One of the earliest parts of the planning process, which can happen well ahead of booking your venue and hiring your vendors, is selecting the color scheme of your wedding. This is an exciting milestone because the colors you choose can truly set the tone for your entire day. If you’re planning a winter wedding, you’re in luck. It’s a magical time of the year, allowing for the deepest, richest and most glamorous color schemes. In fact, winter wedding colors might be some of our favorite.
“There is a level of coziness to a winter wedding that you can not achieve any other time of year: a crackling fire, boozy hot chocolate and hot toddy’s, deeper colors, and warm textures are so romantic, which is the perfect ambiance for a wedding!” says Kristen Gosselin, owner and creative director at KG Events & Design based in Martha’s Vineyard. “There’s more opportunity to create a more unique look since winter weddings are not as popular at other seasons.”
How to pick your winter wedding colors
When it comes to picking your winter wedding colors, here are some factors experts recommend considering:
The look and feel of your venue will dictate the tone of your wedding shades, notes Chanda Daniels, creative director and owner of A Monique Affair in Oakland, California. “You don’t want to commit to a color story without seeing what your venue looks like on the inside,” she says. “If you go blindly into it, you could be fighting against the whole thing, design wise.”
For this reason, she recommends picking your wedding style ahead of selecting your venue. “You would have to try really hard to execute a rustic wedding in a hotel ballroom,” she adds.
The location of your wedding
Daniels recommends factoring in the location of your wedding when it comes to availability of the flowers that are in your color story. “If you are trying to stay within a certain price for your wedding this is something to consider,” she says. Gosselin recommends researching which flowers are available and prominent in the winter season based on your location. “Basing a color palette around your favorite blue hydrangea flower is not realistic when planning a winter wedding!” she says. “Roses or carnations would best accommodate an all-white palette. Alternatively, she recommends adding winter berries to lend a more exotic range of colors.
The landscape of your wedding
Valerie Gernhauser, owner of Ruby and Pearl Events in New Orleans, recommends utilizing the environment surrounding your venue for inspiration. Are you in an urban center, with a bustling city all around? Or are you in a remote location, dancing under the stars with a tented reception? “If you are having an at-home celebration, consider which personal sentiments you can incorporate to bring even more meaning to your big day,” she says. While the interior can lend guidance, there are other factors to consider, too. “Don’t overlook the time, place, and surrounding areas to inform your wedding day vision,” Gernhauser adds.
“You may discover a color within a pattern that can play an important role in the color palette,” says Gosselin. If so, don’t hesitate to get creative and draw inspiration. “Patterns are a huge help in layering a space and adding texture and dimension to what meets the eye,” she adds.
Trending winter wedding colors for the 2021-2022 season
If you’re looking to the trends to help you decide on your winter wedding colors, here are the ones experts say are going to be big this year.
Perhaps the most famous color scheme for a winter wedding is the classic black tie. “Black and white are a timeless color combo that rules the day during the winter wedding season,” says Gernhauser. “Long black gowns, tuxedos with tails, and all the pomp and circumstance of a formal evening celebration can be dressed up even further with gloves, coats, hats, and jewels galore.”
“Deep colorful hues of sapphire, emerald, and ruby work wonderfully this time of year, when evening celebrations reign,” says Gernhauser. “These chic, rich jewel tones set the stage for a romantic and moody atmosphere that is super elegant.” Just be mindful of putting too many jewel tones together in the same space.
“You’ll want to avoid a color combo that is too easily identified with the holidays,” she adds. “Resist the temptation to bring emerald and ruby together.”
No matter the season, you can always choose to incorporate earth tones. These natural colors can easily yield a soft and romantic aesthetic. “We see so many requests for green and white weddings, but there is even more opportunity for charcoal gray, sky blue, and wood tones in furnishings to really set the stage for a naturally inspired winter wedding,” says Gerhauser.
Like earth tones, you can never go wrong with a neutral color palette, especially in the winter. “Whether you have snow falling outside (or wish there was!) neutrals in winter give the feeling of a cozy, familiar atmosphere. That lends itself to a sense of warmth and hospitality your guests might expect if they were being invited to a dinner in your own home,” says Gerhauser. “Creams, grays, whites and ivories are a natural choice for a winter wedding with a bit of depth, without overstating a claim to one color in particular.”
Contemporary and modern your ideal aesthetic? Gerhauser recommends a monochromatic color scheme to play up your winter wedding style. “All-white weddings make a powerful statement, when everything from the chairs to the linens and especially the flowers is white-on-white-on-white,” she says. “If you have a pop of color in mind, deck the space out in your favorite shade of blue, make a statement with magenta, or have a subtle sophistication with a pastel hue of your choice.”
Looking to level up the look? She recommends asking guests to wear something festive in your chosen color. This way, the event folds into a living, breathing monochromatic color story that packs a powerful punch.
Tips for weaving in your winter wedding colors
Once you’ve selected your winter wedding colors, it’s time to put things into action. Here are expert tips for incorporating that color scheme into your big day.
From the invitations to the day-of paper, you can start setting the tone for your color scheme. “Having your stationery on point for your color palette is something that each one of your guests will appreciate throughout the night,” says Gernhauser. “Keep the party going with custom go-cups and cocktail napkins, drink stirrers, and other bar accouterments that have your color palette in mind.”
Gerhauser recommends strategic uplighting around the room, which can highlight architectural features of your venue that are on-point for your color story. Or draw guests to an outdoor feature like a courtyard, where you can have additional seating options in your color scheme. “Lighting in amber tones is a nice compliment to any color palette you’d choose,” she says. “Bring attention to areas that are important to you by lighting them up.”
Bridal party attire
The color scheme you select will almost always be the inspiration for the attire worn by your bridal party. “Photos will turn out incredibly if the bouquets accent the dresses instead of offsetting them,” says Gosselin. “If the dresses and suits are matching, or at least cohesive, that will also be pleasing to the eye and the camera.”
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