One of the first questions a wedding-related professional or even a friend or family member will ask an engaged person is, “What are your wedding colors?” There are certain colors that, as someone who works in bridal attire, I see repeated every season. Many of them are beautiful, but if you want something more unique and a little more unexpected, here is a list of wedding color suggestions by season.
Expected: light blue, plum, wine, red, black, metallic gold, gray, dark green, navy
Try these instead: yellow, pink, or medium purple
Many people instantly shrink when they hear “yellow.” It’s a warm, cheerful color – which makes it a perfect juxtaposition to a cold and dark wintertime wedding. If you’re worried about yellow being too warm, or completely inappropriate, try pairing it with cooler-toned neutral accents, like metallic silver, to tone it down. For a wedding earlier in the day, try a lighter, gentler yellow; for evening weddings, consider a darker yellow, like mustard.
Pink is another color that can be quite polarizing, but it presents so many possibilities! Pink can be warm or cool, or gentle or bright. It comes in a myriad of shades and tones. It can be fun and bright, dark and moody, or gentle and joyful. Pink is also a flattering color for decor, as its reflection on skin makes people appear flushed and healthy, and therefore more attractive. Pink is romantic but soft, and pairing it with something dramatic like black can dress it up or make it appear more mature.
Honestly, this is just not a color I see used very often at all. Though darker shades of purple, like plum, are used frequently during the winter months, medium purple is brighter, without being a full pastel like lavender. Purple gives spaces an air of enchantment and magic; the “meaning” of purple roses is “enchantment,” or “love at first sight.” Historically, purple dyes were incredibly difficult and expensive to produce, so purple fabrics and paints were reserved for royalty and the immensely wealthy. So, if you’re going for a more regal or expensive feeling, purple is an excellent choice.
Try these instead: red, navy, dark gray
Spring is my favorite season. I know, I know; I’m bad at being a basic. But spring is when everything comes back to life – also, it’s when my birthday occurs. There are an innumerable variety of colors in the flowers that blossom each spring – so why limit yourself to traditional pastels?
There are so many red flowers, I don’t even want to begin listing them. Red is a color associated with vibracy and vitality. It is a dramatic and beautiful color that oozes romance and sexuality. The change from winter to spring is probably the most dramatic every year; everything goes from white, gray, brown, and dirty green to verdancy and varicolor. So, why not choose a color that reflects this dramatic and almost sudden transition?
Navy is a classic color. It looks good on almost everyone, and can be “dressed” up or down. It also looks amazing with spring’s newly verdant surroundings. For a more formal look, try pairing navy with dark blossoms, and for a more casual look, with wildflowers. Either way, be sure to use plenty of greens; you’d be surprised how gorgeous navy and emerald green look together!
Gray is a often-used color in weddings any time of year. However, dark gray is not often used during the spring. This is a shame, as, similar to navy, dark gray can be dressed up or down, depending on the look you’re going for in your wedding, and it is another universally flattering color. The reason I included it on this list is that it makes an excellent backdrop for any and all color flowers you may choose for your wedding. Dark gray goes with absolutely every other color, depending on the undertone of the gray. If you want to brighten up the appearance of dark gray, try ivory or metallic gold accents.
Expected: yellow, blue, green
Try these instead: orange, cobalt, dark teal
Orange is possibly a more polarizing color than yellow or pink. However, there are so many flowers that blossom in orange and whose beauty is undeniable: tiger lilies, cosmos, carnations, tulips, and dahlias, to name a few. Orange is bright and fun, which is perfect for the warm, languid summer months. Find a shade you love, whether it’s more of a rust color or a gentle, light orange, and play with it – you might be surprised at how gorgeous it looks.
Navy, light, or bright blues are often used in the summer months. It makes sense; the sky is typically blue most of the summer, and the bodies of water we use to cool and entertain ourselves are usually shades of blue as well. Cobalt is a great alternative to navy or bright blue. It’s not quite as dark as navy, and still has some brightness, but is much less frequently seen than any other shade of blue. Not to mention, you can have fun with decorations if you choose this color; cobalt blue glass is common and gorgeous. Pair it with metallic gold for a more summer-appropriate wedding; during the day, the gold mimics the sun, while at night, the combination of cobalt and gold can remind guests of the late night summer sky.
Teal is another color that is not too commonly used any time of year. When it is used, it is typically the light, bright teals seen in the spring and summer. If you love that color that strikes the balance between green and blue, you may want to try a dark teal for your wedding color. It’s more flattering to more people than the light and bright shades, and can be paired with metallic gold or ivory for a daytime or more casual wedding, or with black or metallic silver for an evening or more formal wedding.
Expected: wine, orange, navy, plum, mauve, green
Try these instead: mauve, dusty sage, lavender
The middle ground between purple and pink, mauve is an excellent option for a fall wedding. It has all the romance of pink and all the enchantment of purple. Mauve can have a gray tint to it, which makes it appropriate for this darkening time of the year. The reason it is on this list is because it pairs wonderfully with dark red or maroon-colored flowers, as well as greens, and ivory or white flowers.
Though shades of green are par for the course for fall weddings, dusty sage has a slightly more springlike quality to it. A lighter and therefore unexpected green, the gray (“dust”) in dusty sage make this color much more appropriate than light or mint green for a fall wedding. Dusty sage pairs well with yellows, oranges, and dark reds or maroons, all popular and common autumn wedding flower colors. Give it a brighter look with metallic gold or rose gold accents, or a more magical look with metallic silver accents.
I’ve noticed that many of the colors used in fall and winter tend to overlap in use. As mentioned previously, darker purples, like plum, are frequent choices for wedding colors for fall (or winter) weddings. Lavender is a great choice, especially for early fall weddings, because it gives that dreamy, autumnal quality, without all the moodiness of a much darker purple. It looks gorgeous with ivory, white, or pink flowers, and pairs well with almost any shade of gray or navy (i.e., for suits).
These are a few of my ideas about unconventional wedding colors, based on the traditional four seasons of the year. The colors listed are based entirely on my own opinions and experiences, and I urge you not to change your wedding colors based on my suggestions, if you truly love what you’ve already chosen. There’s a reason certain colors are popular certain times of year, and if you love it, you should have what you love for such an important and beautiful day.