Using Color Psychology in Your Wedding

Color Me Surprised

Picking colors for your wedding can seem like a fun task until you’re knee-deep in color swatches without a decision in sight. Instead of limiting yourself to choosing between shades of Toasted Marshmallow and Sandy Beach, you may want to consider incorporating some color psychology into your color scheme to achieve the perfect vibe for celebration.

In a nutshell, color psychology is the study of the mental and emotional effects colors can have on the behavior and mood of a person. While there is certainly a lot of thought put into color theory, you don’t have to be an expert to put it to use. By having a basic understanding of what colors mean, you can achieve more of your desired effect with way less work.

Let’s start with the two categories of colors—warm and cool. Red, orange, and yellow all go into the warm category, known for their bright appearance and rousing stimulation from their audience. Green, blue, and purple go into the cool category, known for invoking feelings of serenity and calmness. Some colors may fit in between categories —like mauve or electric blue—which causes the meanings to stray a bit. That’s where preference comes into play.

Depending on your culture or life experiences, certain colors may have different meanings to you than to others. While black may be seen as elegant and formal, some cultures consider it to be bad luck as it symbolizes death or destruction. Doing research on colors before making any important decisions is important. But how much research do you really have to do? Not much, because we’ve already started it for you. Here are some basic introductions to the main stars of the color wheel—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

Let’s start with the warm colors.

Red is bold. It is the color of passion and love, used excessively on days like Valentine’s and anniversaries in the form of flowers and candy hearts. Red symbolizes strength and power; it brings about an energizing vibe and will grab the attention of its audience with ease.

No matter the shade chosen, red should be paired with a neutral color to balance out its vibrant energy so as not to induce a headache. Another option would be to accompany it with similar shades that complement it instead of fighting for the spotlight, such as pairing deep red with a carmine. Other colors like gold or dark taupe go nicely with most reds in general, both combinations feel warm and romantic.

Orange is a friendly color, not as strong as red and not as bright as yellow. It is the color of rejuvenation and success, a happy medium between stimulation and contentment. Orange is also tied to nature, seen as the color of changing leaves during autumn and pumpkins waiting to be carved.
When selecting orange, looking at different intensities can open doors for unexpected pairings. For example, lighter orange pairs nicely with a shade of charcoal or dark brown. Though if you want a more daring choice, pairing brighter orange with a calm teal can create a refreshing palette, but don’t forget to throw in a neutral shade for balance.

Yellow is easy to understand with its bright and cheerful disposition. It is the color of optimism and hope, always there to remind you of warm smiles and sunny afternoons in the park.

If you’re looking for a nature-inspired look with a pop of color, consider using olive green and yellow. Though, if green isn’t your style, shy dusty blues make great companions to energetic yellow by balancing the color’s energies and creating a harmonious pairing.

Now, on to the cool colors.

Green is the color of growth. The color of Springtime, an indicator of life and healing. As a recent favorite in the world of fashion, shades of green such as sage and emerald have become popular choices for attire and accessories, especially for weddings.

Picking green as your main color is one of those decisions that has little room for error. Even by itself, it is a color that brings about an air of tranquility. If you select sage, pastel pink makes for a graceful combination that is light and soft. If emerald is your pick, a sparkling metallic can look refined and create a glamorous pairing without too much noise. No matter which shades you select, green will always bring a feeling of balance with it.

Blue is the color of Truth. It is the color of the sea, either calm and still or stormy and dramatic. Though it may be synonymous with being sad, its solemn nature doesn’t necessarily have to be negative.

Navy blue paired with another cool color, such as desert sage, and white creates a beautiful palette. The contrast between the navy and the white makes for a classy look that just oozes sophistication. Another option is to use a metallic instead, which changes the sophistication into glamorous— for those of us that like to add a bit of sparkle into everything we do.

Purple is the color of imagination. It is often tied to spirituality and seen as the color of introspection. Being curious and looking for adventure is what purple stands for. Luxury, and at one time– royalty, was also represented by purple—many shades being dark and rich, with an extravagant air.

You can go either direction when looking for colors that complement purple. If you want something warm, you should look at plum and gold or deep lilac and light magenta. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a cooler combination, lilac and sage or royal purple and slate gray both make lovely options to consider.

With all that in mind, be sure to remember that color psychology should be useful as a tool instead of a rule. Too much emphasis on its theory can result in something not entirely to your liking. These interpretations have room for alteration and are not meant to hinder creativity.

By using these color interpretations as a guide, finding the right color scheme for your special day should be a breeze.

Author: Emily Saldivar