A fun and important decision a bride has to make concerning her bridal flowers is the color scheme of her wedding. Many different aspects of a nuptial celebration can dictate the color scheme.

If, for example, you want a very traditional theme, you may want to consider a bridal bouquet using all white flowers. Many brides today, however, like to incorporate other colors in their bouquets. Some brides add subtle touches of color, while others prefer a more dramatic use of color in their bouquet. The choice is yours! They are all lovely!

Another thing to consider when choosing colors is the season of the wedding. Weddings that occur in the Christmas season and near Valentine's Day, for example, tend to favor a festive and romantic red color scheme. Winter weddings often make use of white flowers and decorative touches suggesting frost and snow. Many spring brides like to make cheerful use of bright pinks, purples, yellows and greens, while other spring brides prefer softer pastel shades. Summer brides often choose lush colors found in beautiful summer gardens: cool whites, sunny yellows, lovely lavenders, vivid purples, and bright pinks. Fall celebrations are often adorned with flowers in deeper, more intense, and more sensual hues.

These might include romantic reds, golden yellows and oranges, and dark purples. In all cases, the idea is to beautifully complement the special "look and feel" of the season in either subtle or dramatic fashion.

A very important thing to keep in mind when choosing your color scheme is the color of your attendants' dresses. You want the color of the dresses and the color of the flowers to harmonize with and enhance each other. Our professional staff can direct you in making these choices during your consultation. Before you arrive, however, you can begin, if you'd like, to think about appropriate color combinations by studying the following rules of color and applying them to the color wheel. The color wheel is a helpful tool used by artists, interior designers, florists, and others to understand how the eye sees color. An understanding of color will greatly assist you in narrowing down your options to those that will naturally be most pleasing to the eye. Keep in mind that many different flowers come in many different colors.

First, we will briefly explain color theory using the color wheel. Then we will explain five kinds of color schemes using the example of appropriate color choices for a red bridesmaid dress. Once you understand these basic concepts as explained by our example, you can apply them to the particular color you have chosen for your attendants.

Color Theory

When applying rules of color to the color wheel, the first step is becoming familiar with the terminology used when referring to the color wheel. The following are simple definitions to help familiarize you with the color wheel before you begin applying rules of color.


Primary Colors
Red, blue and yellow are the primary colors. They are equally spaced on the color wheel. Primary colors are also the most common example of triadic colors (see triadic colors). 


Secondary Colors
Green, orange and purple are the secondary colors. Mixing equal amounts of the primary colors creates secondary colors.  



Intermediate Colors
Red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green, yellow-green and yellow-orange are the intermediate colors. Mixing a primary color with a secondary color creates intermediate colors.


Newton divided the visible spectrum into seven basic hues. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. An easy way to remember the seven hues is with the acronym ROY G BIV, it is made by combining the first letter of each hue name. Colors that can be produced by a single wavelength, the pure spectral colors, are hues.

Color Combinations

Now that you are more familiar with the basic structure of the color wheel, let us suppose that your bridal attendants will be wearing red dresses. We will now consider different color and flower choices that will each in their own way naturally and beautifully complement the dresses. 


Complementary Colors
Complementary colors are two colors directly opposite each other on the color wheel. For example, red and green are natural complements to each other. Likewise, blue is the complement of orange, and yellow is the complement of violet. These colors, when placed together naturally enhance each other.

If your attendants' dresses are red, and you want a complementary color scheme for your flowers then you will want to consider bouquets made up of a variety of red and green flowers. Roses, carnations, gerbera daisies, bouvardia, and leptospermum are some obvious choices for red flowers. Surprisingly, there are many lovely green flowers as well that could be used in your bouquet. Some varieties of roses and carnations come in a pale green, so, too, does bouvardia, hydrangea, and lisianthus. Some fancy greenery such as bells of Ireland, salal, plumosa or bear grass would also look lovely against a vibrant red dress.


Monochromatic Colors
The Monochromatic Color combination is one hue modified to create tints, tones and shades. A tint is when white is added, a tone is when gray is added, and a shade is when brown is added. The monochromatic color scheme can be very lovely if your attendants' dresses are a pale color because then the flowers, which can include deeper colors as well as lighter ones, will show up nicely against the dresses. It is more difficult in some instances with darker colored dresses to have monochromatic bouquets stand out in pictures. However, if your attendants' dresses are red, for example, and you want them to carry a monochromatic bouquet then you can have them carry bouquets of beautiful flowers in a rich variety of reds. Shades, tones and tints of red can be found in roses, carnations, gerbera daisies, bouvardia, antherium, anemones, and leptospernum.  


Analogous Colors

Analogous colors are three colors next to one another on the color wheel, forming a 90-degree angle. There is one pure hue and two adjacent to it. According to the Analogous color combination, if your attendants' dresses are red, two good colors to go with red would be violet and orange. Some very pretty violet flowers are stock, certain varieties of roses, lisianthus, statice, liatris, dendrobium orchids and muscari. Nice orange flowers are gerbera daisies, certain varieties of roses, birds of paradise, coffee berries, lilies and ranunculus. 


Triadic Colors
Triadic colors are 3 colors spaced 120-degrees apart on the color wheel. The primary colors are an example of triadic colors. Therefore, using red as the example color of your attendants' dresses, two colors that would naturally enhance it would be blue and yellow. Delphinium, hydrangea, iris and agapanthus are very nice blue flowers. In yellow, daisies, gerbera daisies, freesia, sunflowers, lilies and oncidium orchids. 


Split Complement Colors
The Split Complement is a combination of one hue and the two colors on either side of its complement. In this example, if red is the color of your attendants' dresses, advantageous colors to use would be yellow-green and blue-green. Some nice yellow-green flowers are some varieties of roses and carnations and Yoko Ono pompoms. Some nice flowers in blue-green are eryngium, echinops and eucalyptus.