My amazing fiance and I are getting married in Melbourne. That is the only detail we’ve organised.

I am Sri-Lankan and my fiance is of Dutch and Scottish heritage. Trying to create a theme and colour palette has proven quite challenging. I’d obviously like to incorporate elements of both our cultures – but not too much since we’ve both grown up in Australia. However, the biggest issue is the fact that the colours that suit my darker complexion as well as my bridesmaids do not suit my fiance’s very pale complexion. As silly as that sounds, I want the wedding photographs to complement us and I want us to be comfortable on the day.

I know I do not want red, pink, brown or orange and am drawn to olive, grey, silver and limited blues. Jewel colours are wonderful but would be far too intense for the day. Oh dear…. please help!

Hello there dear bride!

Wow – your wedding sounds like a true melting pot of nationalities!

I can understand you not wanting to use the brighter colours, so I would choose the silver (as a shiny metallic), either our Pale Grey or Pewter Grey – whichever you like the best and your favourite blue. I would leave the olive colour out of this scheme, as it will ‘dull down’ the whole look.

If you went with the olive colourway, you could add bronze touches (see our Olive Green for ideas).

Our Colour Book on the right will give you some ideas of which colours to use with which, and accessories etc. to consider. Just click on the colours that appeal to you and you will find lots of ideas.

The blue colour will tap into the Dutch flag colours and could also be used as a nod to Scottish and Sri Lankan heritage. A beautiful bright blue – like Azure, or Aqua or Royal Blue accessories such as shoes, with a silvery grey dress for your maids, blue or silver beading on a sash or as embellishment on your dress (a nod to your heritage), with ties and pocket squares for the men in the pale grey or the same blue. Midnight blue would be a colour that would suit both your skin tones – and is very elegant with sliver and  grey.

Use the same colour ratios as interior designers do – take one colour as your main colour, say the blue and use in your maid’s dresses, table accessories, cloths, napkins, glasses. You will have the most of this colour in your decor. Use pale grey or pewter grey as your secondary colour – e.g. pewter napkin ties, pewter monogram or beading on a blue table runner etc. The shiny silver would be used the least –  in silver candlesticks, flower bowls etc. Use silver grey leaves in your floral arrangements perhaps to carry through the soft scheme. Pick up the white of your wedding dress in white flowers.

Perhaps you could do some Sri Lankan dishes and Dutch or Scottish dishes as part of your menu. This would be much more enjoyable and easier for you to do than trying to incorporate all your ancestry into your wedding accessories. (Which can also tend to look ‘tizzy’ when you are trying to fit too much into your wedding decor). Think of the ways you serve food in Sri Lanka, or provide a platter of Sri Lankan delicacies on each table for guests to nibble on. Or you could do a dessert or a coffee table featuring Sri Lankan, Dutch and Scottish sweets, pastries etc.

You will no doubt be doing a lot of research between now and your wedding day. As you find things – swatches of fabric, photos that evoke that feeling that you are looking for, pictures of linen/glassware etc, colours that appeal to you,  create a mood board by pinning everything on a cork board – and add and subtract as you see fit. In the end you will have created a ‘look’ that you will be happy with.
I do hope that some of these ideas will be of some use to you. I hope you have a wonderful wedding day and congratulations on your marriage.

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