How to Determine Colors for a Wedding ( Full Page )

The Big Event!

One of the most exciting niches in which color is a major player, is wedding planning. Whether you are a professional planner or intimately involved in another capacity, such as a stylist or even the bride herself, color, and its usage, will likely play a critical role in setting the aesthetic, theme, and mood captured.

Color choices can include, not just the bride and her bouquet, but the groom, and other members of the wedding party. This is the day when everyone wants to look their absolute best.

Further, utilizing the Colortime system in the color design of the wedding would take the time of day and setting into account. By coordinating the colors of the ceremony itself, including the flowers and other decorative elements, as well as the reception, will help to create a wonderfully cohesive wedding event. Some couples prefer a traditional wedding but just as many are opting for a more casual or simply different, more personalized function. This is a time when budgets are stretched and utilizing color to create a theme and style will help to conserve funds.

@bybettybluebell – Mar Hall Golf & Spa Resort
Kehoe Designs: Photo: Kehoe Designs – The Geraghty, Chicago

Have you ever wished that choosing colors was easier? Or wondered why some people, look great in certain colors, but not in others? Have you ever noticed that in nature everything is designed to blend? If you study the color of Siamese cats, for instance, their eyes, fur, noses and foot pads blend beautifully. After analyzing thousands of students and clients, I learned that the same principles apply to people. As in nature, individuals are born with blending skin, hair and eye color. I have devised a color system as a means to better understand why this occurs.

Everything in nature, including color, works on a time clock. We associate certain shadings, tints, values and intensities with specific times of day. There are certain color palettes which emerge at these various times. There are three palettes in the Color Clock© system. They included Sunrise (AM hours), Sunlight (Mid-day hours) and Sunset (PM hours.)

Colors appear to vary during the course of a day due to the changing light and presence of various particles that float in the atmosphere. In the earliest hours of the day, warm colors begin to from the cold gray dawn. A rosy glow appears before the dazzling sun actually begins its ascent. Because sunrise is sunset in reverse, the shadings progress from the darkness of blue and gray to purpled rose-mauves to the splendor of the red-orange glow. But since the atmosphere is generally cleaner and moister in the morning, the color of sunrise are much less fiery than those of sunset.


This “dewy” wetness permeates the Sunrise Colortime. Occasionally when the air is very clean, there is a clear green streak across the sky just as the dawn breaks. Later in the morning, the sun hanges to a brilliant yellow-white. Blues are brightest in the early hours and sky is at its clearest. An undertone of cool blue pervades most of the Sunrise Colortime.


In the middle of the clock, between 10:00am and 2:00pm, is the Sunlight Colortime palette. The intensity of the sun is the greatest during these hours. Even when the sun is obscured by clouds, the force of the reflected light remains strong. An object that receives direct sunlight during these hours seems slightly diminished, since intense light dazzles the eye and makes the colors appear somewhat muted. Since the Midday Colortime is derived from both the AM and PM palettes, it offers the widest range of choices, but the colors are subtle — they never scream. This is the palette of pleasing, luscious tones in every hue. Any of the tints may be deepend to a darker value for contrast.


In the later afternoon, you see Sunset (PM) colors begin to appear. The number of yellowed dusted particles in the atmosphere increases at this time of day, so most colors appear to take on a golden, hazy ,or mellow quality. Color appear “drier” in the afternoon than they do in the morning. In the late afternoon, as the sun goes down, you see the fiery red shades of sunset. Gold is the pervading undertone of sunset’s orange, rust, warm reds, and yellow-greens. At dusk, the spectral rays of deep blue take over, often combining withh the reflected reds to become a red-violet or purple glow.

In the afternoon, you see Sunset (PM) colors. the number of yellowed dusted particles in the atmosphere increases at this time of day, so most colors appear to take on a golden, hazy or mellow quality. Color appear “drier” in the afternoon than they do in the morning. In the late afternoon, as the sun goes down, you see the fiery red shades of sunset. Gold is the pervading undertone of sunset’s orange, rust, warm reds, and yellow-greens. At dusk, the spectral rays of deep blue take over, often combining withh the reflected reds to become a red-violet or purple glow.

Every color in the spectrum is represented throughout the daytime hours, although the undertones, intensities and values vary in each Colortime palette. For example, beause of its intense heat, vibrant orange doesn’t appear in the Sunrise palette. The warm pinky-coral tones such as “Confetti” stand in for their fiery sister colors. Similarly Peaches N’ Cream would do the same in the Sunlight palette.


Charcoal, black and navy blue represent the shades of night and predawn, when all colors are shrouded in darkness. They may be used with all of the Colortime palettes. They are a part of “Nature’s Crossover Colors” and are more fully explained later on in the course. Crossover Colors are included in each of the three Colortime palettes.

Charcoal, black and navy blue represent the shades of night and predawn, when all colors are shrouded in darkness. They may be used with all of the Colortime palettes. They are a part of “Nature’s Crossover Colors” and are more fully explained later on in the course. Crossover Colors are included in each of the three Colortime palettes.

Utilizing this color system in determining colors for a wedding is a natural fit as the proper usage of color and color coordination will help to create a cohesion unlike any other element. In any wedding theme, from invitation to gown, bridal party, and setting color can act as the most important cohesive force.

Now let’s take a look at how the system works.

Colortime Palettes

Here are three examples of the three Colortime Palettes. From left to right we move from the Sunrise, to Sunset and then Sunlight the palettes. Notice the pink undertones in the complexion of Sunrise, the honey-brown of Sunset and beige undertones of Sunlight.

Sunrise -Hitomi Gilliam
Sunset-Hitomi Gilliam
Sunlight-Hitomi Giliam

Here are three floral bouquests representative of each Colortime palette Sunrise, Sunset and Sunlight palettes

The most effective way to understand the concept is to learn what your own personal Colortime palette is. Let’s start by taking a brief quiz to assist you in ascertaining your own Colortime palette.

[insert the quiz]

If you marked two or three in one column, this is definitely your Colortime palette. If you marked one in each palette, go with Sunlight. Sunlight is a balanced combination of Sunrise and Sunset, so it’s a no-fail compromise. You may decide later that you have an emotional attachment to one palette, but more about this later. Stick to Sunlight for now. After analyzing the preferences of thousands of people I learned that the palette that people choose in answer to Question 1 is likely to be the one that they choose in Questions 2 and 3 as well. Most people discover that the Colortime palette which includes the olors of their complexion, eyes and hair is their favorite. Your natural color sense draws you to these colors. Go back to Questions 4 to make certain that you chose the ight colors for your eyes, hair and complexion tones. Check your eye color first in good light. You may discover colors in your eyes you’ve neve seen before. Brown-eyed people are often amazed when I point out the green in their eyes. Take the time to really study yourself. Look at the undertones in your skin and hair. Their is likely a lot more color contained within your hair eyes and complexion than you had ever thought.

f you are finding it hard to be objective, enlist the help of another. It’s often easier when someone else helps your judge your own coloring. If two out of the three personal colorings, such as your eyes and hair, are in one of palettes, you can feel assured that it is your palette. If you color your hair, use your natural hair color on the list, or the color closest to that on the list.

Look at the clothes in your closet. Since you do most of the choosing most of the colors will be in your Colortime. The colors that we wear are typically an extension of the colors that flatter our own personal coloring. If you circled the same Colortime palette in answer to all four questions, you should have little trouble choosing colors because you have a strong affinity for the particular Colortime palette that you circled — Sunrise, Sunligt or Sunset. You will feel your absolute best when you wear and use the colors in that Colortime. Since you have this strong pull in one direction, you might be somewhat inflexible in decisions involving someone in another Colortime.

What happens if you chose different palettes for Questions 2 and 3. This just means that you could be content to “dress” your surroundings in a different Colortime from the one in which you dress yourself. Is it possible to favor two Colortime palettes equally? The answer to that question is yes. You could probably be happy using any of the Colortime palettes you circled. You are probably easy to work with due to your flexibility but might find it hard to decide which palette to use and where. Extra freedom of choice can mean extra confusion for choosing your own personal Colortime palette but actually be helpful when selecting the appropriate palette for another.

If you personally favor two palettes it is best to choose the palette that contains your personal skin, hair and eye coloring and stay with it most of the time — it is more flattering and you look best in that palette. If you have a favorite color from another Colortime, there are way to integrate that color into your own personal applications in clothing and makeup. One of the most important things I have learned about color is that rules and categorizations are never so rigid that they cannot be adapted to your or your clients needs. If you already have a real sense of color you’ll find that this book helps you understand why you choose the colors you do. If you are a professional who deals with color, it may open new avenues of thinking–such as how to deal more objectively with your clients.

Did you circle all of the Colortime for all of the answers? You are the kind of person who says, “I love colors!” Just like a kid in a candy store you may want “two of those” and “three of these.” This may be a conundrum when trying to assess your own Colortime palette but will serve you well when ascertaining the palette of another. If, after taking the quiz for your own personal Colortime, you are having difficulty and simply cannot decide which pleases you personally the most, then go with the Sunlight Colortime. This palette is a happy compromise and since your own coloring is liely to be so varied the you find it dificult to determine which palette is yours, you may belong right in the middle, with the balance of AM and PM colors in Sunlight. The Sunlight palette overlaps with both the Sunrise and Sunset palettes and offers a wide, but more subtle, range of choices.

Do Colortime coices ever change? In some people they do, in others they remain constant over a lifetime. Coloring may change as you age. Hair may start to gray and soften . Complexion may (but not always) start to pick up more yellow with age. Eyes do fade, but that can be an advantage because the undertones then begin to come through, and more color options can be introduced into wardrobe. Someone might be born a Sunrise and loved many of this palette’s bright shades as a child and young adult. But as nature ages and softens their coloring, they may want to switch to the softer Sunlight palette. Then again, coloring may remain fairly constant, especially if they color their hair and in that case they can continue to wear the same colors they wore when younger.

Don’t let the existence of many different types of coloring in each Colortime act to confuse you. There are light, medium and dark colorations in each palette. All you need to do is to look at the closest descrition of hair, complexion and eyes in each Colortime to come up with the right combination. Within each racial or ethnic group, there are many variations. All skin tones have a variety of undertones which need to be considered when selecting a Colortime palette. Dark skin can have undertones of blue-black to rosy, honey, or light brown. Asian personal coloring may fall into any of the three palette as well. From blue-black hair and eyes, with cool green olive undertones of Sunrise; others have the deep but very warm hair and eye coloring nd warm olive skin of Sunset. A mixed-racial background may fall into the Sunlight palette. Ruddy or florid complexions may also be found in all three Colortimes so basing a selection on hair and eye color may be the best way to select the right palette. For example, florid skin is typical in redheads or readheads who have gone gray. If the eyes and hair have warm underones, even if the skin is flushed, they would fall into the Sunset palette.

This quiz is a teaching exercise and starting point for a Colortime analysis. Naturally, the analysis will focus on the bride and setting. Once you understand the system, you will be able to ascertain the best color choices for whomever and however your services are employed. It is important to remember that there are no right or wrong answers to any questions in the quiz. You cannot make a mistake in choosing a Colortime palette, since choices are a question of personal, natural reactions. Nobody is to be placed inside a little color cubicle and told not to stray. Color can be subjective and personal. Likes and dislikes are always taken into consideration upon determining palettes. The Colortime palettes are always guidelines and adjustments can be made based upon your own and your clients desires. You should never presume to tell a client what their Colortime palette is without first asking them how they feel about certain colors. Personal experiences greatly effects people’s colors attraction, aversions or perceptions of particular colors. The quiz is a tool to help an individual learn which colors are the best choice for them.

One of my former clients, a multi-talented artist, author and screenwriter, loves the color white — anything and everything in white, especially Gardenias. When I aksed her if she knew why she was so in love with the color, she only had to think for a moment to remember “two of my favorite people: my great grandmother and grandmother. My ninety-seven-year-old great grandmother had gorgeous white, hair, fair skin and an adorable smile. I remember walking with her as a very small girl of six or seven with her little dog, on snowy days in Montreal. My grandmother was very beautiful – white hair and a dynamic sense of humor. The white-white of the gardenia with its sweet fragrance reminds of those two marvelous ladies.” As you can understand why, the color white, and possibly even the Gardenia flower, would be a perfect addition to her wedding day.


As I have previously state, the Color Clock theory utilizes time of day to determine an individual’s Colortime. These three Colortimes are Sunrise, Sunset and Sunlight. The image aside the colors in that Colortime palette is a “quintessential” example for that palette. Remember that there is a wide variety of personal coloring within each time of day category and more images will follow of individuals who fall within each palette.

We will also discuss what I refer to as the “Two Out of Three Rule” when you come across an individual who don’t seem to easily fall within one of three categories based on their unique coloring. By the end of this course you will have a clear understanding of the concept, I can assure you.


Here are three more examples:

The Sunrise (AM) Colorime is the palette of the natural elements of air and water — transparent and frosty with predominantly cool lblue undertones. Yet as the dazzling sun begins its ascent, the shadings progress from the darkness of blue and gray, purpled rose-mauves and vibrant pinks, to the splendor of the red-orange glow, less fiery than the sunset in the clear, dewy, freshness of morning.

This palette literally sparkles and many of your colors are such “jewel” and “royal” tones as Amethyst Orchid, Grape Royale, Palace Blue, Emerald, Blue Jewel, and Prism Pink. The warm colors are pure and cooled down Pink Icing, Sea Pink, and Chardonnay. Your yellow-greens are fresh, clean and bright Electric Green, Spring Bouquet, and Butterfly. Your blues and blue-greens are crisp and cool and promise a tropical destination, like Snorkel Blue and Capri Breeze.

Use Orange and red-orange sparingly as accents. They may be lightened to warm pinkesh confetti tones or depened to rich mahogany browns, just as nature does in the short span of sunrise.




  • Olive (light, medium or deep w/ cool green undertones
  • Blue black
  • Rosy brown
  • Fair, cool white
  • Alabaster
  • Rose beige or rose pink
  • Pure blue, clear blue light, medium blue, blue gray
  • Rosy brown (light, medium or dark)
  • Very dark brown (almost jet black)
  • Gray hazel (a combination of blue, gray w/ some green)
  • Ash or sandy blonde (light, medium or dark)
  • Platinum blonde or towhead
  • Auburn w/ cool blue undertones
  • Ash brown (light, medium or dark but w/out gold)
  • Dark brown (may have auburn highlights)
  • Cool, deep blue-black
  • Snow white or silver gray w/ cool, blue undertones

Now, look at the examples above. Can you discern some of the personal coloring traits? Lindsey has a rosy brown complexion while Gina is a medium olive. Priscilla has a rose beige complexion. Lindsey has those very dark brown eyes while Gina’s are a little lighter but still in the dark rosy brown. Priscilla eyes are a medium, cool blue color.


The elements of fire and earth undercore the Sunset (PM) palette and speak of a mellowed, golden evening. Warm tones prevail, as the light up your predominatly golden undertones. These spicy shades include Fiesta Red, Sunburst and Red Violet are important and add a touch of the exotic. The green shades in the palette include Pesto, Linden Green and Coriander. There are the sweet shades of Honey Gold, Apricot Cream, Cranbery, and Hot chocolate. The earthier colors incude Earth Red, Woodrose and Burlwood.

There is a touch of the exotic in the palette in the shades of Bougainvillea, Byzantium, Iris Orchid and Moroccan Blue. Greens can give special flavor in Pesto and Coriander. Coral pink tones include Sunkist, Burnt and Living Coral. Colors such as Deep Periwinkle and Magenta Haze light up the sky and when it is time to cool down, Celestial, Della Robia, Moonlight Blue.

The best whites are creamy or a bit warmer than pure white. The colors to be used most sparingly are icy, cool and almost transparent. They are too cold for the personal coloring of someone in the palette.

  • Olive w/ warm, golden undertones (light, medium or deep)
  • Golden, honey brown (light, medium or dark)
  • Warm, creamy white
  • Warm, peach beige (light, medium or deep)
  • Mid or deep blue (often w/ warm flecks of color)
  • Amber warm, golden brown (light, medium or dark)
  • Golden hazel (a combo of brown, gold, green and perhaps some blue)
  • Green w/ golden flecks
  • Golden honey or coppery blonde (light, medium or dark)
  • Golden copper red (light, medium or dark)
  • Rust wine red, such as bordeaux
  • Golden or caramel brown (light, medium or dark) sometimes w/ copper highlights

Note the warm undertones and highlights in Amy, Claire and Celia’s hair? All three exude a warmth in complexion eyes and hair which place all three squarely in the Sunset Palette. Warmth is the operative word in this palette.


The Sunight (Midday) Colortime is the palette of the luscious sundrenched noon hours. Colors of all the natural elements of air, wter fire and earth are softened and slightly muted by the intensity of the sun–never paled, just muted. These shades are the softened, muted, sundrenched tints. They are more intense and interesting than pale pastels, never “wishy-washy” or non-descript. This is the palette of the luscious tones of ice cream, sherbet, gelta, Grape Nectar, Peaches N’Cream, and Custard. The best blues are cool Cornflower Blue, Silver Lake Blue, and Placid Blue.

Romantic roses really become this palette. Many a wedding is set amongst the colors in this palette due to the soft, romantic mood created. From deeper, more sensuous Baroque and Desert Rose, to soft and sophisticated Woodrose, Rose Dust, to nastalgic Cameo and Powder Pink. There is a nice balance between the cooler Sunrise shades to the warmer Sunset shades. This palette dips into both Sunrise and Sunset, but very selectively. Subtle is a key word for midday palettes.

Dusty Lavendar, Viola and Mauve Mist bring in some beautiful purple shades and greens, blue-greens are lovely mineral Jadeite, Beryl Green and Blue Turquoise. The best white is a quiet Whisper White or not-quite-white with pastel undertones like Pearled Ivory. Avoiding overly bright colors except as an added touch as anything too bright against the subtler shades will overwhelm and detract from the palette.

contrast is important in any palette of colors, there are some deeper tones included in this Colortime. There are for example the shades of Verdant Green and Infinity Blue, and Deep Blue. Neutral tones such as Simply Taupe ad Moonstruck in addition to the Crossover neutrals, combine well with both the warm and the cool hues of this Colortime; and since neutral are never noisy, they are always welcome additions to this palette.




  • Olive (light to medium)
  • Very light brown
  • Ivory
  • Beige, but w/ a mixture of both rose and peach undertones
  • Blue, but somewhat changeable depending on color you are wearing
  • Brown, but often flecked w/ a combination of several colors
  • Hazel, but subject to change with the colors you are wearing
  • Blue-green (light or medium)
  • Blonde, (light medium or dark) w/ a mixture of warm and cool for variegated color
  • Red, mixed with both warm and cool tones
  • Brown (light, medium or dark) w/ both warm and cool tones
  • Gray, a mixture of warm and cool

As you can see by the images and lists, variegated coloring that is balanced between the warm and cool tones is the essence of the Sunlight palette. All of the models in this color classification have hair shades that contain both cool and warm coloration, as do their eyes. Kyle has blue eyes that flicker with flecks of a neutral gray, Maura, as the lead image, has blue eyes that are rimmed with a light yellow. It was the missing link when I first began my color system journey (have mom add). Linda has blue gray eyes and Pam has peircing green/hazel eyes. They all have balanced complexions which don’t take on more of a warm or a cool undertone.

Understanding Undertone

To better understand the differences in the Colortime palettes, think in terms of undertone. Undertones denote an underlying color within any given hue. Another word for undertone is “cast”, as in brown with a red cast. There are both warm and cool colors in all three of the palettes. Warm Sunrise colors have an undertone of the rosy glow of Sunrise; warm Sunset colors have a golden undertone; and the Sunlight Colortime dips into both palettes, but never with a heavy hand.

For greatest harmony, colors blend best if they are in the same Colortime palette. For example: Shocking Pink has a definite blue undertone (Sunrise.) Apricot Cream is a light warm yellow-orange (Sunset.) Unless you are going for a funky or deliberatly discordant look, Shocking Pink and Apricot would not be a particularly pleasing combination beuse they are not in complete harmony. Living Coral and Apricot Cream are more effective together, beause the have the same yellow-gold undertones. The are both Sunset colors.

Cool Sunrise colors are often “crisper” than the Sunset colors. Imagine the electric blue-green of a tropical ocean in the morning. These are Sunrise colors. Now picture the deep blue of that ocean at dusk, and you will now see a Sunset color. Next, imageine that ocean at high noon. It is still a beautiful blue-green, but due to the sun’s intensity, it appears muted.

Mixing Palettes

As a general rule, colors from the same palette blend best when used together; however, as with any rule, there is always the exception. The opposing Sunrise and Sunset palettes may be used together for deliberate discord or as attention getters. This is a common technique used in areas other than fashion, such as advertising, packaging and graphics. It is not something commonly used in weddings but can be used to give touches of drama, energy or excitement for the right couple who might be looking for something unique. You might find Colortime palettes combined for costuming in staging for entertainment purposes. The reason is these disparate color combos create a memorable and lasting effect on the viewer. If the wedding you are assisting is leaning toward a theatrical look, this might be perfect venue for deliberate discord.

The key to mixing Colortime palettes successfully is to keep one palette dominant and the other subordinate. The dominant Colortime palette should be 75% of the combination and the subordinate Colortime should be about 25% . You may vary this somewhat. Try 85% or 90% dominant. You will find these proportions also work well for any combination utilizing two colors, even if they come from the same palette.

Just as with music, discord is not always unpleasant, but our ears may tire of too much discordant sound. The same principle applies to color. You may deliberately combine Colortime palettes, but don’t forget to do the math. The eye will tire of too much vibrant discord. You certainly don’t want the guests or bride and groom to be overstimulated by color as the interest arc will fade into the need for visual relief. Nobody wants the party to end too soon, except the venue perhaps.

What Goes With What

One of the greatest challenges is to combine colors effectively and attractively. Choosing a single color is much easier than deciding what goes with what. Most of the old color rules have disappeared. Using blues with greens was once considered in terrible taste. Now it is a design favorite reincarnating and reinventing this color combo almost yearly. Combining pinks with reds was also faux pas. Here is another color combo that is very popular and quite beautiful in its warmth and energy . The only rule today is “never say never” It is much more effective to think in terms of guidelines rather than rules. Rules can hamper creativity and take the fun out of being open to new ideas. Guidelines can give you the confidence to know how — and what — to combine.

As I’ve mentioned, the simplest and safest way to combine colors is to stick with those in the Colortime you and your collaborators in the wedding have chosen. All color formulas are based on the color wheel. The Color Clock is designed to help you make happy marriages between harmonious and compatible colors. Of the many guidelines for color coordination, the least complicated and easiest to understand follow.

Color Theory

This is not a course in color theory; however, I have included a color theory chart as reference. We will go over some important points, as it applies to wedding color selection.

Analagous Colors

All colors are derived from the primary hues of red, yellow and cyan (blue.) If you mix equal parts of two of these primaries, you get the secondary colors of orange, green and purple. They are color kin. Orange is the child of yellow and red, and purple the results of the union of red and blue. Green was created by mixing blue and yellow. Each of the secondary colors has a harmonious relatioship with its “parent” colors.

The color wheel shows you the colors that are most closely related; these provide some of the easiest color schemes to work with. They are also the least apt to offend. These schemes are based on adjacent colors — for eample, in the Sunset palette, yellow, yellow-orange, orange, and orange-red, all share the same undertone. Another analagous is example is green, yellow, and blue together (or orange, yellow and red or purple, red and blue.) If you want to expand your color “family” and stretch a bit further, youy can add a cousin from either the yellow-green side, such as fern for an interesting accent, or, from the red side, the touch of a warm red.

Another example of an expanded analogous combination — this one from the cooler tones of the Sunrise family — is neighboring shades of blue, blue-purple, purple and fuchsia. An accent of shocking pink livers up to its name while a clear, cool blue acts as a chill factor. An analogous example from the Sunlight family is a custard yellow, velvety bisque, and creamy peach, with the added depth of a deep taupe and the surprising bite of a pear-skin green.

Analogous Colors


Another example of an expanded analogous combination — this one from the cooler tones of the Sunrise family — is neighboring shades of blue, blue-purple, purple and fuchsia. An accent of shocking pink livers up to its name while a clear, cool blue acts as a chill factor. An analogous example from the Sunlight family is a custard yellow, velvety bisque, and creamy peach, with the added depth of a deep taupe and the surprising bite of a pear-skin green.

Complementary Colors

Complementary or contrasting colors are those situated directly across from each other on the standard color wheel. the are called complements because they complete each other. Green, for example, is the complement to red and never looks greener than when it is next to red. Conversely, red appears reddest when next to green. A red rose in a print seems even redder when set against a green, leafy backdrop.

This color wheel illustrates complementary colors. Orange complements blue, and yellow complements purple. When used in the brightest intensities, complementary colors provide instant “zing” and can be real showstoppers. The complementary color effect is a major reason for advising redheads to wear green.

Violet & Yellow
Green & Red
Brown & Blue

Complementary colors can be super dramatic, but they can also be strident in their demand for attention. People with outgoing personalities often love them. When graphic artists design packaging, they use the brightest intensities of complementary colors when they want to draw attention. Complementary colors can be used to wonderful advantage but they can boomerang as well. If someone has a ruddy complexion, bright green next to your face will bring out the pink and/or red in the skin. The green should be lightened or deepened for a more flatting effect. When the intensity of one or both of the complementaries is muted, the combination is much easier on the eyes. For example, the Sunrise Bright Rose and Emerald combination is less jarring optically than the same rose when paired with Electric Green. Deepening a vivid Sunset orange and combining it with a deep greenish-blue is very effective as you can soften the shock of complementaries by choosing unexpected tints and shades of two opposing colors.

If you do combine palettes, follow the rules of dominant and subordinate: whether combining colors from opposite Colortimes or with the same one, one color is always the star and takes center stage, while the other is the supporting player.

When intense or strongly contrasting colors are offset by neutral colors, the combination becomes much richer. The neutrals enhance the brighter colors by making then easier to view. For example: Sunrise Vivid Viola and Daiquiri Green might be great fun in a Hawaiian print shirt for a tropical theme wedding. When these two hues are mixed with gray, taupe or beige, the combination takes on a different feel altogether and gaining another quiet shade will offer the ability to pull in another accessory color. [give example]

Sunlight palettes palettes have no real “vibrating” contrasts, but that doesn’t mean there is no drama in this Colortime. Think Cornflower Blue and Cornsilk. And if you’re doing a holiday wedding think Verdant Green enhanced by sparkling Baroque Rose crystal drop earrings. If you use complementary combinations within a Colortime, the look and feel will be harmonious. If you choose complementary colors from different Colortimes the impact will be high octane.

How to Keep From Fading Away

As you follow the circle on the color wheel, think of skin complexions. Utilizing complementary colors can help individuals from fading away. Blue eyes are enhanced by browns, warm pinks, oranges and corals. Green eyes are flattered by wines, pinks, and reds. Hazel eyes are chameleons that pick up and reflect many of the color that are worn near them. The often combine man colors, but one color usually predominates. Complementary colors are very effective with hazel eyes and can virtually change their color.

Brown eyes and hair are complemented by greens, especially blue-greens. Since gray is a neutral, it really doesn’t have a complementary color as such but it is enhanced by touches of color. Nor does black have a true complement, but both bright hues and white contrast effectively with it. If you are blonde, purpled shades and tints will make you look blonder. Just like Marilyn in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”

One Color Monochromatics

A monochromatic color scheme uses only one hue in varying shades and tints. The secret of a successful monochromatic scheme is to select all of the variations of this single hue fron the same Colortime to avoid clashing undertones. If you are working with varying shaders of Sunrise Blue-red, for example, colors such as Aomond Blossom and Cerise look best together because they have the same blue undertone, A good Sunset orangey combination is Ginger with Living Coral. An attractive Sunlight combination is Mauve Mist and Purple Haze.

Weddings are excellent occasions for being creative with monochromatic color schemes. The mother of the bride can be lovely in varying tones of an Sunrise Cyclamen with undertones from the same Colortime. When coordinating wedding parties, wearing monochromatic colors from the same Colortime can be very effective. It’s much easier to choose flowers, the wedding picture are lovely because everyone’s colors are so coordinated, and a beautiful occasion can become more beautiful.

In monochromatic color schemes, light and bright shades and tints draw the eye first. Use darker colors at the lowest part of the body and lighter and brighter shades as you move toward the face, which then becomes the focal point. In the case of the bride’s mother, who plans to wear say a Cyclamen silk with an overlay of see-through chiffon, the violet-pink tones of the top of the dress gradually deepen toward the hem. Her shoes are a slightly deeper shade than the hem. If she chose to wear a sparkling hair ornament or chandelier earrings, they should be as light as, or lighter than the top of her dress. Darkening the colors at the lower part of the body will give stability to the figure, making it appear slimmer,directing attention to the face.

The ultimate monochromatic color scheme uses ony one color with very little variation. The effect can be quite stark or even serene, but it is very dramatic. Using a variety of tetures and shapes can help to avoid too much sameness. For example, picture someone with warm, deep brown hair in the Sunset palette. She has amber eyes and a creamy complexion. She is wearing a smooth, flowing brown skirt, a matching blouse, and deep brown suede sandals with gold earrings and a cuff bracelet. It is all very simple and chic in beautiful chocolate tones – hardly boring due to the variety of textures and finishes.


Neutral colors can make effective monochromatic combinations, but they can be tricky. It is usually not too difficult to find tan slacks, a tan blouse in the same shade and a beige jacket and shawl. Using the proper Colortime undertone you can avoid making clothing and even floral selection errors. Just be sure that what is ordered in neutral has the same undertones or the monochromatic might be lost. So long as the undertone is the same the shade can vary and the pieces will still work visually well together. Sometimes it is better to work with a blend as dye lots vary and it can be difficult to match exactly.

Gray is another neutral that lends itself well to monochromatic combinations. There are warm Sunset grays and cool Sunrise grays, but the most versatile grays of all are the balanced Crossover Grays of Neutral Gray and Charcoal. These are the grays that blend with everything. [See Crossover section]

Terrific Taupe

Taupe is te neutral that gets the gold star for versatility. It is the happy union of gray and beige, with several different undertones. Some taupes lean a bit toward gray, while others are slightly warmer. Due to their versatility, however, and the fact that they are actually a blend of two neutrals, most taupes are Crossover Colors. Once you discover taupe, if you haven’t already, you will wonder how you ever managed without it. Taupes shades may also be referred to as Mushroom, Chanterelle, Greige, or another descriptive word, such as Plaza Taupe or Simply Taupe.

Neutral colors are excellent budget stretchers because the blend well, are elegant, basic, dependable, aren’t trendy, never offensive and make for excellent backdrops for other colors. They are marvelous foils for brighter accents. It is much easier on the wedding budget to use a neutral, such as taupe and accent with pops of colors.

Two Colors – The Duochromatics

A duochromatic combination consists of just two colors. There are also two basic guidelines to remember here. The first is that the eye is drawn to the area where the two colors will meet. A dark suit with an ankle cuff will take the eye right down to the feet, so if you want your footwear to be the focal point of the suit, then stick with that look.

The second guideline again focuses on basic math of one dominant and one subordinate color — 75% or more of dominant and 25% or less of the subordinate. These proportions are more pleasing since they set up a dominant color scheme. For example if you combine a white wedding dress with red ribbon belt, red shoes and red lipstick the eye won’t know where to land. If you follow the dominant/subordinate guideline pairing that same white dress with the red ribbon belt and red blush lips would create a more cohesive look. The eye would likely first go to the red tie in the center of the ensemble and rest on the bride’s face.

Another example of good color proportions is to pair a simple beige cotton shift-style dress, for a boho-themed wedding, with either delicate gold, pink or opal jewelry to add an accent color and continue the theme. The effectiveness of duo chromatics can be in the simplicity of combining just two colors. Just as with monochromatic, one or both of the colors may vary in value or intensity.

This combination can also be quite dramatic depending on the colors combined. A good example is black and white. Jet Black is a Crossover color. The best combinations of blacks and whites are Jet Black and pure white for Sunrise, Jet Black and a creamy white for Sunset and finally Jet Black and ivory white for Sunlight.

Simple, unadorned, stark black can be fabulous in wedding attire whenver it provides strong contrast, such as on redheads, blondes, or those with silver/white hair — wearers in any Colortime. It is also wonderful on fair or rosy Sunrise, creamy Sunset complexions and the ivory skin of those falling within the Sunlight palette. For the rest of us, black needs a touch of pizzazz near the face, such as a hint of red in a patterned tie or the contrast of a light or brightly colored shirt, or the sparkle of faceted jewelry around the neck.

Trichromatic Color Scheme

A trichromatic color scheme uses three colors. One color dominates (approximately 75%), the second is subordinate (15%), and just a touch is used as the third (10%.) This third color can be used effectlively to draw the eye to a given area, making it a focal point. If you are cooking, you would call it a “pinch.” One particular three color combination is called “triadic.” This plan uses three equidistant colors on the standard color wheel. A conventional triadic system includes Crossover Navy Blue, True Red and a sliver of either Pale Khaki. These three colors are all Crossovers that have wide appeal for all Colortimes, especially to men. Think of traditional plaids in men’s shirts in these three colors. This triadic could be skewed away from the traditional by exchanging Beaujolais in the place of True Red creating a more unusual color combination.

Another triadic possibility would be the Navy Blue, True Red and a Sunlight color such as Jadeite or Weeping Willow schewing this triadic to the Sunlight palette. This could be quite beautiful in a setting with greenery included in the floral arrangements or tablescapes along with the color scheme of part of the wedding party.


Certain colors on the Color Clock I refer to as “Crossover Colors.” Since these colors occur most frequently in nature, the eye is accustomed to seeing them in comination with many other colors. There are eighteen colors included in the Crossovers and they can be added or combined with other colors or color combos in each of the Colortime palettes to give breadth and dimension to any color scheme. You may even develop a complete color theme utilizing a Crossover palette. Crossovers can be used for a variety of reasons. They can add sophistication, drama or excitement to a theme. The neutral shades can act as an anchor for varying personal colors within the wedding party.

Here are the Crossovers in no particular order:

Sky Blue

Sky Blue can bring a cooling, balancing touch to contrasting warm tones, especialy on a hot summer day. Did you ever look at a red geranium, a purple iris, or a yellow daffodil against the backdrop of a blue sky and think, “What an awful color combination…. Mother Nature really goofed.” Of course not .We’re aware of the blue of the sky around us nearly every day. Blue skies far outnumber cloudy or hazy days in most climates. As a result, our eyes and minds are accustomed to a blue backdrop for nature’s myriad colors.

Faded Denim

Is there aone who would deny that agreat pair of jeans can go almost anywhere? You likely won’t be planning a wedding around faded denim but the fact remains that this shade has represented for most of us a multi-purpose piece of clothing in our closets, a color that we view quite often, and as such, has become a “staple” so to speak.


Would you banish a fern from your living room beause it clashed with the sofa? When nature “arranges” flowers, green is the one color that appears in virtually every composition. Nature’s greens are among the most versatile of hues, especially in a print or pattern. When we’re outdoors we’re surrounded by green plants, trees, shrubs, and grass. Even in the midt of winter snows, faithful pine trees soften the stark landscape with their graceful branches of green.


Another of nature’s neutral greens, Seagrass, lightly touched with gray, provides a subtle background to a vast variety of colors. Used alone, it is a versatile shade that offers another option to wardrobe basics and a unique wedding color.


The clear yellow of sunlight permeates our atmosphere. Sunlght yellow works well as an engaging, cheerul color that gives a touch of warmth to cool shades that feel a littlel chilly. Sunlight yellow is shared by all Colortime palettes.

Dark Earth

The varying earth tones associated with soil, tree bark, and woody plants are an integral part of nature’s basic color scheme. Your eye is accustomed to these unobtrusive colors, which funciton marvelously well as neutral colors


Another variation on the brown family, Cappuccino is a bit warmer than Dark Earth. It is more elgant than earthy, a rich and robust brtown that adds flavor to many other shades, a surprisingly sophisticated shade, (think sable an mink.)


A classicly stirring and stylish color, this deepe, delicious, full-bodied red mimics the colors of the berries and grapes that render it.


More plum-colored than wine, Eggplant, often called Aubergine, is considered a classic in the world of fashion. It is both a magical and intriguing color — coming from the purple family. It is a dichotomy of both meditative blue and explosive red — it is simply different from the more easily understood symbology of either of its primaries.

Light Taupe / Bleached Sand

Ideal neutrals, these are variatios of taupe and beige,the colors of sand and stone. There is no end to the versatility of these balanced neutrals. They are wonderful when-in-doubt colors that work equally well with warm and cool undertones, especially in accessories or a “classic” look.

Pale Khaki

Inspired by natural elements, Pale Khaki is another basic neutral, an organic shade that introduces a hint of green, nature’s most abundant neutral. It is a summertime staple and creates a casual/laid back vibe.

Neutral Gray

Another ideal neutral, this shade of gry is an excellent “blender.” In the contest of nature, gray appears subtly at dawn and dusk, often as an undertone to the blue sky, or at any tie of day as the actual color of the sky when it is overcast. Since gray days re less cheery than blue days, we often feel we need to add a touch of vivid accent to bright the gray mood.

Charcoal Gray

The deepest, most powerful of the gray family, charcoal is sturdy, reliable, and strong, a very important power color. Perfect backdrop to a classic wedding where many shades are being utilized. Not that the groom should take a backseat but many are fine with letting the bride take center stage.

Navy Blue

The color of the sky as it descends into night, Navy Blue is associated with strength and power of black, yet is less mysterious. It is a familiar background color and the most universal of all of the basic colors.

Jet Black

always has a presence. In the early 1900’s it was thought of as gloomy and heavy. It was connected to fear of the unknown and death. The total negation of color. For decades it was the color tht extolled nonconforming lifestyles such as “bohemians.” Beatniks, rockers, bikers, punks, EMO and Goth groups adapted black as the suymbol of the negation of a society whose values and/or appearances they rejected. Perhaps the perfect “symbolic” hue for a non-conforming wedding or wedding dress as seen below.

No longer the color cloaked in fearful darkness, black has become the olor most often worn after dark. It is more wordy-wise and sophisticated, the shade most worn to evening parties and black-tie events. It is perceived as all-powerful and empowering. It is stylish, contianed, modern and yet still classic.


True Red

Think about the frequency of red in nature and how it is used as a signal color in natural settings. The most physical color in the spectrum, red suggests the very ebb and flow of life. It is the most viscerally alive hue, the symbolic color of the heart, strong-willed and expressing strong emotions. It may command us to stop but at the same time encourages movement. True red is the most versatile of reds; it gives life to both warm and cool colors. True Red is equally balanced between the warm and the cool.Think of true red as a lipstick shade. There is not a shade of lips that it will not look attractive on.


The undulating color of a tropical sea awash with both warm and cool currents, For Tibetan monks, teal is symbolic of the infinity of the sea and sky, while it is the color of truth and faith for Egyptians. Teal is unique — versatile and flattering to all skin types. It is a thoughtful color that excludes confidence. More elegant than an ordinary blue or green, embracing symbolic qualities of both. It is a tasteful color, often preferred by those who appreciate sophisticated styling, an “upscale” shade that could not be described as ordinary.

When so many different color choices coalesce, color dissonance can be act as an unwelcome distraction or detractor to the event. Crossover colors, universal in nature, and derived from nature can serve to bring cohesion into the function. It is a wonderful tool to infuse uniformity and beauty into the event.


Ever since Queen Victoria of England (the great, great, great, great grandmother-in-law to Kate and Meghan) chose a white gown for her wedding, white has been the traditional color of choice for the bride.  Its popularity has spread to all corners of the globe and brides of many cultures and countries choose white for their wedding dresses. 

As anyone who has ever shopped for a wedding dress discovers , there is no one definitive perfect white. As a general rule, there are three kinds of white in wedding dresses and they most often fall into a specific Colortime palette.

First there is the super-clean, pristine, pure white.  This is the kind of white that is most flattering to a person with very cool undertones to their skin.  That could include the extreme opposites of very fair or very dark skin, but the key is the amount of coolness in the skin that is often described as a blue undertone and would fit into the Sunrise palette.  Within that range are variations of skin tone, hair and eye color. And just as with the extremes in the skin coloring, is the extreme of hair color—from icy blonde to blue-black.  Their eyes are often cool in undertone as well, from the lightest or brightest blues to the deepest browns that are almost black. If the hair is red, it leans to the auburn side as that is much cooler than the typical russet color that is found in the Sunset Colortime that follows.

In comparison, the opposite to Sunrise is Sunset.  This a much warmer palette, with many skin tones that could be described as “honeyed”—from the lightest warm to the deepest warm tones. The hair colors, from blonde to brown, have the same warmed effect.  Eye color is often in the brown range, and if the eyes are blue or green, they are warmer as well, usually with flecks of gold or amber within their coloration. If the hair is red, it is russet or “carrot-topped” or strawberry blonde. This Sunset coloring is most enhanced by the creamy whites.

Balanced between cooler morning and warming evening are those in the Sunlight palette.  They have skin, hair and eye color that is more of a conglomeration of hues.  The eyes are frequently hazel, very changeable depending on the surrounding colors, their hair is typicaly composed of varying of shades of both cool and warm tones, whether blonde or brown, as is their skin tone.  They are not typically ”redheads”, with carrot-topped or auburn colored hair, but lean more to a sandy tone.  Just as the term “Sunlight” implies, their coloring is most flattered by majority of softer or muted tones and pastel whites are best.  Whites that are described as “off-white” with undertones of  pink, peach, blue, light green, lavender or neutrals make the best choice. Remember that one of the options in skin tone for Sunrise is very fair. A pure white dress is recommended as the most flattering.


For those whose personal coloring lays in the cooler undertones, pure white is the most flattering color for a wedding. Destiny has deep, cool undertones in her complexion eyes and hair and Caroline has a pale complexion with cool auburn hair.

Martina has deep dark eyes, deep brown hair and cool undertones in her olive complexion. Julie is cool brown complected with deep dark hair and eyes as well. They too have personal coloring which is a stunning backdrop to pure white.

A pure white dress is exceptional for one with icy, blue eyes.

For those who have such fair skin it is alabaster-like, pure white is elegant.


The best white for a Sunset is an off-white in the cream family. Some other names include:[include other names]

For redheads, especially those with warm olive undertones , creamy whites are very flattering. Note that the Sunrise bride above, in the Sunrise White section, has pink undertones in her red hair, emenating from a blue-red; whereas, the red heads above have the warmer orange undertones in their hair.

Both strawberry blondes and sandy blondes, with those warm undetrtones, look beatiful in off white gowns. Also, note that the sunkist freckled complexion that the bride below on the right will more than likely age into the Sunlight palette, as her hair color may become more variegated with gray and her skin and eye color begins to fade with time.

This golden blonde with warm skin and, hard to tell from the photo, amber eyes utilizes a cream-colored gown so effectively and accessories add to the pleasing color palette.

Here is a quinessential warm Brunette Sunset in a cream-colored dress which enhances her beauty instead of detracting from it.

This Sunset, with amber eyes and warm undertones on a delicate complexion, has opted for a cream-colored suit, which is especially elegant.


The most flattering wedding white for a Sunlight is ivory. Some other names include:[include names]

Not too cool or too warm, ivory wite and off-whites work well for those in the Sunlight palette.

These ivory colored dresses are perfect for those with peaches and cream complexions. I love the monochromatic look of this bride on the left even down to the floral arrangement. If she were placed on a sandy beige you might miss her! Notice that the lip color is a peach shade?

For Sunlights with variegated coloring or the perfectly balanced complexion between cool and warm, ivory is very flattering as this is the perfect color in the white family, which is a balance between cool and warm.

I love the ivory lip gloss on the model’s lips here on the left, along with her smoke-shadowed hazel eyes. It all coordinates so nicely to really make an impact. And the earrings as well.

If we are talking makeup, the model on the right is letting her gorgeous hazel eyes take center stage. You will find that many individuals who have hazel eyes, fall into this palette.

These Sunlights have lighter complexions but balanced between cool and warm. The bride on the left has a light beige undertone and the bride on the right is ivory. They both have dark blonde hair with variegation and eyes with some variegation in blue and greens.

The delicate ivory in these dresses was a better selection than a stark white which would move this palette to the cooler palette and change the balance reflected in their personal coloring.

A Study in Pink

The color pink, though not for everyone, has certainly remained a trending color for the past several years. Have you heard the term millenial pink? I have provided the dress examples below as a teaching tool to demonstrate the various undertones in pink which take it from a cool tone, to a warm tone and then swing that pendulum right back into the middle at neutral. Below are images of pink gowns in the three different palettes. Notice the tonal variance from the cool pinks on the left, to the warm pinks on the right and the balance of the two in the middle. Many brides are moving away from the traditional whites and this is a guide if the bride is a bit more adventurous and wants to step out of the traditional “white” dress.


The Groom

The same three personal coloring palettes apply to men. Some men are interested in learning what color choices would work best for them and willing to either undergo a color analysis or at least be receptive to receiving advice from a color expert. It is usually such a delight to do an analysis for them.

For the groom, there is the ever popular black, which coordinates well with all three palettes, especially in Jet Black the Crossover color.

The black suit prevails and is typically associated with a formal event,…..

Though not always.

Though not always!

Navy is a beautiful color for the groom [add more verbiage]

This groom on our left is holding his own in from of the cherry blossom backdrop which makes for a beautiful photo opportunity. The groom on the right is paired wonderfully well with his matching bride!

Grays add a level of sophistication…..[add]

The combination of gray and blue here is exceptional.

The browns and beige tones infuse either a more casual vibe or are more often used in warmer climates. They are most common in outdoor settings but can be used for indoor as well. When these colors are used for the groom and/or groomsment the set the stage for an entirely different feel which impacts theme, floral arrangements and settings as well. Below are two groomsmen in dark earth shades. One look is definitively more casual than the other.

Taupes and sands, the lightest neutrals are unifying and, in these settings, set a relaxed tone for the day.

Besides, black, and the neutral shades which can be found within or without the Crossover colors, below are examples of several which would work on Colortime groom. Beaujolais, Pale Khaki and Cappuccino are all classics which bring their own individual appeal to individualized nuptials. These particular shades are fool proof and versatile. They also add an individualized touch to the wedding. If you have a groom who is either not super interested in his Colortime, and a bride willing to step away from more traditional wedding colors, you can create a beautiful color palette with which to branch out into the other color decisions needed.

These grooms have decided to use bright shades. The ensembles look great as they have the personal coloring which works with bolder colors. These are individual statements and many couples have opted to loosen up traditional notions of traditional wedding attire.

The Attendants

As you can see there is a myriad of wedding styles, themes, budget, personalities weighing in on the “look.” It oftentimes, takes a cool hand to guide the process. One way to create cohesion is through color. As I have stated, it can be the most effective, and certainly most cost effective way to creat cohesion.


This is probably an area that is the trickiest to maneuver for the bride and the professional that assisting her. The bride above did a good job creating a cohesive color scheme with a soft and muted Sunset color close to Belini in the Sunset palette. It is a flattering color for her and works, as the color is close to a neutral shade. Some of the bridesmaids would have been better suited to a different neutral; however, it worked for this bride.

This color was a smart choice whether it was the bride, or someone assisting her, they got it right. Most of the bridesmaids are in the Sunset and a color within that palette color selected. There are two or three Sunlights however this blushy peach color is light enough so that it does not overwhelm their opersonal coloring. For practice sake can you guess the Sunlights?

This peach tone was a great choice for these two bridesmaids and they all seem to be happy.

The brides in the photos above chose colors based on their own coloring. This is a personal choice; however, a better color or color combo might have been more flattering on some of the bridesmaids.

Here is a good example of selecting an appropriate shade for the bridesmaids dresses. Their personal color varies and the red shade tones vary but only subtly. It is enough to make eah bridesmaid look her best. The freedom to personalize has become the trend in recent years. The bridesmaid second to right chose a true red which is the most universally flattering red and looks beautiful against her dark hair and eyes. The bridesmaid on the far right chose asofter but still flattering red. The far left dress has a slightly warmer, orangier caste but the colors are all similar in value, so it works. This is a well thought out bridal party. If you look closely, those orange bouquet roses are tipped in shades of red to tie in to the bridesmaid.

The most practical, and likely the colors met with the least resistance are again, the Crossover Colors, which are used quite often since they are so versatile and flattering for all three of the palettes. Below are just a few. [this can be in a collage form since so many]

The Groomsmen

Here are some suggestions for the groomsmen. This is an area to play it color coordinated and conservative unless the couple have expressed another avenue to take.

Best to do “fun” in socks or other groomsmen accessories like tese bowties.

Black attire for groomsmen continue to be the most popular, whether in a European cut, or a more “regular guy”. This is impacted by age and geographical location.

These are fun looks that don’t take it over the top. Notice the accessories are the versatile and universal Crossover colors such as True Red, Beaujolais and Cappuccino.

Putting together a cohesive color scheme for the family is always a plus for both the event itself and long-lasting photos. A color analysis for mother of the bride or parents of the brideis a fun way to ensure that colors will coordinate. These two families pulled together a nice color palette.

Mother of the Bride

I selected these photos because I thought the color was chosen quite thoughtfully. Above the mother is mirroring her daughter. It has a wonderful impact highlighting their Sunrise palettes. The mother helping her daughter is in a deep blue mirroring her Sunrise personal coloring. And the two mother to the right, also Sunlights, are wearing soft pastel shades, so complimentary.

Here are some colors that were selected from each Mother of the bride’s personal color palette.

Sunrise – Emerald
Sunlight – Petit Four
Sunlight – Blush
Sunset – Byzantium

And then of course, the Crossover colors always work.

True Red
Jet Black
Navy Blue
Sky Blue
Neutral Gray
Bleached Sand

A bride wearing a Crossover color will make an impact. Just look at these two beautiful brides.

Faded Denim

Here is an example of the Crossover Navy Blue in all three Colortimes.



These are two dresses promoted on two top wedding sites. Some brides are moving away from traditional wedding gowns to more versatile dresses which can be recycled for other formal occassions. This trendk allows for greater color freedom and a wider array of colors from which to choose.

Then of course flower girls basically look adorable in whatever color or colors they are wearing. Perhaps a nice tie-in to a color theme would be to include Crossover Colors to create a cohesive look.

Floral Arranging and Settings

The Colortime palettes can be utilized for the wedding theme and settings.

Here are three bouquets that reflect the three palettes.

Sunrise – @hollychapple of @hopeflowerfarm
Sunset – @hollychapple of @hopeflowerfarm
Sunlight – @hollychapple of @hopeflowerfarm
@Hitomi Gilliam
@hollychapple of @hopeflowerfarm
@Hitomi Gilliam

Another critical area to consider is the setting for the wedding. Whether in a park, hotel, religious sanctuary or your own backyard The Color Clock system is the most effective technique to acting as a guideline in coordinating the venue and serves as inspiration for the setting. When guests walk into the event, color is the instantaneous stimulator which sets the emotional tone for a very special day.

When the setting coordinates seamlessly with the wedding party, it creates the most impactful and emotional reaction which sets the stage for a moving experience. The colors within each colortime can be used together to create inherently satisfying, appealing and pleasing environments.

Here are some examples in each Colortime palette


Kehoe Designs – Photo: Collin Pierson Photography – Chicago
Kehoe Designs – Photo: Kehoe Designs – Trump Int’l Hotel & Tower, Chicago
Kehoe Designs – Photo: Kehoe Designs Art Institute of Chicago

Kehoe Designs – Photo:TagPrints -Four Seasons, Chicago
Kehoe Designs – Photo: Kehoe Designs – City Hall, Chicago
Kehoe Designs – Photo: Kehoe Designs – The Geraghty, Chicago


Some settings are so warm, you can almost feel the heat emanating.

Kehoe Designs -Photo: Kehoe Designs – Lyric Opera House, Chicago
Kehoe Designs – Photo: Kehoe Designs – The Geraghty, Chicago
Photo: Robert Gomez
Kehoe Designs – Photo: Kingen Smith – The Geraghty, Chicago
Kehoe Designs – Photo: Alaura Hernandez Photography – Chicago
India Hicks: Photo:Rizzoli –


The balanced, softer shades lend themselves to a romantic mood. These softer tones are the most popular wedding colors.

Kehoe Designs – Photo: Kehoe Designs – The Geraghty, Chicago
Kehoe Designs – Photo: Kingen Smith – Art Institute of Chicago
Mariana Acavedo
Kehoe Designs – Photo: Kehoe Designs, The Geraghty, Chicago
Kehoe Designs, Photo: Kehoe Designs, The Geraghty, Chicago

Crossover Settings

Currently, natural settings, with an abundance of greens is quite popular. It can also be quite stunning. As green is nature’s neutral, it as the perfect backdrop.

Kehoe Designs – Photo: HM Photography – The Geraghty, Chicago
Kehoe Designs – Photo: HM Photography – The Geraghty, Chicago

These two weddings are at private estates in Chicago. The setting and flower arrangements are so stunning that they hardly seem real, but they are. They lean into the Sunrise palettes in these jewel tones, but the effective use of the greenery and eggplant/beaujolais flowers place it in the crossover palette.

Kehoe Designs – Photo: Kehoe Designs, Private estate, Barrington IL
Kehoe Designs – Photo: Kehoe Designs -The Geragthy, Chicago
Kehoe Designs – Photo: Kent Drake Photography – Forest, IL

There are Crossover color options for bouquets as well.

Alternative Options

Carrie Bradshaw in Vivienne Westwood

I hope that you have found the Color Clock© system inspirational and helpful. Although many are settled on traditional weddings, oftentimes stemming from little girl dreams, there are others who are looking for alternative options. Perhaps something a bit different to showcase individualized tastes and ideals. There is space here for so much creativity and color can be utilized to coordinate the entire look for this very special day. The images in this course are but a few of the many photos I found that I want to share with you to help explain the system and which I also hope will serve to spark your imagination and most certainly your color creativity!


Your services are employed in one of the most enjoyable event in a families life. You help couples set the stage for the day and memories for years to come. It can certainly be a rewarding experience. The Color Clock system will help you realize dreams. Best of luck to you as a wedding planner, stylist or the bride herself!

Photo: VictoriaPreissnit