How To Choose Your Wedding Colors
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How to Choose Your Wedding Colors

Wedding Color Matching 101

Learn how to find your perfect wedding day palette with this quick and easy color matching 101.

I'm sure most of you may remember (or at least slightly recall) Color Theory and the color wheel from grade school. Now that it's time to put that knowledge towards picking your wedding colors, you may be trying to feverishly recollect what it was Mrs. Ames in the 5th grade said about ROY-G-BIV. Don't fret. With these three steps, you'll learn the right way to match color and how to pull it all together to create a fabulous wedding day palette.

1. The Color Wheel

The Color WheelA circle of color. This is what we know today to be a traditional color wheel. It is made of 3 main colors (or primary colors as they are also known); red, yellow, and blue. All other colors are just mixes of those three main colors. But how do you figure out what complements what? First you must become familiar with these 3 types of color schemes:

  • Monochromatic: One of the easiest color schemes to get right. Monochromatic palettes are shades (darks) and tints (lights) of the same color. Example: Different colors of blue. This palette is considered by most to have a relaxing and soothing effect.
  • Analogous: These colors are side-by-side on the color wheel and are considered pleasing to the eye. This color scheme is a great opportunity to use one main color with multiple accent colors. Example: Yellow paired with yellow-green and green or Blue paired with bluish-violet and violet.
  • Complementary: These colors are directly opposite each other on the color wheel and give off an energetic and dramatic feel. Example: Blue paired with Orange or Purple with Yellow. To be sure your palette isn't overwhelming, consider using one of the colors as an accent. One example of this would be navy blue and cobalt blue accented by pops of yellow or orange.

2. Color Matching Tools

Bride looking at color swatchesWhen on the hunt for the perfect wedding day color palette, do your research. Visit your local paint store and your local cosmetic store.

Paint swatches are free and are already put together in a monochromatic palette. (If this is the type of color scheme you are using then your work is already done for you!) Eyeshadow sets are another great resource for seeing how certain colors go together and are also already paired in complementary color schemes. There are also many great color scheme generators online that will put together palettes for you. Simply do a Google search on color generators to get started.

3. Putting It All Together

Image by Olivia Leigh Photographie courtesy of stylemepretty.comOnce you've decided on your perfect color scheme, look for pictures and inspirational photos that include the colors you are using. Start setting your photo inspirations next to each other to create a styleboard collage.

Creating your own styleboard is the final step in finalizing your colors and will really help you see how your wedding day vision will play out on your big day. You may be surprised in what you find and decide to include another color or get rid of one all together.

There are great resources available today that will allow you to create your own inspiration boards. Browse through hundreds of beautiful photos (like the one above by Olivia Leigh Photographie from and find the right ones for you. Check out and to get started.

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