How to Use the Primary Colors in Your Wedding-Day Décor

Stephen Kent Johnson

It's hard not to be happy in a room full of red, yellow, and blue. So here's a bright idea: Add some punches of the colors to your wedding-day décor—against a backdrop of white, the primary trio is cheerful, chic, and oh-so-fun. That works for your wedding, right? Befitting of any wedding season, venue style, or overall aesthetic, these three colors can be used in countless different ways, creating a unique look that's sure to turn heads.

Ahead, an array of colorful, fresh ideas for making a splash with the saturated shades. Bring some vibrancy and pizazz to your wedding—guests will love the stylish and bold details, plus the pretty palette's impossibly easy to work with. Make your tables pop, add some spunk to your stationery, or make a fashion statement—we've got all the ideas.

Umbrellas aren't just for rainy days—have these on hand to provide shade during a sunny outdoor ceremony. Or try something entirely new—use them as a photo-booth backdrop or hang them from the ceiling.

CBK Products Umbrella (similar to shown), starting at $2.55,


01 of 10

Palette Play

confetti dance floor
Stephen Kent Johnson

Liven up a plain white dance floor with confetti-like decorations that stay put under-foot: They're just three-inch strips of masking tape.

Creativity Street "3 Inch Core" Colored Masking Tape, $5.25 per 1-in.-by-60-yd. roll,

. Malone Souliers "Maureen" Shoes, in Electric Blue Satin Lago Mirror Nappa, $625,


02 of 10

Red-Letter Day

welcome bag primary colors
Stephen Kent Johnson

Transport and treat your guests with a welcome bag that makes a grand and romantic statement—"You are the only one for me." The lettering evokes the style of vintage Italian-film posters and is easy to create with stencils and fabric or craft paint. Spatter a bit more paint onto a plain white phone case for a coordinating accessory, then tuck in items that will come in handy on the wedding weekend and beyond: cute sunglasses, a notebook, a local guidebook, and a water bottle (jazzed up with bits of tape).

"Canvas" Tote Bag, $3,

. "Custom" Stencil, price upon request,

. Blick "Jacquard Textile Colors" Paint, $10.50 for 8 oz.,

. Amber & Ash Capsule Collection "Cotton Classic" iPhone 7 Plus Case, $24,

. FBrand Fashion "Large Heart-Shaped Retro" Sunglasses, $7.50,

. S'well "Stone Collection" Bottle, in Moonstone, $35,

. Dan Walsh "Blue Icons Day Edition" Book, $35,

. All-You-Can-Eat Press "Paris Croissant" Map, Vol. 6, $8,


03 of 10

Kicking It Up a Notch

primary color heels
Stephen Kent Johnson

Whether worn by the bride or her 'maids, shoes in red, yellow, or blue stand out in the best possible way (even if they're just peeking out from beneath a hem). Pick one pair for everyone to wear, or ask each attendant to find her own favorite, for shoes that are guaranteed to be worn again after the big day.

Anne Klein Collection "Linden Tie" Sandals, in Red Suede, $298,

. Soma "Tassle Topped" Sandals, in Cobalt Blue, $80,

. Margaux "The Demi" Shoes, in Scarlet, $125,

. Stuart Weitzman "The Nearly Nude" Sandal, in Suede Dandelion, $398,

. Zara Satin High Heels with Straps, in Electric Blue, $50,


04 of 10

(Very) Special Delivery

stationery primary colors
Stephen Kent Johnson

From the moment they open the envelope, everyone will know you're planning an event that's cool and modern. Color-block designs are combined with envelope liners in a trio of perky patterns. Using the three primary hues is particularly playful, but you could stick with one instead.

Ellen Weldon Design Invitation Suite, price upon request,


05 of 10

Stripes of a Different Color

primary candle colors
Stephen Kent Johnson

Simple can be spectacular. Case in point: This modern-art-inspired, all-white setting is punctuated with hits of red, yellow, and blue, calling to mind works by Mondrian. Both refreshing and relaxed, it turns tapers in white holders into stylish, flower-free centerpieces. Picking up the colors in rimmed tableware and on favor boxes (wrapped in white paper that's been painted with stripes) reinforces the theme—but, strictly speaking, isn't necessary. You can also get a similar effect with an edged napkin or colored ink on place cards.

Hunt and Gather Event Rentals White Modern Candlesticks, $9 each to rent,

. Canvas Home "Abbesses" Large Plate, $22, and Small Plate, $7.50,

. Yummi Candles Taper Candles, 12" and 15", in Ruby Red, Bright Yellow, and Royal Blue, from $24 for 12,


06 of 10

Shelf Help

custom journal table number favors
Stephen Kent Johnson

This idea will appeal to the book lover in all of us. Guests scan the shelf to find their name and table number on the spine of a journal (which doubles as a favor). Have transfers custom-printed for the names. If you don't have your table assignments ready early enough, you can add a bookmark with the numbers instead.

Sax "Blanc" Books, 6 1/2" by 8 1/4", $15.50 for 4,

. Transfers, one color on a 8 1/2"-by-11" sheet, $175,


07 of 10

It's a Wrap

candies primary
Stephen Kent Johnson

Send them home with vivid memories of the day. To turn round boxes into nostalgic "hard candies" (lined with tissue paper and filled with actual candies!): Paint the boxes freehand, starting with your brush in the center and adding a little pressure as you paint a curved line to the edge. Let dry, then wrap in waxed paper, and cinch with ribbon.

Container Store Mini Round White Gift Boxes, 3 1/2" by 1 1/2", $3 each, container

. Martha Stewart Multisurface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint, in Indigo, Love Bird, and Chamomile, $2.50 each,

. Economy Candy Yellow Gumballs, $4 per lb.,


08 of 10

A Cut Above

lemon-stripped cake
Stephen Kent Johnson

Zing! Six slim layers of white cake are filled with tart lemon curd for a surprising striped effect when sliced. The dessert, created for us by Jason Schreiber, is topped with firm lemon gelatin cut into strips and arranged into curves, hinting at the flavor inside.

Canvas Home "Abbesses" Medium Plate, $14,

; and Cake Stand, $49,

. Sideshow Press Red Linen Napkins, $28 for 4,


09 of 10

Friends Forever

uniqlo cashmere sweater
Stephen Kent Johnson

Show your besties they're close to your heart with a sweater embroidered with each and every one of their names. Wear it for your shower, after-party, or next-day brunch, or give one to each of your 'maids as a gift. If you're not handy with a needle and thread, you can have the embroidery done for you.

Uniqlo Women's Cashmere Crew-Neck Sweater, $50,

. New York Embroidery Studio Embroidery, $40 per name,

. Monique Lhuillier "Valletta" Skirt, in Silk White, $2,990, Mark Ingram Atelier, 212-319-6778.

10 of 10

Candy Land

primary color assorted candies
Stephen Kent Johnson

Stock up on red, yellow, and blue treats in a variety of shapes and flavors for an enticing dessert buffet, or to send home in cute containers. Add a stenciled design to a wrapped box (top right) or spatter-painted canvas bags (bottom left).

Candy, Economy Candy, And Candy Warehouse Assorted Candies,


; N.Y. Cake Bow Cupcake Stencil (similar to shown), from $11, 212-675- 2253. Augbunny Cotton Canvas Favor-Bag Pouch, $10 for 6,

. Favors and Flowers Large Slide Favor Box (wrapped in striped paper), $1.50,

. Candy Warehouse Plastic Cylinder Favor Box, in Royal Blue, $6 for 6,

. Container Store Pill-Capsule-Shaped Large Pill Holder, $7,

. Bell'Occhio Small Toque Box, $20,


Created by Naomi deMañana, Kara Keigan, and Michael McCormick.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles