Color Me Beautiful by Sasha Souza
COLOR ME BEAUTIFUL
written by Sasha Souza
Celebrity wedding designer and color expert Sasha Souza shares her secrets for selecting the perfect wedding palette.
Most brides already have an idea of their wedding palette in mind before they even get engaged. That’s because color is so deeply rooted in who we are—our personality, our preferences, our individual essence. Which means that brides can and probably should decide on their wedding colors early on in their wedding planning process.
What colors we like and what colors we do not like can elicit a strong reaction in others (because, of course, they have their own deeply held color preferences). As a result, sharing your idea of your favorite colors can sometimes prove to be a source of conflict. For this reason, wedding colors are something that should be decided upon by the bride and groom without an excessive amount of input from others.
Choosing your wedding colors is a natural first step in creating the overall look and feeling of your wedding—a wedding that truly reflects who you and your fiancé are as individuals and as a couple. And by choosing your colors early, you will be setting the tone and the stage for everything that follows, including your gown, flowers, table linens, lighting, décor, invitations, even your cake.
Choose Your Hues
With so many colors to choose from, selecting a few specific hues can be an extremely daunting task. Let’s take red, for example. The first thing to realize is that there isn’t one single color red—there are thousands of shades of red, and every other color for that matter. If red is your favorite color, chances are that you are not looking to have a wedding full of primary red, but variations on the color that are either lighter or darker. Many red shades can be described easily by using food names: candy apple, strawberry, rhubarb, cherry. Perhaps you want to accent your preferred shade of red with the color green. If you tell somebody you’re having a red and green wedding, they will immediately think of Christmas. But if you tell them that your wedding will be lime and candy-apple red, it creates a completely different visual, and a different reaction in family member, friends and vendors with whom you discuss your event.
When choosing the colors you will use in your wedding, make sure to look around your home, your closet, your car. What are the prevailing colors you surround yourself with? Are most of your sweaters in shades of plum? Do you have a favorite azure-and-tangerine-toned pillow? Are your walls painted shades of burnt sienna with accents of eggshell? If so, you could use these cues as your inspiration to create your perfect wedding palette.
When Is White Right?
If you love white for your wedding simply because, well, you love white, then that is exactly the color you should have. If you are defaulting to white because you think it will be “just fine,” then it’s time to look at other colors that would make your wedding feel more like your wedding.
It’s rare to find a bride and groom who just don’t care what the colors of their wedding will be. Instead, many simply default to white because they don’t know how to mix the colors they love and blend them into one seamless event palette. It’s this fear of color that keeps some couples telling their event planner or catering director, “White will be just fine.” But is it “fine” or are you excited about it? That should be the key question you ask yourself before deciding to go with white linens, white wood folding chairs, white napkins neatly folded upon white china, and that bouquet of white flowers you hold in front of your white gown.
One way to keep some white in your wedding but still punch up the color is by choosing a colored table linen and accenting it with a white chair and white flowers with a bit of the linen color mixed in. This will make the white look brighter and the color pop instead of everything fading into each other. Another way you can do this is by substituting metallic tones such as silver or nickel for basic white, which adds a sophisticated and stylish dimension to your design, and a decidedly “special-occasion” feeling to your festivities.
Picture it: The combination of silver chiavari, ocean-blue tablecloth, cream centerpiece container and flowers in tones of cream, pearl and eggshell mixed with robin’s-egg blue accents, creates a rich and textured look that is so much more engaging than a simple white chair, white linen, and blue flowers in a glass container. You haven’t added more elements, you haven’t spent more money, you’ve just slightly altered your palette, and in the process taken your tablescape from ordinary to extraordinary.
Is It Trendy, Or Is It You?
Color trends tend to start with fashion (what you wear), and trickle down to home goods (how you decorate), until eventually they show up in weddings. In my own wedding design practice, the hottest recent color trend has been a blend of plum-and-peacock shades. Six to 12 months from now, it may be something else entirely.
There is no right or wrong answer to the question of whether you should follow a color trend, or go with the colors you love. Indeed, if you follow wedding blogs, pore over wedding publications, and devour wedding books with the passion of many of today’s brides, you’ll soon realize that there are so many color “trends” in any given season, some version of your favorite colors are likely to be represented in there somewhere.
In a nutshell, the colors you choose should speak to you and should make you feel excited. You should love looking at them in a look book or on a palette. If you can accomplish that early on as a first step in the vast array of wedding planning details, it will make every other step less stressful and more enjoyable for you and your vendors.
Sasha Souza is the owner of Sasha Souza Events (www.sashasouzaevents.com). She and her wedding design work have appeared on “The Early Show” (CBS), “Primetime” (ABC), “Inside Edition” and the Style Network’s “Whose Wedding is it Anyway?” Her newest book, “Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design” (Beaufort Books, 2010) is available at amazon.com.
This article was published by Weddings in Houston Magazine.