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Colors | Manolo for the Brides - Part 4
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Purple and Red, the New Brown and Blue?

Over the past few seasons, the color combination of chocolate brown and Tiffany, robin’s egg, or baby blue has reigned supreme. Now, though, it seems folks are ready for a change. The hot new color combo according to the gurus is purple and red.

This colorway can wind up looking like you’re getting married in the middle of a meeting of the Red Hat Society:
Red Hat Society but it doesn’t have to. Don’t believe me? Take a look after the cut and see the possibilities.

Wedding Colors and the Mood of the Reception

Choosing a wedding color scheme can be difficult, and not just because there is an infinite rainbow of hues from which to draw inspiration. It’s simply that it can be tough to tell what impact your wedding colors will have on the mood of your ceremony and reception ahead of time. Unless you have your heart set on a palette, consider waiting until you’ve chosen your wedding reception venue to pick your wedding colors… particularly if the venues you’re considering all have colored carpets and other decorative touches that will stand out on their own.

However, even before you pick three or four or even more colors for your wedding, you should be thinking about the color families and levels of contrast that appeal to you in conjunction with the kind of wedding you want to have. Are you a bride who adores uber formal weddings? Or would you be happiest having a more rustic affair? Think carefully before you answer, because the colors you choose for your wedding palette will have a strong impact on the mood of your wedding!

To illustrate this point, I present what are essentially two identical wedding reception tables; the only thing very different about them is the color schemes used. First, a wedding reception table done up in pink and green.

pink and green wedding reception

My first impression is that of a daytime wedding, maybe one taking place either out of doors or in a light and airy greenhouse. The colors say springtime to me, though this particular color scheme would perfectly suit a summertime wedding. I’m picturing a bride in a not too elaborate wedding dress, maybe something a little shorter than is typical. The bridesmaids might be in a very light green or in unmatching white frocks. All in all, it strikes me a playful, fun, and not too too fancy wedding.

red wedding reception table

This red and white wedding reception table, on the other hand, looks more like it comes from an evening wedding to me, and I think it could be a much more formal function than the one pictured above. Why? For one thing, the colors are darker and deeper, and the lack of extreme contrast (red on red vs. pink on green) feels more elegant. I imagine the bride who chose this wedding reception table might also choose a more formal and traditional wedding dress for what would likely be a quite elegant wedding.

Isn’t that fascinating?

Images courtesy of Rebecca Thuss for Martha Stewart Weddings.

LOVE/HATE: The Deep Purple Edition

Most wedding decor palettes are cut with white or cream or a similarly benign color, most probably because it’s easier to source vividly hued napkins for the reception tables than it is to find tablecloths in that perfect shade. Or satin tablecloths bordered with a fringe and matching chair covers, for that matter. For that, you need Revelry Event Designers and Tabella.

purple reception tables

purple reception tables 2

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Seriously, what’s not to love about this table? You tell me!

(via Ines Del Mar Weddings)

A Mature, Elegant Palette

Much like the gray and yellow wedding palette, the red and gray wedding palette is sophisticated and elegant. But the red (unlike the yellow) adds something of a maturity. I’d choose gray and yellow for an afternoon wedding, especially one taking place out of doors, while I’d choose red and gray for an evening wedding, one that might be a little more upscale.

I like this color combo more than I like red and black, because red and black can be a little jarring if too much is used alongside white. The gray tones the whole thing down a bit without sacrificing any of the visual interest or drama. Particularly if you’ve chosen a deeper shade of gray.

red and gray wedding invitations

These beautiful red and gray wedding invitations from Peculiar Pair Press were inspired by the copper facade of the new DeYoung museum in San Francisco, which is where (I think) the reception might have been taking place. It’s a creative idea — if you’re having custom invitations designed, why not incorporate some element of your wedding venue into the final product?


Sharp and Pretty: Pink and Green

I wear a lot of black and gravitate toward darker colors, but I’m still of the opinion that if you’re going to choose a bright color palette — for daily wear or a wedding color scheme — then go all the way! You can’t get much brighter than a cerise combined with a lime, a scheme that comes with the added benefit of beautiful contrast AND the ability to make whites pop like crazy. Take a look at Lauren and Jim’s pink and green wedding, which featured gorgeous flowers by the talented Krista Jon and was photographed by Greg Wyatt.

pink and green bouquet


A Little Bit of Happy, A Little Bit of Drama

My favorite wedding color scheme pairings are those that are just a tad unexpected, usually because the two or three or more colors chosen are not typically seen together. Other color combos are surprising because of the extreme visual contrast between the hues, while some are a little shocking because the chosen colors are seldom combined in decor or fashion or art or weddings.

One unexpected wedding color combination I’ve been loving lately is yellow and gray, where the yellow is bright and/or cheerful and the gray is either quite muted or so in-your-face as to be practically silver. Both work brilliantly, though for different reasons. Plus, yellow and silver were big late last year and early this year, so there’s no shortage of wedding accessories for the bride and groom who want to rock this combo. If you like it or think you may love it, here are some images that may inspire you.

yellow and gray bridesmaids

Sometimes bridesmaids wear yellow and wear gray accessories, and sometimes bridesmaids wear gray or silver and carry yellow bridesmaids’ bouquets. These bridesmaids photographed by Stephanie Williams wore a soft gray AND yellow! (via)


Why Not Upset the Apple Cart?

Mention an apple themed bridal shower or wedding, and the minds of those listening will likely conjure up images of shiny red apples, perhaps as part of a larger fall motif. Autumn is, of course, a wonderful time to feature apples in one’s wedding decor. Here in New England, apple picking season is in full swing, so one could conceivably choose all of the apples in the reception decor oneself. However, my own preference is for tart green skinned apples, which to me are much more evocative of springtime or even early summer rather than fall.

To that I say “So what?” There’s no rule stating that an autumn themed wedding must be held in November or that a wedding featuring a wintertime palette can’t be scheduled for the middle of July. A green apple themed wedding (or bridal shower) is bright and cheerful no matter what the time of year. Here are some images meant to inspire those who like me love green apples, though one could substitute almost any fruits.

green apple cupcakes

First, there’s the shower. Basic fondant apples like these from Sweet Thing are easy to craft since they’re nothing but a sphere with a bit of a butt on the bottom and a bit of chocolate string licorice stuck on top. This sort of thing is great for the DIY MOH.


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