5 unworkable wedding color schemes

Okay, we have been on hiatus for quite some time. I had personal stuff in the way of divorce and had to move my business for the third time in three years. However, things are looking up and we are booking heavy for 2013. Our goal is to post once a week from now on and we look forward to your comments and ideas to help keep us on track.

In the world of event design, we constantly strive to challenge our clients, come up with unusual table top designs, color schemes, and spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find new strange crap we can suspend from a ceiling for ‘design’ purposes.

That being said, we have discovered some color schemes that are difficult to pull off.

  • Bad color scheme #1 – white & ivory.  The recent surge in pinterest/style me pretty weddings have pushed this color scheme to the forefront. The vintage or shabby chic look is accomplished by layering seemingly mismatched items and fabrics to create a rich, peeking into grandma’s attic type look (think mason jars, lace, milk glass, old bottles with spools & buttons, old books, coffee tins). This look is hard to pull off in a way that doesn’t look DIY and leaves brides mistakenly focusing on very small details rather than larger ones. The richness of the color scheme is mistakenly interpreted as white + ivory = vintage. This is not true, simply mixing white and ivory basic linens doesn’t feel rich or warm – it feels like you didn’t wash half the linen well. If you are trying for a pinterest wedding, the key is mixing not the colors per se, but in layering textures and varying shades of a single color. No matter how it is packaged, white and ivory together just looks like white and dirty white.
  • Bad color scheme #2: Black & any blue darker than royal blue/Black & any purple darker than royal purple.                                                                            Two seperate color schemes true,  but the results are still the same. Any color that will “play like black” in your event should never be paired with black. When the lights are dimmed and the candles are lit, eggplant, navy blue, and even forest green will look like black. Pairing those same colors with a lighter counterpart will provide contrast with a more noticable and pleasing design.
  • Bad color scheme #3 Burgundy & Peach                                                                      I will admit – I have a personal aversion to both of these colors. They are colors that I associate with two things -the 80’s and almost every single hotel ballroom I have ever been in. Burgundy is great at hiding a multitude of food stains, which is why it is the primary color of so many ballroom carpet and chair covers. Peach is surprisingly flat in many applications. Peach flowers are soft and a great addition to floral bouquets, but peach linen borders on dull and uninteresting. Pair that with the camoflauging qualities of burgundy and you have a color scheme that feels boring and dated.
  • Bad color scheme #4 Brown & Red                                                                                A couple of years ago when brown became the new black, we saw brown paired with every color under the sun. Most of those combos were stunning: chocolate brown with light pink, tiffany blue, bright yellow, peach, lavender, orange. The colors that overwhelmingly failed with the brown provided little or no contrast to the brown. In the case of chocolate and red, the colors had some contrast yes, but the tones were too similar and created a flatness to the event design that couldn’t be overcome.
  • Bad color scheme #5 Light Pink & Red                                                                     Red as a design color is difficult. It is a power color, a color that evokes a strong emotional response, a color that has ties to two major holidays. The problem with pink and red as a combination is more about our emotional association with the colors than the actual colors themselves. Light pink is soft, a weaker color (having nothing to do with the sexes) and doesn’t have the ‘pop’ against many colors event designers seek. It is especially true with red. Light pink and red together makes pink look like red’s ineffective running mate. It comes across as a diluted, weaker version of red rather than a strong but contrasting equal.

Just like all design, this list is subjective. (one thing I did leave out was football team color schemes. Every time I see purple and yellow paired together, the only thing going through my head is Minnesota Vikings). Any color schemes that ruin the party for you?

About designdakotastyle

ideas about event design and function from one little party design firm on the prairie... a glimpse into design with dakota style.
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One Response to 5 unworkable wedding color schemes

  1. Vicki says:

    From a floral perspective, we agree!!!

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