Choosing the Right Colors for Your Wedding

We all have favorite colors. When we're choosing a pair of socks or a belt, it's easy to pick out the shades we love, but when it comes to planning our wedding, things get a bit more complicated. There are so many factors to consider.

Suddenly, you have to start thinking like a designer, and it's not enough to just pick a color, any color. A good color scheme, or palette, will tie together all the decorating choices you make for your wedding. You have to choose a primary color, and one or two secondary colors.

More than two secondary colors will make your palette too busy. Some designers will even tell you that only one secondary color should be used. However, two secondary colors can work, particularly if they are two different shades of the same color, or variations of your primary color. On the other hand, a popular trend in wedding design today is to choose two colors that contrast dramatically, like baby blue and chocolate brown, or lavender and mint green. "Visually, the effect of these contrasts is stunning," says design expert Le Rhee, of Le Rhee Bouquets, makers of high-end silk flower bouquets. "Brides who really want to make a statement about their personal style love our Sunflower and Spur Bouquet, which combines yellow sunflowers with blue larkspurs to amazing effect.

" Discovering the Perfect Colors for YOU Because color schemes so often start with a favorite flower, many brides consult with floral designers like Le Rhee in order to help them develop their palettes. A designer may begin this process by asking you to look within yourself to find the colors that best represent who you are, and that best compliment your personal colors (hair color, eye color, etc). For example, blondes should stay away from yellows that make them look washed out, however, if you have dark hair and dark skin, yellow can be a radiant addition to your palette. Just as important as reflecting who you are is reflecting how you feel. Color can set a tone and strike a mood, so you must, must, must choose a palette that is going to put all your guests in the same mindset as you.

For example, reds and oranges and yellows create a mood of excitement and fun, while pale blues and greens create a mood of peace and harmony, and metallic colors bring cool elegance to the event. By choosing the right colors, you will actually be able to direct the feel and flow of your ceremony and your reception. Working with Your Surroundings If the introspective color search isn't cutting it, designers suggest that marrying couples look to their surroundings to find inspiration. For example, each season has colors that compliment it best. Consider metallics and brilliant reds in the winter, and green and yellow ? the colors of growth and life ? in the summer.

In autumn, Le Rhee Bouquets suggests the stunning oranges and reds of changing leaves with their Persimmon Fall Bouquet. Location will also be a consideration. Maybe you're getting married in the lodge where you first met. In this case, browns and greens should make up your palette.

Or maybe the ceremony is at the butterfly conservatory where he proposed. In this case, tropical pinks, like those found in Le Rhee's gorgeous Hawaiian Wedding Bouquet, will turn the scene into a slice of paradise. The beach? Perfect for pearly whites and cool blues, like those found in Le Rhee's Pool Blue Colorful Bouquet. The Bouquet at the Heart of Your Palette There are as many places to start designing your palette as there are bobby pins holding your veil in place. But often, as mentioned above, the color schemes that work the best start with something as simple as a flower. The brilliant orange of a tiger lily, the passionate red of a perfect rose, the sultry shimmer of lilac, or the vibrant blue of delphinium.

When you walk down the aisle with bouquet in hand, you are the center of the universe. "The bouquet is the point where the entire color and design scheme of a wedding radiates out from," says Le Rhee. "That's why I work in silk, so the memory of that moment will last forever." And that's why it's so important to choose the right colors for your wedding. If these memories are going to last forever, in silk, on film, and in photographs, then they had better look amazing!.

Nathan Drew Sire operates Le Rhee Bouquets. You can visit them at Le Rhee Bouquets

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