Purple Rain.

Cover Image quote Purple Rain.

It was round about 2010 (by our estimations) that purple inspired weddings were last in vogue. In fact they were so prolific that you couldn’t turn a page of a wedding magazine or visit a blog without seeing some sort of amethyst affair on a weekly basis.

And then they seemed to disappear.

Kaput! Consigned to the colour broom-cupboard where peach themed soirees and ruby and scarlet toned festivities also languished.

Why might you ask? Well I’m not really sure. I suppose that is the nature of any particular style or trend. It has its moment in the spotlight before something brighter, shinier, more contemporary comes along and muscles it from the top spot.

Here at RMW HQ we’ve done our very best to show you lovely lot that actually peach, approached in the right way with a dollop of 21st century sophistication can look pretty darn ‘hawt’. And I think judging from your enthusiastic responses that we can safely say you agree.

So what about purple then?

I can’t say that this particular hue has ever rung my bells, but lately I’m inclined to change my mind. I’m beginning to see more inventive interpretations using this colour palette. We’re talking less Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and more sassy contemporary cool.

Not convinced…?

Let’s see if I can change your mind.

Lilac Ladies

Dramatic and vibrant, purple comes in many guises. Admittedly this moodboard is probably more for the bridesmaids than brides themselves but just look at that frothy number at the top here. Would any of you consider wearing that on your big day…complete with fairytale tiara of course.

I do love a Lilac Lady but it’s an area that must be handled delicately. I have seen this particular colourway utilised somewhat disastrously in brash taffetas that do little for the lovely ladies forced inside them. And ‘delicate’ is the operative word here, think muted mauves and dusky violets, the sweetest silks and the filmiest of chiffon.

Lilac Ladies Purple Rain.

If you’re set on dressing your girls in the same gown, then choosing softer shades is the way to go if you’re after a contemporary look. Alternatively using the ombre trend as inspiration try frocking up in the same dress but in varying hues in the same colour palette.

Lastly accessorise each maid with a complementary bouquet – I particularly adore the contrast of a darker posy against a lighter dress.

Lavender Lads

Lavender lads is a bit of a tough one.

There’s a fine line between mauve-toned chic and looking like an poor imitation of Willy Wonka. The key to integrating this hue into your groomsmens’ attire is to really pay attention to the wider colour palette i.e. the other tones you’ll be pairing with the plummy purples.

For a really modern interpretation of this colour scheme, I suggest avoiding the traditional black power suit and opting for charcoal, olive green and rustic brown pieces instead. They’ll complement violet and lilac tones rather than jarring against them.

Lavender Lads Purple Rain.

Stripes, checks and tweeds are your friends here since they break up the intensity of flat purple hues making it so much easier on the eye. Try layering different materials too – velvets, twills and wools are scream luxe and allow a wide range of purple tones to really pop against them

Lastly, if you’re a groom that’s apprehensive about wearing bright colours or a bride that is worried she’ll be walking down the aisle to a Austin Powers lookalike you could always limit the colour to your buttonhole – anemones look particularly gorgeous on a lapel.

At The Table

We’ve covered the lilac ladies and lavender lads so let’s move swiftly on to general wedding decor.

It can be hard to reach that fine balance between integrating a hue into your wedding decor before it looks like there’s been some sort of uncontrolled colour explosion. When you’ve got a strong palette like purple to play with it’s worth thinking about using it as an accent colour rather than picking every possible table setting and decor component in the shade.

Gold and silvers harmonise perfectly with pomegranate and plum tones and mercuried glass looks particularly exquisite. If you’re looking for a luxe look then opting for silvered tableware is the way to go.

At The Table Purple Rain.

Alternatively if rustic chic is more your thing then I love the softness of charcoal grey and khaki greens against brighter magentas. Rustic linens also work particularly well in this context. Coloured glass is also your friend, be it beer bottles for your table centrepieces or the softest of cut crystal for your drinking glasses you can be sure that your guests will appreciate it.

Hey if you really wanted to push the boat out you could actually have purple rain cascade around you during your first dance.

I jest folks, honestly I do.

Plum Posies

Some of the most gorgeous bouquets and centrepieces I’ve cast my eyes over lately have used the richest purple blooms contrasted with the lightest of lilacs.

Stocks, lilacs, delphiniums, September flower, dahlias, freesias, hyacinths, lavender, larkspurs, tulips, sweetpeas, phlox – the list of purple floral delights goes on and then on some more. The beauty of using this colour in your big day florals is that there is literally a bloom for every season and every theme going.

For a truly elegant soiree try mixing deeper purples with fresher mauve tones – don’t be afraid to include a range of hues in your arrangements as this adds depth. Tulips – especially the parrothead variety – are a particularly astute choice for city affairs due in part to the architectural qualities of the flowerhead itself.

Plum Posies Purple Rain.

I particularly adore composites of violets and plums and the springlike yellow-greens found in the heads of snowball viburnums – the two colours complement each other so perfectly it’s as if they’re destined to be together.

Lastly keep it loose – purple is a vibrant, intense colour that can be a little too much to stomach if used in huge quantities and in stiff arrangements. Despite my ‘more is always more’ mantra, this is one area that I’d recommend holding back.
What? Don’t look at me like that – there’s always an exception to the rule.

So purple then?

Does it bring you out in hives or does it make your heart sing?

Perhaps it’s a little bit too much Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for you?

Are you using dusky mauves or the softest lilacs in your big day?

Why not tell us all about it…

All my love Lolly xxx

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20 Responses to Purple Rain.

  1. Kateymh says:

    I think there are still a lot of “cadbury purple” themed weddings around ;)

    I do love the dusky lavender colour, I don’t have a set colour theme so it’s definitely on the pallette to attack the bridesmaid with!

  2. Nicola Evans says:

    I totally agree about the cadbury purple, I was searching for the right word and that’s it!
    But I do LOVE these shades – just right!

  3. Stef says:

    Oh I LOVE this. I have been having such a nightmare because I love purple and it was always going to be the colour painted over our wedding day but is so hard to find the right shade, bridemaid dresses are either too Caburys (which I agree are still out there) or very pasty pale lilac that does not sit right with me. Please pass this message and blog on to the high street stores!

    I think I am going to head int the direction of pairing my love of pruple with my love of gold, like you suggestes, whilst also having some contrasting deeper shades with the pastel hues I am hoping to find for my spring wedding, such as deep flowers and pastel bridesmaid dress.

    Off to find my perfect shade of purple…

  4. Laura says:

    I’ve been researching purples for months now! I’m hoping to create a vintage pink/purple colour scheme and it has been so hard to find the right shade of purple for the bridesmaid dresses. I’m finally ordering them on Saturday and decided to go for Mori Lee chiffon dresses in aubergine which is a greyish purple that is soft and pretty which suits us girls, yet it’s not too lilac or light so my fiance is happy too!

  5. Lolly says:

    What is it about the Cadbury purple eh girls? I actually wore a dress in this colour as a guest to a wedding a few years back now and I look back and all I can see is myself resembling ‘The Purple One’ from a Quality Street Tin.

  6. Rebecca says:

    So purple would not be my first choice, but was bridesmaid at a wedding last year where the dress colour was purple. And oh my, I loved myself in that dress! I didn’t look too pale or washed out, I might even go so far to say I looked quite bright & fresh!!!

    Agree the key is to not just use the one shade, or if you do to compliment it with other accents – I love the silver/purple combination.
    Also, loving the lavender! :-)

    Fab post lovely, nice to see purple looking so pretty & fresh xx

    ps. I now want to be a princess adorned in lilac ruffles!!!
    Oh & I wouldn’t mind that cute lilac lace number either! ;-)

  7. Karen says:

    There’s definitely a lot of Cadbury Purple about, and that’s fine! I’ve seen fur fly in the online bride community over that very colour. It was dead funny.

    Done well it can be lovely.

    I do enjoy a dusky mauve though, it makes me think of blackcurrant chewits. (this is a good thing) xx

  8. Clare says:

    Personally I’m not crazy about the colour purple, but somehow it keeps creeping up into different aspects of the wedding.. centrepieces, one of the bridesmaid’s dresses (they picked their own). It probably doesn’t help that I don’t have a set in stone colour scheme, it’s more ‘whatever goes and compliments everything else!’ seems to be light colours, blush pinks, champagnes… and purple
    glad to know I’m on trend with it anyway ;)

  9. Tulip says:

    And pinned!!
    The lighter and darker hues fused together with a grey/charcoal undertone are beautiful, definitely one to put a lot of thought into to get it looking ‘not too done’.

  10. Jo says:

    I am definitely a purple girl, but considering our wedding is in summer I didn’t want to go too overboard with it, so it is now limited to bridesmaid dresses, the men’s ties only & chair decorations. Although the bridesmaids have been given free rein of dress, I have asked them to stick to purple but I wasn’t too fussed by shade. However they seem to have all gone for the darker tones which I’m
    hoping will go nicely with the mix of sunflowers & daisies to brighten it up & make the wedding a tad more summery…!

  11. Lolly says:

    @Karen LOVE blackcurrant chewits. Haven’t had any for a few years mind – maybe we should buy some for the pop-up shop on Sunday *runs off to add to the ‘to do’ list*

    @Jo soft purples with a smattering of yellow can look exquisite and oh so summery!

  12. Karen says:

    @Lolly will add some to the car picnic. We’re also bringing Tunnocks!

  13. Charlotte says:

    @Karen – Do you mean the marshmallow things with coconut sprinkles? If you bring those I will just be hiding in a corner somewhere having robbed the entire box.

    Be prepared.

    In other news….I actually ended up having a wee bit of purple in my own W-day even though it’s not one of my “favourite” colours (I can’t wear it as I look ill but some of my darker hued friends look gorgeous in it…) – it worked with all the other jewel tones you see.

    I am loving this mauve/lavender look though and all of the shades mixed together are IMMENSE.

    It’s like anything though I guess – you go through phases, I’ve always secretly liked pink but avoided it due to the concern I’ll look all a bit Barbie doll, I’m now embracing it and LOVE it…bought a jumper from Reiss in candy pink and everything.

    I bet it’ll be purple soon!

    Charlotte xxx

  14. Amanda says:

    Love this post!
    I’m hoping to have a dusky lilac, rustic wedding with hints of green, cream and hessian (or ‘burlap; as the Americans like to call it!) – not a Cadbury purple in sight!

    Originally I wanted a purple / lilac wedding because it was my mum’s favourite colour and as she sadly died a few years ago, I thought this would be a great way to make her part of my big day – to see her favourite colour everywhere – she would’ve loved it!

    But now having done lots of wedding blog research though (thank you RMW!) I love the lilac / dusky mauve colourway too and can’t wait to start sourcing everything! As soon as The Boy proposes! :)

  15. Sara says:

    What a great post! So much great inspiration!

  16. Stunning ideas and such a great colour as the key for a wedding. Looks so incredibly classy.
    Emma and Nader went for the same look at their Cheshire Polo Club wedding last year, the gallery of which is available on the website.
    Always a sucker for stunning pastels…

  17. Alice says:

    I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of the purple place settings and table decorations BUT I love the purple options for the guys. They would look perfect as another option for a country casuals/garden fete style weddings. Or just, y’know, for everyday use :) x

  18. Sandra Ace says:

    Oh My God. Purple is my new favourite colour. I always thought old lady blue rinse but this is so classy! The rich tones make it fun and vibrant and the Paler tones are soft and romantic! Lush x

  19. Kirsty says:

    My wedding is this October, and I’ve chosen Lilac for my ladies, but we are going to let the guys off the hook and they are going to wear Sage green. I think that these colours work really nicely together – and help to not make the day look overly feminine :)

  20. Kymmie says:

    I absolute adore the purple palette when used appropriately at weddings. I think those that contrast an assortment of light mauves against vibrant purples can really make a beautiful statement. However, I was in a wedding where all the bridesmaids wore a soft, washed out version of lavender and carried light violet roses. While all the tones did match, it just looked like a sea of lavender mush and did not photograph well. I believe bolder, brighter accents, even silvers, really bring out the character of amethyst weddings. My advice, make a statement, use POPS of purple, and don’t drench your bridesmaids in it!

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