Coral is a beautiful reddish-orange hue that has become increasingly popular for weddings in recent years. As a soft, warm color, coral flatters a wide range of skin tones and can work well for brides across seasons. It’s versatile enough to stand alone as the main color or complement other soft neutrals like blush pink and cream.
Coral offers a nice balance between the traditional bridal white and bolder, brighter shades. It has a romantic, vintage feel that gives a nod to the past while still feeling fresh and current. For the modern bride searching for something more unique than plain white but not quite as dramatic as red, coral hits that sweet spot.
But is coral really an ideal choice when it comes to wedding colors? Here are some key factors to consider when deciding if coral is a good fit for your wedding vision:
The Meaning and Symbolism of Coral
In color psychology, coral is associated with warmth, playfulness, and energy. It evokes feelings of optimism and fun. In Native American culture, coral symbolizes tranquility and happiness. In Buddhism, orange-red tones like coral represent courage and idealism.
So coral has an uplifting spirit, which can be perfect for infusing a joyful, romantic mood into a wedding. It’s energizing without feeling overstimulating. The warm peach undertones are nurturing and celebratory.
Coral also has some interesting symbolism related to marriage. Ancient Greeks and Romans associated coral with Venus, the goddess of love. It was thought to bring good luck in relationships. Coral jewelry was sometimes gifted as a wedding present or worn in bridal accessories.
In Victorian flower language, coral roses expressed desire. So for the bride, coral can subtly signify love and romance. Overall, the meanings behind coral bode well for weddings.
The Color Psychology of Coral
Digging deeper into color psychology helps explain why coral has such positive connotations. Red shades are known to increase heart rate, respiration, and brain wave activity. They energize the body and mind. Orange has similar stimulating effects. It represents social communication, creativity, and optimism.
When you blend red and orange hues into coral, the result is an uplifting color that maintains the vibrancy of red and orange while softening to a more subtle tone. It has a warmth that comforts but also enough brightness to energize.
Research suggests people perceive coral as cheerful but not overpowering. One study found that coral enhanced creative task performance more than cool tones like blue and gray. Participants also rated coral as more likable.
So if you want wedding colors that will make guests feel welcomed and inspired, coral is a strong choice. The underlying red excites, while the orange-peach tones soothe and cheer.
How Coral Flatters Different Skin Tones
An important consideration for any wedding palette is how the colors complement the bride and groom’s complexions. Choosing unflattering shades that clash or wash people out should obviously be avoided.
Fortunately, the warm, peachy coral is quite versatile for different skin tones. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Fair skin – Coral adds a lively glow to fair complexions. It prevents washed out skin better than many pastels.
- Medium skin – The red undertones in coral work well with olive and medium neutral skin.
- Darker skin – While very dark skin can handle pure oranges best, coral mixes in enough red-pink to harmonize.
Coral is most ideal for people with medium to tan warm skin tones. The yellow-orange hues are close to the natural coloring of the skin. But it can also complement cooler rose or neutral tones nicely with the right bridal makeup. In general, coral should be flattering across the spectrum.
Complementary Colors for Coral
Monochromatic coral can look stunning, but pairing it with complementary hues creates a more complete palette. Coral naturally blends well with other warm neutrals. Here are some excellent color combinations:
Coral and Cream
Cream has a soft warmth that melds seamlessly with coral. The two together evoke an organic, ethereal look perfect for a summer garden wedding. Use coral in the floral arrangements with cream linens.
Coral and Blush
Adding blush pink maintains the romantic vibe while deepening the palette. It also relates to the natural flush in the skin, tying everything together. Use blush bridesmaid dresses with coral floral prints.
Coral and Gold
Metallic gold elevates coral to bold new heights. The combination channels the sun, ideal for daytime beach weddings. Tie it together with coral and gold jewelry or decor accents.
Coral and Sage Green
For a punch of contrast, sage green makes an unexpected but pretty pairing with coral. The two colors connect through their shared natural quality. Use sage bridesmaid dresses with coral and green bouquets.
Coral and Navy Blue
Navy may seem like a surprise pairing, but it works! The rich blue acts as a subtle neutral that builds drama and sophistication around the coral. Use navy suits with coral ties or accents.
How to Incorporate Coral into Weddings
Once you decide coral is the hue for you, it’s time to figure out all the creative ways to work it into your wedding design. Here are some prime options:
Flowers are the easiest way to splash coral around a wedding. Roses, ranunculus, peonies, dahlias, and gerbera daisies all come in gorgeous coral varieties. Bouquets, centerpieces, ceremony aisles, and reception garlands can burst with coral blooms.
Use coral accents on your save-the-dates, invitations, menus, programs, and signage. Coral liners, paper, ink, or envelope seals pack a punch. Monogram seals or foiled coral details elevate stationery.
Consider a coral dress or accessory for the bride or bridesmaids. Coral shoes, sashes, jewelry, or makeup (lipstick, eyeshadow) are more subtle options. Men can sport coral ties, pocket squares, or boutonnieres.
Coral tablecloths, napkins, plates/utensils, and favors present easy ways to infuse meals with color. Floral centerpieces can also decorate reception tables, along with coral candles, lanterns, or vases.
Use coral on other textiles like aisle runners, chair sashes, linens, pillows, lighting filters, and draped fabrics around venues. Sheer fabrics allow coral to shine through for ethereal texture.
Pros of a Coral Wedding Color Palette
Let’s quickly recap the best parts about using coral as your wedding color:
- Uplifting, positive vibes
- Fun, playful energy with a romantic edge
- Flatters most skin tones
- Distinctive color that pops more than neutrals without going overboard
- Lots of flowers and décor available in coral
- Pairs well with many colors like cream, blush, or navy
Coral infuses warmth into weddings and keeps the atmosphere light and cheerful. For brides who want a colorful wedding without venturing into neon territory, coral is a safe bet.
Cons of a Coral Wedding Color Palette
Despite its many attributes, coral isn’t flawless. Here are a couple potential downsides:
- Could photograph orange if lighting mixes with yellow
- Not as universally flattering as red-based coral on cooler skin tones
- Hard to find groomswear/menswear in coral
- May not suit venues that don’t mesh with warm tones
Test coral out early with photography and clothing to confirm it translates as envisioned. And choose compatible venues that will harmonize with coral’s warmth.
When used thoughtfully, coral hits the wedding color sweet spot. It ensures photographs pop but don’t appear garish or neon. The red-orange shade provides enough color to feel playful and fun without going over-the-top.
Coral flatters most skin tones. And it combines effortlessly with similar warm hues like peach, blush, cream, and gold. For the right event style and venues, coral creates an uplifting mood of love and celebration. Just take care photographing it in tricky lighting and find complementary colors for the groom and groomsmen.
Overall, coral is a rising trend for weddings, and for good reason. Its versatility and intrinsically joyful tone suit the wedding spirit. For the bride seeking distinctive color that also feels timeless, coral checks all the boxes. It’s more than just a trend – this vibrant yet soothing shade is here to stay in the world of weddings.