DIY Bride #14: Color

I’ve been planning my wedding since I was 2. From ages 2 – 7, it was going to be Rainbow Brite themed, complete with a white and rainbow-haired horse pulling a white carriage. From 8-13, it was a Star Trek theme (my dress would be Command Yellow) and the head table was going to be in the shape of the Enterprise (TNG, not TOS… I’m just saying). From 14-19, it was NKOTB’s Joe McIntyre and I getting married on the rolling green hills of Ireland. I’m not going to lie, I would still be okay with that. Now that I’m marrying fictitious Chris Evans, my taste has changed again.
Color is an important and primary impression of your wedding. Color is what governs the theme, the rest of your décor, and your wardrobe. Let’s take it back to Art 101.
Everyone has been exposed to the color wheel, right?

We all know what primary and secondary colors are. We need to look at the tertiary, and complimentary colors including bold, neutral, and subtle. We also need to define the correct terms: Hue, Tint, Tone, and Shade. It’s so complicated, I got certificates in college specifically for color… I’m so not kidding.
Needless to say, color is important.
There are 4 main theories of color: Hue, Tint, Tone, and Shade. And it’s a lot simpler than quite a few reference points make it. Let’s break it down.
Hue is just another name for color-wheel colors. There are 6 hues: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple. These are the purest form of those colors. Primary colors are Red, Yellow, Blue. Meaning you can’t mix any other colors to make those 3 colors. — side note: This is strictly for paint, not light, and not theoretical physics.
Notice I didn’t mention White or Black. What needs to be understood is that these are not colors. Black is the presence of all colors. White is the absence of all colors. Keep that in mind when picking out colors. White and Black are both accent colors, both bold, and should be used with cautious considerations.
Secondary colors are the colors you get from mixing primary colors together: Red & Blue = Purple. Yellow & Red = Orange. Blue & Yellow = Green.
Then you have the tertiary colors. You guessed it: It’s when you mix a secondary with a primary. You can continue to mix and mix but you will get to the point where your color will turn muddy, mossy, or even Black. Let’s let the professionals mix colors to that degree.
A tint is what happens when you mix a hue with white. It’s really that simple.
A shade is what happens when you mix a hue with black. Amazing, right?
Want to guess this one? This is when you mix a hue with gray.
There are some additional things too like saturation, brightness, etc. But these are the general basics.
I hear you, “Laura, I like blue and white so that’s what I’m doing!” Wonderful! I love a blue and white wedding palette! But what blue? What white? And is that going to mesh with your theme or venue?
You know not to mix stripes and dots; color works the same way. There are just some colors that don’t mesh. Have you ever tried to match neon green with cornflower? It’s not as appealing as you might think. I know, that argument seemed a little specious… It was, but it illustrated the point well: You need harmony in your colors.
Does that mean you need to have a monochrome wedding where everything is some tone of yellow? Of course not. One thing that makes the decor fun to experience is when you come across the unexpected color that seems to bring the whole thing together.
Yes, I have been in art classes since I was 2. I have been living & breathing color theory and everything art for as far back as I can remember. But not everyone does. I mean it’s a shame not everyone does, but I digress. In addition, I have a certificate from Benjamin Moore for Color Theory and also in Color Management. Not everyone has that, I know, so I created a little formula to use when I’m helping a couple start nailing down their colors.
Start with a place that you love. Doesn’t matter where it is. Anywhere. And I’m not talking love… I’m talking LOVE. This place makes you happy just thinking about it! My place watching the sun set on an Oahu beach. Just thinking of that place makes me feel good. For our example, let’s start there.
Thinking about your place, think about all the things that you associate with that place. This also assists in your theme development.
Now, focus on what colors you normally associate with your fave place. In the example, I associate that beach with my most favorite color: Aquamarine.


With your favorite color in mind (Now your primary color), and thinking about your place again and you will find complimentary colors. I found tans, greens, bright reds, whites, and yellows.
Now there is a whole palette just created by thinking! Let’s put it into practical use. Time to head to the Home Depot.
Find your favorite color in a swatch in the painting department. It will be surrounded by those similar colors. For me, the color that I love is Benjamin Moore’s #767: Graceful Sea.
Start reviewing more colors in combo with your main color and where it sits on the color wheel. Remember, complimentary colors fall opposite of each other on the color wheel. These are the colors that really look great together. I chose a blue/green based color. Opposite on the wheel would be a red-orange type of color. Gold falls into that range. Tan (the color of the sand) falls into that range.
Thinking about the color theory of these colors, Since blues and greens are ‘slow’ colors – meaning they take longer to travel to the eye – those will be the most (in quantities) exposed. The accent colors I will use is gold mostly, and the pop-grab-your-attention color will be deep red. Where most of the décor will be the blues and greens, I will accent those with a bit of gold, and use the red for a ‘surprise’ color.
Now that I have combined all the colors scientifically starting with the color that I love, I have now created ambiance that truly reflects mine & fictitious Chris Evans’ style.

*This post was originally published 10/27/17*

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