Picking wedding colors can be fun! Color and brightness have a predictable emotional effect and behavior on wedding guests. For example, red raises the blood pressure, stimulates appetite and creates excitement. Red is also associated with passion, energy and anger, confidence, vitality and drama. Opposing red on the color wheel is green, its complement. Green is associated with relaxation, balance, harmony, rejuvenation and heart health. Cool colors, such as greens and blues tend to be refreshing; warm colors like amber, yellow and pinks are uplifting; and warmer colors like red and orange are more exciting. The influence a color has can also be diminished or increased by using a tint or shade of it too.
The beauty is, that color can be used to manipulate the way the eye perceives space too. Warm, or “advancing colors” come toward the eye and make a space appear smaller and cozy, while, conversely, a cool or “receding colors” move the eye away and makes a space appear larger and more open
In addition to the psychological, emotional and physical benefits of selecting color for your wedding, color offers opportunities for self expression in a way that is uniquely you. A couple of places to start:
-Your favorite color
-A classic combination
-Draw color from fabric
My advice in how to pick wedding colors: choose one color to start (about 70% of your color); then choose a second color to support the primary color (about 25%) and an accent color (about 5%). For example, eggplant purple looks gorgeous on it’s own, but supported by champagne as the secondary color adds a distinct, romantic classy feel then accent with a subtle black. Now, take the same eggplant purple, but insert a splash of vibrant tangerine orange as the secondary color with the same black accent, and it instantly transforms into fun and fresh. Neither is right or wrong – just different. Amazingly, two of the colors are identical (eggplant as the primary color, and black as the accent), only the secondary color changed – one champagne, the other tangerine; yet two very different visions immediately come to mind. Two very different perceptions. Two very different personalities. Two very different moods.
RED = Energetic & intense. The color of confidence, action, bold, power, passion, desire, love, vigor, stepping out in front. Burgundy, ruby and maroon seem elegant, prosperous and satisfied. Shades of pink promote a sense of well-being and happiness. (Also consider rose apple, burnished jewel, and watermelon)
ORANGE = Invigorating & stimulating. Independent, competitive, assertive, extroverted, uninhibited and always on the go. A free spirit. The color of warmth, friendship and enthusiasm. Orange is a color for which the shade dramatically affects its emotional impact. Pure orange often feels boisterous and not in harmony, but deeper tones of rust and terra-cotta or lighter tints of peach or salmon are restful and complimentary to most skin tones. (Also consider apricot, peach, melon and pumpkin)
YELLOW = Warm & Cheerful. The color of joy, happiness, welcome, illuminating, uplifting, and stimulates mental activity. Pure yellow is so bright that it may be difficult to work with, but pale shades are expansive and wholesome. Deep yellow and golden tones are friendly, promoting intimacy, or even exotic, depending on the accent colors. (Also consider lemon, butter cream, mustard or curry)
GREEN = Calm & Harmony. The color of balanced, peace, renewal, re-growth, rebirth, rejuvenation, nature and fresh promise. It is also the color of reflection and wisdom with the ability to revive and soothe. Different shades mean different things – yellow-tone greens are more stimulating whereas blue-tone greens promote calmness. (Also consider forest, moss on rocks, jade, pastel and lime)
BLUE – Serene & Comforting. The color of conservative, reserved, contemplative, positive, intelligent, stability, wisdom and truth. It’s important to note that the dosing of blue varies the emotional language. Small doses of a medium blue are comforting, and shown to slow human metabolism and produces a calming effect. the same colors in large amounts can seem uncomfortably formal. Shading, such as periwinkle or turquoise are warmer and welcoming if used in moderation. (Also consider azure sky, aquamarine water, lapis and sapphire)
VIOLET AND PURPLE – Creative & Regal. The color of unique, individual, independent, mysterious, introspective, surprise, luxury and royalty. Often considered off-beat (in a good way), surprising, an in its purest form, regal and nobility. Common tones range from lavender to show a meditative state, to eggplant showing sophistication. (Also consider grape, brilliant violet or magenta)
NEUTRALS (beige, taupe, brown) – Neutrals are the peacemakers that separate brighter shades to help them get along, and offer a quiet alternative to color. Pale tints are expansive and reasonable; darker tones are dramatic and graphic; even in small amounts. Brown is the color of masculine, nature, trees, and wood representing humility, genuineness and conservancy. (Also consider cinnamon, cocoa, dark chocolate, taupe, khaki, buckskin, polished agate or gleaming wood)
WHITE – Innocence & Purity. The color of perfection, safety, simplicity, birth, truth and cleanliness. (Also consider diamond, ivory, almond)
GRAY – Maturity and Responsibility. The unemotional color that is neutral, clean, modern evokes exclusivity, detached, and impartial. (Also consider wire brushed steel, weathered wood, charcoal gray
BLACK – Power & Elegance. The color of formality, distinction, strength and prestige.
A few quick definitions before you play with color:
Accent Color: used to add interest or variety, accent colors are often chose from the side of the color wheel opposite the dominant color used in the room. Incorporate accent colors in small amounts, like ribbon around cakes, bouquets and boutonnieres.
Color Wheel: developed by Sir Isaac Newton as he studied light through a prism and realized that light broke into 12 colors set out in a circular form so that the relationships can be understood.
Cool Colors: also known as “receding colors,” they are blue, violet and green. They tend to make a room look larger and make surfaces appear to move away from the eye.
Hue: a pure or base color to which neither black nor white has been added.
Neutral Colors: ranging from black to white, including all grays, off-whites to chocolate brown. Technically, black and white are technically non-colors even though frequently referred to as colors.
Palette: a group of colors that is used by an artist or for design for a particular decorating scheme.
Primary Colors: three pure colors – red, yellow and blue, that cannot be produced by mixing other colors together. All other colors are derived by mixing these three.
Saturation: the intensity, purity or brightness of a color
Shades: the tones produced by adding black to a hue. Commonly, the word also means colors that have white, gray or other hues added to them.
Tints: the tones of a color produced when white is added. Pastels are tints.
Tone: the graduation of color from its weakest to strongest intensity (for example light rose pink to scarlet red)
Warm Colors: also known as “advancing colors,” these are reds, yellows, oranges and apricots. They tend to bring surfaces closer and make objects look larger.
So now, go have fun! Here are some of my favorite websites to play more with color:
….and yes, just for fun, look at all the colors of Crayola crayons over the years: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Crayola_crayon_colors
For more on How to Color Your Wedding With Confidence
Make a statement or tell your story.
Showcase your own style.
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Matt Martindale – Amore’ Wedding Lighting & Décor
*Professional Wedding MC / 13 Time Award Winning Wedding DJ Expert™
*WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Award Winner (Top 5 percent of all Wedding Professionals Nationally)
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