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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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