7 Mistakes When Choosing Your Wedding Colors

Wedding ColorsWhen you’re putting together your wedding theme, the most important thing to get right is your color scheme. Your wedding colors will direct the entire feel of your wedding, so knowing what you want and how to achieve it is very important. However, many brides are thinking about specific colors that they want to have and aren’t looking at the big picture and how they will or won’t work together. This can lead to some pretty off-putting color schemes that not even the mother of the bride can defend. Fortunately, there are some things you can keep in mind that will help you get the wedding colors right, and here are 7 common mistakes that you can easily avoid.

1. Setting a Single Color Palette

Most brides are asked over and over what their wedding colors are, so you can get pigeon-holed into saying the same color over and over and believing it. The truth is that you don’t really need to have a set palette for your wedding, the colors just need to work together. Your wedding theme may be more object-oriented such as flowers or plants, so colors can easily become a moot point.

2. Choosing Trendy Colors (According to Others)

One of the worst mistakes that a bride can commit is to listen to “experts” and magazine articles too much about what colors are trending right now. Just because other people love a particular color this year doesn’t mean you need to settle for it if you prefer something else. Remember that it is your wedding and you can choose whatever colors you want for anything in the room.

3. Choosing Unnatural Colors

Though it can be fun to choose wild and zany colors for your wedding, it can be really hard to match decorations with certain ones that are too off the wall. For instance, if you use orange as your primary wedding color, you may find it difficult to find flowers, plants, and other items that match it very well. You probably don’t want to be stuck with a bunch of pumpkins as your centerpieces, so think things through before you pick something that doesn’t happen in nature too often.

4. Having Too Many Wedding Colors

Though it’s never a good idea to limit yourself to only a few wedding colors, it is just as horrible to have way too many. You don’t want your reception hall to look like a tie-dyed t-shirt (or maybe you do), so try to keep yourself limited to a sane number of wedding color. There’s a big difference between using several shades of brown or green and using red, yellow, orange, and blue. Diversify within a certain color if you want more variety, but don’t leap all over the color wheel.

5. Avoiding Risks

Though you don’t want to have your wedding colors be completely off the wall, you also don’t want your wedding to look bland and plain. Often times a bride will stick to really basic wedding colors like white, red, and pink, and this can make your wedding look really dull and boring. Try to keep things a little bit fun and random, just don’t go overboard or it can be even worse than having plain wedding colors.

6. Avoiding White

Though it’s bad form for the mother of the bride to wear white and upstage the bride, that doesn’t mean that your tablecloths can’t be white. There is a reason that white is known as the definitive wedding color, so make sure it is properly represented throughout your color scheme. White is a very classy color, and weddings are all about class at the end of the day.

7. Overlooking Your Venue’s Color Palette

Though you’re going to want to have your own vision for your wedding colors, you also need to accept that you need to work with what already exists at your wedding venue. If the walls of your wedding venue are already brown, using blue as your primary wedding color will look absolutely terrible. Keep this in mind when you’re out looking at potential wedding venues and you should be able to avoid the most common mistakes that brides make when choosing their wedding colors.

5 Creative Wedding Invites

Message in a BottleYour wedding invitation is more than just a document telling your guests when and where your nuptials will take place. They’re an opportunity to set the tone for your wedding, hint at your theme, and generally show off what creative, hip and groovy people you and your spouse are. If you’re having trouble finding just the right angle for your awesome wedding invitation, check out these possibilities:

Wood-Burned Rustic Invites

For a rustic or western-themed wedding, throw out the paper invitations and go for something with a little more staying power: a thin slab of wood, with your wedding details burned in. It’s possible to do the wood-burning yourself if you have the right materials and a steady hand, but there are also a few places online that will do them for you with laser-guided precision.

Subway Map

If you and your partner are city mice at heart, give your wedding invites a metropolitan feel by printing them on a subway map. You can make the map an abstracted guide to the locations of your venues, or make each stop on the imaginary subway line a memorable moment in your relationship. It’s a broad theme, but one you can get creative with–and if your ceremony is in New York, Chicago, or London, you can use the actual subway map of the city and make it useful, too.

Message in a Bottle

For a beach-themed wedding, you can’t go wrong with a classic message in a bottle. Give your guests a taste of the sand and sea they’ll get at the ceremony itself–roll your printed invite into a mini-scroll and stick it in a bottle with a few small shells and a sprinkle of sand to really sell the theme. Bonus points for putting “S.O.S.” instead of “R.S.V.P.”

Flowchart

A flowchart-themed invitation is great for a couple who started as an office romance. But even if you didn’t fall in love over the TPS reports, you can still take design cues from the corporate world and turn them into something cute. Start with a simple, “Have you heard X and Y are getting married?” and let your imagination guide you from there. Just make sure not to get too complicated with it–only include enough choices and paths to get the idea across.

Mad Libs

One of the bigger headaches of planning a wedding is trying to figure out how many people are actually going to show up. Sure, every couple sends out RSVP cards, but there are always plenty of guests who ignore the request for a response until far after you’ve paid the caterer. Step up the likelihood you’ll get a response with an RSVP-card Mad Lib for your guests to fill out. Give them an opportunity to exercise their wit, and watch the responses flood in.

Your wedding invitations can be as unique as your wedding itself, with a bit of good design and a dash of inspiration. With any of the above options, you’ll create a wedding invitation that guests will want to keep around until the day.

4 Fun and Nerdy Wedding Themes

Lord of the Rings Wedding BandsWe’ve taken a trip to the shallow end of nerdy wedding themes in previous articles, but now it’s time to leap off the diving board and really go deep into “geekery”. If you and your partner have a particular nerdy obsession that defines you as a couple–if you met at Comic-Con and hooked up because your cosplay was compatible–go for broke with one of these 4 fun and extremely nerdy wedding themes.

Harry Potter

Even though each of the Harry Potter books covers a full year, because of the movies we always think winter and fall when we think Potter. Cold weather is better for a Potter-themed wedding anyway–that way the robes and scarves won’t look out of place. An entry-level Harry Potter theme definitely involves picking house colors and an appearance by the sorting hat. Mid-level has the officiant saying “Expecto Matrimonium!” instead of “I now pronounce you man and wife.” For the expert level, turn the obligatory “everyone jumps at the same time” picture into a Quidditch match, and have your rings delivered by a trained owl.

Hunger Games

We’ve seen a few Hunger Games wedding themes pop up online, and though we don’t completely get it (books about starvation and murder=big fun wedding time?), we’re not about to deny anyone their chosen fandom. We do recommend sticking with the Panem side of things for the wedding, though–opulent dress and groaning tables full of food beats making your guests eat whatever they can shoot with a bow and arrow. Entry level has the officiant saying, “May the odds be ever in your favor!” instead of “I now pronounce you…” Mid-level features a cake painted to look like tree bark, in a nod to Peeta’s camouflage skills. The expert level wedding theme has the groom start to marry the bride’s younger sister, until the bride volunteers as tribute and takes her rightful place.

Star Wars

This is the 900-pound gorilla of sci-fi fandom as far as wedding themes go, undiminished by the fact that no one’s made a decent Star Wars movie in 30 years (though that may change in 2015). There’s no denying the Imperial March makes great processional music, and we can definitely get behind bridesmaids carrying blasters instead of flowers. Dress the officiant as Emperor Palpatine and have him or her urge the bride and groom to “give in to the love side.” Entry level has the bride and groom dressed as white-dress Leia and Han Solo. Mid-level features the couple walking out under a light-saber arc while “Celebrate the Love” plays on the overhead. Expert level has the bridesmaids dressed as storm troopers and the groomsmen as Tusken raiders, and a cake shaped like a TaunTaun.

Lord of the Rings

There are definitely fans out there who think of Lord of the Rings as a deeply romantic work, even though the books don’t feature any romantic entanglements at all. Peter Jackson teased out a love affair between Arwen and Aragorn for the film version, but the books are much more “bromantic” than romantic. Still, Sam and Frodo’s relationship features all the loyalty, dedication, and commitment that you could want for a wedding ceremony, so I guess it makes sense. Entry-level has the bride and groom decked out as elves, either from Rivendell or Lothlorien, and the wedding party dressed as elves, dwarves, and/or hobbits. Mid-level has the best man refusing to give up the ring because it’s “His precious.” The expert level wedding theme is a full-day wedding celebration incorporating the ceremony and all seven Hobbit meals, preferably outdoors by a gigantic tree.

There’s something about fantasy worlds that can unite people, bring them together in service of a vision of a better world (or a world where our problems are more easily identified and solved). Use your wedding theme to bring your guests out of their mundane lives for a day dedicated to that grand undertaking most adults unwisely leave out of their regular routines — make-believe.

Choosing a Wedding Reception Location

Outdoor Wedding VenueOnce you reach the age when you’re ready to have a wedding of your own, you’ve likely attended your fair share of other couples’ weddings. This can usually give you several good ideas about how to plan and decorate your wedding ceremony, but most people don’t keep track of their ideas about the reception venue. Below, there are some key things to keep in mind when planning your wedding reception that will make sure it as great as the ceremony itself.

Distance

You want to make sure the reception is located fairly close the ceremony site. If your guests need to drive too far to get to the reception, you will likely see a noticeable drop-off in the number of people who show up. If possible, you want to have the reception site either at the same venue as your ceremony or only a block or two away; but if that’s not viable, you should try to keep it within a 10 to 15 minute drive at the very most.

Timing

Similar to the distance issue, you want to make sure the timing of your entire wedding is appropriate and that there isn’t a delay between the end of your ceremony and the start of your reception. You can open your reception hall to guests and give them something to do while they wait for your arrival. You don’t have to start dancing and serving food right when the guests arrive, but having some punch or other wedding projects to occupy them will go a long way.

Temperature

Depending on what time of year you will be having your reception, you will want to make sure you’re taking the appropriate steps to control the temperature at the party. If it is during the hottest or coldest parts of the year, you may want to avoid an outdoor reception to stay courteous to your guests. Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure that an indoor reception venue has the proper climate control functions so that either the heater or air conditioning system can keep up with the temperature outside. Providing a comfortable environment for your post-ceremony celebration is vital; especially since people will be close together and getting warm already from dancing.

Wedding Size

Depending on whether you’re having a very large wedding or a very small wedding, the number of guests you have will play one of the largest roles in your venue selection process. If you’re having a small wedding with less than 20 guests, you can easily get away with having a beach wedding or a ceremony in the gazebo of your friends’ backyard. If you’re having a lot of guests such as 200 or more, then a large hall will really be your only option. Knowing the size of your guest list as far in advance as possible will help you choose the right wedding venue without too much fussing about.