When it comes to wedding planning, one of the first things you’ll do is figure out a color palette. Your chosen palette will influence every other aspect of your day—from your decor and florals to your wedding party looks. If choosing a wedding color palette feels overwhelming to you, it doesn’t have to be.
“You should choose colors that feel natural and authentic. An easy way to brainstorm these would be to think about the design of your home, or what you wear in your wardrobe most,” says Sarah Crowell, a lead planner and designer at Mavinhouse Events. It’s important to stay true to yourself throughout the entire wedding planning process, including when it’s time to choose your color palette. “Keep that in mind when selecting wedding colors or a palette, it should make sense and feel like you, Lisa Costin, co-founder and creative director at A Charming Fête.
Meet the Expert
- Sarah Crowell is the lead planner and designer of Mavinhouse Events, an event planning company based throughout New England. Sarah is based in Rhode Island.
- Lisa Costin is one of the co-founders and the creative directive of A Charming Fête, which is a wedding and event planning company based in Cleveland.
- Annie Lee is the principal planner at Daughter of Design, which she launched in 2008. She is also the founder of Plannie and an author.
- Blake Sams is the founder and creative director of Gregory Blake Sams Events. He has over a decade of experience in the industry.
- Denise Lillie O’Neal is the owner and designer of Denise Lillie Engagements, which she founded in 2008. She has over 20 years of experience in event planning.
- Melissa Williams is the owner of B Astonished Events, which is based in Washington D.C. and was established in 2014.
If you need a little more guidance than that, we consulted a few expert planners and event designers to help alleviate the stress of choosing your wedding colors. We asked what hues they’re loving for 2022 to give you some inspiration, as well as a few tips and tricks when it comes to deciding on your wedding colors. Below are six of the hottest color palettes for the year, according to the pros.
Neutrals Are Here to Stay
Neutral colors allow nature’s organic hues to shine through, according to Sarah Crowell at Mavinhouse Events. She says most couples like to work with whites, creams, and greens. However, she notes florals are king when it comes to working with neutrals. “I envision lots of the palette being driven by floral, but also layering in tons of textural elements such as chargers to give the design dimension and depth,” Crowell predicts.
Try implementing these shades for a late summer or early fall wedding to challenge the norm, suggests Crowell. “We often feel browns should only be explored in mid to late fall, so this is your permission to break the mold.” After all, rules are made to be broken, especially when it comes to weddings.
Say Yes to Yellow
This bright and punchy color evokes the feeling of happiness, making it the perfect wedding day color palette, says Annie Lee, principal planner at Daughter of Design and founder of Plannie. The best part about working with yellow is that there’s a large range of hues to work with, so it works in every season, Lee points out.
“Yellows with a white base have a much sunnier, bright look that is perfect for spring and summer or a more casual setting,” Lee describes. “Yellow with a more brown base can feel warmer and more sophisticated. When in doubt, just copy whatever shade of yellow nature is doing—the daffodils of spring, the sunflowers of summer, or the leaves of fall.”
Put Mother Earth’s natural beauty on display in your wedding day color palette. Blake Sams, creative director of Gregory Blake Sams Events, prefers working with colors that are a little off the beaten path. “We love to use colors that are slightly off and dirty,” Sams described. “Think dirty yellows, cognacs, olive greens, umber, and rust.”
This color palette can be used throughout the year, even for spring and summer weddings. “In the fall, the colors blend beautifully. In the winter, it provides warmth to a space. Then in spring, it feels unexpected and different,” Sams says. “Flowers do not grow in a Pantone book so don’t tie yourself to an expected color scheme!”
We couldn’t leave this romantic and rich hue off the list of trending color palettes after Pantone declared “Very Peri” the color of 2022. Denise Lillie O’Neal, owner and designer of Denise Lillie Engagements, says this color is going to open doors to a wider range of rich colors in weddings. “I believe that ‘Very Peri’ will make it easier to move away from pale blush, ivory and greenery,” O’Neal says. “It's time for a fresh look for weddings. I look at it as a gateway to stronger richer color stories and I'm here for all of it!”
The California-based planner recommends couples pair this lavender tone with one that packs more of a punch. “Pairing [Very Peri] with bolder, brighter colors like coral, pink, vibrant purple, or even black is a classic combination that can work beautifully in any season.”
Bold and Bright
Pastels have been the dominant wedding color palette over the last few years, but Lisa Costin at A Charming Fête, appreciates it when her clients veer away from these go-to hues. “We are always excited when our couples opt for a vibrant colorful palette versus the always popular traditional ‘all white’ or ‘blush and gold.’ We love to see a fresh color pop depending on the location and environment,” Costin describes.
If you’re on the fence about going bold with your colors, pair it with a more relaxed hue you feel more comfortable with. “Purple and berry hues can be an amazing complement to other common wedding colors such as blush pink or blue tones,” Costin recommends. “It can add so much dimension even if it’s not considered the primary wedding color.”
Summer Tones Meets Fall Hues
Mixing traditional seasonal hues creates a unique color palette for anyone getting married at the tail end of one season and the beginning of another. Melissa Williams, owner of B Astonished Events, is using this approach for a summer-meets-fall wedding she’s planning for a client. “The colors are white and ivory with lush greenery and pops of red and golden mustard, with blush to transition and add depth,” Williams describes. “We are also having some small accents of a dusty blue.”
This cool and creative color palette is most effective for a late-summer celebration or an early-fall fete, according to Williams. Couples should also consider their venue before mixing seasonal hues. “I would not recommend this palette for a ballroom wedding, but definitely the perfect rustic space that allows for creativity,” Williams advises. Lee echoes the sentiment about considering your venue when choosing a color palette. “Select complimentary colors to your venue. I never like to ‘fight the space’ so if the venue has a certain color carpet or wall covering, it’s nice to enhance the features we’re already given,” she recommends.