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.

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.

Unconventional Wedding Color Schemes

Orange and Teal Wedding ColorsFinding the perfect wedding color scheme can be tricky for a couple who aren’t graphic designers or home-décor gurus. With the entire rainbow (and every shade in between) to choose from, getting that perfect palette that sets the mood and doesn’t clash can be a monumental challenge. It’s tempting to play it safe with pinks and purples, but if you’re looking for something a little more striking, give these unconventional color schemes a try.

Teal and Orange

For a summer wedding, especially if it’s a beachfront ceremony, take your color cues from the sea and sunset. These two colors look great together: the contrast between the cool blue and the warm orange is truly striking. Consider tiger lilies or marigolds for the bridal bouquet, and have the bridesmaids’ dresses alternate between the two colors.

Black and White

For a really impactful color scheme, why not try no colors at all? A simple black and white palette can look chic and clean when it’s done properly. Dress the bridesmaids in little black dresses, give the bride a bouquet of calla lilies, and keep the groomsmen looking sharp in tuxedoes with black bowties. It’s an unconventional choice that has a minimalist elegance to it. Bonus: your wedding reception will feel like a glamorous cocktail party.

Pastels

For a spring wedding reception, ditch the bright colors and go for pastels in all colors of the rainbow. Robin’s egg blue, pink, lavender–just a hint of all of the colors will look fantastic together. As a bonus, you don’t have to dress your bridesmaids in identical dresses; let them each pick a pastel that suits them and they’ll look fantastic. Same goes for the groomsmen’s bowties and/or cummerbunds.

Silver & Gold

Have a luxurious-looking winter wedding with silver and gold highlights throughout the ceremony and reception. There’s a sparkling, effervescent property to silver and gold; definitely don’t skimp on the glitter when you’re decorating. The colors together give a hint at a holiday theme without being kitschy; they have a little New Year’s Eve feel and just a bit of Christmas to them as well. You can even use silver and gold Christmas ornaments to make your table centerpieces.

Red White and Navy

At first blush, it may seem like a red, white, and blue wedding will look a little too 4th of July to be tasteful. But replace that bright blue with navy, and it goes from patriotic to homespun rustic simplicity. For a down-home wedding, this color palette will blend in seamlessly with the mason jars and wildflowers you’re using for decorations.

If you’re still looking for color palette inspiration, there are plenty of tools online for discovering colors that go great together. They’re intended for graphic designers or interior decorators, but they’re great for putting together a wedding palette as well. There are some tools that allow you to experiment from scratch by combining random colors while others come with preset themes to help you coordinate. With a little trial-and-error, your wedding color scheme will look fantastic.

5 Fun Wedding Themes

Western WeddingThe bride in a flowing white dress, the groom in a smart black tuxedo, and the front steps of a cathedral: we all have a specific image in our mind when we hear the word “wedding.” While the elegant classical wedding is the ideal for some, though, it shouldn’t be thought of as a one-size-fits-all option. Each wedding can be as unique and inspired as the couple getting married. Those guidelines and traditions shouldn’t be thought of as unbreakable rules. Here are a few wedding themes that are less traditional, but can be a lot of fun for the right couple.

Rustic

A rustic wedding trades glitz and glamour for handmade, down-to-earth charm. For a perfect rustic wedding venue, consider a converted barn, apple orchard, winery, or park. Flowers like bluebells, daisies, and other wildflowers take the place of roses and carnations. For décor, think handmade and simple: candles in mason jars, rope, and horseshoes. The bride can wear a simple homespun dress; the groom will look great in a chambray shirt, suspenders, a bow tie, and chinos.

Western

If a down-home rustic wedding still isn’t down home enough, go all out with a Western theme. Bridesmaids and groomsmen alike will look sharp in matching cowboy hats and boots. Put the groom in (well-fitting) jeans and a cowboy shirt with mother-of-pear snaps. Even the bride can get away with jeans with a Western theme, provided they’re matched with a white blouse and Stetson. Western themes work best with an outside ceremony, where you can decorate with hay bales and lanterns without worrying about a mess or fire hazard. You could even barbecue for the reception dinner–but serving hardtack and beans might be going a little too far.

1920’s

If the rustic and Western styles seem a little too homespun for you, go for it full-on with the glitz and glamour of the roaring 20’s. You’ll want to book a fancy venue, preferably one with some art deco architectural style. The groomsmen can wear sharp tuxedoes, the bridesmaids in flapper-inspired dresses and finger waves in their hair. Let the champagne (and the gin rickeys) flow at the reception and teach your guests how to Lindy Hop and do the Charleston.

Gothic

It takes a certain kind of theatrical mindset to really pull off a gothic wedding, but the results can be quite striking when it’s done properly. Modern gothic style is a combination of Victorian fashion with an elegiac sensibility and just a smidgen of fairy-tale romance. Think black lace, red candles, skulls and ravens for the décor. The bridesmaids can carry black lace parasols, and don’t forget the eyeliner for the groomsmen. Makeup for the whole wedding party should be generous and messy. Make sure the signature drink at the reception is a blood-red concoction: a Bloody Mary or sangria, perhaps. Fangs are optional.

Fairy Tale

Bring a touch of the fantastical to your wedding with a fairy tale theme. An outdoor venue like a park–or better yet, your local Renaissance Festival–will give the proper atmosphere. Look to your old copy of Pierrot’s fairy tales for design cues: for example, you could have the bridesmaids wear red hooded cloaks and carry baskets of flowers.  Hand out bags of magic (jelly) beans as wedding favors. The décor should be all natural–garlands of branches, chains of flowers, vibrant greens, yellows, and reds as the colors.

If you and your significant other share a particular interest or aesthetic style, don’t hesitate to make it part of the wedding plan. Whether your reception is a hoedown or a Gothic poetry reading, your guests are sure to enjoy a non-traditional ceremony.