Monday, February 2, 2009

How to select your wedding colors

The exciting art of selecting colors for the wedding. Selecting colors can be an overwhelming experience.

When CMG forecasts the colors for the new year, they enlist over 400 of their members from around the world at two international conferences. The influences of their choices range from the economy, world events, politics and even technology. The best way to get started on your wedding colors is to create a color board like the one above used at this year’s CMG forecasting conference. To create a color board use any pictures that inspire you, then display them together. I do this on my walls and mirrors, whatever works for you.

If you don't like the color board, then I suggest starting simple - Home Depot simple. You can go to any paint store that gives away free swatches, but the HD has a great display of the Ralph Lauren paints. Ralph seems to have the best tones and the richest colors. Start by grabbing all the colors that appeal to you, even if you are unsure.

Do not try to make decisions at Home Depot; take the free swatches and go elsewhere. Color should be looked at outdoors to really see the depth and tone. I recommend taking all the swatches out into the backyard or to a park and laying them out on the ground. Simply move all the colors you love into one pile. Then throw away the other pile. Decisions like these should be quick; don’t convince yourself to like something.
You should try to select colors in odd numbers, groups of 3 or 5. I would avoid 7 all together unless you have a Cinco de Mayo theme in mind. If you ever question if the colors you like go together, simply look to nature. A photo book on flowers can give you some great insight into what colors work well together.
Typically the trends start in fashion and trickle down from there. Check out fashion magazines to see what colors are popular. Aside from paint swatches, check out Pantone colors ( to see online colors and predictions. CMA is also a great source for color forecasting. What’s in store for 2009? According to CMA it’s all about purple. Pantone is predicting Mimosa to be the color driver of the year. What do you think?

If you aren’t typically drawn to color at all, don’t force it. A monochromatic scheme (defined by Webster as having or consisting of one color or hue) can transform your favorite color into an entire palette for the wedding. When choosing a monochromatic concept, always make sure the colors are one tone off from the last one. Solid colors can also work wonders and help if you are on strict budget. Ever hear of Puff Daddy’s White Party in the Hamptons? An entire party focused on one color - how fun is that? Whatever you choose, remember to select colors early on, and be sure to take the swatches with you when selecting bridesmaid dresses, flowers, menu cards and the cake, to name a few. Good luck!

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