Creating Color Palettes (Without the Guesswork)

Creating Color Palettes (Without the Guesswork)
April 20, 2016

As planners, our job, in a nutshell at least, is to bring our clients’ visions to life. While this sounds simple enough, one of the trickiest aspects of this seemingly straightforward goal is truly understanding what another person envisions. In other words, “barnyard chic” doesn’t always mean the same thing to everyone--to your couples it may mean one thing and, to your vendors, it may mean something completely different.

I’ve found that one of the most common challenges in this regard is nailing down the official color palette for a wedding. Defining colors is one of the most integral parts of the design process--so many other design elements hinge on the color palette (think: bridesmaids dresses, lighting, florals, cake)--and it can be more difficult than it sounds. Does your client’s love for pink mean they’re envisioning a coral wedding or a blush one (or perhaps even a fuchsia-hued affair)? And does their version of “purple” look more like blue to you?

Getting on the same page about color choice is hard enough when your couples are accessible, let alone when they live far away or are too busy to meet regularly in person. And, while there will always be a place in my heart for a Pantone Color Book or a Home Depot paint swatch (did I tug on your heartstrings yet?), I always craved a more immediate and fluid solution. I wanted something that I didn’t have to wait in the mail for and something that I could change right away should my couple’s vision differ from the swatches they’ve been shown. When we created Aisle Planner, this was just one of the many dilemmas we worked to solve with our Design Studio. While we’re just getting started (we can’t wait to show you some of the new design features we have in the works), we’re really excited about our Color Palette Tool, which you’ll find housed in our Design Studio. Think of it as that shiny new toy you won’t want to put down.


Using the Color Palette Tool

Using the Color Palette Tool in the Design Studio, you can create as many palettes as needed for each event. This is especially helpful when first working to nail down color selections with a couple who may not have any initial idea of what colors they want. In these instances, I typically create a few main palettes for them to choose from. (I also like to give each option a creative name to help communicate the mood of the palette: Option 1: Smokey Spring Blues, Option 2: Dreamy Dusty Sage.) Then, once we’ve nailed down a general palette for the wedding, I’ll even sometimes create “offshoots” of that palette that are specific to different design elements--i.e. a palette for: linens, centerpieces, bridesmaids dresses, etc. (Side note: see more of this amazing styled shoot from our very own Director of PR, Katherine Oyer, here.)

Our color picker is a great way to explore colors as you’re working to nail down these palettes (as creatives, it’s also the funnest vortex you’ll ever get sucked into--bar none). Once you’ve found a color that strikes a chord, you can just click on the swatch to save that particular hue. You can also save color swatches from any of the photos you’ve uploaded or saved to a style guide (or from any image in our inspiration galleries) by clicking on a swatch to save it.

Aisle Planner Creating Color Palette
Photo courtesy Alchemy Fine Events and Gina Meola Photography

While you can easily save colors to a specific palette you’ve created, I like to save all of my colors to "Saved Colors," which I use as more of a general palette--essentially a ton of colors that could potentially fit my couples’ color preferences.  We'll review these saved colors together, and save their absolute favorites (the chosen ones, I like to say) to a palette specifically designed for their wedding. (Keep in mind that it’s pretty rare to nail a color combo right off the bat, so you’ll likely have to play around with options and work through feedback. Once a decision has been made, you can delete the options that didn’t make the cut and start planning with your couple’s official color palette in mind.)


Once we've defined the vision for the wedding and are ready for next steps, I'll share our color palettes (along with any style guides and related notes I've created) with everyone involved in the design process--everyone from florists to calligraphers to linen and decor providers--using the share button to send everything with just a few clicks. This is my favorite aspect of the Color Palette Tool--knowing that I can provide reliable visuals (rather than just descriptions) to everyone involved. It really helps to ensure nothing gets lost in translation.

Aisle Planner Creating Color Palette
Photo courtesy Francine Ribeau Events and Sara Kate Photo

Where needed, I'll reference my official color palette to compare everything from linen and bridesmaids dress swatches to Pantone colors (and, yes, even those Home Depot paint swatches), ultimately helping me pull everything together to set the stage for a beautifully designed wedding. (Added bonus: I can sleep at night without having nightmares where a baker delivers a fuschia cake to a blush wedding.)

In a nutshell, Aisle Planner's Design Studio makes it a breeze to kick off the conversation about wedding colors with my clients and really helps me pinpoint specifics for design (not to mention I’m doing so on a platform where I'm already collaborating with my couples and housing all of their event details).

We hope you’ll fall in as much love with our Color Palette Tool as we have. And we can’t wait to see the other creative ways you use Aisle Planner’s Design Studio to gather your thoughts, define your vision and execute every wedding to perfection.

Learn more about creating color palettes in Aisle Planner in this short video tutorial!


Hero photo courtesy Lucky & In Love and Ace & Whim Photography


About the Author

Aisle Planner Editorial Team
Aisle Planner Editorial Team
The Aisle Planner Editorial Team is a collective of creative writers, editors, and former event pros who obsess over weddings and special events—and the businesses behind them! Drawn to refined details, design, and creativity, our team provides intelligent and straightforward articles with insights, practical tips, and expert guidance in putting Aisle Planner's "Power of One" behind your business.