Elements of Light Photography | DEAR BRIDE - Let's Talk Color Palettes

DEAR BRIDE - Let's Talk Color Palettes

May 31, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Dear Bride,

Let's talk about something basic - selecting colors for your wedding.  It sounds so simple, but has such an influence on every aspect of your wedding - oh, now I've gone and put the pressure on.  But, this is important, and that is the truth of it.

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I will start with two facts about me:  Fact #1:  I am not generally a pink kind of girl, unless it is Pink singing Janis Joplin, and then I'm all over it!  So, what was my wedding color way back in 1997?  You guessed it:  pink.  Why?  Because it was simple, readily available, looked good on my Maid of Honor, and with only 6 weeks to plan a wedding, I just went with it.  I don't regret my choice, but if I was to do it again, I would not choose pink.  What would I pick?

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Well, that brings me to fact #2 about me:  I would select some neutral colors if I was choosing wedding colors for my own wedding.  Again, you ask Why?  Because for me texture is everything, and neutral colors allow textures to shine!

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With those two facts in mind, let me assure you that I do not in any way think all brides who hire me should select neutral colors, nor am I in any way against choosing pink as your main wedding color.  In fact, what I encourage is that you choose wedding colors that express something about you and your interests and the way you want to be perceived.  

Since I'm not in any way advocating a particular color palette for weddings, what I really want to talk about is the process of choosing your colors.

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Lets start with the definition of the term palette:  Palette can refer to a range of colors used in a visual medium, in a picture, or by artist.  In the case of a wedding, your event is the visual medium.

So, you are looking for a range of colors, preferably that have some sort of theme and aesthetic harmony.  Where do you look for such a thing?

You can start with the internet, but please, I beg you, do not exclusively use Pinterest.  It is a great resource for visual stimulus and inspiration, but it lacks some depth in the practicalities of knowing why you are selecting certain colors - besides the fact that someone else already did it and you like it.

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One of my favorite places to go for color palette inspiration is FabMood.com  I've linked to their 2016 winter wedding paletts because it is a great example of what I mean about understanding the Why of your color choices.  Not only does this site show you great, interesting and harmonious palettes, but they take each palette and highlight what it does for you.  I strongly encourage you to use a resource like this as you select your wedding palette.  Here is the example of a palette I used from them to get me started on a winter wedding styled shoot, and also an photo collage of where we ended up based on that initial palette selection:


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Once you have your color palette, what do you do with it?  Well, if you have a wedding planner, take it to her (unless of course she already helped you to generate the palette so she already has it).  She will use it to build everything from grooms tie choices to floral choices to the color of linens for your tables.

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If you don't have a wedding planner, take that palette with you everywhere!  Show it to the florist, the caterer, the venue representative, the dress shop and the invitation maker.  Even show it to your makeup artist and hair person!  Provide a copy to everyone - it is easy enough to email or text a photo of exactly what you have in mind to all your vendors and helpers!  This will help you achieve a cohesive and visually pleasing (and visually peaceful) look to all of the things that surround you on your most important day!

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So, what does my advise boiled down to in a nutshell?  Start with a cohesive color palette and stick to it.  It will enhance the aesthetic of your wedding day as well as help to make your photos more enjoyable in the lifetime to come!


Time to give some credit where credit is due:  

The winter shoot collage has the following vendors:                                                The Dancers and Horses shoot has the following vendors

Stylist and florals:  Katalin Green Events                                                                 Stylists:  Reed & Lee and History In The Making

Venue:  Three Forks Mt, including The Sacajawea Hotel                                           Venue:  The Big Yellow Barn

Make-up Artist:  Alexa Mae                                                                                     Make-up Artist:  Fumi

Hair:  Brooklynn Studio                                                                                          Hair by:  Brooklynn Studio

Jewelry:  The Gem Gallery                                                                                      Florals by:  Wild Blume

Gown:  Jaclyn Jordan of New York



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