43 Dreamy Watercolor-Inspired Wedding Ideas

Taralynn Lawton

Most of us remember trying our hand at watercolor painting as children. As adults, we clearly still appreciate the art, considering how often it appears in weddings. Couples everywhere love the look of soft, colorful shades. In fact, they've embraced the style so strongly, that even if that don't include actual watercolors in their event, they often feature details inspired by them. Really, it's no wonder that watercolor and watercolor-like elements are trending in the wedding world. They can be used in dreamy, whimsical, and elegant ways, and no matter the case, they're bound to be pretty.

To incorporate watercolors into your own affair, you have more than a few options. Most popular, perhaps, is watercolor stationery. Invitations with diluted hues—as well as place cards, escort cards, menu cards, and other paper goods—look absolutely lovely. Other options include hiring an event painter to create a watercolor picture of your big day. As you'll see, these paintings can serve double-duty, and later be signed by loved ones in lieu of a guest book.

If you don't want the real deal at your celebration, you can still use watercolors as your muse when planning your theme and color scheme. Wedding cakes and bridesmaids' dresses alike can feature patterns that nod to the style. More broadly, you can turn to your favorite watercolor shades to pick your flowers and other décor items. Pastels and ombré designs reflect the nature of watercolor art. Click through to see examples of all of these suggestions, plus many more ideas.

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Watercolor Coasters

watercolor place setting
Natalie Bray

Beautiful coasters look lovely on reception tables, and can also double as favors for your guests.

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Watercolor Menu Cards

amanda alex wedding placesetting and centerpiece
Ryan Ray Photography

Julie Song Ink designed these leafy, watercolor menu cards, which were right on theme for the garden-inspired wedding.

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Watercolor Guest "Book"

woman signing wedding painting
Taralynn Lawton

At this wedding, guests signed a watercolor painting instead of a traditional guest book.

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Watercolor Signature Drinks

colorful drinks
Myrtle & Marjoram

Cocktail ingredients like grenadine can give your signature drinks a watercolor effect.

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Watercolor-Inspired Bridesmaids' Looks

Carrie Patterson

These bridesmaids paired watercolor-like Jenny Yoo skirts with tops by Joanna August.

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Watercolor-Dipped Place Cards

watercolor place cards
Marni Rothschild Pictures

Just one edge of these calligraphed place cards was accented with watercolors.

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Watercolor Props

rings on watercolor background
Brandon Kidd Photography

Ask your photographer to take some styled shots of wedding details, like your rings. These pieces were photographed on a watercolor backdrop.

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Watercolor Seating Cards

simone darren wedding ireland seating chart
Paula O'Hara

Appleberry Press printed names digitally onto a watercolor background for these seating cards.

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Watercolor Signs

watercolor signs
The Great Romance

Guests at this wedding were directed with the help of muted watercolor signs.

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Watercolor Wall

colorful backdrop
Jenna McElroy Photography

Set up a section at your reception where attendees can pose for snapshots. A cool wall, like this watercolor-inspired one, is a great way to mark the space.

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Watercolor Desserts

colorful drink with popsicle
Wendy Laurel Photography

This fun concoction is part drink, part dessert. Mixing a colorful popsicle with booze makes for a watercolor-like treat.

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Watercolor Flower Details

Jacqueline Campbell

Hey There, Cupcake! created this gorgeous two-tier cake with pretty paper flowers cascading down the front and watercolor details hand-painted onto the first tier.

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Watercolor Labels

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

For their exit toss, actress-blogger Jamie Chung and actor Bryan Greenberg stuffed rose petals into paper bags adorned with a watercolor-painted label.

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Watercolor Wedding Cake


This gorgeous vanilla-citrus cake from Sweet Cheeks Baking Company was frosted with classic buttercream, covered with fondant, and decorated with splashes of watercolor.

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Watercolor-Pineapple Escort Cards

Corbin Gurkin

How cute are these pineapple-shaped escort cards, painted in green watercolor?

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Watercolor Cookie Favors

Pink and Leather Wedding Shoes
Delbarr Moradi

For their wedding favors, this couple gave out watercolor-painted cookies in the shape of their home state.

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Watercolor Illustration

Annabella Charles Photography

This couple had their calligrapher, Natalie Chang, create a watercolor illustration of the venue on their invitation, which also happened to be the groom's family farm.

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Watercolor-Brushstroke Place Cards

Overhead View of Guests Eating at Reception Tables
Bryan Derballa

This couple used a simple muted-green watercolor brushstroke to give their place cards from Paperfinger a pop of color.

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Blended Watercolor Stationery

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

In keeping with their fall color scheme, this bride and groom used shades of orange watercolor on their stationery suite designed by Amber Moon Design and printed by Czar Press.

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Watercolor-Brushstroke Wedding Cake

Jasmine Star Photography

Sweet & Saucy Shop created this gorgeous vanilla cake, which was painted with pink and green watercolor details.

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Orange-and-Blue Watercolor Escort Cards

Amber Gress

The bride made these escort cards heself using the watercolor background from their invitation and re-printing it on a smaller scale.

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Watercolor-Inspired Napkins

Jesse Chamberlin/Our Labor of Love

These tie-dye, watercolor-inspired napkins popped on this couple's reception tablescape.

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Tropical Watercolor Invitation

Corbin Gurkin

Julie Song Ink used a muted green-and-pink watercolor background with yellow calligraphy to bring a tropical element to these invitations for a Hawaiian wedding.

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Watercolor Itinerary

Heather Payne Photography

Thinking outside the box, this couple had Brown Linen Design make an illustrated activity itinerary for their guests using soft watercolor shades to show off the beautiful Colorado setting.

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Watercolor-Inspired Flowers

Samm Blake

Use bright-colored flowers for an ombré effect that looks just like a watercolor brushstroke.

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Watercolor Table Names

Jacqueline Campbell

These watercolor table signs were painted by Peanut Press to look like the ocean, and on each wooden block was a calligraphed island name from the Bahamas.

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Subtle Watercolor Invitation

Erich McVey

A digitally-printed light watercolor wash gave this invitation from Script Merchant some color, while still keeping things simple.

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Watercolor Seating Clipboards

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Displayed on rose-gold clipboards, these watercolor-brushstroke seating cards by Amber Moon Design doubled as favors at this wedding.

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Blush Watercolor Stationery

Abby Jiu Photography

The Dandelion Patch created this subtle blush-watercolor stationery suite, with calligraphy by Stacey Shapiro.

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Watercolor-Inspired Program Sign

Katie Stoops Photography

How gorgeous is this intricate watercolor-inspired program sign from Chalk It Up RVA? You would never know that it's actually an extremely detailed (and very impressive) chalkboard!

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Watercolor Program Fans

Peer Johnson

Guests were able to keep cool with these pretty program fans with watercolor details.

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Watercolor-Brushstroke Quote Sign

Jacqueline Campbell

Cassie from Peanut Press hand-painted this sign with a quote for the couple's escort card table.

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Ombré Watercolor Backdrop

Jacqueline Campbell

Lovers of everything nautical, this couple used a quote backdrop at their seating display table and painted it to resemble the ocean.

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Watercolor-Inspired Tinted Glassware

Belathée Photography

Another way to incorporate watercolor hues? Use tinted glassware like this couple did in their pretty pastel tablescape.

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Tropical Watercolor Invitation

Jasmine Star Photography

For their tropical vow renewal, this couple sent out green watercolor invitiations with palm tree details from Daydream Prints.

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Watercolor-Painted Macarons

Jasmine Star Photography

Sweet & Saucy Shop hand-painted these pretty macarons with different tropical motifs.

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Purple Watercolor Invitation

Bradley James Photography

Laura Hooper Calligraphy designed and calligraphed this purple watercolor invitation.

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Hand-Painted Watercolor Cake

Jillian Zamora Photography

This cake from Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery was painted gold on the top and bottom tiers, while the middle tier boasted a pretty watercolor floral design.

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Watercolor Menu Label

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Continuing their watercolor theme, this couple incorporated a watercolor menu label that was attached to an empty jug for a rustic touch.

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Pink Watercolor Invitation

Kate Osborne Photography

This invitation from The Louise Press featured elegant hand lettering and a light-pink watercolor-wash background.

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Watercolor Escort Cards

Jodi & Kurt Photography

Hand-painted and calligraphed escort cards from Julie Ha Calligraphy and Design were pinned to a board outside this barn wedding in Virginia.

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Watercolor-Inspired Cake

Bryan Gardner

The sky's the limit when you use edible paper and food-safe dye to create a cake with any pattern or image imaginable, like this watercolor-inspired floral design. Have your baker press the sheets around the sides or top of a buttercream-frosted pastry just before serving for a dessert that's as pretty as a picture!

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Floral Watercolor Invitations

Ryan Ray Photography

These gorgeous floral invitations were inspired by a piece of abstract watercolor art, crafted by event designer Stefanie Miles, and designed, calligraphed, and hand-painted by Julie Song Ink.

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