COLOR ME BRIDE—Spring and Summer’s Hottest Bridal Party Trends

Karen Bussen, Celebrity Wedding Planner & Author

When I’m designing a fabulous wedding, I think of color as one of my most important design tools. I use it to create mood and texture throughout the party. Gone are the days where brides chose just one “wedding color” (say, Dusty Pink) and matched everything to it. I’m a fan of building a special “color story” that suits the style of your celebration and offers fresh delights for the eye as your guests transition from the ceremony to the reception.

Imagine an ethereal ceremony set all in white, simple and serene. It’s a beautiful beginning to your new life together and a great backdrop to the rest of the party, which might be chic and sophisticated or bold and spicy!

Choosing colors for your bridal party attire and flowers can seem daunting. Which hues look best in photos? Do they need to match the rest of the décor? Here are a few of the latest color trends and my tips for how to select colors to best suit your celebration.

Color Trends Now. What is the hottest bridesmaid dress color? Black! And it’s easy to see why. A little black dress is flattering on any figure and skin tone, it pairs well with any floral colors for bouquets, and it is the ultimate wear-again wardrobe item. Dresses are generally trending toward knee length or just a bit shorter, and “fun and flirty” are words I often hear brides describe what they’re looking for.

If you like the idea of black bridesmaid dresses, consider choosing slightly different dress styles for each of your ladies. When it comes to bouquets, the color choice is yours, but one of my favorite color trends is a fresh return to black and white. Let’s say your bouquet is made up of five varieties of white flowers. You could give each of your bridesmaids a white posy, or smaller bouquet, made of just one type of blossom from your bouquet, personalizing each of their looks, and tying it all together in your own dramatic white bouquet. As a finishing detail, look for vintage-inspired black and white ribbon to wrap the stems. Some of my favorite vintage ribbon is from

Beautiful Blues. Another fabulous color trend is blue paired with spicy summer hues, such as navy with orange and hot pink or magenta. Navy dresses are fresh and seasonless, but just make sure to choose a fabric that is suited to your season and climate. Plus, you might want to put your groomsmen in dark blue suits as opposed to black suits or tuxes.

Rich jewel-toned blues are also a favorite. Pair any of these sophisticated Marine dresses with flowers in fuchsia, green or soft peach for a winning combination. And don’t forget to match men’s flowers to the ladies’ bouquet colors for a perfectly polished look.

For your groom—tradition says he should wear a blossom as if plucked from your bouquet—isn’t that sweet? For your maids, small bouquets are all the rage, so ask your florist to make chic nosegays, posies, or wristlets for your ladies rather than big blowsy bouquets.

Alluring Accessories. And when it comes to accessories, metallics and bold colors are hotter than ever, so add a touch of glamour with a sparkly shoe and clutch or a peep-toe in a bold jewel tone. Just make sure to balance your look—if the dress is simple, you can do more with color and accents. If it has a lot of personality, let it shine and go understated with the rest of the look.

The key to designing the color story for your celebration is to follow the SIMPLE STUNNING PRINCIPLES outlined in my design book, SIMPLE STUNNING WEDDINGS. For the most powerful visual punch, focus on just three or fewer hues in any one space, such as the ceremony or reception. Any more than that can start to feel busy and over-the-top.

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