Find the right colors for your clients’ events with these tips from wedding pro Sasha Souza, MWP™.

Color is what makes the world stimulating—and it’s all around us. Color is spectacular, because it evokes feelings deep inside us; we all have opinions about what we do and do not like when it comes to color pairings. Some love bright and bold colors and others prefer muted tones. It’s part of who we are.

Avoid trends and look for meaning
Aside from our individual preferences, color definitely has seasons and trends. An entire industry has been built on color forecasting—what you will want to wear and what you will want to buy is based on how the color makes you feel and how you feel it looks on you.

Just as in fashion and marketing, color trends come and go for weddings and event planning. Instead of focusing on trends, your clients should focus on what makes them feel good. They should not let somebody else’s perfect color palette define their wedding. It’s our job, as planners and designers to bring out the best parts of our couples and reflect it back to their guests. Choosing colors and décor that are meaningful and beautiful will create a more personalized and custom wedding that belongs to the clients alone.

Aaryu2QGGNCTNL7r846AFChWHoBjGciFHvhMSB_-AdM,NdWvDa721Bb8-q9d_UYyMxSM10yux0vSKO9EuqO3c0k

Discover your clients’ favorite hues
Color is like artwork; it makes you feel something. To find out what colors mean the most to your clients, ask, “What colors do you love? What colors do you wear? What color is the couch you covet?” These questions will give you insight into how a client lives, what they wear, and what colors surround them. Convincing somebody to add splashes of color to an otherwise pale wedding is quite easy when we’re recommending colors they love. The event planners and industry professionals are the experts. When the clients come to us for advice and insight—we should give it to them.

oIbdK44Owlphvo-znG4bdgk_zrAzjcAvLNJkDOMR1p4,broz08t1eq6CgXK9SWwbOuKrtb7jGisFSTYelcBqqHo

Color can be the common thread
What makes an event feel cohesive? Color is sometimes that thread. Use different shades of the same color in the rehearsal dinner, welcome party, and wedding. While the slight difference means it’s not exactly the same, the consistent color thread makes the happenings belong to the same overall event. Remember, not every client wants to do it this way, so there is no right or wrong way to create your palettes. Just have fun finding the right shades for the events.

65NSF-hSHtr4advCO7gJPXqLQB_PCZGJabs3tiyF9-M,AAU44nW6ms1lYPf5aKBSIy36RV_guC7dGy6GMzJSnSs    BCRm06uBUhiBUw6-CWrMkewGUJArwZIYwtMs-eNOfP8,fi62brDETGm3RHDQiDUBErbiE_0Rk-o_LQKzb8REh1U

Next stop? Refine the palette Once the clients have chosen the main colors for their event (red, blue, orange, green, etc.), it’s time to get more refined and defined by honing in on the actual tone of the color, not just the color itself. If a client tells you they love orange, most people envision a bright, round orange fruit. But if they tell you their favorite color is sunset orange, it conjures up an entirely different perspective on the color they’ve selected. When coming up with the event’s true colors, find a way to be descriptive, to select a name for the color that truly conveys the vision. For example, consider the hues belonging to fruits and vegetables. If you want to convey the color red, you can envision the difference between pomegranate red, cherry red, tomato red, and radish red. Every main color has thousands of names, and each one conveys something different. Be creative! Here is an example of names to help you choose the perfect hue:

White: pearl, bisque, eggshell, oyster, flake, snow, porcelain. Blue: cerulean, pool, indigo, blueberry, ocean, peacock, sapphire.

Yellow: citrine, topaz, canary, banana, goldenrod, daffodil, corn.

Pink: flamingo, blush, salmon, azalea, fuchsia, cotton candy, carnation.

Neutrals: taupe, shell, khaki, chamois, amber, sand, almond.

Gray: dove, slate, heather, cement, pebble, flint, ash.

Violet: pansy, grape, amethyst, wisteria, blackberry, aubergine, lilac.

Black: licorice, onyx, midnight, obsidian, charcoal, raven, jet.

Green: jade, chartreuse, celery, sea foam, moss, chive, kelly.

Red: brick, cranberry, tomato, poppy, hibiscus, maroon, cherry, apple.

Orange: papaya, persimmon, rust, tangerine, harvest, sunset, adobe.

Brown: sienna, espresso, almond, caramel, earth, chocolate.

Metallics: bronze, pewter, bright gold, matte gold, nickel, silver, chrome.

Two or three are better than one
Another important factor in selecting colors is to challenge ourselves and our clients to choose more than one single color. Choose two or three main colors to work with throughout the wedding. As an example, if you love peacock blue and plum purple, throw in a third color—perhaps a metallic color as they are great unifiers. Peacock blue, plum purple, and matte gold are stunning together. The metallic adds richness to the overall look.

DhgBlBTvfF4aJ1Ro_cBsnvKd3h8rZsw7X9-lSF2-neE,InpOptIsmHxceN2JTt7kElIKWJNlPFG_fMcTnTRoWvc

Pick a pattern
Another way to creatively express a client’s style is to choose an accent pattern for the event. Consider using one of the colors as a pattern that can be utilized on the tablecloths, napkins, centerpieces, or pillows at the lounge. Mixing in one or two patterns creates an upscale feeling to the design as well. Pattern-matching is intended more for the advanced designer. It is an entirely separate art form—one that is easy to learn and love once you catch the color bug!

With so many different colors, shades, and tones to choose from, it’s easy to get lost in the different looks you and your clients could create. What’s most important is to remember that color choice for weddings and events is not about trends, it’s about individuality and creating an affair that will be remembered for its meaning, cohesiveness, and flair. WPM

Sasha Souza, MWP™, Sasha Souza Events, Napa, Calif.