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We turned to the most inspiring collections and of-the-moment destinations for hints on what color combinations your beach, garden, or destination wedding should steal.
While summer weddings are prime calendar real estate—thanks to warm weather, flowers in bloom, and the ability to use bold color with a devil-may-care laissez faire—this year is likely going to look a little different.
COVID-19 has many brides postponing their summer weddings for late in the season, autumn/winter 2020, and into 2021; but, that doesn't mean weddings shouldn't consider our favorite new color ideas for summer weddings to plan for celebrations to come. After all, when it comes time for (celebratory) gatherings and (destination) travel, weddings will be back in full force in a wide range of climates. Consider the fresh, bold, and delicate takes on color that the summer months inspire, no matter when your upcoming nuptials may fall.
Pro tips: Two hues do not a color palette make—and tapping into the spectrum of your chosen shades is an ideal start in creating a design concept that is dynamic and festive, without looking too themed. Don't be afraid to go bold, take risks, accent with metallics, or set your chosen hues on a background of light or dark neutrals. Inspired by travel, architecture, florals, food, and—of course—fashion, these are the most innovative color palettes for a summer or warm-weather wedding. Screen shot the palettes that speak to you; then, show them to your planner, designer, and florist.
Reminiscent of old English tea parties a la the latest release of Emma starring Anya Taylor Joy, think of heaps of tasty desserts, fine china, and fashions all in the pastel tones of lemon, mint, dusty pink, and seafoam green.
We took inspiration from the work of Norman Parkinson, Cecil Beaton, and the paintings of Vittorio Reggianini, all which evoked the opulence of old world salons and dinner parties worthy of corsets, gloves, and pastel tones. The opulence of the soft silks and satins, the feminine cuts of dresses, the endless ruffle details, and more inspired this idea for the sweetest of wedding décor.
Not sure you're looking to go all-the-way femme? Play up this palette in your bridesmaids' dresses, in your wedding cake and desserts, and even in the tabletop. Incorporate inky blue, a neutral sage, or an oatmeal beige to soften the blow should pastel overload not be your thing, but we're not sure why it wouldn't be...
Pictured: Getty Images; Giambattista Valli Spring 2017; Markarian Spring 2020; Rodarte Fall 2018; Pippa Small earrings, $5,840, pippasmall.com; Etro scarf $481, matchesfashion.com; Dedar Milano; Dior Spring 2017.
This array of ivories, soft shades of gray, and hints of patinaed blush and black is the update to that all-too-expected blush-and gold palette we simply never want to see again.
While Florentine and Italian décor brings deep-toned velvets, mustard tassels, and gold gilding to mind, the streets of this romantic city also tell a different color story. Against stonework colored in oatmeal, beige, dove and steel grey are hints of Carrera marble in black and white, paired with pale yellows and soft pinks from the frescoes on the ceilings overhead.
Use this array of neutrals for a cool girl take on a classic affair. This, brides-to-be, is the modern-day-minimalist's palette.
Pictured: Getty Images; Christian Oth for BAZAAR Bride; Alexandre Vauthier ankle boots, $1,409, matchesfashion.com.
These retro colors that could be found in a '70s-style home in Palm Springs are edgy and yet, current and cool. Lilac at its brightest and pop-toned mandarin orange—with hints of sage and ochre—call to a hot desert sunset behind a line of palm trees. Not convinced yet? Trust us: These warm colors demand to be features together in a summer soirée.
Add in bold shapes, textures, prints, silhouettes, and accessories that were once passé, but in the best possible way. Think large hoop earrings, a collection of table vessels that are anything but matchy-matchy, eccentric block heels and high-low hemlines. This palette is designed for the eclectic, dynamic couple who thinks outside of the box, and wants to be anything but ordinary.
Pictured: Getty Images; Prada mini tote, $2,050, modaoperandi.com; Giambattista Valli Spring 2017; Valentino Spring 2020; Silvia Furmanovich earrings, $11,880, modaoperandi.com.
Think red rocks, light leathers, cacti, epic golden sunrises, clear skies, and denim blues—and you've landed on the new way to do neutrals.
The American (Mid)west is an endless source of ways to embrace rugged riffs on color, and the textures of this region complement the handcrafted textiles and prints that also have roots here. Mix in those textures when using this palette. If you're looking to infuse color, opt for a more muted orange, green, and/or plum—they'll feel most at home (on the range).
Pictured: Getty Images; Ronald van der Kemp Couture Spring 2019; Chloe cross-body bag, $1,415, matchesfashion.com; Daniela Villegas earrings, $4,840, modaoperandi.com.
From chic, striped seaside umbrellas to limoncello and the soft tones of homemade pasta, the vibrant hues of the Italian Riviera inspired this palette—full of lemon trees, greenery, and stone shades.
Create a color palette that is warm and apropos for the summer months—or any month you're hosting a destination affair—by accenting these bold shades with subtle textures of grey and ivory. If you aren't hosting an event in Italy, avoid too many thematic elements; too many lemons and tiles and this look will quickly go costume, unless it's of-the-setting and authentic.
Pictured: Getty Images; Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2019; Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2017; Dolce & Gabbana bag, $7,015, matchesfashion.com.
Inspired by the different shades of grey and sand in marble slabs of a stone quarry, these colors come together to create a sleek, modern palette for a city fete—or a minimalist event in an otherworldly destination.
Be sure to tie in lush, creamy florals and silks with a grain or soft sheen to elevate and create texture. This refined palette of silver, deep grey, and shades of nude is obvious for an urban couple looking for a simple yet cool vibe, or a duo that's looking to reinterpret what it means to wed overseas or outdoors.
Pictured: Getty Images; Dior Spring 2017; Christian Oth for BAZAAR.com; Marchesa Spring 2017; Les Petits Joueurs bag, $695, lespetitsjoueurs.com.
Look to the sea and below for new ways to mix up your favorite cool tones of blue and purple, accented with the corals of the ocean floor.
From watercolor inspirations to iridescent textures of seashells, rainbow fish, and beyond, think fluidly when approaching this end of the color spectrum for a look that is sophisticated, yet fresh. Complement shades of aquamarine, lavender, and magenta with sandy neutrals for a look that brings the beach to the ballroom—and beyond.
Pictured: Getty Images; Zuhair Murad Couture Spring 2019; Rosantica bag, $875, neimanmarcus.com.
Intricate molding, detailed wallpaper, and a paisley settee in an old mansion in the South of France is what comes to mind with this regal palette. This soft, sophisticated palette of pistachio, cream, slate, and French blue easily welcomes patterns and loads of varying textures.
Don’t forget to keep fabrics light and airy and florals of the season for a palette that is fit for summer.
Pictured: Markarian Spring 2020; Rejina Pyo bag, $645, modaoperandi.com; Rodarte Fall 2020; Luisa Beccaria Fall 2016; Simon Miller sandals, $410, modaoperandi.com; Giambattista Valli Spring 2017
The stark white and bright blues of the Greek flag, paired with the rich and pastel pinks of the country's summer sunsets, inspired this palette—which looks crazy chic when accented with the tone of the country's native bougainvilleas.
Mix lavender, buttercream, blush, and pops of bubblegum with Mediterranean azure blue and bright white for a look that feels inventive and feminine—with an edge.
Pictured: Getty Images; Giambattista Valli Couture Spring 2019; Dolce & Gabbana earrings, $762, matchesfashion.com.
A landscape of warm sand and mountain ranges inspires a warm palette of mustard, goldenrod, sepia, and pops of pink for a style worthy of a warm-weather soiree.
With this look and feel, keep your props and florals to a minimum; accent with wildflowers and cacti plants in small doses. Take note: Touches of black take this rustic palette to new heights.
Infuse rustic floral elements and pops of color with an otherwise simple setting for a look that feels festive, modern, and It-girl approved. Channel these tones (and this overall vibe) for your day-of dinner, or a rehearsal dinner in the desert.
Pictured: Getty Images; Carolina Herrera Resort 2019; Isabel Marant earrings, $347, matchesfashion.com; Christian Louboutin pump, $618, matchesfashion.com.
Two words: tropic thunder. Caribbean colors, like these saccharine blues, greens, yellows and pale pink, create events where guests can't help themselves from smiling. These events feel best ocean or seaside; use the sunset to tint the wedding's key moments, like a bright and boldly designed ceremony.
If you're going to go down this road—go big or go home. Embrace the island vibes in every way and off-set it with the bright white and alabaster of picket fences and white-sand beaches. Go tropical with all of your accents, especially the florals, but beware: Using anything unnatural will look like you're trying to throw a theme party, rather than an authentic experience.
Pictured: Getty Images; Delpozo Pre-Fall 2018; Versace scarf, $235, matchesfashion.com.
Moody tones of purple and cobalt blue, like dusk after a rainy day, take on a slightly warmer tone when mixed with burnished copper. Although this palette can easily skew fall/winter, frothy tulles and lighter shades of purples give off that whimsical, summer vibe.
With this palette, shimmery materials and some light crystals will create a dreamy setting that feels like your entertaining in the clouds.
Pictured: Getty Images; Dior Spring 2017 and Fall 2018; Verdi Mochila bag, $995, modaoperandi.com; Karma el Khalil earrings $8,500, modaoperandi.com; Zimmerman Fall 2019; Luisa Beccaria Spring 2017.