Best Wedding Colors From Real Celebrations
A wedding doesn’t have to revolve around white. It can revolve around teal, yellow, poppy, and peach, too. In fact, choose a color scheme that is unique and your event will stand out, come together like a breeze, and put your guests in the mood for the festivities to come. To get you inspired, start here with this roundup of some of our favorite palettes, along with a glimpse at how couples worked them into their big days.
Black and White
For her October wedding, Martha Stewart Weddings deputy art director Genevieve Panuska collaborated with her fiancé, Scott Harper, CEO of a home-décor sales firm, to create a color scheme that fit both of their aesthetic preferences: Genevieve’s rustic tastes and Scott’s elegant sensibilities.
Genevieve edged the entire white wedding stationery suite in black ink, and closed the envelopes with black wax-seal stickers. For a playful touch, under the flap she printed one standout word: Finally! “I get a kick out of little design elements like that,” she says.
A Relaxed Scene
Local black, white, and beige plants and flowers in narrow vases graced bare wooden tables and adorned each napkin. “Genevieve picked pieces of simple beige grass from the island’s fields and said, ‘This is what I love,’” recalls her florist, Krishana Collins. “So we created wild-meets-cultivated compositions.”
Instead of serving a traditional cake, the couple opted for a variety of options, including an on-palette rich chocolate tart served with whipped cream.
When Saron and Neal decided to get hitched on her family’s cattle farm in Mississippi in April, they chose a romantic and rustic color palette of muted pastels to fit the natural environment.
Stationer Katie Hyatt, of Signora e Mare, drew sprigs of greenery on invitations and kraft favor bags. To add a springtime touch to the reception area, lavender sachets were scattered about.
Touch of Color
Saron’s business partner, bridesmaid—and impromptu stylist—Alee Franklin Willis, redesigned the bridal gown with yards of silk chiffon in shades of gray. “My mom did all of the sewing and also worked layers of tulle from her wedding veil into the gown, too,” says the bride.
The couple made Mississippi-shaped clay ornaments in the color scheme at a local pottery studio for guests as takeaway tokens.
Teal, Berry, and Brown
Schoolteachers Leanna and Matthew decided on the natural setting of a Hudson Valley vineyard for their June nuptials. Their wedding colors were inspired by a Liberty of London print that wove its way into many different elements of their day’s décor.
Leanna crafted the ring pillow from three very special fabrics: the Liberty of London print, a piece of her own wedding dress, and the groom’s baby blanket.
The guest book customized with help from a rubber stamp was set out with teal pens for writing well-wishes.
On-palette favors showcased rock candy and Champagne bubbles.
Blue, White, and Poppy
When a crafts stylist plans her own celebration, you can expect lots of palette-perfect DIY décor. Blake, with help from hubby Chris, went above and beyond to create a dream New York City spring wedding with a combo of hues that brought life to the party. Blue and white were the main stars of the color scheme, but poppy floral additions were a nice way to add some contrast and style to the bash.
Sweet DIY Suite
The bride painted the blue-and-white floral pattern on a piece of paper, scanned it, added text, and then printed the invitations herself. Thank-you cards featured another pattern that Blake designed.
Big Impact Bar
To create this bold backdrop for the bar, Blake reproduced the flowers from her original design, magnifying them and printing them onto matte paper using a large-format printer. She then affixed the blooms to a wall with blue painters’ tape.
Half and Half Favors
Partygoers left with custom bars from Chocolate Editions that were half salted dark chocolate (the bride’s favorite), half caramelized white (the groom’s pick). A poppy-colored tie secured the personalized blue-and-white label wrapped around the candy gift.
Yellow, Gray, Pink, and Chocolate
For Sarah and Kelly’s big day, the couple headed to the bride’s native NoCal coastline. At their Big Sur soirée in October, they chose a rustic color scheme that complemented the hues of the gorgeous trees and sweeping seaside views. Camp-y DIY décor and gifts were a sweet touch to their refined affair.
Big Sur Stationery
Parts of the suite, designed by the bride’s sister who runs Wylie West Creative, were modeled on vintage Big Sur postcards and signs. It came with an “Adventure Guide” that had hiking trails and a mushroom-foraging cheat sheet on one side and a hand-drawn map on the other. Gold foil accents added a bit of flair.
Beautiful Bridal Party
Sarah’s bridesmaids wore gray Monique Lhullier gowns and clutched fragrant bouquets of rosemary, bay leaves, and olive branches. The flower girls, her nieces, donned white wax flowers and rosemary crowns and blush Seahorse by Watters frocks. “The olive branches and rosemary came from my parents’ farm,” says the bride, who wore a gown by Olia Zavozina.
With help from her sister and groom-to-be, Sarah crafted mini dream catchers for escort cards. In fact, she was still making the last of them in the car on the way to Big Sur!
Navy and White
NYC-based couple Gillian and William chose a fitting palette for their July wedding at Gillian’s parents’ waterfront home in Connecticut. The avid sailors turned to navy and white, and mixed in nautical motifs, to bring their celebration to life.
The “Almost” Getaway Car
En route to the event, guests passed the navy getaway car with its navy-and-white “Almost Married” sign that was later turned around to reveal “Just Married.”
Tables were covered with natural linen and topped with overflowing arrangements of white hydrangeas and garden roses. Each number was crafted from on-palette seashells by Gillian’s mom, who also designed shell frames for the celebration’s signage (say that six times fast!).
Ice Cream Cart
Gillian’s sister and maid of honor Laura, a pastry chef, stocked her bike cart with ice cream sandwiches for late-night snacks. The cart featured customized placards in blue and white.
Black, White, and Gold
Glamour was the keyword for Megan and David’s Louisville nuptials at the 21c Museum Hotel. Their black-and-white décor was brushed with touches of gold to add elegance to the early fall evening.
Crafts-store-sourced magnolias were sprayed gold and tied to the chairs that lined the aisle at the ceremony. In terms of other decorations, “We didn’t have to do much,” notes David of the 21c. “The atmosphere was already there.”
To pay tribute to their Kentucky roots, horse figurines, sprayed gold, stood mid-trot above each place setting. Other table ornamentation included mercury-glass votives and porcelain blooms.
Sage, Peach, and Mustard
Maggie and Bryan came back to their college town where they first met for their retro Georgia wedding. The pair both studied at the Savannah College of Art & Design, so they were well equipped to tackle the many DIYs within their southern spring palette. Inspired by their train station location, they pulled each of their hues from elements of the building’s architecture.
Maggie took the calligraphy-free route and put her Adobe Illustrator skills to work for their invites. She also made program fans, favor packaging, drink signs, cocktail napkins, and passes for a photo booth. In the process, she may have landed herself a fledgling side business: “A couple of friends have since asked me to do their wedding invitations,” Maggie says.
A Timely Welcome
A welcome station reinforced the day’s theme with a ledger-style guest book, a set of clocks showing the time in the three cities they’ve both inhabited (Colombia, Savannah, and Brooklyn—all EST, but a cute touch nonetheless), and family photos on a wire postcard holder.
Glass votives and pails of snapdragons, ranunculus, euphorbia, variegated ivy, chamomile, craspedia, and alstroemeria in the wedding colors enlivened tabletops, while string lights dangled from the ceiling.
Mocha, Pink, and White
Wedding planner Steven Moore took on his more important job after he proposed to his girlfriend Jamie DeBell. The pair collaborated to create a wedding day that fit their fall colors. While the pink and white elements throughout their décor added romance and elegance to their soirée, the brown gave their palette a rustic element that was suitable for their Washington farm celebration.
The couple’s bespoke monogram was based on the packaging of legendary Parisian patisserie Ladurée and set the tone for the stationery. “Calligraphy can feel so formal, so we tempered it by using humble kraft paper,” says Steve. The invitations were embellished with wax seals, vintage postage stamps, and custom maps he watercolored.
After the ceremony, a band led everyone to the barn, where boxes of French macarons waited at guests’ seats. The reception vibe was created with rustic elements that were offset by elegant touches: Tall tapers stood in antique candleholders, and baby’s breath was used en masse for a dramatic effect.
The newlyweds headed off in a 1957 Rolls-Royce tied with paper pom-poms they made themselves.
Black, White, and Green
For their wedding at the landmark Raleigh Hotel in Miami, Gracia and Dan chose simple colors that would convey a mix of class and modernity. To add a touch of springtime to their April affair, green was peppered into the alfresco reception décor.
Daniel, a TV art director and graphic designer, relied on both his heart and his designer’s eye for the invitations. With the flourished lettering, he aimed to capture the couple’s bold style and shared sense of fun. He also included a typeface used in the work of one of their favorite artists, Lawrence Weiner. “I love how it turned out—masculine, but romantic,” says Gracia.
Guests’ goody bags were filled with toiletries and a beloved children’s book. Daniel contributed postcards, too, which everyone mailed back to the newlyweds.
The flower girls held sweet bouquets made up of paper blossoms bound with striped ribbon.
Turquoise, Red, and White
This bright palette was the match made in heave for Vanessa and Calvin’s fun September California wedding. Vanessa, a graphic designer, used it as inspiration to create an entire décor scheme with punchy elements that made their three-day celebration unforgettable.
Vanessa designed this playful stationery suite, including a note (top left) alerting guests to the couple’s wedding website and a save-the-date postcard with one of their engagement photos (second row). The multilayered invitation (third row) started out as another shot of the bride and groom with a map on the back. Recipients unfolded it to see the event details (pictured), then undid it again to reveal a poster of paper hearts inside a Mason jar. The enclosed R.S.V.P. card (bottom) featured a word search including “kiss” and “smile.”
The other side of a magnetic board held the seating cards: pins (created with a button maker) printed with guests’ names and affixed to stamped card-stock cutouts.
In lieu of signing a guest book, partygoers circled their names in a giant word search made by the bride’s brother (also a graphic designer) and mounted on an easel.
Blue, Red, and Khaki
This couple prepped for their celeb-filled Martha’s Vineyard wedding (guests included Bill Clinton and Malcolm McDowell!) by choosing a preppy palette appropriate for the seaside location. Bride Lilly made sure to add many personal DIY touches to her September affair that nicely incorporated all the colors.
Using the wedding colors, event planner Emily Kelly printed “memorabilia,” including nautical-themed invitations, airmail envelopes, and RSVPs scanned from old postcards.
Lilly used red-and-white ticking from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores on the tables, plus linen napkins stenciled in blue with words and locales significant to the couple. “I loved getting my girlfriends involved in all the details,” says Lilly. “To make these napkins, I had a stenciling party. I’ve always been very visual and hands-on, so this wedding was a dream come true!”
All-American Dessert Display
Instead of a cake, the couple served red and blue berry pies and tarts from a local baker.
Pink, Black, and White
Florist Courtney and her fiancé Jose wanted to have a showstopping celebration for their San Francisco nuptials. Their July wedding color scheme mixed a classic black-and-white palette with a pop of pink to add some fun and Parisian romance to their reception.
The couple’s friend painted the monogrammed Parisian backdrop for the dessert bar, which had a scrumptious spread of cookies, cakes, cotton candy, and more.
Courtney and Jose even made their Champagne tower on-palette by using rosé.
Pretty in Pink
Courtney and Jose’s cocktail reception featured centerpieces of garden roses, dahlias, carnations, and sweet peas with black-and-white striped matchbook keepsakes placed nearby.