Choosing your wedding colors can seem like a daunting task. The color scheme sets the tone for the entire wedding and reception. There are many factors to consider. Above all, remember - it's your wedding and you should be happy with the colors you choose. First, start with any factors that can not be changed. Some of these might be:

  • The color of the Church (or other) flooring and walls - if your location is already decided on

  • The skin tone and hair color of the bride and groom - does the bride look washed out in white and prefer champagne or ivory? Does the groom look like a ghost in a white tuxedo?

  • The skin tone and hair color of the wedding party. Of course, you can't cater to everyone and everything, but if 2 of your bridesmaids are flaming redheads, you may want to take that in to consideration when looking at baby pink bridesmaids gowns.

  • The time of year your ceremony will take place. No one says you have to follow seasonal rules regarding color, but if you are using a scheme that is out of season, you may have more difficulty finding the items you need and should plan your shopping accordingly. For instance, if you are having an autumn wedding and are using spring pastels, you may find that the daffodils you have your heart set on are not available.

  • Your budget. Yes, we know, it's not fun, but most of us have to deal with the dollar factor. The tighter the budget, the more important it is to be flexible. One bride we know of had her heart set on a pink and ivory wedding, but light blue and ivory was an option she had also considered. When she found the exact style of bridesmaid dresses at an outlet sale for less than $15 each (as opposed to the $135 retail price), she decided she could live with her second color choice of Robin's Egg Blue - the only color the outlet store offered. Saving that $120 per dress allowed her to ask two friends to be bridesmaids that otherwise would not have otherwise had to decline due to finances.

Try Color Wheel Pro - a program that allows you to create color schemes and preview them on real examples.

What items will be affected by my color scheme?

Bridesmaid Dresses - generally speaking, your bridesmaids' dresses are one of your wedding colors. Before you choose a color, you might want to make sure you can find bridesmaids' dresses with the color and style you are looking for in the season you wish to purchase them. Bridal specialty stores often carry most colors year round, but if you are shopping at an outlet, department store or dress shop the seasonal color "rules" may apply.

Flowers - If you have your heart set on certain flowers for your wedding, you will probably want to choose wedding colors that will compliment the color of the flowers.

Location - If the color of the carpet, walls or other is one particular color or a combination of colors at your ceremony or reception, then you may want to consider choosing a color that will not clash with your surroundings. While it probably won't be noticeable to your guests on the actual wedding day, it may be more obvious later in the photographs.

Invitations - If you want your invitations to contain this theme color, then you will also want to make sure that the invitations you choose are available in that color. Printed Expressions™ is happy to help you find alternatives, including custom designs, if your chosen color does not appear to be available.

Others - Your cake, favors, decorations, and possibly other things may be something you want to take into consideration when choosing your colors, especially if you want them to be accented with your wedding colors. Many items come in basic white or off-white and can be accented with ribbons or bows in a color of your choosing.

What types of color schemes are there?

Monochromatic color scheme

The monochromatic color scheme uses variations in lightness and saturation of a single color. This scheme looks clean and elegant. Monochromatic colors go well together, producing a soothing effect. The monochromatic scheme is very easy on the eyes, especially with blue or green hues. You can use it to establish an overall mood. The primary color can be integrated with neutral colors such as black, white, or gray.

Analogous color scheme

The analogous color scheme uses colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. One color is used as a dominant color while others are used to enrich the scheme. The analogous scheme is similar to the monochromatic one, but offers more nuances.The complementary color scheme is made of two colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. This scheme looks best when you put a warm color against a cool color, for example, red versus green-blue. The complementary scheme is intrinsically high-contrast.When using the complementary scheme, it is important to choose a dominant color and use its complementary color for accents. Using one color for the background (dresses, table clothes, ect) and its complementary color to highlight important elements (ribbons, bows, centerpieces), you will get color dominance combined with sharp color contrast.

Split complementary color scheme

The split complementary scheme is a variation of the standard complementary scheme. It uses a color and the two colors adjacent to its complementary. This provides high contrast without the strong tension of the complementary scheme.

Triadic color scheme

The triadic color scheme uses three colors equally spaced around the color wheel. This scheme is popular among artists because it offers strong visual contrast while retaining balance, and color richness. The triadic scheme is not as contrasting as the complementary scheme, but it looks more balanced and harmonious.

Tetradic (double complementary) color scheme

The tetradic (double complementary) scheme is the richest of all the schemes because it uses four colors arranged into two complementary color pairs. This scheme is hard to harmonize; if all four colors are used in equal amounts, the scheme may look unbalanced, so you should choose a color to be dominant or subdue the colors.

What do the Colors "Mean"?

Red

Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.

Orange

Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.

Yellow

Yellow is the color of sunshine. It's associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.

Green

Green is the color of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Dark green is also commonly associated with money.

Blue

Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness.

Purple

Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, and mystery.