31 Ideas for a Neutral Wedding Color Palette

A timeless look of creams, beiges, and everything in between will never go out of style

Updated 09/13/18
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Photo by Ali Bailey

Although splashes of color are eye-catching and vibrant, nothing says dreamy like a soft, muted wedding color palette of neutrals. Peaceful and classic, shades of beige, ivory, white, and the like repeatedly stand the test of time. And the best part about this natural and unfussy look? It can fit the mold of any wedding style, especially when you take advantage of the different textures you can play with. Garden soirée? Think garden roses and soft greenery. Elegant and sophisticated affair? Try metallics and gilded accents. Beach nuptials? Gauzy, carefree linens and rattan accents are perfect.

Quite contrary to popular assumption, a neutral wedding color scheme doesn't mean you're confined to a select set of hues and color combinations. If tans, creams, and hints of gray are too basic of a palette for you, subtly incorporate subdued pastels such as an airy blush and light peach or go the opposite direction and throw in gleaming champagne or gold for a more glamorous feel and a sparkling finishing touch.

And, bear in mind — your entire wedding doesn't have to be completely neutral. Sometimes, weaving in just neutral elements into certain parts of your wedding, such as your ceremony chairs or tablescape, can round out or complement a broader theme. And don't forget the power of accents — organic decor such as raw wood or greenery (think a sprig of ferns placed in a napkin setting or a garland of ivy adorning a linen chuppah) can enhance the natural look a neutral color palette creates.

When it comes to narrowing down what your palette will look like, just remember that color choice can conjure up different moods. Even with neutrals, the darker end of the spectrum is more refined and stylish, while the lighter end is more playful and romantic. Either way, the resulting look is stunning. We can't get enough of these wedding themes decked out in everything from creamy fawn tones to snowy shades of white, and you won't either.

Courtesy of Eleven Decor Shop

Instead of candelabras or traditional candlesticks, choose simple, faceted votive holders in a metallic shade (we love this copper) paired with white tea lights or votives for an understated but modern feel. To add to the modernity, choose non-floral or greenery centerpieces and instead incorporate pretty stones, or flowers made from unexpected materials like paper or metal.

Justin Demutiis Photography

Have your event designer or planner mount your seating chart on a simple and beautiful piece of wood and frame it with garlands for a sophisticated and understated vibe. Especially good for those who want a rustic vibe to their wedding!

Olive Wreaths on Wedding Reception Doors
Onelove Photography

Simple greenery wreaths on a ceremony entrance is a perfect way of making your venue look festive without having to break the bank. We especially like the color combo of the sage green, muted gray, and terracotta.

If you want an easy place to grab greenery wreaths before your big day we love this as a resource!

Photo: Koman Photography

No room for a traditional arch? No problem! Hang your florals and greenery behind you and then bring on the candles for extra drama. A piece of vintage furniture serves as a convenient place to put more candles (varying heights makes all the difference!) and also helps serve as a backdrop for your altar.

Brandon Kidd Photography

Dusty and sagey greens from eucalyptus and olive branches make for a wild and statement arrangement for a guestbook table. The muted greenery looks especially perfect in this neutral filled venue space. Want to get more use out of that beautiful arrangement? Have your planner move it to the bar area after the ceremony if the reception won't be including the guestbook table.

Wedding Getaway Car with Wreath
Photo by Lauren Ballingit

Nothing beats a vintage car for your exit! We love this white beauty accented with a delicate wreath and classic "just married" signage. Want more ways to use wreaths for your wedding? Check out all of these!

ceremony altar decor
Photo by Winsome and Wright

Neutrals to us mean using lots of natural materials, like this dark wood and the stone walls in this space. Even though the runner is patterned, it also has a neutral color palette making it not too busy or overwhelming. Replicate this look by having your planner or designer either make a custom runner (or rent one if there are unique rental options available in your area!), or by placing a few different rugs together stretching down the aisle.

palm leaf minimal decor
Photo by Winsome and Wright

Keep your tables simple with a cream tablecloth, crisp white napkins and plates, and then accent the table with statement making tropical leaves in simple vessels instead of over-the-top centerpieces. Touches of gold help make the table feel a little more formal, as well.

If you want to use greenery you can reuse, try going with a (believable) fake option, like this.

Photo by Elizabeth Millay Photography

Pampas grass makes for the loveliest aisle decor—it naturally has a beautifully neutral variegated color palette and it's fluffy texture adds volume to make it seem a bit more grand.

Obsessed with this trend as much as we are? Check out all of the ways people are using pampas grass in their weddings here.

white flowers ceremony aisle decor
Photo by Jana Williams Photography

Mark your aisle with beautiful organic white and green arrangements in wooden containers. The best part is that you can repurpose them for your cocktail hour or reception!

If you want more aisle decor inspo, we've got you covered.

Wedding reception outdoor decor
Photo by Kate Holstein

Instead of a full-on flower installation hanging in your reception space, trailing and climbing greenery is a good way to keep things a little more simple and also more budget-friendly. It also has that kind of Great Expectations overgrown feel that we never tire of. Bring the outdoors in, always!

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Transform a changing screen into an escort card display! Get one in a neutral linen and have your calligrapher write out simple cards in shades of whites and creams. Extra points if you have your planner or florist arrange the escort cards in a subtle ombre. And don't forget the candles...the more the better!

Tillandsia Wedding Ceremony Chair Decor
Photo by Marble Rye Photography

Sometimes the simplicity of the space around you is what makes for a gorgeous neutral palette and all you need to do is add some light wood chairs and simple bunches of grass as aisle markers. When you have the beauty of the outdoors to serve as a backdrop there's no need to overdo it!

BHLDN Eyelet Chair Banners
Millay & Young

This delicate color palette of white and hints of other light neutrals is accented perfectly by the sheer Mr. + Mrs. chair signage. Since the signage is embroidered, they make for good post-wedding wall hangings (and would also look good framed!).

Photo by Joshua Aull Photography

You pretty much don't need to decorate your ceremony space when the natural background is as pretty as this! The bright blue of the water is the only real pop of color aside from all the greenery (which we clearly consider a neutral!). With a palm tree as an altar, there's no need for any more decor.

Photo by Shaun Menary Photography

Dress your altar with not only a flower-laden arch but four pillars of blooms! The layered abundance makes this set-up a real wow-factor for your guests. Have your planner or florist move these beauties to the reception space after the ceremony!

Photo by Lauren Fair Photography

Want to keep things impactful without bringing in flowers or greenery for your ceremony decor? Use a mix of vintage and modern candlesticks, pillar candles, and votives all of different heights and shapes and to really add some drama to an industrial space.

For more ideas on decorating your wedding with candles check this out!

Photo by Lacie Hansen

These cute little bundles of flowers look like they were just plucked straight from the field! No fussiness here. We love the simplicity of these arrangements which work thanks to the loose composition and the choice to have only one type of flower.

Get more bouquet inspiration here.

Maggie Austin

Mini cakes are a sweet way to showcase the varying neutral shades of your wedding. Delicate cherry blossoms and gold flake adornments, along with places on pretty plates, embellish the designs without going overboard. These work especially well at being both modern (having no piping and a very crisp icing application) and feminine without being too girly! AKA, your partner may be more inclined to be ok with it.

family table
Photo by James & Schulze

Stumped on what to do for your guest book and welcome table? We love how these photos are all in matching frames with hurricanes for lighting when it gets dark. What especially works well are all the coordinating shades of wood that make this outdoor wedding feel both rustic and keep a neutral palette.

Love the hurricanes? Get the look with these.

tent reception long reception tables
Photo by Jeremiah & Rachel Photography

White is at its best with a draped and pleated tent canopy, elegant and long tables, and hints of wood and greenery. All of these details come together for a clean and classic look--we especially love how the chairs a little mismatched but somehow work perfectly together! Perfect for the bride that wants something a bit grand without feeling ostentatious.

Get more long table ideas here.

Photo by Still55 Photography

A little modern and a little preppy (hellloooo palm print pillows!) this clean and sophisticated lounge area is inserted with some major personality that isn't your run-of-the-mill reception or cocktail hour hangout spot.

Love this look for your own home? Get the look with these and these!

escort cards
Photo by Lev Kuperman

Don't forget that gold is a neutral! Metallics work well when paired with other neutrals like black or white. The pretty calligraphy really jumps off of the gold paper without having to add any extra flourishes.

Want more escort card ideas? Check out this and this!

tented reception table with greenery
Photo by Lauren and Abby Ross

Floating like a cloud over a long reception table, this hanging greenery instillation inserts some color into an otherwise almost monochrome palette. White on white on white on green--with a touch of muted pastels on the tables and rattan lamps (giving it a bit of a beachy vibe).

For more beach wedding inspo check this out!

Photo Courtesy of Paper Lantern Store

Marquee signs are a fun way to declare your love while giving off an incandescent amber glow that brings neutrals to light — literally. If you want something a bit more modern for neutral lighting, try a white neon sign during the reception!

Love these? Snag 'em for yourself here.

reception tabletop with menu and flowers
Photo by Lauren and Abby Ross

Break up an all-white palette (while still keeping it neutral) but adding in little details in muted hues of beige and dusty rose and little hints of green. This palette is crisp and clean but the bits of color in the menu and flowers (plus, notice the monogrammed napkin!) add in a little more interest. Want a little more going on while still keeping your palette soft and neutral? Add in a light gray silk runner for a little extra texture.

Jodi Miller Photography

Vintage wooden pews accented with fawn linens blend chic and rustic vibes, providing a bit of inspiration for a ranch style ceremony. We love the idea of adding pillows to your ceremony seating for added comfort for your guests! We love how tonal the pillows are, and they subtly echo the colors of the brick! Ask your planner if you can get a cowhide rug to make your outdoor space feel even more like an indoor space.

Matthew Ree Photography

Add some ribbons as a unique twist between a runner and a placemat (and an extra detail for your guests to admire). We love this peach that ties in subtley with the flowers, or try a slightly darker or lighter of the same color as the tablecloth so that you are adding more of a texture than a pop of color.

Photo by Cornelia Lietz, Styling by Kiss from Fleur

Neutrals are made all the more boho with a whimsical sign adorned with a swath of greenery and accents of dusty rose colored hydrangeas. Eucalyptus makes the perfect outside greenery choice as it's quite hardy, so it's perfect for a welcome sign.

Looking for the perfect welcome sign? We love this and this.

Kristen Lynne Photography

Swaths of calligraphy, rough edges, and a delicate rosebud print give this elegant and natural-looking stationary an aged feel. Choose an invite suite that has several different shades of neutrals like shades of beige or cream or gray for a subtle bit of monochrome action.

For more invitation inspiration, check out these beauties. Even if you're not having a fall wedding, they're pretty for any time of year.

Adam Barnes

A cost-effective way to make an impact with your tablescape? Have your planner or florist run vines down the middle of long tables with candles of varying heights intertwined. Gold flatware and gold-rimmed plates round out this sophisticated (neutral!) palette.

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