Tradition Tuesday: Wedding Colors

Welcome to our first ever Tradition Tuesday! What is Tradition Tuesday, you ask? Great question! Well, we at Once Upon a Wedding are huge proponents of the nontraditional wedding. While that means something different to every couple, we think it’s important for our couples to know that the sky’s the limit for their big day. We always strive to make sure that our brides and grooms’ celebrations reflect their personalities; part of this means putting their own spin on the wedding traditions of days past. Each post will focus on one wedding day tradition and our ideas on how couples can spin the tradition on its head and make it their own.


3 Alternatives to Choosing Wedding Colors

Today, we’re looking at wedding colors. Traditionally, a bride would select 2-3 colors for her wedding; these would then be reflected in everything from the attire of the wedding party to the ceremony and reception décor to the cake. (Does anyone else remember Julia Roberts proudly declaring her wedding colors to be blush and bashful in Steel Magnolias? “Pink is my signature color.” But I digress.) With so many options available to today’s brides, we say why limit yourself? Instead, here are a few ideas of how to harmonize your wedding look without locking yourself into boundaries like specific colors:

  • A Whole Color Palette
  • When it comes to choosing your wedding décor, several complimentary colors can look lovely without being overly limiting. When selecting a palette of colors, the best way to begin is to figure out the vibe you wish to achieve for your day. Pastels are perfect for a spring garden celebration. An array of metallics can make an elegant black-tie affair look flawless. The key here is to give yourself permission to select any elements that speak to you and the wedding you envision. Even if a specific selection of colors is what you decide works best, keep an open mind when implementing them in your decisions. This Fourth of July wedding (below) used a red, white, and blue scheme throughout. However, to achieve the rustic chic vibe the couple desired, elements of burlap and various different shades of their colors were used to provide contrast and variety.


  • Nontraditional Colors
  • There was a time when certain colors were not to be used for various wedding purposes: bridesmaids and guests didn’t wear black, brides only wore shades of white (but no one else did), etc. For the most part, those days are past. We love (love love) when a bride chooses black dresses for her attendants. They’re classy and timeless, make it much easier for bridesmaids to wear different dresses (another look we love), and are way more likely to be worn again. Bonus: black goes with anything, and can be a great neutral to serve as a base for the rest of your color palette, or can be the cohesion you need if you select different colors for everything else. We feel the same way with shades of white. Cream and/or blush dresses and décor can be a clean, classic look for an elegant affair. Remember Pippa Middleton’s gorgeous white maid of honor gown? Or, should you wish to go for a colored or patterned dress (yes, please), bridesmaids in customarily bridal hues can be a gorgeous, unexpected, and modern spin on tradition. Bottom line: do what works for you.

  • Themes

We can’t help but advocate for themed weddings. When a couple integrates one of their passions into their big day, it becomes so personal and fun. Whether you choose to incorporate small hints of your theme that only other keen-eyed fans would notice, or decide to go all out, the theme, rather than just colors, becomes the focus of your planning. This provides such a rich, interactive, and memorable atmosphere for your guests to celebrate your love. The theme you choose could be anything – a fandom (Harry Potter, Disney, Star Wars, superheroes, etc.), an era (20s, 40s, 60s), a holiday (Halloween, Christmas), a hobby (travel, art, sports) – whatever means something to you as a couple might just be the perfect concept around which to center your day.


What are your favorite ways to think outside the box with wedding colors? Do you prefer to honor the tradition of selecting a few? Tell us what you think in the comments!