Wedding Planning 101: Swatches and Color Palettes

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When you’re choos­ing a look for your wed­ding, one of the top ques­tions you’ll prob­a­bly hear from var­i­ous wed­ding pro­fes­sion­als is, “What are your col­ors?” It’s impor­tant to know your palette for plan­ning pur­pos­es because col­ors are the dri­ving force for sev­er­al of the deci­sions you’ll make. Some­times you’ll know exact­ly what tones you’re seek­ing, or in oth­er cas­es, you may only have a ball­park idea. This is where swatch­es and palettes come in handy.

What is a Swatch

Swatch­es are fab­ric sam­ples of col­or selec­tions avail­able. Swatch­es more often than not will come from your wed­ding attire ven­dors, so your brides­maid dress and suit com­pa­nies. It’s a good idea to not only get your top choice as a swatch, but oth­er hues in your palette, as well, so you can real­ly visu­al­ize how the col­ors will look togeth­er. Many com­pa­nies will charge for swatch­es, how­ev­er, so be care­ful when think­ing about how many you want to order.

This is not only a great way to see the col­or of your cloth­ing, etc., but it also gives you a chance to see and feel the mate­r­i­al of the out­fits you’re order­ing before sign­ing on the dot­ted line.

woman testing generation tux swatches

How to Build a Palette

There a cou­ple of ways to go about build­ing the palette for your wed­ding. First thing is to decide the tone of your palette. This will help you nar­row down your col­or options. For exam­ple, do you know if you want a neu­tral, bold, bright or sub­tle palette? From there you can start build­ing your options.

You will usu­al­ly have one or two main col­ors in your palette, and a cou­ple of oth­er back­ground col­ors. Back­ground col­ors are often neu­tral tones like ivory, blush or cham­pagne, as long as those aren’t either of your pri­ma­ry col­ors.

Here are some exam­ples of build­ing a palette based on the fac­tors above:

  • Neu­tral: A mix of neu­tral tones (such as ivory, cham­pagne, sil­ver, gold, blush, etc.) that all com­ple­ment each oth­er. There are usu­al­ly no bright or bold shades in your decor, but you do have the option of accent­ing with one, if you so choose.
  • Bold: Bold col­ors tend to be your jew­el tones (think emer­ald, sap­phire and ruby). Chose one or two to be the main focus of your palette and add on some more neu­tral tones to com­plete the look. If you’re going with a rich pur­ple for your main shade, for exam­ple, you may choose to add in a lighter shade of pur­ple, gray and gold. Or if you want an even bold­er look, have sev­er­al jew­el tones as your main col­ors and mere­ly high­light with gold.
  • Bright: These are going to be your more sum­mery col­ors, like coral, yel­low or turquoise. Bright col­ors look great with oth­er bright tones or with dark­er shades—coral and navy or yel­low and navy are both pop­u­lar palettes. Add some neu­tral col­ors for a slight­ly more under­stat­ed look.
  • Sub­tle: A more sub­tle palette is great for when you want to include bright or bold col­ors, but don’t want to much focus on them. For exam­ple, using blush or sage as your main col­or, but accent­ing with bur­gundy. Using soft­er shades in the brides­maids’ dress­es and dark­er shades in the flow­ers is a great way to excel at this kind of palette.
swatch and color palette inspiration board for wedding

Gen­er­a­tion Tux offers free swatch­es to make col­or-match­ing as easy as pos­si­ble and to give you the change to see and feel the dif­fer­ence of our high-qual­i­ty suits and tuxe­dos up close. With dozens of swatch options, you are sure to find the per­fect look for your wed­ding day. See what we have to offer to make your union extra­or­di­nary.

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