The Best Colors to Use for a May Wedding

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You've chosen a mid-spring wedding over the tradition of the June bride, and May is your month to shine. It's the season of beginnings, a fragile, hopeful time full of gossamer color and light. Find the palette that appeals to you and takes advantage of nature's blossoming paint box. Start with white, or skip it in favor of an original color scheme that includes a blue, gray or antique rose bridal gown. It's your wedding; you can color outside the lines.

Colors That Signify

Color is the strongest visual choice to make for a wedding, and the hue can influence more than the shoe dye and the tablecloths. Light purple is the color of connection; pink is all romance, tenderness and understanding; yellow and light orange signify happiness; pale blue is peaceful, calm and harmonious, while aqua and turquoise are relaxing, healing and dreamy. Deep blue helps you to focus on the big picture and future goals. Bright red is exciting and confidence-building, and deep red evokes passion. Silver is moonlight and magic; gold is luxury and riches. Green is balance, life and new growth. May is the flower-filled promise of spring, warmth and increasing light. It's an auspicious time of year to marry, and the wedding colors will define and underscore the sentiment you want to emphasize in your celebration.

Say It With Flowers

Reserve the best selection of blooms and trim the florist's bill by choosing in-season flowers for the wedding and coordinating the color scheme around them. Hothouse and garden flowers are a riot of possibilities to use as decor accents and wedding party colors. Black calla lilies are really a dark almost-black eggplant, dramatic paired with creamy calla lilies and an ivory dress. Delphinium, freesias, stock, irises, orchids, snapdragons and roses come in shades of purple -- mix purple bouquets with white flowers and let the bridesmaids choose their dresses in any shade from lilac to royal. Coral, apricot and cream are delicate and old-fashioned with roses, peonies, tulips, cherry blossoms, lilies and baby's breath. Match groomsmen's ties to bridesmaids' dresses in the warm shades of the flowers.

Delicate Does It

Spring means pale new grass, unfurling leaves and flower buds. Dress your bridesmaids in tea-length pastel tulle, as floaty as a ballerina's costume, in filmy lavender with shimmering peridot sashes; reverse those colors for the flower girls, or wrap everyone in shades of mint and blush. Flower girls can wear woven circlets in their hair to match the flowers in their baskets. The bride's gown, in palest blush beading and lace, is her own statement about fragile beauty and individual taste. Chairs for the ceremony or reception are festive and pretty with big tulle bows in the wedding party colors. For a more vivid color scheme, mix coral chiffon dresses with pewter satin shoes; layer coral over pewter tablecloths; and fill bouquets and vases with coral, peach, apricot and cream tulips. Dress the groom in charcoal and the groomsmen in understated dove gray.

Tintype Photograph

A May outdoor wedding in a warm climate or heated tent has vintage or woodland charm, depending on color choices and glitter factor. Hang one or a dozen crystal chandeliers from branches or the rafters. Add a cherry blossom archway, antique lace tablecloths over whitewashed farm tables, centerpieces of gold or white branches studded with tiny feathered birds and real flowers that look like resting butterflies. Fairy lights twinkle, crisscrossed above like miniature stars. The bride, in an old-fashioned lace dress in ivory or pale smoke, and the groom in a cream suit, walk down an aisle carpeted with white and blush heritage rose petals. The slightly faded colors give the scene the charm of a vintage photograph, but the meticulously neutral palette is also as modern as the romantic bride and groom.