How to choose a colour scheme for your wedding

You're getting married and everyone wants to know: what's the colour scheme?


I remember this question from my own wedding. The first time someone asked, it was swiftly followed by feeling totally panicked because, like many brides, even though we had set a date and chosen a venue I hadn’t yet put any thought to a colour scheme.

I’m here to tell you not to panic. There is plenty of time to decide on the colours you’d like to use for your wedding day, and to help you, here are my 6 top considerations for finding the perfect palette:

1. The colours you love. A wedding colour scheme is present throughout the whole event; from your bridesmaid dresses, to bouquets and buttonholes, right down to invites, confetti and wedding favours, so you’ve got to like it! Your memories (and your wedding photos) will stay with you your whole life so the colours have to bring you happiness and joy. Perhaps have a peep in your own wardrobe to see what you’re drawn to, or even use the decor in your home as inspiration.

2. The venue. Are there any noticeable colours that you just can’t get away from? For example, what colours are in the curtains or the carpet? If the venue has a fairly neutral colour palette, then you have carte blanche to go with whichever colours of the rainbow take your fancy. If there are already strong colours as part of the fabric of the building, you might want to think about how it could be integrated into a colour palette that works for you. For example, if your venue has dark red furnishings you should consider which colours complement that shade of red. Your colour scheme should enhance the venue rather than work against it.

3. The people who will be wearing your wedding colours. Most people suit either cool colours or warm colours, so I advise trying to work out which is right for you and your wedding party. You can have a go yourself by holding up different shades to your face and seeing which ones light you up, or you could come to a colour specialist who can help guide you through the process and show you the most flattering shades. It’s also worth knowing that certain colours seem to look good on every skin tone and some of these colours include teal, blush pink, navy, aubergine and a true red.

4. Nature and the time of year. Look ahead to your wedding season; consider which colours will be present in nature at that time of year and which flowers will be in bloom. If you’ve picked Autumn (like I did) you’ll know that the leaves will be turning on the trees, so any outdoor shots will have this as a backdrop. For a late season wedding, with all the colours of autumn blazing around you, pastel or summer colours in a bouquet or bridesmaids dresses could look out of place.

5. The mood you’d like to set. The colours you choose will have a huge impact on the vibe of the event. If you’d like to create real drama, you would use a totally different colour palette than if you were going for good old fashioned romance. To use mood as a starting-point for your colour scheme, think about the ideal atmosphere you’d like to create and then think about the colours that would put you in that mind set.

6. The colour wheel. You might have painted a colour wheel in an art lesson years ago which shows how all colours are connected to one another. To use the colour wheel, choose colours that are side by side on the wheel, think as azure, cyan and verdigris, or opposites such as turquoise and coral.

My final piece of advice is: don’t overthink it. For some couples, the colour scheme runs through every single aspect of the wedding, but you can also choose to use it as more of a guideline than a rule. This way, you have more flexibility in your choices and you don’t have to stress over everything being too ‘matchy matchy’.

Becky Barnes is a Bristol based style coach. Find out more about Becky at 

Photos by Viktoria Kuti.