Wedding flowers evoke a sense of celebration. One of the most expressive ways to set the mood and style of your wedding is through color. We can’t think of anyone more qualified to dish advice on color than our very own Elianna Phelps. With a background in fine art, Elianna brings her expert knowledge of color theory, form, and composition to wedding floral design and styling. And after working in the luxury wedding industry for over half a decade, she’s helped numerous NYC brides realize their perfect wedding colors and style. Here, Elianna talks about all the creative and unique ways to incorporate gorgeous color into your big day!
Finding Your Wedding Colors. Where to Start?
I always advise our brides to avoid anything that seems really trendy. Begin by considering colors that you really love and have an emotional response to. You want to be able to look at your wedding photos twenty years from now and still be happy with what you see. Other factors to bear in mind include the time of year, venue, and color of your bridesmaids’ dresses. These early decisions should all play a role in determining your over all color scheme.
When I first started working with Rachel at Bride & Blossom, Pinterest was just taking off and there weren’t that many bridal blogs around. Today, there are so many great resources for inspiration out there. Pinterest, bridal blogs, and wedding magazines show mood boards and color palettes that are great springboards for ideas. For this reason, many clients have a sense of direction in terms of color when they come to us. But don’t worry if you only have a general idea! We are here to help hone the fine details. We work with many clients up to a year in advance of the wedding. If you see something else that you like or don’t respond to the colors in person during the planning phase, there’s certainly room for play and to change things up.
A Favorite Wedding Color Palette
I’m drawn to the darker, moody colors that have a Baroque feel and are usually ascribed to fall and winter. These colors have depth and complexity, but also require a little more work when used in a wedding décor and styling. And I love when a bride comes to us with a specific vision using colors that are totally unexpected! And we’ve done a lot of pretty weddings using just white with greenery accents, and combinations of blush, ivory, and champagne.
On the Classic White New York Wedding
If I had to use one color to describe the classic New York wedding, it would be white. Brides here just love their white! Justly so, white is timeless and never goes out of style. It’s a color that isn’t pinned down by season. An all white wedding is gorgeous, but a lot of brides have asked for greenery, which updates the look and adds a nice pop of color.
Using white? Keep This In Mind
I could do a whole post on the complexities of white flowers. Some clients want a ‘pure white’ wedding. Very few flowers that are pure white exist in the natural world, like Tibet roses, white Phalaenopsis Orchids, and white ranunculus. A lot of white flowers actually have hints of blush, cream, yellow or green.
Other variables such as the time of year, growing conditions, and lighting affect a flower’s whiteness. Also remember that most of the photos you see online have been digitally altered and do not represent the flower’s actual color. And there are many shades within the white spectrum such as ivory and cream.
The Colors of the Season
Each season is associated with a certain set of colors and mood. Once spring hits, we see clients using vibrant, more adventurous color schemes. This carries on through summer when we see a lot more use of greenery accents. During fall, neutrals along with shades of burgundy, wine, and deep purple become popular. Winter weddings are marked by white. Festive greenery and touches of red are often added to weddings that take place around the holidays. But some brides want to avoid looking ‘spirited’ and stick to all white with softer accents.
Year Round Color Schemes
I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard someone say, “my colors are blush, cream, and champagne.” A lot of our brides describe their style as romantic and elegant. This palette is perfect because it’s soft and feminine with a hint of color. And you can’t go wrong with classic white – its beautiful and stylish no matter what season it is.
Using Color to Set the Style and Tone of Your Wedding
Expressive and thoughtful use of color is a guaranteed way to convey a style and tone for you wedding. While we say there are no rules when it comes to wedding décor & styling, certain colors do work better with specific wedding styles.
Brides who want a black tie affair tend to be more conservative and classic. All white is a great choice. Jewel tone accents may seem a little adventurous, but when used in small doses, look very timeless and elegant.
For a romantic garden themed wedding, soft color schemes with pink, lavender, and cream with light greenery accents look lovely.
The modern chic bride isn’t afraid to be bold and with color often using a mix of white with saturated tones that really pop.
You have your flowers picked out. What other ways can you incorporate color into your wedding day?
A great place to incorporate color is on the table. Remember, with waiting for the wedding party to arrive, eating, and toasting the newlyweds, guests spend a good amount of time around the reception tables. Set the table with bold linens that compliment, not compete with your blooms. Specialty chargers always up the ‘wow’ factor. Colored glassware can really change the ambiance of a tablescape and looks beautiful in both natural light and candlelight. It’s all about the details, and these small changes have a huge impact on the look and feel of your wedding.
About That Silver and Gold
Gold and silver has always been around, we are just seeing it new and exciting iterations right now. Mixed metals are popular. Brides are completely open to having rose gold, silver, and even copper in the same design. The look is somewhat Bohemian chic, but still comes across as romantic, elegant, and totally wedding appropriate. More traditional ways to decorate with metals are with candelabras and mercury gold and silver vases.
Making the Most of Greenery Accents
There are so many versatile and beautiful ways to style with greenery. Greenery can be used just about everywhere from wedding arches and chuppahs to bouquets to centerpieces and table and chair garlands. We’ve even done suspended greenery, which totally transforms the atmosphere of a space. There are these amazing Caribbean cut leaves and palms that have a festive, tropical vibe and are fun to work with. Softer greenery from the eucalyptus family in a light sage hue has a very romantic, pretty feel. For a voluminous, fresh look, mix different types of greenery through out the ceremony and reception.
Color trends for 2018
I am excited to see people be a little more adventurous with their wedding colors. Neutrals are classic and not going anywhere. But I love seeing all the decorative possibilities that the darker jewel tones bring to the table. And they look absolutely gorgeous with all the metals we are seeing!
Wedding Flower Guide by Color Palette
Once you having your wedding colors picked out, you can start thinking about flowers! This flower guide will help you choose the right blooms to best express your wedding color palette.
Pure White – Phalaenopsis orchid, delphinium, stock, jumbo white hydrangea
All White – Rose, calla lily, ranunculus
All White with Greenery – See above plus freesia, lisianthus, dahlia, peony, sweet pea, white lilac
Moody – Deep purple and burgundy ranunculus, burgundy hearts rose, rose (various types are available in dark, moody shades), privet berries, dusty miller, purple scabiosa, chocolate comso, scabiosa pod, burgundy and purple dahlias
Jewel Toned – Purple anemone, purple and fuchsia Phalaenopsis orchids, blue muscari, purple sweet pea, dark purple stock
Soft, Blush, Champagne – Rose (vendela, mother of pearl, blush mondial, blush esther, quicksand, bridal akito, la pearla), blush kiera garden rose, blush gardenia peony, blush clooney ranunculus, blush japanese lisianthus, ivory hydrangea, cafe au lait dahlia