HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING FLORAL COLOR PALETTE

 

rainbow color palette

One of the very first questions I ask during my wedding floral consultation process is about color palette. I have couples to tell me about their overall wedding color palette and then use that to narrow in on the best combination for their floral color palette. Sometimes, however, my clients do not have a defined wedding color palette or their wedding colors are a little bit broader. And that’s totally okay! There are specific components of your wedding that you can look to for guidance when navigating the world of color and deciding on the best palette for your wedding flowers.

First, though, let’s take a look at the basic principles of color theory. These principles are the guidelines often applied when choosing color palettes that ultimately are balanced and aesthetically appealing. Understanding color theory is crucial for great design. The color wheel, which was invented in 1706 by Sir Issac Newton, can be used as a compass for choosing colors that work well together.

color wheel

Three of the most fundamental color combination categories are: monochromatic, analogous, and complimentary. Here’s what each of them refers to and why each category works well in design:

Monochromatic

Monochromatic colors are variations of one color (hue) with different tints, tones, and shades. A monochromatic color palette is simple, yet sophisticated. Monochrome creates harmony and is calming.

red monochromatic colors
Analogous

Analogous colors live next to each other on the color wheel. Color combinations using hues with close proximity on the color wheel can create a sophisticated and pleasing harmony. Analogous colors are guaranteed to work great together.

analogous colors

Complimentary

Complimentary colors that are opposite from each other on the color wheel creating strong contrast. Complimentary colors are especially pleasing as play up each other’s intensity. Complimentary colors are often perceived as soothing as they stimulate different parts of the eye.

yellow and purple complimentary colors

 

With this basic understanding of color theory, here are things to consider when deciding on a great color palette for your wedding flowers. This list is especially helpful if you don’t have a set wedding color palette, but can be useful even if you do!

bridal party with light blue dresses

Picture courtesy of Pure Lee Photo

Color of Wedding Party Attire

Perhaps the biggest influence of your wedding floral color palette is the color of your wedding party attire, whether that includes just you and your significant other or if you have an abundance of bridesmaids and groomsmen. The wedding party is traditionally adorned with flowers, so making sure your personal floral pieces compliment your attire is key. Your wedding party is one of the main things that gets heavily photographed and we want those images to be beautiful, balanced, and colorfully cohesive!

I like to use a two-step process when helping couples choose colors that will work well with their wedding attire. When clients come to my Woodinville studio to review their floral proposals, I will pull out my stack of paint chips and will physically lay colors on top their wedding attire color(s). This allows them to get a feeling of all those colors together. I also ask my clients to send me pictures of their wedding attire so I can overlay a custom floral digital drawing. This has worked incredibly well in showing how a bouquet will look against a wedding gown or how a boutonniere will appear on a jacket. You can see some of my bouquet sketches for past clients on the ABOUT page.

floral garland along table with lavender napkins

Picture courtesy of Sara Lynn Photography

Linen, Table Runner, & Napkin Colors

Another factor I often take into consideration when advising my clients on their wedding floral color palette, is the color of their table linens, table runners, and dinner napkins. The reception is the second most important part of your wedding and creating a space that is harmonious can positively affect the dining experience. If you are going with a colored napkin or a colorful table runner, including that color or a complimentary color in your table centerpieces can create more dimension and visual interest. Color that is placed intentionally in design is a way to engineer a particular experience. Don’t be afraid to use colors that will delight your guests’ eye receptors!

modern wedding reception

Picture courtesy of Newell Jones & Jones

Venue Colors & Aesthetic

It can be easy to overlook your wedding venue when deciding on your floral color palette. Wedding venues that are neutral in color are more adaptable to a variety of wedding colors. Some wedding venues, especially hotel ballrooms, can have distinct accents of certain colors, either colors in the carpet or colors in the ceiling fixtures. It always perplexes me when couples choose a reception venue that has colors that clash with their chosen wedding colors.  It’s really, really hard to not notice the blue and orange patterned carpet when you’re sitting down for dinner. And while your soft pink floral centerpieces may be quite lovely on the white linen tables, they will look out of place next to that carpet.

pumpkin floral arrangements

Picture courtesy of Teresa Woodhull Photography

Season

Sometimes Mother Nature can be a guiding hand in choosing a great color palette for your wedding flowers. If you are getting married in the fall, for example, it can be advantageous to use a fall color palette – reds, oranges, and yellows. The changing season can often lend itself to certain colors that become abundant in nature that time of year. You have an already established harmonious color palette that just makes sense!

Floral centerpiece next to Christmas tree

Picture courtesy of Chris Loring Photography

Theme

Some of my favorite weddings to be a part of are themed weddings. True themes go beyond the standard wedding style terms of chic, rustic, vintage, modern, boho, etc. Themes are overarching concepts that allow for aesthetic definition, structure, and specific meanings. Many of the annual Holidays can work well as a wedding theme.

Themed events are even more popular in the corporate world. Check out some fun themed arrangements on my CORPORATE page!

bridesmaids holding pink bouquets

Picture courtesy of Talia Kite Photography

Personal Color or Flower Preferences

Sometimes I work with couples that just love a particular flower. While many flowers come in a multitude of colors, some flowers only grow naturally in one or two colors. You can use that flower color as a starting point for your wedding floral color palette. Other times I suggest that my couples use their favorite color to help define their wedding floral color palette. If you especially love pink and we create arrangements that are bursting with vibrant shades of pink, that will have a conscious (and subconscious) positive effect on you.

 

Floral arrangements are incredibly visual and because of that wedding flowers often can be a significant part of wedding decor. It’s no wonder that nailing your flower color palette is quite important and, rightfully so, commands a lot of thought, attention, and consideration. After-all an occasion that’s as special as a wedding should look and feel as significant as it is.

Do you need help solidifying a fantastic and cohesive floral color palette? Set up a CONSULTATION with me and let’s find your perfect palette!

 

CRATE&BARREL PRIVATE WEDDING REGISTRY EVENT – SEATTLE, WA

a lady teaching two people to make flower crowns

Back in February (which seems like a lifetime ago now!) I was part of the Private Registry Event at Crate&Barrel in Seattle at University Village. This event was an invitation-only event for engaged couples to set up their wedding registry at Crate&Barrel. The perks to being invited to this event were being able to register while the store was not open to the public and celebrating with food, activities, and giveaways provided by a select team of local wedding vendors.

The lovely and dynamic Rebecca of New Creations Weddings spearheaded the overall aesthetic and registry experience. The Seattle wedding vendor team she put together for this event included myself and:

Photography: Alante Photography
Paper and Invitations: Sablewood Paper Company
Catering: Navi’s Kitchen Catering
Cake: Blue Box Bakery
Paper Flowers: Pink and Posey

As the fresh flowers Floral Designer, I was tasked with creating a centerpiece display for one of the Crate&Barrel dining tables. I have a wedding this summer with a gorgeous color palette of rich berry colors – pinks, reds, and some purple, so colors were on the brain! Rebecca creatively named it “Summer Sorbet”.

dining table with colorful floral arrangementslush and colorful floral arrangements on a dining tablecolorfully set dining tabel

I also put together an interactive flower activity station under one of the Crate&Barrel arbors. Couples could choose to learn how to make a partial flower crown or a boutonniere. This mini flower workshop was such a joy to do! I have discovered that teaching others how to work with flowers is (in some ways) even more rewarding than making arrangements myself. After we are on the other side of COVID-19 I hope to start holding private flower arranging workshops at my Woodinville studio.

colorful pergolacolorful flower activity displaypeople doing a diy flower crown activitya lady holding up a ribbon bin for another lady

This was the visual design concept that I sketched out for the arbor. I always love looking back at the sketches I do and comparing them to what I create in real life. Often, they are quite similar. It’s fun to see how a design can be almost fully conceptualized before actually putting the pieces together.

inside display of a Crate&Barrel store

A big thank you to the staff of Crate&Barrel. They were foundation for a great event and they were lovely to work with.

group of people standing in front of a colorful arbor

SEATTLE WEDDING PLANNER: IT’S YOUR DAY EVENTS

 

five women at a beautifully set dinner table with colorful florals

Earlier this year I was invited to be part of a promo styled shoot with the fabulous ladies from Seattle-based wedding planning company, It’s Your Day Events. When I saw the design inspiration board filled with deep blues + bright flowers and learned that the Photographer would be Char Beck, I knew I had to create the arrangements for this shoot. It’s not everyday that you get to collaborate with great people and work with a color palette that makes you literally exclaim out loud. I am so excited to feature It’s Your Day Events on my blog with a Q&A down below and to showcase the floral arrangements I created for their promo shoot: gorgeous and lush – just my style!

long dinner table with fancy place settings and colorful flowersdinner table with colorful flowerssmall table with colorful flowers

It’s Your Day Events is owned by dynamic duo,  Ashley Speight and Christina Fesler. These two best friends and colleagues have been planning weddings in Seattle since 2009. I first met them last year through a professional organization, Wedding Network Seattle. Ashley and I serve on the planning committee for Wedding Network Seattle and we worked together on the April 2019 meeting at Trinity Tree Farm. Later last year, Ashley, Christina, and their team came to my studio and did a team-building floral arrangement workshop with me. These ladies really know how to get things done and have fun while doing it!

two ladies smiling for the cameratwo women moving a table with colorful flowers

The It’s Your Day team has grown over the years to include Sara Haverstraw – Lead Wedding Planner, Katie Rodriguez – Associate Wedding Coordinator, and Mercer Brown – Event Assistant.

a headshot of three ladies in black clothing

Q&A with It’s Your Day Events

We provide wedding planning, design, and coordination services, and what we do is at times difficult to picture because the services we offer are intangible. When you are scrolling through beautiful photos, with stunning flowers, and amazing cohesive design; the magic behind that is the planning, design, and coordination.

We were just two best friends who loved planning events and design, that took a leap of faith and started this business in 2009. We had no idea where it would go but we sure are happy that we hung on for the ride. Countless weddings and events later, here we are. We believe our attention to detail, organization, creativity, friendship and plain awesomeness have really driven us to where we are today. We were so happy to bring on Sara in 2012, Katie in 2016 to join our team, and Mercer in 2019 – we have a fantastic crew!

If you work with us, you can expect a calm caring group of wedding besties in your corner. We professionally organize, plan, and coordinate the details. We dot the i’s and cross the t’s. We triple check it all once more. Then, when the day comes, we watch the wonderment and happiness on your face as your wedding day unfolds, just as you dreamed it would.

We are always honored to be a part of each and every one of our clients lives, especially on such a big day. It’s an amazing feeling to truly contribute to someone’s wedding and see their dreams come true.

We often hear from other vendors and our couples on their day that we have been a calming presence. We always have 2 or more coordinators on your day and are a team of good friends that have been in the business for many years, we know our stuff!

We love lush flowers such as peonies and garden roses, but also really unique and fun flowers that add depth and texture. Christina likes more muted palettes with a crisp pop of color while Ashley just loves all the color!

 

If you are planning a Seattle wedding and need people in your corner who will guide you through all the planning steps, take care of the details, and triple check everything so you can focus on enjoying your event, these are your ladies! You can find them at:
Website: www.ItsYourDayEvents.com
Instagram: @its_your_day_events

Lastly, I want to give kudos to Char Beck. Even though I had not anticipated being photographed (I hadn’t fully brushed my hair that morning and was wearing my least favorite jeans!), Char offered to take a few head shots and a couple candid shots. On his website he grabs your attention right away with the statement, “You say you’re not photogenic. I’ll prove you wrong.” Thank you, Char – you just did.

a lady in a geen top puts a floral arrangement on a table

 

Other fantastic vendors who participated in this shoot:
Venue: The Trestle Loft
Tables and Chairs: Grand Event Rental
Rentals: Balancing Balloons

DAFFODILS ARE SYMBOLIC OF NEW BEGINNINGS

I’ve been taking pictures of daffodils recently. It’s Spring and daffodils are growing everywhere here in the Seattle area. That, combined with my intent on being more diligent in practicing my photography, has produced an entire digital folder of really cool daffodil images that now lives in Dropbox. Fun fact – daffodils are also March’s birthday flower.

I felt compelled to write a blog post about daffodils, not only because they have been in my line of sight, but because of their meaning: daffodils are symbolic of new beginnings. Today is the last day March. Tomorrow I turn another year older. On April 1st I will spend my first day as a 39 year old. I have been thinking about the age of 39 not with the quasi-humorous dread of 40 being right around the corner, but actually from a perspective of wonder. Wow, I am going to be 39 years old! While turning 30 was definitely exciting, I think 39 might be the coolest age in the 30’s decade. It’s the last segment before an even bigger new beginning. And it feels wise, rooted, and calm.

The symbolic meaning of daffodils seems even more fitting right now, despite my upcoming birthday, because we are in the midst of COVID-19. There is a saying that new beginnings are often disguised as painful endings. While endings often go hand in hand with resistance, loss, and pain, they open the door for new ways of thinking, new opportunities, and new ways of life. We are all grieving  – grieving the loss of those dying from coronavirus, grieving the loss of our security, and grieving the loss of our lives as they once were. So while it may be hard to envision the possibilities that lie in the future, just know that they are there and they will come. This, too, shall pass. And we will begin. Different. New.

I picked up a bunch of daffodils from the grocery store yesterday during a trip to stock up on another round of food supplies while my husband and I are stuck at home. And I foraged a few spring flowers and some greenery from our yard to make this cheerful daffodil bouquet. Bouquets are one of my absolute favorite things to make, which is a good pairing with my love for weddings. I have not had a March wedding since 2016, since it’s off-season, but for any future couples thinking of getting married in March, you might consider incorporating the daffodil in your floral palette. What a beautiful way to symbolize the start of your life together as a married couple.

green, yellow, and white daffodil bouquetyellow daffodils in a bouquetyellow daffodils in a bouquet with dark green leaves

 

Lastly, while we are encouraged to social distance ourselves and self-quarantine, we can still responsibly enjoy a walk outside. This can be reprieve from being cooped up indoors. There are so many daffodils in bloom. Go look for them! They will brighten up your day. And just remember that in this season of change we will grow.

CELEBRATIONS WILL BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER AFTER COVID-19

The first case of COVID-19 showed up in Seattle, Washington on January 20, 2020, not far from where I live. It’s been just over three weeks, however, since COVID-19 really started to impact my own sense of normalcy. My spring corporate events were either cancelled or postponed and my husband stopped going to his office and started working from home. And everyday there is more bad news – new cases of people contracting coronavirus, government orders to stay in place and practice social distancing, and stories of local businesses struggling to keep the doors open.

We are living in an unprecedented situation where there is good reason to be fearful. But I want to shift perspective for a moment and shine light on how this may impact our society…for the better. You might have seen articles popping up that discuss the silver lining to the coronavirus. I know this might seem like a far stretch right now, but I actually believe there are several silver linings. To look at the situation from the glass half-full perspective, here are some upsides to our current situation:

  • Slowing down (our lives have been way too busy!)
  • More opportunities for simple things, like enjoying an afternoon walk outside, with other obligations falling to the wayside
  • A collective decrease in f.o.m.o. (fear of missing out)
  • Reduction in worldwide pollution (the earth is getting a chance to breath for a moment)
  • Greater possibility for improvements to our healthcare system
  • More attention brought to lack of affordable housing and hopefully some changes down the road

Another positive outcome, I believe, one that will become more clear when we are on the other side of this pandemic, is that weddings, gatherings, and celebrations that bring people together will become even more important to us than they were before.

While I am grateful that we can interact virtually with one another while we are confined to our homes, no amount of fancy technology, at least right now, can replace the full experience of gathering together in person. I compare remote gatherings vs. in-person gatherings to the basic flavors: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami. Video conferencing allows us to see and hear each other, which, if you were eating a meal would be like tasting something that is both sweet and salty. Physically being together, however, is like adding the umami flavor. Umami creates dimension and adds a full-bodied feeling component. That’s what’s so magical about in-person celebrations – you can feel them. (I also have written about how flowers add to the feeling of an event, which can be found on the INVESTMENT page). Umami is subtle compared to sweet, salty, sour, and bitter, but it is unique and distinct. Umami adds depth. Events that are experienced in person add richness to those occasions that virtual gatherings cannot create.

Though I am sure this list is not comprehensive, here are the benefits of celebratory gatherings:

Celebrations Are Fun and Relieve Stress

Celebrations are times where we can forget about everything else and focus on being in the moment. Planned events are often filled with delicious food and drink, great company, and lively entertainment – all the indulgences and things that make us feel good. They often include the expression of deep emotions, whether that’s laughter or tears, which are both forms of release.

Celebrations Signify Life Milestones

Celebrating milestones in our lives anchors meaning to them. They become rich marks in time and define different stages in our lives. This helps us better understand the narratives of our own lives and creates conceptual structure.

Celebrations Deepen Gratitude

When we take time to stop, reflect on, and celebrate important milestones in our lives our gratitude for these things deepens. In a culture that seems to always be focused on the future, on growth, and on what’s next, pausing to acknowledge things of significance gives more importance to them. When we stop to focus our attention on something it becomes more valuable.

Celebrations Create Memories

It has been somewhat of a recent trend to value experiences more than things. That being said, weddings and other celebrations can be some of the best and most rich experiences of our lives. The richness of a celebration is such a visceral experience that those feelings stay with us forever.

When we are on the other side of coronavirus and we are able to safely gather together again, fresh from isolation and social distancing,  we are going to appreciate being close to one another like never before. Reunions, birthday parties, conferences, anniversaries, weddings, and other events will become top priority. After-all, sharing joy with one another is what makes life so sweet.

I want to leave you with a photo that always brings a smile to my face (and usually a laugh!). Last summer my sister and I threw a Surprise 25th Wedding Anniversary celebration for my mom and step-dad at the Kaua’i Marriott Resort. The incredibly talented Photographer that we hired, Penny Dinn, beautifully captured the first moment of surprise. Images like the one below are reason enough to host live events. I hope this image makes you laugh out loud. Enjoy!

two people being surprised

 

Holly Yee

Hello and welcome! Thanks so much for taking time to stop by my part of the internet. I have been working with flowers for a long time and I just love helping people make their celebrations absolutely stunning. It is an honor and a priviledge to be a part of weddings and other special events. 

In addition to floral design my other loves are yoga, coffee, the outdoors, and my husband and all the amazing people in my life. 

Feel like talking flowers?

Recent Posts

OUR STUDIO IS OPEN BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

17708 134th Avenue NE, Suite 17708

Woodinville, WA 98027

Let's Be Floral Friends! Connect With Us Socially.

CONTACT US

Email: holly@hollyyee.com

Phone: 425.877.9287