Where to begin with this purple wedding? Let’s start with the rich colours and show-stopping floral moon gate which I’m sure you’ve pinned even before you’ve finished reading this sentence! Next, there’s a gold patisserie station full of individual treats that look, and I have on good authority, tasted divine. Plus the cutest cockapoo ring bearer and wedding party that totally rocked their Jesus Peiro and Needle & Thread dresses. When we deliver, we deliver, don’t we… You’re welcome.
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.
Let’s see if I can change your mind.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Welcome back for Part 2 of this relaxed country wedding with loads of steal-able ideas including casual florals and lots of fun touches.
Thanks again to Guy Collier for providing all the images.
My husband owns a florist in Wimbledon called Fleurtatious, so our flowers were done by Tam, who works there. We wanted plenty of colour – purples and pinks – and we wanted to have an English country garden feel.
My bouquet had purple calla lilies, Coolwater and aqua pink roses, mauve lisianthus and hydrangea blooms and tree fern and the bridesmaids had white peonies, white & lilac lisianthus, veronica and tree fern.
The table arrangements were made up of scabious, white & lilac larkspur, purple veronica, English stocks, white bouvardia, pink & purple lisianthus, tree fern and ivy. Instead of vases we used gorgeous shabby-chic cream tin watering cans which I found from a garden centre advertising on e-Bay.
A Guiding Photographer
Our photographer was Guy Collier. He is one of the photographers recommended on the Gate Street Barn website. We were very impressed by Guy’s photos on his website, and his personality also came across really well on the website too. He seemed like a relaxed, fun and personable man, so we decided to meet him, after which we had no hesitations to sign him up.
Tom and I are not great posers, so Guy did well to guide us through our photos. During the ceremony he was snapping away (we have the photos to prove it), but we didn’t even notice he was there. We love our photos, and I still look at them every day.
As mentioned, our theme was country garden and games, so our flowers were oozing out of watering cans and they looked great in the barn. We also had gorgeous twiggy hearts decorated with purple scabious and some ivy hanging on the beams against the front wall of the barn which added a romantic touch. For the table plan we used a large cream wire work heart and we used small single cream wire work hearts to hold the table names, both ordered online from Live, Laugh, Love.
We decided against favours, but instead put a few fun things on the tables for our guests to enjoy. We had two table trivia boxes per table and also some silver party blowouts. We thought it would be fun and all our friends love games and making some noise. Tom’s father made the name cards, table names and seating plan for us using Scrabble font which he downloaded from the internet. We used games as our table names – Scrabble, Monopoly, Balderdash etc.
Tom and I call each other “Woolly”, so as a joke we ordered two Wool pens for guests to sign the guest book with. We specifically chose a giraffe as Tom is often teased for having a long neck, and a frog, because Tom says I sometimes pull my face in a way that makes me look like a frog!
Our ceremony was very special as Tom and I had written our own vows, so saying them and hearing them was very emotional. We wanted our wedding day to reflect our personalities 100% and we wanted the day to feel relaxed and fun. To help create this atmosphere we went for bright and happy summery colours and played some Johnny Cash while guests were being seated.
We had the garden games to keep people busy (and so we could have a play!) and for our meal we chose to have a hog roast and a fun fondue style dessert. We were very lucky that the weather was lovely, warm and sunny so we spent a lot of time outdoors, which is what we wanted.
My best friend, Nina, made a “wedding newspaper” for us called “The Marston News”. It was full of funny photos and stories that our friends and family has sent Nina about Tom and I when we were young or about us as a couple.
It caused a number of laughs and was a really nice and personal touch. Our wedding day was by far the happiest and most special day of my life, and I would love to do it all over again! I wouldn’t change a thing about the day – it was perfect.
I Love the way this couple managed to make their wedding fun whilst still pretty and have so many details that really reflect them as a couple – those pens are fab!
Thanks so much to Melissa and Tom for sharing so many inspiring details.