Your wedding, whether you realize it or not, will bring your guests on an emotional journey, from joy, surprise, friendship, laughter, love and hope. Your lighting and décor (working in tandem with music) and the wedding colors you choose should compliment these emotions to produce a one-of-a-kind wedding celebration.
Style isn’t just about your favorite wedding colors. It’s about the way you want to live. Your wedding style is a reflection of your personality; it’s who you are and how you want to project yourself to your friends and family at your wedding celebration. That’s why it’s critically important to be authentic and genuine when you make your color and decor decisions.
Using color is nothing to be scared of. If you have grown up with muted tones all your life that are within in the narrow ranges of almond, beige, sage green, etc., then the idea of introducing invigorating colors can seem shocking or might be perceived as socially unacceptable, vulgar or even out of place; especially at a wedding. However, that’s not necessarily true. Yes, it is very possible to delicately use a burst of orange, bright lime green or a vibrant pink that is “outrageous” on it’s own, yet these colors can also be used to create a wedding that is amazingly elegant as a splash of “you” while retaining a modest simplicity.
These invigorating and enlivening colors create a stimulation not only to the eye, but can also carefully be blended to craft and create the general feeling of your guests, the perception of guests at this celebration, the overall atmosphere and guests well being because color and lighting creates the emotion (of the room) and promotes personalization. Bottom line, today’s bride doesn’t want it to look like her BFF’s wedding. Deep down, she wants it to look better, or different, but with “WOW!”
The beauty is, that color can be used to manipulate the way the eye perceives space. Warm, or advancing colors come toward the eye and make a space appear smaller and cozy, while, conversely, a cool or receding color moves the eye away and makes a space appear larger and airier.
Speaking of accenting, yes, it is very possible to use color to create intentional focal points at your wedding that are specifically designed to draw attention to items we choose (ie. the cake, a specific photograph, the head table, the dance floor, doorways, podium, table center pieces, the buffet line, table furniture, etc.) but moreover, effective use of color can create texture or emphasize existing patterns (ie. silverware patterns) or existing design patterns (ie. a rose) as well as specific elements of nature (ie. the creation of a water texture using lighting on the ceiling, or a leaf pattern on the ceiling of a tent.) Even imagine dancing under millions of individual twinkling stars…
Some couples have a fear that a brilliant color like a bright fuchsia pink may be “too much” pink at a wedding. Maybe too overwhelming, or too bold? Maybe. Maybe not. The answer is, it could be if not done strategically and with the right artistic eye in the right way. This “vulgarity” of an overpowering pink (on it’s own) is not necessarily bad at all based on the color selected, but moreover, HOW the color is used. Yes, you do not have to decorate an entire room with a bright color like that if you don’t want to, but just enough in strategic places to cast your created vision that subtly accents your theme and introduces gentle hints of your distinctive personalities, tastes, interests, hobbies, heritage, family history, culture or religion.
One question I hear all the time, “are bright colors at a wedding a fad?” No. Not at all. Bright colors at a wedding are a not a fad and certainly not taboo. Rather, it depends on what color the room is being decorated, the wall color, fixture color, lighting and “strategic grouping” – basically how compatible “things” are with others to harmonize a mood, feeling, atmosphere or theme you are trying to present. (for more about the room and specific considerations, see the article “Factors to Consider When Creating Your Own Wedding Style”
For example, if you are having a fall themed wedding, and decide to use terra cotta pots for table centerpieces with fall vegetables (ie pumpkins and gourds) and some potted fall mums bursting with golds, burnt orange and vibrant rust red on gold table cloths with a mocha colored table runner, yet your wedding DJ decides to uplight the room in the very typical pink, turquoise or purple up the walls (like 99% of DJs do), then your guests will have a subconscious sense of unease and a visual jarring that something just isn’t quite right. Something doesn’t connect… something doesn’t match up and in fact, could emotionally lead guests subconsciously asking themselves “does the couple match?” A subtle, yet subconscious cue…all from improper lighting.
Instead, our Lighting Designers would suggest an elegant champagne wedding uplighting that has the same glow as a romantic candle flame (not yellow, not orange and definitely not red) in a few strategic places to subtly present a visually appeasing palate. Just enough to “paint” the room in a way to draw out the complimentary burnt orange and vibrant rust red to accent your theme rather than “over-power” the room with obnoxious LED wedding up-lights in all too typical pink, turquoise or purple.
It’s honestly all about HOW color is used, where and why:
As a general rule of thumb, bright colors go well with bright colors, with white (which help show their brilliance), with neutrals and gray (which subdue them somewhat) with dark colors like a navy or deep scarlet (so long as the color balance is correct) and with a pale shades to dilute the bright colors with white. Consider, for example, when you look at a spring flower garden. This lush garden isn’t unusual because of its vibrant colors of blue, pinks, yellows, reds and oranges all set against a backdrop of various shades of green. On the contrary, it’s that vibrancy is because of those colors, in design with structure, that delights the eye and uplifts the spirit. A garden, well, a visual feast….so why can’t a wedding be? It can be. It’s your wedding…and whatever you want. Consider how the cake “pops” in the room because of the background with a designed contrast.
If you are feeling tentative, then start by freshening up a background of white or a simple shade of a “clean” color as an experiment, then introduce just a touch of bright color in common wedding standards like tablecloths, napkins, floral centerpieces, vases, table runners, picture frames, wall up-lights (done by a lighting designer/company), chair cushions or even chair covers.
Similarly, some couples are concerned that a bright wedding color can be too dark, when in reality, a couple is really concerned with a color being too “bright” or too “strong.” A color that is considered too bright at a wedding generally means pure pink, blue, purple or turquoise with no white or black added. Bright colors can be strong, but they can also be fresh too. A key point to remember, is that the darkness or lightness of a room often depends equally on natural light into the room (and artificial lighting), as well as wall / ceiling color, it’s texture, and moreover, and the reflection of light off those surfaces. For example, a gray hotel room divider (air wall) will receive and reflect light very differently than an almond air wall in a room accented by dark wood trim.)
If colors are muted, then pastel colors seem safe. Brilliant, bold colors tell a story about you, your personality, style, tastes, interests, hobbies, heritage, history or religion. So, embrace color. Bright color is also memorable in a way that uninspired colors are not.
For more on Color Theory for Weddings
Make a statement or tell your story.
Showcase your own style.
Brand your wedding.
Matt Martindale – Amore’ Wedding Lighting & Décor
*Professional Wedding MC / 3 Time Award Winning Wedding DJ Expert™
*WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Award Winner (Top 5 percent of all Wedding Professionals Nationally)
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