The “Single Color Rainbow” Wedding

What if you don’t want to pick wedding colors–plural? Sometimes the best atmosphere comes from the tasteful use of a single color. When you embrace the “single color rainbow,” you actually open yourself up to a range of wedding colors far beyond two or three. Couples who say, “I do” to one hue are rewarded with every possible variation of that color.

Pick a deep, vivid shade you like–say, emerald green, ruby red, or sapphire blue–and use that, along with increasingly lighter shades of the same color, as your wedding palette. Use only two shades for a striking look, or use 30 shades for a subtle effect. In any case, get ready to dazzle your guests with the power of a beautiful gradient.

Avoid Clashing

Even though it sounds counter-intuitive, the more two colors resemble each other, the higher the probability is that they will clash. To avoid clashing, simply follow one rule: Any time you use a light or dark shade of your wedding color, make sure it comes from the same exact base color.

If this sounds complicated to you, think of it in terms of paint. Say you have a bowl of pink paint and you want to create lighter and darker shades. If you add white, you get lighter shades. If you add black, you get darker shades. Any color created from adding white or black to your base color is perfectly fine to use in your wedding décor. Just don’t use any colors that seem like they’ve had another color (like, say, red or blue) mixed in, because that’s where the clashing happens.

Of course, the best judge of whether or not something clashes is your own eye. If it looks good to you, chances are it will look good to your guests, as well. When in doubt, trot out a few friends whose clothes usually look fashionable, and ask for a second opinion.

Ways to Make Your Color Pop

Any time you place multiple shades of your color next to each other in a smooth gradient, you highlight your unusual color choice. Arrange six or seven shades of purple from nearly-white to deep royal purple and you’ll draw every eye in the room. This can be used to highlight any area you want to especially shine; from the ruffles on bridesmaids’ dresses to the flowers in the bouquet, a single-color gradient is a powerful visual draw.

Try ordering a custom rainbow wedding cake, but instead of cycling through the colors of the rainbow, design the tiers of the cake to cycle through the many shades of your chosen color. Arrange them lightest to darkest for the best visual appeal.

Not every use of your color has to be in a well-ordered gradient. The lightest and darkest shades will also highlight each other when placed side by side. Try bordering your lightest color with your darkest color, or vice-versa, on the invitation stationery, the reception linens, or the trim on your bridal gown’s bodice.

You can also “cheat” a bit and add bits of pure black and white to your color selection. While some folks might argue that black and white are colors, they’re close enough to neutral to accent your single-color rainbow without upstaging it. Take care to use small amounts of black and white along the edges of your colors to make sure they don’t distract from the overall impact.

Bouquets, Corsages, and Boutonnieres

Flowers and floral arrangements especially pop when they’re arranged in gradient fashion. Try coordinating the size of your flowers with their shades. Arrange bigger, deep-colored flowers like irises, day lilies, and roses in the center, and spiral smaller, light-colored flowers out from the center. You can even ring the whole thing with white baby’s breath as a final, airy note.

Try to avoid too much excess foliage, as green leaves can take away from the visual impact of the single-color rainbow. You can even snip the leaves from your flowers and wrap their stems in ribbon matching the hue of the petals; that way, the bouquets and other arrangements will look flawless.

Let Your Vendors Know

You’re choosing your wedding color because you love it, so make sure the conditions at your wedding site are as flattering as possible. Let your wedding vendors (especially anyone responsible for venue lighting, photography, or videography) know what color you plan to use so they can tailor the environment to your chosen hue.

It’s also a good idea to bring in swatches when designing your makeup, wedding cake, and any dresses, shoes, or ties that the wedding party will be wearing, just to make sure that all of your vendors are on the same page.

The single-color rainbow, despite highlighting the many shades of one color, is actually a sneaky way to get an infinite amount of wedding colors for your big day. Go ahead and use them with flair and enthusiasm–you’re guaranteed to stand out!