How to Choose A Color Scheme for Your Wedding

There are dozens of decisions to make when planning your wedding. Wedding color scheme is one of the first and most important ones, since other particulars, like flowers, décor, bridesmaids’ dresses and even invitations, carry these colors forward. While it may seem difficult to pick your wedding colors, remember that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to creatively express you and your partner’s unique tastes and personalities.

For help selecting your wedding color palette, consider the following five factors:

1. Season: The time of year when you’ll be married can be a natural inspiration for wedding colors. Which colors best capture the mood of the specific season for you and your partner? A summer wedding color scheme might include intense coral, vibrant yellow, sunlit lilac and leafy green hues offset with a neutral tone of beige or white. On the other hand, for a winter wedding color scheme, you could choose royal blue, rich emerald green, shimmering silver or lustrous gold paired with cooler grays or bright whites to set the ideal tone.

2. Location and Time of Day: Try to complement your wedding color scheme with the location and planned time of day of your wedding and reception. For example, at the Hampshire House, our Boston wedding venue’s elegant Victorian architecture and décor lend themselves to colors that exemplify classic sophistication and sumptuous splendor. Since our tall Palladian windows overlook the Boston Public Gardens, hues from nature — including amazing, multicolored arrays of flowers — can also be highlighted.

Darker, richer color tones more often accompany late-afternoon or evening weddings, versus lighter pastel shades earlier in the day. This is merely a popular suggestion, however. You should allow room for your own creativity and individuality as well. Regardless of what colors you choose, be sure to pair them with contrasting tones to accentuate their combined appeal.

3. Special Meaning: Were you wearing a dazzling red dress the first time you and your fiancée met? Was it their blue eyes that made your heart flutter when you started dating? Were pink lilacs in bloom around the time the two of you fell in love? If there are special colors in the “aura” of your relationship, add even more romance and include them in your wedding celebration. This is a way to capture that little something special to you and your partner and convey it to those celebrating with you as a couple.

4. Personal Dreams: Everyone has dreamed of their wedding day at least once. There is something magical about a celebration of love that leads you to want to make it a reality. Maybe you always imagined a castle ceremony, dancing with your new spouse in magnificent marble ballroom. In that case, the Hampshire House embodies this look with Italian marble throughout for that elegant, fairy tale style. Such a regal style calls for rich, stately colors balanced with neutral tones. Those who adore glamour chic might opt for metallic silver and gold, pearl white, midnight blue or champagne. But not everyone prefers a castle. If you always imagined a more casual, or Bohemian aesthetic, earthy hues offset with jewel tones is the way to go. For those who like things a big more rustic, greens and blues, peachy beige tones or warm browns are ideal. You might think that your dream wedding will never be a reality, but what you imagine can shine through in the color palette you choose. Your dreams can shape the entire tone of your wedding, so don’t dismiss them.

5. Your Favorites: Have you always adored purple, ever since you were permitted to paint your bedroom when you were a teenager? Maybe your first vehicle was an old pickup truck painted cherry red. Is your closet full of browns and corals because those are the colors that flatter your complexion? If you and your partner have favorite colors, delight and indulge yourselves by playing them up at your wedding.

Remember — the most important goal in your wedding planning is not necessarily to fit any given color formula or trend, but to make you and your spouse-to-be happy on this most glorious day of your lives together.

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3 Tips for Planning Your Wedding Reception


Image by Nicole Chan Photography.

By the time you are preparing for your wedding, you’ve probably had some party-planning experience already. You might have thrown a shower, birthday party, or had a hand in another type of event. You’ve gotten your feet wet a little. However, while reception planning is, in essence, no different, it typically involves a large group of invitees and requires some extra attention for ceremonial and traditional details.

Plan a Great Venue.

Once you know the date and general location of your ceremony, you can choose a wedding reception site. Unless the reception and wedding are being held at the same location, your venue choice should be fairly close, for everyone’s convenience. An excellent reception venue:

  • Has inviting ambiance and attractive grounds — the Hampshire House is a grand, turn-of-the-century Georgian Revival mansion, situated across the street from Boston Public Garden and offers sweeping views of this magnificent green. Inside, the classic Victorian décor — Italian marble throughout, carved oak panels, Palladian windows and fireplaces on each level—conveys a sense of history and grandness. Guests will be awed and immediately know that they can relax and enjoy a superb experience.
  • Provides stellar service — respectful, courteous, and friendly reception servers go a long way in making each guest feel welcome. Servers should be able and willing to greet guests upon arrival and graciously assist them.
  • Has plenty of secure parking available — for a Boston wedding reception at the Hampshire House, guests can obtain validated parking at nearby Boston Common Garage. It’s an easy walk to the Hampshire House and an opportunity to get a glimpse of the historical elegance of Beacon Street.

Plan an Outstanding Menu.

After an exciting day of travel, preparation, and attending the beautiful ceremony, your guests will likely be as famished as you are. Drinks and appetizers should be served or available as soon as guests are seated. This facilitates relaxed socializing because everyone has what they need. Of course, your menu should be thoughtfully chosen and excellently prepared, with consideration for people who have special dietary needs. Work with your caterer or venue staff to plan food that is fresh and tasty, with enough variety to please a large group.

At the Hampshire House, our executive chef Markus Ripperger’s life passion has been to create a wide variety of innovative, sustainable, locally-sourced and gourmet-cooked cuisine with many GMO-free options. Just reading a few of his menu selections is often enough to make anyone hungry.

Be sure to let the drinks flow freely. Even if you opt for a cash-only bar, allow your guests to order alcoholic drinks if they wish. And don’t hold back on desserts, either. Be sure to offer sweets other than the wedding cake. For many people, dessert is their favorite part of a meal.

Plan to Have Fun.

With all your guests’ food and drink needs satisfied due to your skillful wedding reception planning, they will also be clamoring for entertainment. Hiring a band or DJ for dancing is a tried-and-true form of energetic fun. Some other more unique ideas might include:

  • Hiring a dancer to perform for guests or an acrobat to amaze the audience with their dexterity.
  • Renting a video booth where guests can create special personalized videos to memorialize the event.
  • Doing a balloon drop, with lots of confetti and glitter.
  • Laying out a puzzle challenge at each table, crafting each puzzle yourself by clipping pictures of you and your spouse, your parents and in-laws, the two of you with your pets, etc.
  • Delighting guests with a magician, a comedian or a psychic reader.

Planning entertainment will keep guests laughing and interacting, sustaining the joyous mood of your celebration. It will be good to have a photographer on hand to capture these moments of fun. But no matter the entertainer, the real stars of the show will be you and your new spouse as the both of you embark on your wonderful new life together.

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