Before you start planning all of the small details that will come together on your wedding day, you need to first cross two major questions off your list: Where are you getting married and what colors will you use as your base? It seems simple enough, but these two big-picture decisions will shape the ultimate look of your entire wedding day. Not a pro planner? Don't worry. We've broken down everything you need to know before you pick your wedding venue and color palette.
Book Your Venue
To love your party, you have to love your party space. When selecting venues, it's important to pick one that fits with your dream style and color preferences. Other important factors to consider? A location that offers built-in character (like pretty chandeliers, architectural details, a spectacular view) and the essential infrastructure (like tables, chairs, linens, lighting). If a wonky carpet or dated wallpaper is bugging you, don't book; masking doesn't always work. If you're leaning towards a "raw" space (a loft, barn, tent, or terrace, like the one shown above), keep in mind that you may be creating character and infrastructure from scratch, which can be cool and personal — and very pricey.
Photo: Jeffrey Westbrook
Choose Your Hues
Your perfect palette will be a color combo that a) you love (duh) and b) works with your venue. No matter much you like lavender, a ballroom with dark-wood walls and a ruby carpet just begs for jewel tones. If your space has a feature you want to tone down — say, heavy red drapes — stay away from contrasting colors since they'll only accentuate it. Make it disappear with complementary tones like blush and gold.
For more help combining colors, try our easy equation: three complementary shades + one metallic = wedding magic. In the example above, we used a neutral gray for an anchor color, sea green for a main accent, aqua green for our accessory accent, and gold for the metallic base. The result is a perfectly balanced wedding color palette that will be simple to expertly execute. But if you still need help, don't be afraid to ask your most design-savvy bridesmaid for her opinion!