Wedding Design Exercise: How to Pick Wedding Colors

Do you know exactly what you want for your wedding design?  Or are you kinda fuzzy and unsure?

I’ve found that when it comes to your wedding design, couples fall into one of two camps:

1) You know exactly what you want down to the smallest detail


2) You’re not sure

If you’re unsure, you might have an inkling of an idea, but not the full picture.  Or you might just know the feeling you want, but not what that means in real life.  Or you might literally have no idea.

Now if you fall into the first camp you most likely also know exactly what wedding colors you want to use.  But, if you fall into the second, picking colors can be a harder task.

And because you’re unsure, here’s what usually ends up happening:  You’ll be pressed to pick colors because everyone will ask you about it from your mom to your florist.  And so you just pick something and go with it.  It’s not necessarily something you love, but it’s nice and it works.

For those of you who have recently picked wedding colors, does that sound familiar?

Here’s the thing, like with everything for your wedding, there can be pressure to get things done and get decisions made.  And making decisions is important because that’s how you move forward.  But, you don’t want to make a decision just to make one.  You want to make an intentional decision.  One that helps to support what matters to you and the wedding you want to create.

So, today I’m going to take you through a quick and easy design exercise so you can pick your wedding colors and pick ones you’re really happy with.

Before we start, there is one quick rule I want you to know:

There are no rules! You can pick as many or as little wedding colors as you like. So, don’t feel like you can only have two.

Ok, so let’s get started. And where you start is always with what you like.

Step #1

So, what’s one color (or colors) you always love? What’s your favorite color or the one that you always gravitate towards?

Most people can immediately answer this question easily. But, if you’re not quite sure, look at what you surround yourself with. Look at your clothes, shoes, home and accessories and see what you end up picking.

And don’t forget to include both of you in this process. Your wedding is not just about one of you, but the two of you coming together.  And your wedding colors are no exception.

Now, once you’ve figured these out, they will become your base colors.

(Photo credit: Marina Miller)

Step #2

Once you have your base wedding colors, then you want to pick your complimentary colors. To do this, you’ll want to think about the feeling of your wedding. Because your wedding colors will evoke a feeling. So, what do you want your wedding to feel like? Light and airy? Fun and quirky? Romantic? Bright and impactful?

Come up with the words to describe the feeling you want. This is a great time to go back to your foundation as well and use that as a reference point.

The colors that compliment your base colors will help accentuate the mood you’re looking to create. For example, let’s say you love blue and green and you want a wedding that feels open, inviting and comfortable. You’d pick perhaps light yellow or orange or white (or all three) to compliment.

Or let’s say you love red and black and you want a wedding that is fun, romantic, elegant and yet simple. You’d pick perhaps pink, off-white and gold.

Now the same concept applies here where you should pick complimentary colors that you like. Don’t pick purple if you hate purple. Pick what makes sense to create the feeling you want and what you like.

At this point, you’ll have about 3-7 colors. And you can easily just stop there. But, if you want some additional accent colors like a neutral color, a metallic or a bright pop of color, go for it!

Vintage collected vases used for wedding decor for a Half Moon Bay wedding by Destination Wedding Planner Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Strotz Photography)

Step #3

Now the last thing you want to do once you’ve picked your wedding colors is to ask yourself,

Does this feel like us?

Does it have the right feeling we want?

Does it make us happy?

You want to answer yes to these questions. And if so, then you’re golden!

If not, then you’ll want to tweak the colors until you can answer yes. Now if you find yourself tweaking, an easy way to tweak is not to change the colors, but the shades. Go lighter or darker, cooler or warmer, brighter or more muted. That way you keep the colors you like and you’re just adjusting the hue.

Then voila! You’ve picked your wedding colors and you’ve done it with intention.  Which means you’ll love what you design in those colors and it will project the right mood and feeling you want to create for your wedding.

(Photo credit: Bethany Carlson Photography)

Now that you’ve gone through the exercise, what are your wedding colors?  Please share it with us in a comment below.

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