Choosing Wedding Colors

Choosing wedding colors.

It seems like this is a tricky thing for a lot of brides to be to do, and there *millions of guides online geared towards helping them do just that.  But do those guides really help?  I’m not so sure… they talk about time of year, the venue, color wheels, but not so much about the individual bride and her unique likes and dislikes.

*approximate number based on late night research while binge watching crime docs on netflix

So what’s my recommendation?  I’m so glad you asked.

A/V Club, if you please:

That’s the overview on how we recommend you choose your wedding colors.  But let’s break this down into more detail.

Step One: List Words to Describe Your Wedding

One a piece of paper, jot down descriptive words based on how you imagine your wedding.  You may not have a clear idea of wedding things yet, but you’ll probably have a pretty good picture of how you want it to feel.  Do you want a party atmosphere with loud music and lots of celebrating?  Then write party, celebration, jubilant.  Have you always loved wedding magazines and pictured yourself in a princess ballgown, walking down the aisle to the Wedding March?  Then maybe traditional, formal, classic are more your style.  The more descriptive words you write down, the easier it will be to narrow down the overall vibe of your event, and the vibe will eventually lead to your wedding colors.

Choosing Wedding Colors | Wedding Colors | Wedding | Wedding Style

Step Two: Go Through Your Favorite Photos

Pick out your favorite photographs.  These can be wedding related photos you found online, or favorite pictures from your personal collection.  Try to avoid pictures with emotional ties, like an old picture of you and your childhood pet, if you can.

Once you have a healthy stack of photos to choose from, you are ready for step three.

Choosing Wedding Colors | Wedding Colors | Wedding | Wedding Collage
Go through your photos and set aside your favorite ones. They don’t have to be wedding related! Pinterest is a great place to look.

Step Three: Dissect Photos Into Main Color Groups

Up until now, you might be like… wha?  But this is where things start to come together.  This can be finicky, but try to break your pictures into color groups.  Ideally you want no more than four or five per photo, and you can go as low as three (but with a picture that’s hard).  Take a look at my example:

 

Choosing Wedding Colors | Wedding Colors | Wedding | Wedding Bouquet

Realistically there are way more colors in this photo than just five.  There are shades of cream and more shades of pink and blue and green than what I’ve shown in the squares.  But I’m trying to break the photo down into it’s main colors.  In other words, if I were to glance at the photo quickly, then turn away and close my eyes, what would my color take away be?  That’s what I want in those boxes.

With that in mind, the bright blue ribbon for sure – that stood out against the white dress.  The green button mum near the bottom of the bouquet stood out to me, so that goes in the second box.  Next up was the lighter pink above it, then the medium pink then the darkest pink.  If you are more into greens you could have broken the greens down instead… this is a subjective exercise.  You can’t do it “wrong”.

How many?

You may not want to break down EVERY photo you have collected, and that’s fine.  After doing a few of them, you may find your brain automatically starts to blur out the subject matter and concentrates on the colors within the photos.  That’s essentially what we are trying to accomplish with this exercise.  Don’t kill yourself breaking down the photographs into color blocks, is what I’m saying.  Work on it until you get a sense of what you’re doing, then move onto the next step.

Step Four: Match List To Colors

Once you have gone through your photos, you should pull out your word list and start trying to match up the words to the color palettes you have established.

Choosing Wedding Colors | Wedding Colors | Wedding | Wedding Bouquet
Match your list to your photo palettes.

This might seem tricky, but once you start I think you’ll get into the rhythm and find it’s actually pretty easy.  It’s ok if some words fit with more than one photo.  What we are trying to accomplish here is whether there are any patterns in your tastes that you were both aware and unaware of.  For example, maybe you thought you wanted something very traditional, but you had written down “fun party vibe” to describe your wedding and all your palettes ended up being very bold colors.  You probably don’t really want a traditional wedding after all, and probably deep down aren’t drawn to those wedding colors after all.

Which palette “feels” right?

Once you have made a few palettes with your photos, you will have a better idea of which ones feel right and which ones don’t.  You can narrow your focus by repeating the words/photo process until you have just a few wedding color palettes to work with.

Choosing Wedding Colors | Wedding Colors | Wedding | Wedding Lists

Step Five: Google Wedding Photos In “Feels Right” Palette

Before making your final choice, Google wedding photos in the wedding color palettes you’ve created that “feel right”.  Once you see the wedding colors in action, you will have a much better idea if they are the right ones for you.  Again, Pinterest is a great resource for this sort of thing.

Step Six: Repeat Until Satisfied, Then Demand A High Five

I’m not gonna lie.  The chances are that you’ll have to google more than once.  You may even have to do it in public.  But keep googling and going through this process until you land on the wedding colors that are right for you.

Tah-dah!  You have just figured out your wedding colors, one of the hardest parts of wedding planning!  You totally deserve a taco.  Call me up and I’ll have one too.  And hey, now that you have your wedding colors figured out, why don’t you take a look at my invitations?  They can be recolored to match any color palette, even the one you just chose.  So win!

But first, tacos.

Choosing Wedding Colors | Wedding Colors | Wedding | Wedding Lists
I would have said yes to this. My husband could have saved himself some serious coin.
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Wedding Planning Adulting

For The Win.

I have been adulting like crazy today.  And if you’re doing any wedding planning, I bet you’ve been adulting too.  Yays for everybody!  We deserve a margarita or six.  We also deserve this t-shirt.

adulting t-shirt
I need this t-shirt. I’ve earned it.

Being engaged is hard, yo.

Wedding planning is hard work.  There are so many decisions to make and checklists to tick off and DIY projects to mess up and redo – I mean, it’s a wonder any bride actually makes it to their wedding day at all.  But at least we’ve got you covered for your invitations!

If you send us your color palette, a picture of your bridesmaid’s dress, or even just a written description of your colors we can change up any of our designs to match your theme.  Wedding planning win.

Soft grey, brown, blue and blush wedding invitation. Chantal Claire Collections, www.chantalclaire.com
Our Circular collection, recolored.
Soft grey, brown, blue and blush wedding colors
A soft color palette for inspiration.

I love how soft these tones are.  I usually go for much bolder colors when I’m designing, so this is outside my natural comfort zone.  But I was really drawn to this palette and I’m really happy with how the circular design turned out.

 

 

 

If pinks aren’t really your thing, that’s ok.  What do you think of this silver and gold toned version of our Dots collection?

Grey, blue and gold modern wedding invitation. Chantal Claire Collections, www.chantalclaire.com
Silver and gold Dots design.
Grey, blue and gold wedding color palette.
Color inspiration.

I looooove this.  I hope someone is planning their wedding in this color scheme, I think it looks very classy and royal and would love to see a tablescape set up in this palette.  And how cute is this little girl’s hair?  I love how this looks, and I love the slight blue tinge in this palette.  Gorgeous!

 

 

Good luck with your wedding planning.  And good luck to both of us with our continued success adulting.

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Colors in Weddings

Why? Why?  Oh God WHY?

A color scheme is important to have during your wedding planning.  It helps to narrow down your choices and to bring everything together in a cohesive manner.  Following a color scheme can make an event go from looking like you picked up some mismatched dollar store finds to hiring an upscale event coordinator, and you’ve basically spent the same amount of money.  If you need some color scheme inspiration, check out my color palette pinterest boards.  I’ve got one for spring and summer themes and another one for fall and winter themes.

Pink, peach and soft blue wedding color scheme. www.chantalclaire.com
Romantic color scheme in “dusty” shades.
Pink and navy blue wedding color scheme. www.chantalclaire.com
Romantic “energetic” color scheme in popping shades.

I need a color scheme and I don’t know where to start

I’ve been seeing this a lot on bridal forums lately.  Brides who are at the beginning of their planning, and feel lost with their color choices.  I get it – there are so many great color pairings out there, and all you have to do is play around on pinterest for a while to have your mind changed twenty times.

The best thing you can do, I’ve found,  is to use descriptive words – don’t focus on big picture right away, but rather descriptive words for your event.  Elegant vs funky, timeless vs modern, traditional vs unique.  Is there anything you absolutely do not want?  If you know you are more of a traditionalist, then you probably won’t want to go with a black and bright pink color scheme.  Love the drama of Hollywood red carpets and want to emulate that excitement at your event?  Then maybe black, red and gold is something you’ll want to lean towards.  If you are using descriptive words like fun and lively for your wedding then maybe something bright like orange and pink are going to be more appropriate.  Descriptive words are the best way in my opinion, after years of doing this, to narrow your focus on the feel of the event you want to have.

Color Connotations

There are probably some color combos you want to avoid because they are associated with certain things.  Be wary of color combinations like red and green because they are Christmas colors, orange and black because of Halloween, pastel purple and yellow because of Easter and black and yellow because you’ll have a bumblebee wedding.  That being said, if that’s what you’re going for then have at it.

Green and pink springtime wedding colors. www.chantalclaire.com
Springtime colors, more casual theme.
Soft pink, tan and peach wedding color scheme. www.chantalclaire.com
Springtime colors, more formal theme.

Invitations

Sometimes it’s easier to start by ruling out what you DON’T want.  If you like my designs, but haven’t seen the right colors either on the website or here on the blog, then get in touch and we will work together to come up with the right color scheme for you.  I can show you samples of previous work to give you ideas, and whip up some mockups until we find the right thing.  I don’t charge based on the number of mockups I do, so if it takes twenty tries, it takes twenty tries.  If we get it right after three tries, then that’s awesome too.

It used to be that I had to do a face to face consultation.  But I am no longer living in the dark ages!  With the advent of me not being a lame-o and having a smart phone and ACTUALLY KNOWING HOW TO USE IT (insert the voices of a thousand angels singing here) we can now do scheduled consultations no matter where you are.  So email me and we’ll set something up.

Good luck!  Let me know if you need some direction!

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Modern wedding invitation with a hearts motif in blue and green by Chantal Claire. www.chantalclaire.com Colors can be changed at no additional cost.

Heart Eyes, Yo.

Hearts.  It’s a pretty standard wedding motif, and for good reason.  Hearts are a perfect symbol of love, and what’s a wedding without love?  Being a wedding vendor, I knew I’d have to create an invitation with a hearts motif.

But being me, I knew I couldn’t do something standard.  I tried, I really did, but I just can’t do things and have them turn out like other people’s.  I guess that’s why my business is successful, though.  This is the hearts design I came up with.

Blue Heart invitation
Hearts Collection signature style invitation in shades of blue and green.

 

Pretty swanky, huh?  I really like the signature style because there’s an extra opportunity to personalize things with the side panels.  Blue and green are usually my go to colors when designing because those were my wedding colors.  I also really like using pink tones and shades of orange in initial designs.

 

Blue Heart invitation
Hearts Collection invitation inserts.

Previous Client Work

I really wasn’t sure how this would look in other colors, but thankfully my clients are always really creative in their ideas, and we have worked together to create some really beautiful invitations featuring this design.  Like this one, doesn’t the pink just pop?  It makes me think of the type of gum with the liquid goo inside – it’s such a juicy color.  I love the stripe of green and the hearts seem to pop right off of it.

Pink Hearts
Pink hearts with a green stripe for previous client Linda, who has excellent taste when it comes to color choices.

 

Playing the Blues

There is some pretty cool stuff clients have done in shades of blue.  I always go for a turquoise shade, which is my signature color and the color I painted my office walls.  But seeing these again, I realize that I’m really limiting myself.  These are pretty rad – there is such gorgeous depth in these blues, and I love both the purple and tangerine they have chosen as accents.  Man my clients are awesome.

blue hearts with purple
My client Erica chose a pretty rad scheme of vibrant blue and deep purple. Haha! Deep purple. Am I the only one playing songs in my head now? GAH I’M OLD.
navy hearts invitation
Cassie and I played around with a few different shades to get the perfect color of navy that really made the tangerine stripe popped. I love how the hearts are cream colored to match the text, instead of just white. SO AWESOME!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I absolutely adore this last hearts collection.  A brown and blue color scheme always looks classy and hip at the same time.  Being a versatile scheme, it can be fresh and funky, it can lean towards the more rustic side if the blue is on the pale side, or it can be very classic if the motif is something traditional.  I think Shawna nailed it with this one.

brown blue hearts invitation
Shawna’s contemporary version of the popular brown and blue color scheme looks amazing. She sent me a photo of her bridesmaids dresses and I worked off of that. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

 

The back and forth

Generally, I’m not a huge fan of hearts.  However I’m really digging this hearts invitation and especially what my past clients have done with it.  I’m really excited to see what my new clients can do to really make it their own.  I think it’s so cool that I can come up with something when I’m designing, and then my clients can personalize it in ways I hadn’t considered (and I’m a pretty creative person).  I think the back and forth between us is really interesting and I really get to know my clients’ and their tastes.  We tend to email/text and sometimes my clients have used my inbox as a therapy session, too, which I don’t mind at all!  A lot of the time we are facebook friends at the end of the process (hey I’m still old school) and in some cases I’ve had a chance to watch my clients go on to start families of their own.

And to think… it all started with some hearts and a lot of love.

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Don’t get your knickers in a swirl.

Choosing Colors

Let me take a few minutes to show you how switching up the colors can change the overall feel of a design.  I’m going to use some previous client work which dates back to B.B. days (Before Babies), using the Swirls design.   This design has been a client favorite and hey, it’s the one I designed for my own wedding about three million years ago which started this lovely unhealthy work-life balance thing I like to call Self Employment.  I joke!  I joke!  Sort of.

You already know this, but colors evoke a certain mood or feeling whether we are aware of it or not.  Some colors pop, some soothe, some are seasonal, some have underlying connotations (red and green together, for instance).  This should all be in the back of your head when choosing a palette for your event… But ultimately, you will find you are drawn to certain colors because of how they make you feel.  If it doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it, no matter what your mother or soon to be mother-in-law pushes for.  That my two cents, anyway.

Where to start?

Well, what colors do you hate?  Ok, so you can rule those out.  What’s left?  Out of those, what looks good together?  Are you thinking of a monochromatic scheme, where it’s various shades of one color?  Or are you thinking of two different complementary colors?  If you really aren’t sure, do some surfing online on art.com and see what catches your eye.  Even taking a look at your wardrobe is a good place to start – you will notice that there are certain colors that you always wear, and certain colors you avoid like the plague.

Once you have an idea of the palette you’d like to work with, you can swing by www.chantalclaire.com and try picturing the designs we have there in your chosen colors.  We will recolor any of our designs to match any color scheme at no extra charge, because we are totally awesome like that and don’t think you should have to pay extra for that sort of thing.  And hey – we may even have example of previous client work in your chosen color scheme to show you, so it never hurts to get in touch.

Here are some examples of the Swirls design in various colors.  Click on each one for a clearer image.

 

As you can see, the design is the same yet each invitation evokes a different feeling because of the colors and fonts used.  Hopefully these examples will give you an idea if you’re at a loss for color palettes, and will show you a few possibilities with the Swirls design.

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