday lives.”