Wedding Colors: 10 Fresh & Hip Combos

Keeping it unexpected(ly beautiful)

couple in front of the color condition background with wedding colors

When I first got engaged, there was no question more frustrating to me than, “What are your wedding colors?” Okay fine, that’s not totally true. It made me bonkers when people asked me my wedding date a minute after I got engaged, because how on earth would I know that? BUT. Easily the second most frustrating question was definitely, “What are your colors?”

Thinking back, it’s hard to figure out why I found this questions so annoying. Probably because it seemed to speak to some super ’80s, super traditional way of planning weddings that I didn’t want anything to do with. (“My colors are blush and bashful.”) Plus, I didn’t know WHAT my  colors were, or how to pick a color palette that seemed modern, and my partner liked. (No weddings drowning in pink for him.) And any wedding planning question where your real answer is, “I have no fucking clue,” is not a fun question to be asked on the regular.

But the intervening decade, here is what I’ve learned:

1. People are genuinely interested in and excited about your wedding (and weddings in general) and they don’t quite know how to express that. “What are your colors?” is often a way to segue way into, “OMG WHAT KIND OF WEDDING ARE YOU HAVING PLEASE DISH.” Because when you’re not planning and footing the bill for a wedding, they’re really fun, and people are looking for a way to talk to your about yours.

2. Wedding colors are really damn helpful. Take it from me. I was so annoyed by the idea of wedding colors, that we decided to not have them. Our wedding would just be “jewel tones” and I told everyone in our wedding party to wear whatever jewel toned colors they wanted. You know what happened? They all showed up in purple and teal, and with horror we realized that we looked like we’d picked a early ’90s (and not in a good way) two color palette.

So the question becomes: How do you pick a color palette that look modern and save you from looking like you’ve outfitted your wedding party as a ’90s sports team? Well, lucky for you, we’ve polled some of the best wedding designers in the business, and we’ve gotten you some answers.

how to pick your wedding colors

First up, you and your partner need to make some very basic decisions: What general colors are you going for? What is the general visual style and vibe that you want? I talked to one of APW’s favorite wedding designers, Michelle Edgemont, and she suggested that instead of picking the traditional two colors, that you pick four (or more) colors, to create more of a palette. This can make decorating feel less restrictive and more organic. If you’re organized, one or two of these colors can serve as your main color, and one or two can serve as your accent colors. If you’re less, uh, focused, having a color palette can simply be a far more relaxing way to decorate.

To bring you some kick-ass ideas for modern color palettes, and not just two of them (“pink and pink“), we asked another APW favorite, Tabitha Abercrombie of Winston & Main, to create some wedding color palettes, and give you inspiration for how to use them. These ten combinations of wedding colors will inspire you. We can’t wait to see how you guys use them.

We’ll break down the color combos in more detail below, but here are 10 super fresh and hip wedding color combos to make magic with.

10 Modern wedding color Combinations

  1. Lavender + Emerald + Lapis Blue
  2. Yellow + Coral + Purple + Cranberry
  3. Ivory + Silver + Green
  4. Blush + Gold + Blue + Navy
  5. Apricot + Sage + Greige + Navy
  6. Mint + Pink + Coral + Magenta
  7. Island Paradise + Niagara + Lapis + Red Plum
  8. Hazelnut + Island Paradise + Lapis + Copper
  9. Greenery + Burgundy + Flame + Dogwood
  10. Rose Quartz + Cotton Candy + Pink Yarrow + Island Paradise

Now let’s dig in.

Wedding Colors In Action

bright 90s color palette

Photos by: With Sol Studio | Ali and Garrett | Energy Muse | Paula Bartosiewicz

1. lavender + emerald + lapis blue = vibrant boho

These vibrant cool colors paired with pops of pink and lavender are the perfect bold and bright bohemian palette for ’90s color lovers. I love the idea of using organic elements like geodes, crystals, and flowers to bring in the bright color for a personal, layered, and eclectic look. The unexpected combination of bright colors and organic elements would pop against a natural setting, perfectly complement a carousel or carnival theme, or breathe a little whimsy into an industrial venue.

jewel tone wedding colors palette

Photos by Levi Tijerina | Michelle Edgemont | Sara & Rocky | Cami Jane Photography

2. yellow + coral + purple + cranberry = sunset

Bold jewel tones make for a fun and fiery sunset palette. These saturated colors have more depth than their primary counterparts, creating a happy, warm, and inviting atmosphere. For a traditional or modern look, use jewel tones sparingly and with clean lines, or generously layer them together with more organic shapes for a brilliant bohemian palette. Desert or city, these dynamic colors set the tone for a cheerful party.

nature inspired wedding palette

Photos by Jonas Seaman Photography | A Guy and a Girl Photography | Michelle and Logan | Erin Grace Photography |Alissa Saylor

3. ivory + silver + greenery = fresh nature-inspired

This lush palette is bright, fresh, and nature-inspired. Shades of green, simple ivory blooms, and silver accents add dimension and make this palette endlessly adaptable to your style and budget. So whether you favor tropical greens or the forest floor, you can layer on the organic shapes (and shades) for dimensional decor that brings the outdoors in.

calm color palette

Photos by: The Colagrossis | Kerry Jeanne Photography | Love of Creating | The Amburgeys

4. dogwood + gold + blue + navy = soft, vintage

Dreamy and calm, this palette evokes the soft light of magic hour. The navy balances and grounds the lighter shades of pink and blue, and the brushed gold adds a sophisticated touch, making this palette romantic and sophisticated, not saccharine. This fresh and ethereal palette would be perfect for a vintage style wedding.

mellow wedding palette

Photos by: Clean Plate Pictures | Loft Photography | Paige Jones Photography | Clean Plate Pictures

5. apricot + sage + greige + navy = sophisticated

This mellow fall palette in shades of apricot, sage, greige, and navy feels seasonal and sophisticated. Texture, color, and candlelight create a casual elegance that works for rustic and rooftop weddings alike. More subdued than typical fall palettes, the organic pops of apricot and sage in the form of flowers, fruits, and greens keep it feeling fresh.

whimsical wedding palette

Photos by: Betty Clicker Photography | AJ Dunlap Photography | The Happy Bloom | Birds of a Feather | We Love Pictures

6. mint + pink + coral + magenta = whimsical

Shades of sorbet and mint combine for a fresh take on modern whimsy. This palette feels like a happy dance party with its analogous berry hues and complementary tint of mint! These colors bring bold graphics, playful elements, and unique florals to life, and can be used in any concentration you’re comfortable with—from a dash to a downpour.

blue wedding palette

Photos by: Peppermint Photography | Beau Coup | Cambria Grace | Paper Antler

7. island paradise + niagara + lapis + red plum = ELEGANT MONOCHROMATIC

This mainly monochromatic palette uses a variety of blues along with burgundy accents to create a moody elegant feel. Stick to a limited color palette to achieve a sophisticated and cohesive design, while using a few tints, tones, or shades of the same color to create depth and interest. The single and repetitive use of the burgundy accent color further emphasizes this feeling of chic cohesion.

modern wedding palette

Photos by:  | Factory Made | Adept Studios | Christine Arnold

8. HAZELNUT + island paradise + lapis + COPPER = MODERN

Hip, modern, and minimal, this palette of Palm Springs pastels is ready to party. It combines neutral desert hues, hazelnut and copper, with a few shades of blue to bring the minimal decor to life. Neutrals and metallic can be used liberally throughout, with bold strokes of lapis (or bright navy) for a graphic punch.

sophisticated and fun wedding colors

Photos by: Forever Photography | Jenni Grace Photography | Hartford Prints | Matthew William


I love how the bright pops of greenery and flame are balanced by the more subdued burgundy and pale dogwood, making this palette sophisticated and fun. It’s very flexible and would work for a variety of seasons and venues. Bright and cheery enough for a casual outdoor affair, it could also be used with a more minimal style for a modern loft, gallery, or museum wedding.

Bright and fun colors

Photos by: Katie Osgood | Katie Pritchard Photography | Jana Morgan | Birds of a Feather Photography

10. rose quartz + cotton candy + pink yarrow + island paradise = WEDDING COLORS THAT POP

This pop star worthy palette is unapologetically bold and bright. The different shades of pink lend dimension to an otherwise simple color combo, and really make the dashes of island paradise pop. With so much vibrant color, details can be kept minimal—think simple vases, smaller bouquets, a few bright cake flowers. Light and bright, this palette pairs perfectly with graphic black and white elements, like stripes, in wardrobe, table top, signs, or invitations.

Did you have colors? How did you pick them? What would you do differently? What did you love? Why will people never stop with the “What are your colors” question?

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  • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

    Now I want to have like six more weddings so I can use these! The breakdown of colors appeals to my brain so much. I really love 3, 5 and 9!

    • Amy March

      I fully plan to use these as home decorating palette ideas.

      • Jessica

        I came here to say that!

      • AP

        YES palette #8 in my living room, please, and bring a cactus

        • Jess

          Yeah, #3, #5, and #9 all have a place in my future-not-currently-existant house.

      • Eenie

        Ok, I need pallete advice for our bedroom. The only colors my husband and I agree on are grey and blue. So we have Gravity by Valspar on our walls with dark wood furniture (dark ash and walnut). We need to decide on curtains. He wants to go with blue. I’m trying to convince him to do a pattern of some sort to add more color. Our master bath is blue, and we currently have a black and white painting hung on the wall. What are your thoughts on colors that would look good for the curtains?

        • Katharine Parker

          What color/pattern are your sheets?

          • Eenie

            Oh our duvet is grey and our sheets are white or grey. We are planning on buying new bedding as well because we have a king sized duvet and it doesn’t work for us. We’re going the european route and getting two twin duvets so we can stop fighting over the covers.

          • Katharine Parker

            Right now it sounds like you have grey, white, and dark wood tones, which you could just lean into and go for a tonal, neutral space. Something like this adds in a soft flax color:|linen-curtains

            Alternately, a soft yellow is a classic combo with grey and white:|linen-curtains

            If you want to bring in some color, this pattern still reads with a lot of blue but brings in green, orange and pink: You could pick up on those other colors with some extra pillows or a vase of flowers on your bedside table or chest or drawers.

            Similarly, here we get blue and grey but with a touch of pink for contrast:

            Or you could go for a blue pattern:

            What would your ideal color palette be?

          • Eenie

            I would probably add in a peachy or fuscia color of some sort, but my husband isn’t a fan of that. I really like option 2 (yellow and grey ones) and option 4 (Mossflox from ikea)! I will show these to him and see if he can get on board. Thank you!!

          • penguin

            Best relationship I ever got was to have each person have their own set of sheets and blankets on the bed. No more fighting for covers!

          • Eenie

            It’s the setup we have right now, except I’m using the king size and they slowly drag themselves off the bed while he has this blanket. We need to fix it and this is the best option!!

          • Eenie

            I think I figured out the reason I’m struggling with this is because our duvet cover is grey. It is just too much grey in our room. I think if we look at curtain and duvet cover options together it might make this easier.

          • Katharine Parker

            Yeah, it sounds like a lot of grey. Emily Henderson has done some posts on her blog about styling a bed that involve different duvets, pillows, and blankets. They might be worth checking out to think about different ways to break up that grey, especially if your husband is reluctant to use much color.

        • NolaJael

          We have gray bedroom walls and went with something like this, flanked by metallic gray panels.

          • Eenie

            He was open to metallic curtains! We went through this process five years ago while picking bedding. Hence the grey duvet lol.

          • Jess

            I love adding metallic texture! Bronze or Copper could be a really interesting tone with all the grey/blue.

          • Eenie

            Oh we are doing bronze curtain rods! I felt like they went so nicely with our furniture.

        • Jess

          Do you want to go contrasting in tone? I see a lot of cool/neutrally colors, and I like to add something warm, like orangey (peach/apricot) or yellows. (See #5 above, basically)

        • Jessica

          Someone else posted the link to design seeds below (here it is again: You can search by color for complimentary palettes. I’ve been going through it trying to figure out how I can make a jewel-tone turquoise, gray, and navy scheme work–the answer is a blush pink or sand color to balance it all out.

          • Eenie

            This is amazing!

          • Gaby

            this is so soothing to browse through, holy moly.

          • NolaJael

            No kidding. When we were remodeling I would spend *hours* on this site…

          • TrueGrit

            I am so stressed today and browsing through the “creatures” category just melted everything away! Bookmarking.

          • Gaby

            I hadn’t noticed the categories so THANK YOU :)

          • Eenie


            I think I can get my husband on board with this color scheme! I think a navy bed spread with some tangerine/orange curtains will work wonders.

          • Jessica

            That’s so pretty!

          • Jess

            I was scrolling through this site when Jessica linked to it, and this was my ideal color scheme. Please do it!

          • Jessica

            And then post photos in a happy hour!

          • Eenie

            I will post photos once it’s all done! Just got my last W2 to file taxes and some of the money is going into finishing the bedroom. We just talked and he liked the color pallete so I think we’re going to go for it!

      • Gaby

        Yes I’m now convinced that apricot tones are the missing piece in our bedroom puzzle, via the #5 color set.

        • Yeah, I don’t ever do much with apricot. Stick mostly to turquoise and red for some reason. Maybe for my new office…

          • Gaby

            We tend to lean toward greys and blues 80% of the time so this is a good way to see how to balance it. I don’t think I’ve ever done apricot either but I might play around with peach and/or copper tones! But yes yes I support prettifying your new office :)

  • Hayley

    This is exactly where I am at. In my case, it’s more like 2 themes I am trying to decide on but yeah. I am waiting on my fiance to take a look at the venue that we like and see which he thinks would fit in there better. Since we are getting married during the winter holidays, we either want to do a red/white more holiday party theme or silver/gold/white NYE theme. Either way, it’s going to hopefully have a vintage-y vibe. Does anyone have an advice on how to match colors to a venue? Cause I am kind planning 2 weddings in my mind right now, picking flowers and decor and stuff that goes with each theme.

    • Lisa

      Does your venue have any really bright colors already in it? Or is there a large immobile art piece right behind where the head table would go? If there is a feature that’s quite large and dominant, it will end up in most photographs so you might want to plan around it. For example, at my sister’s wedding, the altar area had a giant 30′ x 30′ blue mosaic. She decided not to use blue as a color in her wedding palette for this reason even though she’d originally been considering it for our bridesmaid dresses.

      Barring any outstanding feature, it depends really on what kind of feel you want. The red/white definitely reads more “Christmas” to me, while the metallics have more of a general glittery, winter feel. I wouldn’t bother planning more design details until your fiancé has a chance to see the space and give you an opinion; planning multiple weddings is frustrating! Can you concentrate instead on some other aspects that aren’t tied to the color palette in the meantime?

      • Hayley

        Thanks! Yeah there is a weird sculpture hanging from the ceiling so I should definitely keep that in mind. I should shuffle back through my pics and see what else might be in the background too. :)

    • JLily

      This is kinda what I did, and I think it’s actually a good way to start. Our venue was in a barn, so we had both the interior barnwood color and the exterior barn red color to deal with. I wanted something that wouldn’t clash in any pictures (not a requirement, I’m just anal like that), so we kept things pretty neutral, and kind of based everything on our outfits. We did cream, copper, rose gold, and navy blue, which I think kept things a bit glam and vintage-y without being too obviously rustic (no burlap or mason jars!). As stress-inducing as pinterest can be, it is really helpful when you are trying to reconcile the venue with the vibe you want and your personal taste.

      • Hayley

        That sounds so pretty!

    • Another Meg

      A friend had his wedding in December and did a vintage holiday in a ski lodge kind of thing. They used greenery, gold and silver glitter covered pine cones, and burgundy ribbon with lots of fairy lights. The wedding party dressed in burgundy and dove gray. The overall effect was far from Christmasy, but it had a very wintry feel. I definitely agree with Lisa about noting any dominating colors in your venue- it can make a big difference, especially in the photography. But I think you can do winter with red and white without it being too Christmasy.

      • Lisa

        I agree that you can definitely do red and white in a winter color scheme without it being Christmas, but it usually involves, as you mention, including other colors or choosing other shades of red and white (burgundy, wine, ivory, cream, etc.) instead of the traditional ones. I’ve seen some lovely ones that were more green and ivory with dashes of red (a la holly berries) that skewed more winter than Christmas.

        • Another Meg

          Good point – you really have to adjust the color scheme to keep it from being too Christmasy (unless that’s the point). Now I want a winter wedding with dark sage, burgundy, gray, and ivory.

          I’ve planned 3 weddings so far. How many more do I get?

          • Lisa

            Oooo, that sounds lovely! I attended one wedding where the colors were navy, silver, black, ivory, and the yellow-y glow of candles, which is the color palette of my dream winter wedding. My other wedding color palette had navy, fuschia, and green-yellow during the hot minute I thought we might have a late spring/early summer wedding.

          • Another Meg

            Those two sound amazing! I also super heart navy + fuschia in all parts of life.

            ….aaaaand I miss spring. Make it happen already, world!

      • CMT

        Oooh, I like the sound of that color scheme and vibe!

        • Another Meg

          It was SO CUTE. It was snowing when the bridal party took photos, and the bride had on cream fingerless gloves and a plaid blanket scarf-shawl thing in their colors.

      • Hayley

        That sounds gorgeous.

  • Lisa

    We used something very similar to #9 for our own October wedding. Instead of burgundy, it was more of an eggplant shade. Anytime someone asked for my colors and I told them, I got either, “Oh, that sounds lovely!” or a look of questioning disgust. Honestly, I think it came together very nicely though!

  • sage

    We are going with a very loose color scheme with sort of a “one hour before sunset” color palette, inspired by how nice the sky looks and how everything takes on a hazy lavender hue at the end of the day.

    • Hayley

      That’s beautiful!

    • Jess

      This is so soothing. I love it!

    • Kalë

      Oh, I really like this!

  • Angela’s Back

    Completely coincidentally, everyone at my 10 person wedding ended up wearing things in the blue/purple/pink/black/white spectrum and it was just delightful.

    • Ashlah

      Isn’t it so neat when that happens?? Our wedding colors were “all the colors!” and my mom, stepmom, and mother-in-law didn’t coordinate on dresses at all. They all ended up wearing versions of pale purple/grey/magenta that went together super well without being matchy matchy. They’re all different styles, but it looks coordinated. I could hardly believe it!

  • Brynna

    These are gorgeous!! We decided to do all bright colors i.e. confetti or sprinkles, which it turns out not many people understand… I’m nervous.

    • Ashlah

      We went with all the colors/rainbow, and it was great. It can make it a little harder to choose things (I have to choose 2 napkin colors, but my options are ALL the colors, how do I pick??), but in the end, it will look beautiful. Besides, most guests, despite seeming confused now, aren’t going to notice the color scheme at your wedding anyway.

      • Brynna

        Great point! We went with just white linens and colored vases with white flowers. We’ll see….

        • Bethany

          This sounds so fun!

          • Brynna

            Thanks! It’s brunch, so trying to keep it upbeat

    • Another Meg

      That sounds awesome! And very punchy. If people don’t get it, just change the subject. That’s what I did.

    • clarkesara

      Oh god the number of times someone asked a question about some super-specific detail about our wedding and then got confused/nonplussed/obviously didn’t hear the answer they wanted…

  • Eh

    We decided on orange (actually, pretty much the entire colour palate from yellow to red as it was fall) and royal blue. The main reason we decided to pick colours was because my MIL said if we didn’t pick colours then how would she be able to buy a dress. My husband made a smart alec comment about that it’s fall and a wedding and that should be enough for her to pick a dress but she was not having it.

    • On the bright side, navy appears to be one of these easiest dress colors to find for the more senior generation…

  • Eve

    Ugh, just got engaged (hi APW! Longtime reader/lurker out in the open now!) and when I told my sister, this was literally her first question. We’re traveling to tell our parents in a week or so and we’ll see how many times I get the question over that weekend!

    • jammers

      A friend’s first reaction when I told her I got engaged was “what kind of flowers are you having?” People are so weird!

      • Jess

        I noticed that people tend to ask about the thing that is their favorite part of weddings. I had people immediately ask me about the favors (we weren’t having any), or the honeymoon, or the flowers, or if we were having a live band, or…

      • Katharine Parker

        People have such funny fixed ideas about weddings–like for your friend, it seems like flowers are step one. I spent like three minutes with a friend the other day going back and forth about what color ties the groomsmen will wear. “Black, fiance wants to do tuxes.” “But the groomsmen, what about them?” “All in tuxes.” “But what about their ties?” “Still black!” It turns out she thought it was a tradition for the groomsmen to wear ties that matched the bridesmaids dresses. Not a tradition that I’m aware of, sorry friend who loves colored ties!

        • cll

          Ha, I’m pre-engaged and already have colors and flowers and lots of stuff like that picked out (because aesthetics are my jam so I’m having lots of fun plotting this stuff). I will have ready answers for people’s questions when the time comes. But I suspect a number of my answers aren’t going to be ones that people are expecting.

  • Megan

    My pallette is inspired by a sunset and also by the Abers Babers fabric in Show Me Your Mumu. One of our five mismatched bridesmaids will wear a dress in that fabric and the others will wear something in the color pallette.

  • jammers

    How vital are colors? I’ve got 6 months to go and can’t imagine answering this question….

    • Lisa

      They can be helpful in decorating and selecting all of the little items that go with a wedding (“What color should the napkins be?”), but like most wedding things, they’re not 100% necessary.

    • Another Meg

      FWIW, I didn’t have colors. I had a few types of fabric that worked together but wasn’t matchy. I pulled colors out of the fabrics to determine dresses for the women who stood up with us, but that was it. My response to the question was typically some variant of “patterns? Feelings, maybe? Not sure.” Seemed to work.

    • Jess

      I mean, they can be totally vital or completely irrelevant. Is your wedding more formal, where having a cohesive feel makes sense, or pretty casual where it may come off as trying too hard?

      Things I found “colors” helpful for:
      – Flowers
      – Dresses/Tuxes
      – Centerpieces
      – Table Settings (Turned out that our venue had some gold chargers we could use for free. That was great.)
      – Coordinating Stationary

      Our “colors” were as follows, which happened because I was like, “I want moody fall colors” and this is what we came up with.
      – Red spectrum (including cranberry, merlot, and nearly-plum)
      – Gold
      – Dark Green
      – Also, we added in some goldenrod/orangey colors and creams to the bouquets.

      • Eh

        Your colours sound amazing. I want to second that having colours helps with making decisions with the things that you mentioned (if you have those things or care if they match/fit together). That said, you don’t necessarily need specific colours. Some people will do better than other with vague descriptions of the colours you are going for (your “moody fall colours” gets the point across). For example, we also got married in the fall and we didn’t want to decorate too much so we decided to just go with the natural fall palate where we live (bright fall colours). The florist ran with that description no problem but my MIL needed specific colours to buy her dress (which is when we decided to just tell her orange and royal blue).

        • Jess

          Oh we totally used them to make decision making easier. “what type of flowers do you want?” “Various reds, lots of naturals in green, golds” “Great, I’ll run with that!”

          “What dresses should my bridesmaids buy… Let’s see, these cool maternity gowns come in this red. Guess that’s the red we’re going with!”

          It’s way easier to make decisions you don’t care about if you just say, “I’ll take the one that comes in green.” but totally not necessary.

      • jammers

        Jess I just want to say your comment helped me SO MUCH. And actually inspired fiancé and I to finally nail down a defined palette (using that design seeds website) based on the decisions we’ve already made. It’s ALREADY come in handy talking to his mom. Somehow having a color scheme just… relaxed her. It also gave us colors to look for in flowers, so you’re right. We picked out a palette 12 hours ago, and already wedding planning feels easier.

        • Jess

          :D Aw, I’m glad I could help!

    • Katharine Parker

      I think it depends on your wedding. Are you having a casual, food truck-catered event with disposable plates and cutlery and with minimal decor, or are you having a sit-down dinner with centerpieces and linens and printed menus and place cards? Are you having attendants? Are you doing a full invitation suite and a variety of paper goods? Generally, a color palette helps with making all those choices that have an aesthetic component. But not every wedding has all those things and not every couple cares about the aesthetic cohesion of the event.

      If you do think it would be useful, you can figure out your color palette (or general aesthetic guidelines) from one decision you’ve made. Have you picked invites? Take the invite as your guide. Or if one of your bridesmaids has a patterned dress, or if your venue has any striking features, or if you just want everything to be white.

      • jammers

        We have made a lot of these decisions, and now that I look back, I realize that we unintentionally DO have a color scheme! All our linens and tableware are white but the invitations and bridal party outfits definitely fall in the same color family!

        • Katharine Parker

          Colors–they sneak up on you.

        • Jess

          Ha! That’s kind of what happens, I think! You start with a color scheme, or you unintentionally end up with one.

        • clarkesara

          Yeah, we weren’t really going to have a color scheme and then we picked invitations with a really specific aesthetic. So to an extent we’re using that as a roadmap to what other things should look like. Just because that was the first thing with a color that got picked out.

    • Eenie

      We didn’t officially have colors, but my now husband didn’t want to wear just a plain white shirt, so the only color we had was his shirt and my matching shoes. We also didn’t do any decorations, flowers, tablecloths, etc.

    • It depends how many decisions you to make. Choosing colours is one decision that’ll save you from having to make a dozen later (and give you an answer on hand when the caterers, florist, MoB, MoG, wedding party, venue, stationer, photographer, and the rest start asking you for tiny details you never considered and know noone is even going to notice)

    • Essssss

      We said “colorful!” and kept it at that. I had one bridesmaid so no one was worried about matching.

    • emmers

      It depends on how much you care. We didn’t really have many decorations, other than flowers, so I wasn’t super focused on this. Attendants wore black dresses, so flowers could really be whatever colors. We did have a few color pops (like pink shawls that the bridesmaids wore, and a paper runner underneath the flowers on the tables (gold), but I was totally down with it when the venue wanted to know if red napkins were OK. Sure, bring on the red!

    • Not vital at all, but they can make decisions easier. Like what color the bridesmaid dresses, what flowers in the centerpieces/bouquets, what color shoes/scarf/hair accessory/etc. Table linens. Invitations. yada yada yada.

      Colors are a decision-easability device.

    • macrain

      So not vital. Do what you feel!

    • clarkesara

      We really didn’t get around to colors until we started ordering actual objects. Stuff like invitations, linens, flowers, etc. It’s such a weird question for people to ask you like the day after you get engaged.

      I just lied/made up colors.

  • I struggled with choosing colors and really wanted a colorful wedding. So me and my fiancé chose a host of primary-ish colors–yellow, red, green, blue and white–because those are the colors of the Tibetan prayer flags (a nod to his Tibetan Buddhist religion). I think it’ll probably end up looking a little jumbled (I asked the bridesmaids and men to pick any of those colors to wear) but I don’t really care. It’s going to be colorful and meaningful and I’m excited. June 16th!

  • Amy March

    Pro tip- if you are having trouble articulating the exact colors to people, Essie makes a nail polish in every color under the sun, and it’s an easy way to share the exact shade of turquoise and a convenient way to carry a swatch in your purse.

    • Another Meg

      Hell yes to this. Similarly, you can share the hexidecimal color codes (there are a few good sites that will give you those) for when you’re planning online.

  • anonforthis

    I want to throw a plug in for Design Seeds ( which is basically the only way my fiance and I were ever going to come together around a palette of colors. (Otherwise it would have been grey and blue, and we both wanted to do something more fun than that.)

    We searched every term we could think of, opened a bunch of browser windows with every palette we liked, and then did a rapid fire “A or B” until we were down to a winner. Now we have 6 colors and only two are grey / blue – but fun variations on them.

    • Jessica

      omg, yes!

    • Jane

      Wow – I would like to play with that website all the time for everything. We are pretty much doing this one plus copper accents. But the green is just a whole bunch of different shades of green from the surroundings (grass, trees, etc.) Still, this should help me think about what, if any, green I want to incorporate otherwise.

  • Alli

    Omg guys, I’ve been thinking this since the cake post and I have to say it. All I see when I look at that rock candy geode cake is a vagina. It’s such a cool idea and it’s getting so popular, am I the only one who thinks that?

    Anyway my colors are navy, grey, light yellow, and gold. I like to think it’s an easy palette to work with so far. Throw the bms in navy, gm in grey, so they’re all in pretty universally flattering colors. The tablecloths are light grey and I’m sticking some gold crap in the middle to be the centerpieces, and I went and bought a poop ton of gold picture frames from the dollar store for table numbers. I love yellow so I’m having it in little details like my flowers and my jewelry, maybe some random decor I think of as I get closer to the day.

    • Ashlah

      Definitely the first thing I saw too.

    • Jess

      No, you are not the only one. I totally think vagina every time.

      • Alli

        Agreed, nothing wrong with someone wanting a vagina cake. Just not at all what I’m going for.

    • Shirley Schmidt

      Me too!! Glad I’m not the only one who thought that…

    • Danielle

      Totes vag.
      Vagina cakes all day!!

  • Katharine Parker

    Wedding color palettes are so fun! Mine is rose pink, cornflower, antique gold, blush, and claret. I knew I wanted something in the pink/blue/gold realm–it’s my favorite combo of colors for decorating, and adding in blush tones as a neutral and a deep rich red as a contrast worked well.

    Now I’m trying to figure out exactly what to order for table linens. Do we get runners? Overlays? Matching or different tablecloths and napkins? So many details!

  • Eenie

    Best way to pick a wedding color – just go with whatever color of shirt you can find to fit your hard to dress fiance! I really wanted teal, but we could only find a blue shirt. So we went with blue!

    • JC

      Ha! I like this. He’s not hard to fit, but he is color blind, so our plan will likely be “go with whatever color both of you agree is the same color!”

      • Eenie

        That is awesome. We loved the combo our Men’s Warehouse consultant was wearing, but they didn’t carry his size in any shirts that weren’t white or “business blue”. I ordered eight from all these stores online and he hilariously ended up fitting best in a “slim fit” style shirt. Would never have guessed it.

  • Kalë

    So, our “color scheme” is more like a theme than anything else. I’m describing it as “50 shades of white, blush, greenery (as in tons of green plants, not the color of the year), wood, leather, and gold”. Here’s a quick mockup, but with the brown and the green being from organic materials, not just the actual colors, if that makes sense. So far, people don’t really seem to get the vision…

    • Yeah. It’s tricky…maybe a mini inspiration board would make sense?

      • Kalë

        Oh, I have one of those, too. It’s just annoying when people immediately ask THE DATE and THE COLORS and it’s like, I don’t want to lie to you, but I don’t have a quick answer and I don’t really care to explain… I’m just saying white and blush and leaving it at that.

    • KPM

      That sounds AMAZING!

      And yes, I had my own set of colors in mind but basically all the ones were coming from natural things. Wedding party was all in grays so color basically was the flowers in the bouquet/wedding arch, the brick from the building, more greenery from landscaping, gold from the vases and lanterns. So “red and gray” were the colors but really not all…

      edited to add: plus lipstick and my giant rhinestone necklace had red. the only bridezilla demand i had was red lips.

    • ART

      I totally get the vision! We had two main colors but my rule was that they mostly had to come from hand-dyed stuff and the flowers, and thus a wide range of shades of each was acceptable. Then we added silver stuff (actual metal) and greenery and a few accent shades that softened the two-tone look a lot and pulled it together nicely.

      • Kalë

        Sounds a lot like the thing we’re going for! Glad it turned out well for you, can’t wait to make it a reality!

    • Her Lindsayship

      Definitely into the greenery + gold! That’s what we’re doing too, plus white, black, and grey. Our bridesmaids will be in emerald or dark green and groomsmen in grey. It’s unfortunate how difficult it is to convey metallic gold with graphic elements alone, I feel like a photo is necessary to make it read right. We’re trying to figure this out for our website design.

      My mom asked me how we’ll decorate the park we just booked three days ago for our ceremony and I was like “…well, there will be chairs… and the leaves will be green… and I will be wearing a pretty dress?” We’ll only be there for like an hour TOPS, and it’s a park, how much decor does it need??

      • cll

        I am also way into greenery and gold. My colors are going to be green and white and gold, probably with some accents in bronze and silver. (I love the #3 color scheme, the photo set for it has a lot in common with my vision.)

        I didn’t really set out to pick out a color scheme, it kind of arose organically from other design elements. I knew I wanted a green dress, since it’s my favorite color and I think it looks really good on me, and I like the way gold accessories look with green. The flowers I most wanted were white (baby’s breath and calla lilies and white roses), and I knew I wanted to use lots of greenery. We’re planning a September wedding, and I want to play up the golden quality of the autumn sunlight. And I looked over my various ideas and realized I had a pretty consistent color scheme going on, and I liked it, so green and white and gold it is.

  • janie

    The most helpful thing I have found when answering this question (which I get asked a lot) is to have a picture on my phone that encompasses it. I just whip that out and hand it to someone whenever I get the question. I think my colors are sort of “warm pinks/peaches”, but the picture is much more descriptive. It’s what I showed my florist during our consultation, my mother in law when she asked what color to wear, etc.

    Also +1 to all the advice to pick a color “range” instead of one or two colors. When my bridesmaids were trying on dresses in the blush color, I found it made them look really washed out. Instead I was able to quickly pivot to the plum color, knowing that I could brighten it up with bouquets in similar colors to my palette.

    • Katharine Parker

      Yes yes yes to photos over description of colors. There can be a lot of confusion over colors, and most people are not very good at imagining a color palette as flowers, invites, dresses, etc. A photo is clearer.

      Also, your florist will want to see and discuss photos when you meet with them, and they should send you a proposal that includes photos of specific blooms and arrangements so you can fine tune the colors and design.

      • janie

        So true! When I showed that picture to my florist she told me she calls that orange-y color “Cinnamon” when she’s planning. I was like, that is NOT what I would have pictured if you said cinnamon. Even something that sounds straightforward like teal or fuschia can be up for debate.

        • Katharine Parker

          Yeah, I would call it melon or creamsicle. I picture something very different with cinnamon!

          ETA: realized that cinnamon is probably the name of the rose, which makes sense but is totally confusing in a discussion of colors!

  • Bsquillo

    I got married two and a half years ago, but I’m just here for the prettiness. Because it’s way nicer than this dumpster fire of a Monday.

    • Jess

      Join us at the bottom of this post, talking about using these colors for our homes! (Also, that picture of the couple at the table for #5. It’s the most adorable thing I’ve seen all day, and I spent five minutes looking at pictures of puppies.)

      • Almahcarpenter

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  • Katelyn

    Looking for advice on colors for a potential venue. It’s a little cliche but we’d like to do something vaguely – or directly – “Gatsby” themed. So metallics with black, etc. But definitely want to hear alternative suggestions too!

    Here is the venue we’ve currently got our eye on. It’s in a German community center so it’s not the newest, shiniest place, but we love the vintage look and want to run with it. Thoughts?

    • Colorluv

      What an amazing space! I love the color ideas! It seems like pops of a color in a dark jewel tone, maybe dark red, dark purple, or emerald, would fit with matallics and black too, especially in that space. I know you didn’t ask specifically about flowers, but just looking at this picture I’m thinking of tall flower arrangements for the 1920s, maybe gladiolas? Like whites and dark reds, with a few feathers thrown in? White and gold freesias could be really beautiful too. I can picture a lot of greenery in this space too, palm fronds seem very 1920s…Fun!

      • Katelyn

        Love the idea of a deep red! Probably going to do non-floral centerpieces (aka candles, would LOVE to get my hands on some candelabras), but could do ferns/palm fronds in large vases near the bar, stage, etc. Thanks for the ideas!

      • KPM

        Yes, all three of those options would be amazing. Or more of a burnt sienna/ochre color. This space is gorgeous and perfect for coming up with fantastic 20s inspired decor.

        • +1 for burnt siena…but maybe don’t make the bridesmaids wear burnt siena dresses…

          • KPM

            EXCELLENT point! Was imagining more the linens, flowers and/or printed materials.

    • NolaJael

      I’d splurge for not-white table clothes in this space. Both the walls and the chairs have more of a buttery tone that doesn’t quite work with bright white, IMO.

      • Katelyn

        Yeah – I don’t think the rental even includes linens, so we would have a lot of flexibility on that front. What do you think – ivory instead?

        • Eenie

          Or the green that I’m seeing at the edge of the ceiling? Or gold?

        • guest


    • I’m working on an art deco theme, I am thinking of sticking with gold, champagne (so champagne coloured dress) black and either deep red/burgundy or royal blue (haven’t decided yet)
      For this room you could definitely change the tablecloths (to second NolaJaels’ comment), stick to a warmer palette (black, gold, burgundy, maroon, maybe even blush) could look really elegant.

    • Nell

      Your metallic with black idea is great! That ceiling is awesome.

    • Is this the Dank Haus, by chance? I’ve never seen inside but have always been curious!

      • Katelyn

        It is! I got my fiance pretty stoked about it so we’re hoping to schedule a visit soon. First we’re meeting with a wedding coordinator to generally discuss venues and get some critical answers as far as what needs to be considered at a BYOB & BYOC venue to see if it will indeed save us a lot of money like we are assuming. But my dream version of our wedding there is AMAZING….

        • Ah, cool! It looks like it’d be a fabulous place to have a wedding! I hope it works out like you all want it to! Good luck!

  • Essssss

    Design seeds on instagram always has amazing color palettes too!

  • Laura C

    Well, these are gorgeous and I would have absolutely had a nervous breakdown if I’d tried to think about colors in this much detail. I just don’t have this much of a visual point of view. But we didn’t really have to, since our venue was outdoors and there was a ton of natural greenery and a river, so our piddling little amount of flowers etc was really overwhelmed (in a good way) by all of that.

  • macrain

    I also railed against the idea of wedding colors, like pretty hard. I just chose stuff I thought was beautiful, keeping in mind the the other stuff we had already picked out, and it worked out just fine. In the end we probably did have something of color scheme for our bridal party (BM’s wore two shades of the same gray dress; GM wore black suits with the same striped tie), but other than that? Not really. Our venue was already beautiful, and we chose candles for the centerpieces and ivory linens for the tables. Minimal decor otherwise. Overall I just chose to keep things really simple and let the venue speak for itself.
    My point is, if this stuff excites you and you are into it, by all means. But if color schemes don’t light your fire, it’s perfectly ok to opt out and just choose things you love. This is just one of those wedding things that could have whipped me into a frenzy if I had let it, so I chose not to do it.

    • Rose

      Yeah, we didn’t have colors picked either. Early on I got a dress with some blush pink in it, so everything had to work with that, but since we didn’t have a wedding party that wasn’t a lot of coordinating on clothes (definitely made it easier). We ordered paper lanterns in about every color they came in, got flowers in every color we could find, choose invitations with a nice botanical print, and covered the tables with paper and gave our guests crayons. I definitely have a friend or two who embraced the #lazybride philosophy and found having colors to be super useful for just making decisions and moving on, but I didn’t think that not having colors caused us any extra trouble.

  • Vanessa

    I am using the colors in this image, but I’m also not sure that there is a point to this exercise for me. To the extent that I’m using the colors for anything my shoes are red and my bridesmaid will wear a burgundy dress. Otherwise I’m not convinced they will appear anywhere, or even that there will be anywhere for them to appear. But I do love these colors together so I’m just going to soak them in for a while :)

    • clarkesara

      I’m in the final stages of wedding planning, and the colors thing has started to really come into play for things like table linens, ribbon, buntings and garlands, etc. But yeah it’s really been the last thing we dealt with.

  • Gaby

    This post is like ASMR for my eyeballs <3_<3

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  • Laur

    IDK even why, but this question REALLY gets under my skin. Like irrationally so lol. I just feel like, what about asking about my fiance? Or my actual, you know…wedding ceremony? Who even made up the idea of “wedding colors”?

    • penguin

      I’m the same way! I was floored when my grandma’s first question was “Do you know what your colors will be?”

  • the cupboard under the stairs

    My husband and I resisted this question for so long and eventually just answered it to get people off our backs rather than to put some cohesive “vision” in place. We didn’t come at it from an artistic standpoint–we literally just picked our favorite colors and rolled with it. And you know what? It worked pretty well!

    If I were to give any engaged non-control-freak advice about picking colors, I’d say this: If you want flowers at your wedding, think about the flowers that are 1. in season, 2. easy to obtain in your area and 3. aesthetically pleasing to you. What color(s) are they? Boom, those are your wedding colors. Bonus: you just saved yourself a TON of money by picking seasonal, locally abundant flowers!

  • Sarah Stoneham

    Accidentally commented and can’t erase. So instead, my edited comment is not a real comment.

  • clarkesara

    One problem i’m coming across as I shop for rentals, decor, accents, etc. for my “Midnight, French blue, and Rose Gold” wedding color palate: no rental houses or party stores EVERRRRRRRRR have muted or complex colors. The shades of blue are baby shower blue, fourth-of-july royal, or dark navy. There is “ITS A GIRL” pink, and oscar party gold, but no blush or copper. So many of the color palettes in this post are gorgeous, but almost impossible to achieve on a budget.

    I’ve been defaulting to white everything because stuff just isn’t available in colors I actually like.

    • jammers

      Weeeeee did this w the rental company (went for everything white), tho mostly because when they asked what our colors were, I balked. I think white linens look lovely and serve as a great blank canvas for other design elements. They keep it from being too much an explosion of “EVERYTHING MUST COORDINATE”

      • clarkesara

        Yeah, ultimately I’m happy with it, but the reality is that there’s not going to be a lot of Color Scheme happening because it’ll all be in the little details that were actually available in the colors we liked.

    • NotMotherTheresa

      Oh my gosh, yes! We technically had a wedding color palate, but if you would have asked our guests what our colors were, they wouldn’t have been able to tell you, because honestly, like .001% of our things were actually in our wedding colors! Everything else was in whatever inoffensive color we could get for a reasonable price! (Which did indeed translate into lots of white!)

  • Zandra

    #3 is basically my dream color scheme but I couldn’t get my fiancee on board! My second choice was navy but my Mom vetoed it and tried to convince us to go with a pastel (spring wedding). Neither of us are pastel people at all, so we ended up choosing cherry red and dove grey, which are both of our favorite colors. I discovered when I went to see the florist that I don’t like red flowers (oops!) so our color scheme has evolved to cherry red-pale pink- ivory with green accents. We’re using tulips as our main motif (wedding logo, invitations, centerpieces etc.) I’m hoping it’ll look soft and romantic and not too Valentine’s Day-ish! I’m still trying to figure out how to add in grey/silver but hopefully that’ll come as we figure out more of the decor!

  • Staria

    I refused to choose colours, then it ended up being: I was wearing a red dress, my partner was wearing a navy suit, so everything else was chosen to match or complement those – eg I had a lot of white/cream roses, white daisies and babies’ breath, with a few key red roses. I was wondering if there would be a palette with a true red in this list, and there wasn’t! So if you are thinking of red as your main colour, navy, white/cream and gold (we had gold-coloured chairs) are great accent colours.

  • Samantha

    According to my fiancee, our colors are rose gold and gray… although that basically boils down to pink and gray because not everything can be metallic. With like, a little bit of gold-gold for accent

  • Almahcarpenter

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  • I’ve been slightly surprised how into this side of things OH is. He’s definitely got a strong vision for what he wants the wedding to look like (lots of wintery shades of blues and greys with a dash of pale gold) and it’s thrown me slightly because all the things I thought we could save money on have suddenly reappeared in the budget, like chair covers and bouquets and centrepieces. We can’t decorate the venue ourselves, so we’ll be paying the caterer extra if we want to put a lot out. It’s scaring me slightly, because the budget creep is getting serious and we can afford it now, but are we going to regret it later?

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Anybody have experience with choosing colors when the bride’s dress isn’t white? (Or brides’ dresses, as the case may be.) I’ve told PADude that I don’t plan to wear white, but I want the color to be a surprise to him, which makes it hard not to have a conversation about, “No, I don’t want to do blue with orange” when we were only talking about orange.

    • If you know what colour the dress is, maybe put some palettes together with it in until you have a varied range (have to pimp for this again, which has a search by colour option) then recreate the palette selections without the dress colour?

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Thanks for the link!

    • clarkesara

      Are you surprising him with the fact that your dress isn’t white? Why not just say, “I’m not wearing a white wedding dress, but I don’t want to give away what color the dress is. And blue and orange won’t work with the dress.” Though, yeah, if the idea is that he’s supposed to be completely in the dark, that won’t work.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        He knows it’s not white, but I don’t want to tell him to color. I didn’t want him to have an expectation of a traditionally white-clad bride and be disappointed or anything.

    • Argentum

      How many brides wear a white dress, even though white isn’t officially one of their ‘wedding colors’? Yes – you absolutely can have a dress color that’s not one of ‘your colors’! In fact, I think this approach has the best chance of surprising PADude :)

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        …That’s a really good point.

  • louise danger

    our palette is very similar to the second one, though we just were thinking “autumn” when we (I) picked it. mr danger wanted green to be one of the main colors, and i like purple, and then we threw in gold and orange and little bits of red and blue. BUT it turns out we’re having almost zero flowers and decorations so we’ll primarily wind up with eggplanty purple (my MOH’s dress), teal and navy (the moms’ dresses), and green (mr danger and the best man’s and i guess the dads’ ties). womp

  • Argentum

    I have to plug ‘not having colors’. When people asked what our colors were, my answer was always “we’re not having wedding colors”. By which I meant: we’re not limiting ourselves to a specific palette. Obviously, there were colors at our wedding! Lots of beautiful colors! But when people ask what your wedding colors are, they want to know what handful of colors (often just two!) you’ve chosen to design everything from stationary, to bridal party outfits, to flowers, to venue decorations, etc. etc. And we simply did not feel the need to super color coordinate everything; in fact, I preferred the more organic designs that emerged for each element of our wedding to the “matchiness” of even the gorgeous color palettes in the post above. Our save the dates were black, ivory, and grey. Our wedding invitations were black and ivory with an orange-yellow watercolor sunflower motif. The bridesmaids and I wore ivory dresses; the groomsmen wore navy and my husband wore a grey sports coat with navy suit pants. Our flowers were a riot of just about every color, neither limited to nor exclusionary of jewel tones, primary colors, pastels, what have you. Our ceremony venue was a church, full of traditional lapis lazuli, dark red, and gold. Our reception venue was a restaurant on the Baltimore harbor: inside lots of natural wood and light green, outside a grey boardwalk and turquoise skies and waters.
    The funny thing is, I spent hours and hours playing with a color palette for our flowers, in Excel. I knew sunflowers and snapdragons were a must (my husband and my favorite flowers, respectively) and I was inspired by photos of wildflowers from other weddings, and from memories of picking flowers wild from the meadow as a child. I committed to memory the colors I wanted in my bouquet: white and yellow, lots of greenery, with splashes of lavender, magenta, blue, and just one or two pops of brilliant red. So is it disingenuous of me to insist I didn’t have wedding colors? I dunno … for me, personally, the ‘no wedding colors’ mindset was freeing.

  • Stars

    Holey-moley, geometric objects are popular lately huh? Half those photos have a terrarium or candle holder. I love it, either way.

  • Nell

    So, I’m going to put in a plug for having ONE color. We picked Navy.

    This made life INCREDIBLY EASY. What color should the bridesmaids’ dresses be? Navy. What color should the suit wearers’ suits be? Navy. What color should the invites be? Navy. When we ran out of navy, we just added gray. (Cause navy on navy on navy can get a little intense).

    The reason this was such a good plan is that it allowed us to make super fast decisions. No worrying about whether a particular color was on-theme or not.

  • Jeremy x Lewis

    wow so many color pallets thanks for sharing Ive got much to decide

  • Clare C

    My friends just got engaged and they are having a huge combined bridal brigade. They picked their wedding colours out of a picture she liked online of a stormy sunset…My friend doesn’t know it (or really care) but she’s pretty much having a Serenity and Rose Quartz (a la pantone 2016) wedding. We can pick our outfit colours out of any in her one photo, similar to below with less peach.

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  • Kim

    I chose purple (a dark plum) and white, with gold as an accent color. I chose purple because both our moms like that color, so no complaints from them and they’d be happy to find dresses in that color. I thought white and gold just went well with the purple and it was for a Spring wedding, so I wanted something bright/light to balance out the plum.

    However, I underestimated how much my mother-in-law LOVES purple. She literally could not understand why absolutely everything in the wedding wasn’t purple. She thought the table cloths should be purple, I chose white (the flower arrangements had purple in them). She thought the guy’s ties should be purple, we picked black since we were purchasing them as gifts and thought black ties would be more useful after the wedding.

    She sent us a picture of purple mason jars to give as favors, which I declined, what guy wants a purple mason jar? And I didn’t want to clean/store all of them in our one bedroom apartment beforehand, and we had already decided to give a wedding “soundtrack” as our favor. Turns out she had already purchased the jars, said she would return them, but showed up while we were decorating with several and pouted until we found a place for them.

    She decorated the church (she is heavily involved with the church and decorates it for holidays, so I didn’t force the task on her!) and when she asked what I wanted, I said just white flowers….I showed up to find purple flowers in the altar arrangements. She stuck purple tulle in the iron candle holders at the end of each pew since I was afraid of having lit candles during the ceremony and they looked “empty.” She also tied purple and white ribbons around them last minute. She did this DURING the rehearsal while we were trying to progress up and down the aisle. And everything was a bright purple, not the plum shade my bridesmaids were in.

    So just a tip…make sure you don’t pick a color that someone likes TOO much. I would have preferred she hated my color choice rather than try to force all the purple on me for a year!

  • Vera Wang
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