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People often get shy about experimenting with bold colours, scared they might clash or be distasteful for their wedding day. Quite the contrary. When I decided I wanted a big bold red everyone looked at me like I was mad. But colours are a growing trend, not just in wedding day styling but in fashion choices too. I personally am pleased to see more and more couples are getting more daring with their wedding day palette and fusing their favourite colours into their wedding day and moving away from just pastels. But there is an art to elegantly adding bold colour!
I’ve invited millennial wedding planner (her words, not mine) the lovely Olivia over at Nulyweds to provide the ultimate guide to adding colour to your wedding day styling.
Take it away wonderful Olivia!
Now don’t get me wrong, white weddings are stunning and I fully respect a classic fairytale wedding. However, it looks like bold colours are here to stay so I’m going to show you how to make your favourite colours work for you!
Every Colour Can Work
First of all, let’s debunk the theory that some colours just don’t work. *Every colour can work*
Brown can work beautifully with pink and rose gold.
Black, white, and silver is a cool classic.
Navy blue looks amazing with soft turquoise, white and the tiniest touch of pink.
Hot tomato red is sublime with blush, aubergine and copper.
Everything can work when handled with care so whatever colour your bold heart is, don’t be afraid to go for it! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
The Four Tones
I know that ‘The Four Tones’ sounds like a Motown soul group (Nu Bride: I’ll take that! lol) but this is actually my technique for devising the perfect colour scheme.
First you need to pick your main colour. This is the shining star of your wedding styling and will be featured in every element from flowers and stationery to bridesmaids’ dresses and ties. Another simple and effective way of bringing your boldest colour into your wedding styling is through napkins. Yes – really! They quietly sit in the background but lift the mood of the entire room!
For this example let’s use orange as your main colour.
Next you need a complementary colour to support that main tone. This could be in the same colour family (so for this example let’s use hot pink), a totally opposing colour (like fresh green to oppose the orange), or white if you want a classically pretty look combined with your bold colour. Complementary colours are perfect for flowers, stationery and if you are having a mix of coloured bridesmaids’ dresses.
Your third tone is your top note. This is often a metallic like gold, silver or copper so you can bring these colours in using candelabra’s, cutlery and embellishments. You could also use a light colour like pastel yellow. For this example, pastel yellow works great in the cake, favours and stationery.
Finally, the fourth tone is your undertone so a deep, bold colour to lift the rest. Here we’ll use aubergine in the ribbons and flowers. In practice, it looks like this:
So here you can see that all colours are present, orange, aubergine, yellow and pink but the orange is the clear main colour that shines the most.
This four tone technique also works with weddings that are one colour too! For example, here is a pink wedding. The main colour is blush, white is the complementary colour, gold is the top note and hot pink is the undertone. The key is balance.
Now of course you can have more or less than four colours! It’s completely up to you and you’ll find that through any wedding flowers you might have, an array of different tones will come through. However, if you’re at a loss with where to start when creating a colour scheme, try out this for tone technique and see what you come up with. Defining your colour scheme also makes it much easier to collaborate with your wedding suppliers.
Avoiding colour catastrophe
So you’ve worked out your four tones, and you know how to incorporate the colours in a seamless way. Still one of the biggest fears when trying to create a colourful wedding boils down to one question: What if it is all too much?
I feel you. Even though my soul is rainbow, I get that niggling doubt of ‘too muchness’ every time I go to design a wedding. It’s a wedding after all, not a children’s party!
Here is the big secret: are you ready?
I was shocked too but leafy table centres and bouquets break up the colour for a more elegant look. Even if you choose the richest of green leaves, they still manage to blend in with bold colour without appearing to add to it.
Foliage is magic!
I hope this little article helps you create the bold, colourful wedding of your visual dreams! Remember the only limit is your imagination.
Thank you so much for joining Nu Bride Olivia and sharing such wonderful inspiration – the four tones – magic advice! You can find out more about Olivia’s wedding planning services in the UK and Portugal right here!