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Wedding & Event Design Essentials: Colour Psychology

event design essentials styling weddings guide colour psychology studio sorores jessie westwood

Welcome to our a short series of guides on the best ways to adapt various looks and trends to create the ultimate design scheme for your wedding or event space.

If you missed them before you can find our first three mini guide links below:

Next up is....


Often we will have quite a clear brief from new clients, who typically have gathered images of things and colours they like without much consideration to the story being told through design, or the impact of colours they choose in creating atmospheres for events.

Colours are intricately linked to emotions and many event designers are only beginning to understand and make use of the theory in their concepts for weddings, parties and celebrations. Use of colour psychology is more widespread in branding or interiors, but those of us who have spent time understanding the impact on guest behaviour or reaction are really starting to be clever about creating different moods as we progress through venue spaces. Something as simple as changing the colour palette for an after party can have an incredible affect on atmosphere for your live band and DJ. In our opinion, overlooking this vital component of guest experience in event design is a mistake and one that can be easily avoided with a little education. That's where we can help!

There are different ways that colour can influence the way a person feels when exposed to them. It may be a personal negative or positive association (their mothers favourite colour, or the paint on the wall of a much loved family home).

However, we can also look at universal human experiences, and then predict how most people will respond to a given colours. For example some colours are associated with what we see around us - green is often associated with plants and nature, blue is almost always associated with the sky and water. Other colours have more cultural associations and still form part of the human psyche.

event design essentials styling weddings guide colour psychology studio sorores jessie westwood

Warm colours include shades of red, orange, and yellow. In general, these colours are always seen as more energetic and positive, with connotations of optimism and happiness.

Red is associated with passion, lust and love. As you can imagine, it can also be associated with danger, or anger (when we talk about people “seeing red”) so you have to be careful with it. It could have quite a physiological impact on guests, too, including raising heart rates.

Orange is associated with energy and positivity. There is some association with autumn but a fresher version can remind people of zesty fruits on holiday.

Yellow is considered one of the happiest hues in the colour spectrum and is usually associated with sunshine and hope.

event design essentials styling weddings guide colour psychology studio sorores jessie westwood

Cool colours include shades of green, blue and purple. They tend to evoke a more calm and relaxed feeling than warm colours, and can usually be seen as soothing or nurturing

Blue is calming yes, but it also represents honesty and loyalty (hence its popularity in so many wedding colour palettes and design schemes). It’s also linked to peace and spirituality. You have to be careful as it can evoke feelings of sadness ("feeling blue") so we would usually pair it with a warmer tone for balance.

Green will usually represent growth and new beginnings, as well as nature. It is one of the most used colours in our events due to it's similar energizing properties of yellow, while also carrying over some of blue’s calming effects. Green is also associated with affluence and stability, and darker shades work particularly well when creating higher end event designs.

Purple: Purple is usually associated with luxury and royalty, but also with mystery and a link between the spiritual and physical worlds. Lighter purples, such as lavender or lilac, are more romantic and associated with spring and femininity.


  • Happy colors are usually considered those that are bright and warm shades; yellow, orange, pink and red, or pastels, like peach, light pink and lilac. The brighter and lighter the colour, the happier and more optimistic it can make someone feel. Combining these colours together for a wedding or event can feel super exuberent and joyful but you have to be very careful it doesn't become overwhelming or even a bit chaotic.

  • Sad colours are usually dark and muted. We rarely use these for life celebration events - if we do use colours like grey, brown, black or even certain shades of blue and green, then it will usually need to be combined with warmer and softer tones to provide emotional balance.

  • We like to mix calming colours with joyful colours, but sometimes a really ethereal colour palette with lots of tints and whites with soft neutrals can be perfect for a wedding day

  • We would always avoid using colours that feel too corporate or child like for meaningful personal events and celebrations like weddings or birthdays.

  • Using darker shades and cooler colours can create a sophisticated feeling, whereas ther warmer and more bold hues will be more stimulating and bring excitement for a high-energy event.

  • Any space will feel more open and airy with a light palette - but always consider flipping that depending on the time of day and flow of the event as darker colours can create more intimacy

  • Don't forget to see if there are opportunities to utilise colours across the different design elements - from linens, to florals, lighting and even menu options with your food.

  • Make sure you consider the interior design and colours within your event space first and foremost. You don't want to create a palette with decor that fights the setting and feels off balance.

Next up? We will be guiding you through how to use neutral colours. With all this talk of colour we wanted to have a focus on an eternally popular choice of palettes, particularly with weddings.

PLUS we have just launched a new virtual design service so do book a consultation if you feel you need more support in bringing your wedding or event vision to life!


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