The Inspired Bride Plans a Wedding: Color Palettes

No, no, no – I’m not getting married again, nor are Devon and I pulling a Heidi and Seal and suddenly opting to renew our vows every year.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, my dearest friend Anne, who was my maid of honor and is like a sister to me, is getting married. She and her fiance, Sam, are finally starting to nail down details (they’re looking at late winter/early spring 2012), and being as submerged in all things wedding as I am, I’m lending a helping hand. Of course, even if I wasn’t a walking encyclopedia on the wedding world, I’d help out anyway, but you get my drift.

I’ve already started sending Anne venue and photographer recommendations, so it’s getting serious! I’ve asked if I can share with you our journey planning her wedding while we start to navigate through the process, and she’s been a great sport about it.

Today, I’ve started hammering through a first round of color palettes for Anne to take a look at. Because they haven’t settled on a venue yet (we’ll start looking when Sam, Anne, and Devon and I are back in New York over the holidays), I’ve styled the color choices two ways: the first, more classically romantic, and the second, more modern and bold. I kept in mind a couple things when picking the colors out: first, Sam will not wear pink, so if there is any pink, balance it with something he’ll be more comfortable sporting; second, since it’s not a spring or summer wedding, brighter colors should be balanced with more sophisticated and seasonally appropriate hues – I’m using mostly charcoals, silvers, and golds.

Onto the picks!


These guys are really all over the board. The first color palette was keeping in mind that their initial thoughts were to get married in February. I like the idea of using really rich reds and magentas for Valentine’s Day but in an unexpected, more sophisticated way by pairing it with a steely mint green that could be picked up, for example, by lamb’s ear or dusty miller in the bouquets. Color palettes two and three would be rich, wintry colors warmed up with a hit of cream and antique gold. I also love the idea of the fourth color palette, which would be a snowy white wedding with occasional pops of a soft gray blue. Finally, the fifth color palette completely diverts off that path with a little more color (in case they go into early spring) that is fresh but also has a little bit of glamor provided by the inclusion of an antique gold.

On the more modern side, we appropriately get a little more poppy. The first two palettes are balanced off with grays that are slightly warm; I’d also love to include some true metallic silver for a little more pizazz. The third palette – well, I’m not really sure what I was thinking with that one, but I liked it for Anne and Sam; the blue-greens with a warm, orange-yellow just felt right, especially when grounded with a muted chocolate and a cream. The fourth palette was the first I thought of for them – I’ve been loving this palette lately, and it felt like a great way to incorporate a lot of color while still feeling cool and approachable. The fifth is poppy and incredibly festive, pairing rich purples and magentas with true gold, then modernizing the palette even further with a crisp white. Admittedly, it’ll probably be the first one Sam will veto (although Anne says he’ll do purple!) but I think it would be fabulous!

That’s it for this installation. I’m excited to hear what Anne and Sam’s thoughts are, but in the meantime, which are your favorites?

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  • Kathryn

    I love #6 on the first board and #2, #3, #5 on the second board. I really like the modern stuff much more but anything with orange and black/gray reminds me of halloween.

  • Virginia C~

    On top:
    2, 3- my favorite, 4- beautiful palette, I tend more toward color, but always think it’s gorgeous when someone else does a soft look

    On bottom:
    5- reminds me of an Indian wedding I was in, 2, 4

  • Katie

    It’s so hard to choose! They’re all so pretty. On Top: #1 – I love this. The addition of mint is something unexpected and really different – bold yet sophisticated, and it definitely represents Valentine’s Day

    On Bottom: #4 Four of my favorite colors, they work so well together…