Crash Course on Color

Your wedding day should symbolize who you are, which means sometimes soft neutral tones work perfectly and other times you ought to stray from the classics. Michelle Cousins, founder of Michelle Leo Events, makes the case for bright shades, vibrant hues and bold patterns, no matter the season, venue or vibe.  

Bold Patterns
Photo by Megan Robinson

The first step to choosing a color scheme for your nuptials is factoring in the celebration’s star: you. “Evaluate who you are as a person and who you are as a couple,” Cousins says. “Ask yourself how your family and friends would describe you, then determine how you want your colors to make everyone in attendance feel.” Your palette plays an important role in setting the mood of your party, so consider the style and atmosphere you’re hoping to accomplish, as well as tones that help tell the story of your relationship.

Bold Patterns
Photo by Megan Robinson

Everyone has a Pinterest board, so it’s easy to get carried away with ideas you see in other weddings. But just because you love a fresh or unexpected idea online doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for your wedding. “You want your color palette to reflect who you are, not what year you got married,” Cousins says. “You’re going to spend the rest of your life with these photos. It’s one thing to be inspired by art and design; it’s another to base decisions solely on of-the-moment aesthetics.” Ask what colors make you happy, and go from there.

Photo by Heather Nan

If you find a venue that you love, but it clashes with your colors, you can either switch up a hue or two in your palette or neutralize the venue. “There are many ways to counterbalance unwanted elements in a venue,” explains Cousins. “From draping the perimeter of the room with minimalistic, natural linens to providing soft lighting in neutral tones, there are always ways to customize a venue and make it work for you.”

Bold Patterns
Photo by Betsy Newman

“Once we determine in which season the wedding will take place, we can start curating the vibe and the venue,” explains Cousins. When couples begin the planning process with specific designs in mind but with no place to put them, Cousins uses their wish list to perfectly pair them with an event space. “For example, if a couple knows they want adventurous pops of color in their palette, I might suggest 4U Ranch (pictured) or River Bottoms Ranch because their neutral color schemes provide a blank slate that won’t compete with stand-out hues.” 

Bold Patterns
Photo by Pepper Nix

“The final decisions on your big day should all come down to who you are as an individual and as a couple,” says Cousins. “If a bride describes herself and her husband as happy, bold, quirky or lively, in my experience they tend to be drawn to the warmer, bolder, ‘happier’ tones,” Cousins explains. “Wherein the couple who describes their dream wedding as something timeless and romantic tends to be drawn toward cooler, moodier tones with an abundance of classic whites.” And remember, there are no “right” hues—the best picks will be the ones that excite you most. 

For more out-of-the-box inspiration, click here.

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