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Color blocking for dramatic wedding design

Tent Décor, Trend Watch | June 1, 2012 | By:

Be bold. Be loud. Be marry.

An all-white palette is the most classic Western wedding scheme, but today’s couples are more likely to crave daring hues. In 2012, this trend seems even more intense and dramatic.

Weddings are sensory experiences, shared through taste, smell, sound and touch. But sight grabs you first, pulls you in and tells you a story. Couples tell their tale with personal styling, creative details and washes of color. They’re styling their celebration as if they were reaching into their closets and assembling their most fashionable outfits for a night out on the town. A pair of royal blue platform pumps and a kelly green silk scarf may be all the inspiration a bride needs when it comes to designing her wedding.

The strong color choices in weddings this season reflect the Spring runways in New York, Paris and Milan: hues that are avant-garde, playful and impossible to ignore both for their brightness and for their prominence across designers and retailers. One of the hottest fashion trends of the season, which easily extends to event design, is color blocking, pairing hypersaturated solid colors in striking combinations using whole pieces rather than stripes, textures or patterns. For instance, dozens of solid color paper lanterns in magenta, purple and lavender make a powerful statement when hung en masse from a tent ceiling. Add monochromatic floral centerpieces, linens, napkins and chairs in the same shades, and the space shimmers with drama.

While it’s okay to pair three bold colors, only one of them should be super bright or even—dare I say it—neon. The simple formula of “one bright, one bold, one neutral” will help keep the event space from blinding guests. When considering which neutral to incorporate for balance, look beyond white. A neutral can be gray, brown, navy, champagne or black. An easy approach to color blocking is to choose different hues of the same color. For instance, sky blue, cobalt and navy look smashing together, as do pale blush pink, bright candy pink and sexy fuchsia.

With a bright-bold-neutral color blocking scheme, fiery orange, once an absolute no-no for weddings, is quickly becoming a favorite. Floral arrangements in saturated citrus tones are sensational juxtaposed against caramel-hued woods and dull metals for a modern, warm environment. Pantone’s color of the year, Tangerine Tango, balances beautifully next to weathered farm tables and raw plank flooring under a creamy sailcloth tent.

Challenged by what colors work well together for your own color blocking event design? Here are more winning combinations:

  • Cobalt blue, yellow, orange
  • Chocolate brown, pink, peach
  • Purple, bright blue, teal
  • Deep blue, bright pink, white
  • Coral, gray, ivory

Knowing what a couple wishes to convey through their wedding style is crucial in pulling together a cohesive event design. Thanks to the fashion industry, there’s no end to the combinations of bright, happy colors for bold inspiration.

Melissa Paul is the owner of Melissa Paul Ltd. Paul is a brand storyteller for the luxury wedding, culinary and hospitality industries.

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