Wedding Wednesday: Let's talk about color

Some people seem to think that planning an entire wedding comes immediately after getting engaged. I've been asked when and where we're getting married dozens of times already.

On top of that, if you try to do even some browsing of pictures or dresses on The Knot, you have to register on their site, which includes submitting your wedding date. Upon submitting my made up date, I had 374 items on my personalized (yeah, right) "to do" list.

We're not sprinting down the aisle, but I feel a little pressure to figure something out right now, so I decided to focus on something fun: colors.

Searching for a little inspiration, I found myself looking at the ribbons I've been using to wrap our Christmas presents. They're not a true blue, but not exactly teal.

I'm not sure the color is coming through as deep as it is in person

When I brought up the idea of using the color of the ribbon, Marc said "Sounds good."

After staring at the ribbon for a while, I decided it was "peacock blue" but a quick google search made me think that wasn't quite it. Then I found myself looking at the special occasion dresses on the J. Crew and Ann Taylor websites and I found the color. At J. Crew, it's called "Matisse Blue" and at Ann Taylor, it's called "Plume."

More searching led me to a post on Lavender and Lillies from a while back. Jessica wrote about the color and blogger friends Linds from Everything LEB and Leila from In the Tweeds wrote about wanting to use it in their weddings.

I decided to assemble a few inspiration pictures, but ran into the same problem that Leila did when she wanted to use it in her wedding. It's not an easy color to find. Below is my best attempt at a mini-inspiration board. In the lower left corner, you'll see a J. Crew dress in Matisse Blue...that's the color. The rest of the pictures don't have the exact color...because I really couldn't find anything that was an exact match.

Pictures from The Knot, J. Crew, and a Loutoutin fan website
BTW: What is the poor girl next to the bride wearing? Her dress looks like a balloon valance.

If you're a color nerd like me, I'm sure you're looking at those Louboutins next to that dress and are thinking that they don't go at all. You're right. It's honestly the best I could do.

What to do? Looking at the pictures I had saved to created that little grouping of photos, I saw another color emerging...a deep, teal color.

Pictures from The Knot, except for the shoes, which are from Arbie Goodfellow

The more I look at it, the more it's growing on me.

Perhaps this seems silly to some, but I think many of us are highly reactive to color. This is why we pour of paint swatches for hours, scroll through banks of inspiration pictures, and flip through books full of wallpaper and fabric.

Marc told me he likes both and I can pick whatever I want, which is a nice thing to say to someone with four fan decks in her hands. So, in light of how elusive "Matisse Blue" or "Plume" seem to be, do I settle for the deep teal color?

How did you pick a color to use in your wedding (or how are you doing it currently)? Did you do this early on?


  1. My sister wanted something like your initial choice for her wedding; it was very difficult to find (the J.Crew dress she liked had been discontinued), so she ended up choosing something else. I chose my color-- coral-- because it's a shade that looked nice in the church and that I personally look good in (I'm a redhead, and while as the bride I wore white, I would still be surrounded by it in my pictures; it was also flattering on all my bridesmaids). If the color you choose is open to interpretation (as a name like "plume" suggests), you might want to think about looking a swatches of fabric for bridesmaid dresses. A good shop should be able to give you samples and you could go from there. Additionally, a knowledgeable salesperson (or other bridal professional) might be able to tell you what they know about the color you like; has the color been popular? do people generally look good in it? have other brides had a hard time matching it with other wedding elements like flowers or tablecloths?

    Looking forward to following your planning process and keeping up with all your home improvements as well. : )

  2. Great question. My colors evolved over time. I knew I wanted antique, vintagey colors. My fiance will be married in a kilt so that threw in some jewel-toned colors I initially thought I'd need to work with: navy, spruce green, red. HMMM. I eventually decided it wasn't necessary to work around those and I'd be happier surrounded by colors I love (he doesn't want too much attention on the kilt anyway!). My colors are now a golden antique yellow (yellow has always been my favorite color), dove grey, charcoal grey, white. Similar tones to your blog design, which is why I love it!

    (PS - go to Wal-Mart and hit up the paint aisle. Play around with the paint color swatches and see which ones work well for you. Take those and file in your wedding folder - I did this and they've really come in handy while picking linens, etc!)

  3. I actually didn't have any specific colors for my wedding. We got married on the patio of the Ivy Inn (before the tent was put up), so we didn't have a church to decorate. The flowers were reminiscent of English cottage gardens -- lots of colors (except no reds or oranges). My two attendants wore floral Laura Ashley dresses (different, not the same) and the two groomsmen wore navy blue suits and different ties.

    I really wanted to elope but we were having the ceremony to make our parents happy, so I just kept things simple. I organized a nice party and didn't spend any time worrying about anything that wasn't necessary.

  4. when i got married i was having a hard time deciding on colors... and ended up using just black and white. there were a few silver accents, and i also ended up with polka dots and stripes on some of the material, paper goods, and on the cake. i knew i wanted simple black bridesmaid dresses, so we kind of started with that. i really like how it turned out.

    i seriously thought about using a teal blue color similar to the one you posted above as an accent color but had a very difficult time finding it. but that was 3.5 years ago and i think it's become much more popular. i think it is a beautiful color and if you wanted to introduce another color, there are lots of options that would go nicely with it!

  5. I just had mainly Ivory with very small details in a leaf green ( green leaves in my bouquet and a tiny ribbon on the waists of my bridesmaids) I planned and made everything myself from making 34 bridesmaids dresses, 2 page boy outfits to decorating the reception hall,setting the tables, making centrepieces etc.
    What it meant was that on the day I was SO calm. I knew that everything was exactly as I wanted it and there would be no suprises or panics. Wonderful !

  6. Did I say 34 bridesmaids ????? Meant 4!

  7. Oh wow, how pretty! If I was to get married again, I'd totally go this route. The teal is awfully pretty (especially with that chartreuse) but I think you should hold out for what you really love. Remember, that all those J. Crew dresses change with each season, so maybe come later winter or spring they'll have your color. You have time. You could always go the route of having some made too....that's what I did, and it turned out just the way I wanted it to, albeit a bit more work than off the rack. Good luck!

  8. I used that exact ribbon in my wedding =) I paired a bright orchid green with that blue and a pop of pink. It was a huge hit =) Picking colors is soo hard but sooo much fun! You get to play with a zillion color combos until you find your favorite <3

    I actually think, aside from the date, that the color scheme was the first thing I decided on. Go to home depot and grab paint swatches and play. Fun stuff!

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  9. Picking colors was so hard for me! I wanted something that was different than what I had seen out there but was still me and my fiance. Orange is my all time favorite color, and royal blue just kinda evolved over time. Whats funny is that as soon as I picked my "different" colors I see them EVERYWHERE now :)

    The hardest part was actually finding the right color bridesmaids dresses! Everyone always tells you to plan your wedding in order and start with colors and other inspiration, but after I had ordered everything in royal blue trying to find the right bridesmaids dresses (that were not that thick satin material) was miserable. I found that Anna Elyse and LulaKate had the most choices in the raw silk I wanted.

    So, long story short- pick colors, then bridesmaids dresses, and then order everything else :)

    PS- Just thought of this...trying to find royal blue invites was a pain too- scout out invitation/paper sources while you are searching for bridesmaids dresses since that was the second hardest thing to find :)

  10. FWIW I like the deep teal you posted second SO much better.

    My wedding dress sort of created the color. Originally I was looking at a Monique Lhuillier dress and if I went with that my bridesmaids would have been in gold and gold/yellows/warm tones would have been my colors.

    I ended up going with a Jenny Lee dress that was ivory but underneath had a pale pink underlay. The dress read champagne I guess, it wasn't a pure white. I ended up going with pale pink for my maids and used pinks for my flowers. The guys were in navy blue suits (always the plan) and their ties matched the ladies (also, always the plan).

    You can see pics here if you're interested ;)

  11. I knew I would get frustrated trying to perfectly match hues when all my products were being bought from different sources, so I really kept it simple. Each bridesmaid picked her own black dress, something that she would feel comfortable in (it also let her pick her price point rather than sticking her with an expensive dress she could only wear once). The church where we got married was so beautiful on its own that we didn't even worry about decorating it at all.

  12. I'm a wedding fanatic and I hope you don't mind me following.

    I immediately thought of deep teal when I saw your inspiration ribbon in the first pic. I think it's a very pretty color and not limited at all. You can use those beautiful peacock feathers with this color. I'm seeing deep teal and brown. The girls can wear bronze shoes.

    Happy Planning and Congrats!!

  13. Jeez, I know, huh! I had to pick a date for the Knot too, and was rather amused, as you were, at the lengthy to-do list.

    I absolutely love that teal-ish color.

    PS- thank you SO MUCH for all your suggestions.

  14. That J Crew dress is super cute (love the color too!) Our wedding was relatively small, on a tight budget and we went from engaged to married in less than 5 months. Venue was our biggest concern. Once that was taken care of I found some invitations that I liked that were cream with brown lettering and a green queen Anne's lace detail. That started to lock in color for me. A great place of inspiration for came from this wedding blog (which I'm sure you've already seen) I would find lots of pictures to pull together my own inspiration board there which put me on the right path. I also like orange so I found ways to bring that in to the mix too (I had great orange shoes). My sister was my only bridesmaid and she was going to be in another wedding the week after mine wearing a great brown raw silk dress (that cost more than mine!) Her friend didn't mind that she would wear it for my wedding too. We found some Amy Butler fabric with all the right colors to make napkins and we also made all the flowers out of tissue paper so I was able to pick the perfect shades of greens, ivory, golds, orange, burgundy and gray. I have to give a shout out to my Mama who made me the most exquisite bouquets creating A LOT of detailed and delicate individual flowers.
    The colors were appropriate for time of year and the venue (venue being the biggest thing - you want your colors and the place to look right together.)
    I wouldn't worry about that list of 347 things. You will have a beautiful day without it.

  15. Girl I planned our wedding in a month and a half, no joke, my husband was serving overseas at the time so when he got back everything was pretty much in gear, my mom flew in and helped with the arrangements and we were lucky to have gotten a packaged deal on base for the reception even the DJ was short notice but we pulled it off and it was still a nice not half ass wedding believe it or not. Everyone was impressed. So don't sweat it and don't become a bridezilla! lol

  16. My color (orange) came from the flowers that I wanted to have (daylilies).

  17. We got married on December 29th but I did NOT want Christmas colors (red &/or green) or typical "winter" colors (blue, white, silver). I love orange but that felt too summery. I also have an innate need to be ornery & different. So we went with a combination of copper, rust & ivory/cream. My old online scrapbook is still up ( if you're super bored but some of the links are probably broken.

  18. I honestly have been saying that my colors would be black and white since I was in my early 20s. I always thought my party would just pick black dresses.

    But now...the colors are so darn pretty and the options for bridesmaid dresses are so, so much better than back then. J. Crew and Ann Taylor weren't doing the bridesmaid thing.

    Anthropologie is getting in on the act soon...they are supposed to be debuting a bridal line in the spring.

  19. I went with a palette - spring hydrangea-like green, and a sapphire

    built around that from there with flowers, dresses, invites, etc

    also adopted/used the art deco logo of the venue after we chose that

    ALSO - those pussy willow lights from the prev post are amazing!

  20. i chose a neutral b'maid dress color, gray, so the accents would pop. i wanted the flowers to pop more than the matchy-matchy dresses. the dresses did match but weren't so bridesmaidsy as when i was going to go with a darker purple color. i see a lot of people using gray now so i guess it's the trendy thing, which is kind of blech to me but whats done is done.

    p.s. i haven't been on here in a long minute. i love the look of your page now! oh, and of course, happy to hear the news of your engagement!

  21. I'm so behind the times (behind on blogs as well) so just read the news! Congrats!!! I love the 2nd set of pics - the color is particularly gorgeous.

    My neice just got married over the summer and couldn't decide between the blues and teals, so went with a variety of colors in a peacock color range. They even put a few peacock feathers in some of the arrangments, etc. to pull it together. Nicely done, and turned out beautifully.

  22. I like the teal much, much better. I think it is much more flattering of a color one people especially fair skinned people like me. The dark blue makes me look too stark white.

    For our wedding we had light blue. It wasn't ever really a question because it's both of our favorite colors and very classic because it's the color most people thing of as "something blue."

  23. The teal is gorgeous. Love that color. I don't know how I ended up with my colors - pink, green and brown. I guess it all just fell together at some point... I wore a gown with a colored sash (I think it was called 'wasabi') and I love pink and the brown was a great accent color.

    I ignored the Knot. There are some crazies over there.

  24. Jeannie, I also chose our wedding colors from ribbon! I found a fabulous striped ribbon at Michael's that was grey/white/pale mossy aqua-y green ($1 bin - holla!). I fell in love with the green color immediately, but it was nearly impossible to match. It was only a stroke of luck that I found invitations that had a 99% match for ink and paper (discontinued shortly after I ordered them) and I didn't even find anything else that matched until literally 3 weeks before the wedding. Then everything came together - paper for the programs, candy, everything. Miraculously. I think you should go with your gut. If you like the first color, stick with it. If it makes you happy now, it will do so for years to come. And have patience - you'll find things that work.

  25. J-
    Just stumbled onto your blog- so cute! I am a designer and I HAD to comment on the wedding color search. I picked my colors our of a fan deck as well. My colors were Red and a deep orange with champagne accents...I got married in the fall. I spent a year with those two samples in my purse being hauled our for every kind of matching possible. It's a great idea - consider getting bigger samples too! Good Luck and have so much fun!

  26. I did aqua/teal/green-blue, too - it was a very hard color to describe! Paired with black, white and touches of green. You can see some of the color from our pictures here:

    oh, and here are my shoes, since I saw you were looking for those, too - J. Crew!

  27. I chose the Matisse Blue from J Crew for my bridesmaids dresses - it is a very hard color to match up because it isn't true teal, but bluer than teal - it is almost the color of the ocean. The shop I bought my dress in gives you shoes and for $10 they would die them to match the bridesmaids dress. The groomsmen will wear silver ties and vest with their tuxes, but I really wanted to have some more accents of the Matisse Blue because it is so pretty! I couldn't find ribbon to match it - teal ribbon was too green and sapphire was too blue. A good friend of mine who lives in NYC went to the ribbon district and found some ribbon that matches! It is the Midori double-sided satin ribbon in "parrot blue". Midori also has an organdy called "Wave" that matches quite well too! I ended up finding it online and ordering it in bulk because it made more sense with the amount needed for the florist, programs, etc. Then there will be accents of silver, pale pink and ivory - it should be pretty!

  28. I am looking for the ribbon...what is the name of the color, maybe I can get it on line.


  29. Hi

    I am using the Ann Taylor looks great with bright pink. I am having the worst time trying to find matching sashes for my flower girls and that ribbon looks perfect! What is the color on it....PLEASE!


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