Tips for Creating a Wedding Color Scheme


When it comes to creating a color scheme for your wedding it can be challenging to know where to start. There is so much inspiration and so many beautiful color palettes available to us that a Pinterest board can quickly become a hot mess of ideas, rather than a thoughtfully curated representation of yourself and your partner. So how do you go about selecting the right colors for your wedding? mStarr Event Design creative director Emily Starr Alfano was kind enough to share her top tips with us.

Be open to ideas

When creating a proposal for a client, we spend some time learning about their tastes and getting to know them better. We look at their Pinterest board and talk about the colors they’re currently leaning towards. We then build upon these ideas to suggest a color palette which becomes our starting point. We tell clients to think of this palette as a general guide in terms of shades and tones but not to assume that every single detail has to fall within it! This palette will evolve over time.

Look to your venue

Naturally your venue can dictate so much about how your wedding comes together, from the level of design to the materials being used. Take cues from it when looking for your colors. If you’re drawn to some coastal elements and colors but are getting married in a country barn, it’s our job to find a way to incorporate these influences appropriately.

Ask yourself these questions

Whether determining your color scheme or general design vision, it can be helpful to ask yourself a couple of key questions.

1. What colors or styles are you consistently drawn to in your everyday life?
Your wedding should be timeless. You can certainly incorporate some “trendy” ideas but you’ll be looking at these pictures the rest of your life. Make sure you won’t get sick of them!

2. Are you known as the girl who always wears blue? Is every vacation to a tropical locale?
That says a lot about who you are. Don’t ignore it!

3. Where do you find your inspiration?
It can be from an Anthropologie catalogue, Instagram, or a restaurant you eat lunch at all the time. What is it about these sources that inspire you?


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07.24.15 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog

Magical Anniversary Photos

For their 5th wedding anniversary, Valentina and Matt knew they wanted to celebrate in a special way. As an immensely talented film photographer herself, Valentina places huge importance on the immortalization of life’s moments. We love their choice to move in front of the camera for an intimate, magical anniversary photo session. With deserted locations, the dusty air magnifying the setting sun, and Valentina’s elegant outfit choices, these photos are a beautiful way to remember a special day.

Photography: Jose Villa | Hair and Makeup: Team Hair and Makeup | Dress: Alexandra Grecco | Location – Alisal Guest ranch

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07.23.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Delicate Forest Elopement

By its very definition, an elopement is completely and whole-heartedly romantic. Last spring, this couple planned an intimate afternoon for just the two of them, to share the vows of love they’d pledged to each other, and then celebrated with a beautiful dinner under a canopy of trees. The spectacular feeling of calmness that one views these images with is something you don’t often feel when looking at a collection of wedding photos, and that speaks to the intentional intimacy and romance of an elopement.

From the couple:

While both of us love big parties, for our wedding we wanted something small, intimate, and magical. We wanted an opportunity to both spend time alone together and have quality time with our very nearest and dearest. With that in mind we turned our wedding celebration into a two-day affair. On Friday, we had the ceremony with only our immediate family and the bride’s best friend. Before the ceremony, we got ready together (again, just the two of us) and after a small celebration immediately following the ceremony with our family, we had a picnic for two in the redwoods. Later that night we met up with our friends for drinks and food to get the party aspect of the weekend started. On Saturday, we had our closest 30 or so friends gather for brunch in the morning and then a floral and dance-filled reception in the evening. It was a weekend full of meaningful connection and love, and neither of us will ever forget it.

Photographer: Elizabeth Messina (day one); Kristen Loken (day two) | Floral & Event Design: McKenzie Powell Floral & Event Design | Vow Scroll: Lauren McIntosh | All other paper goods (vow booklets, guestbook etc.): Bride | Slippers: Opal & Owl

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07.22.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Ikebana Inspired Wedding Ideas

We love to see unique, culturally-inspired weddings, and this beautiful editorial is no different. Ikebana is the Japanese art of floral arranging, and much more so than just placing flowers in a vase, it is a disciplined art form with the goal of bringing together nature and humanity.

More from the designers at Studio Mondine:

We looked to the raw, uncomplicated, and whimsical natural world for inspiration. The ikebana-inspired florals suggest the whole of nature, with a smoke bush kokedama string garden creating a link between indoor and outdoor.

Traditionally, a kimono is worn for introspection—the stiffness of the cloth makes way for a gentle, graceful stillness. A linen jumpsuit and robe from First Rite echo the silhouette of a traditional kimono, but allow for more movement and exploration.

Mimi + Taylor highlighted the cheeks but kept the rest of the face natural, as a wearable and modern take on geisha beauty. When the kimono gets traded in for softer garments, the hair and make-up soften as well. Our model wears a smoky plum lip as she explores the kokedama string garden.

In the flowers, fashion, and beauty, there’s a reverence for Japanese heritage and a desire to bridge tradition and modernism. 

Photography: M. K. Sadler | Florals and Design: Studio Mondine | Hair and Makeup: Mimi + Taylor | Clothing: Priory

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07.21.15 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog