How to Create a Yellow Wedding Theme

Using the bright and bold shade of yellow at a wedding can be intimidating for some, but if you have your heart set on this hue, read on to discover the best pairings and ways to incorporate yellow into your big day.

By The Zola Team

bridesmaids in yellow dressed
Photo by Rewind Photography

Thanks to the increasing popularity of sunflowers at weddings, especially in the spring and summer, yellow hues have recently garnered a lot of attention as a potential wedding color. Traditionally, yellows symbolize happiness, joy, positivity, loyalty, and optimism, so it does make the perfect choice for a wedding day. However, because it is typically seen as such a bright and bold shade, many couples tend to stray away from using yellow in their color scheme. Whether you have dreamed of an entirely yellow wedding theme or are looking for fun and interesting ways to incorporate pops of the hue throughout your big day, Zola has you covered. Below we are breaking down some of our favorite yellow color pairings, attire and decor ideas, and the best time of year to use various yellow shades.

Perfect Pairings

Since yellow can be a bold and dominating color, one of the most important things to consider if you decide to use it at your wedding is choosing the color you will pair it with. The additional color, or colors, you select can help to soften or complement the yellow hues or might dictate the shade of yellow you select. Here are some of our favorite pairings to help get you started when creating a wedding color scheme.

Yellow + Lavender: These two colors are opposite of each other on the color wheel and, therefore, naturally beautiful complements. When used together, they can create an air of excitement and energy, the perfect vibe for your wedding day. Though slightly less traditional, using lavender and yellow for your wedding scheme can create a range of styles from soft and feminine to bold and dramatic depending on the shades used.

Yellow + Green: As yellow and greens are typically found together in nature, this pairing is gorgeously simple and may make the perfect choice for country chic weddings. The key to this palette is to select one color as the primary shade and use the other to accent it throughout your country wedding decor. You will have plenty of options to experiment with this palette. Both colors are available in a variety of shades, from soft and subtle to bright and bold.

Yellow + Grey: When first considered, these two colors may not seem like a match, but yellow and grey actually work in perfect harmony when paired together. The calmness and subtlety of the grey tones help to tone down the boldness of yellow hues. In contrast, the bright, sunny shade of yellow gives grey more of a personality and strength it would lack on its own. This color combination can be an excellent option for those couples who want to use yellow as an accent color throughout their big day, as grey will help it pop.

Yellow + Coral: A bright and sunny color combo for spring and summer weddings is yellow and coral. These two shades are bold and happy, so pairing them together is guaranteed to amplify your big day's atmosphere. If you are intrigued by bright colors that strike the senses, a botanical garden wedding theme may be a great option worth looking into.

Yellow + Navy Blue: Pairing yellow and navy blue together is one of the most obvious choices for a color palette and for a good reason! These two colors are in opposite quadrants of the color wheel, making them generally complementary. The bold dominance of a navy hue naturally invites the addition of bright and bold yellows. However, it is important to match these two colors' tones to create an optimal pairing and avoid one washing the other out.

Yellow + Burgundy: Since burgundy is a powerful and rich color alone, it can stand up to and hold its own against bright, bold hues of yellow. This pairing is particularly beautiful for fall weddings as it evokes the natural shades and beauty of the season. Much like the previous pairing, the key to achieving this color palette is to match each hue's tones.

How to Create a Yellow Wedding Theme Photo Credit // Kanella Brown Photography

Seasonality of Shades

While yellow is a color most often seen at a spring or summer wedding, the hue can actually be used at any time of year, depending on its shade. Bright and sunny shades will do best in spring and summer, while rich marigolds and muted mustards can be used for a fall wedding. On the other hand, subtle and pale yellows may hold up best in the spring when colors are naturally a bit softer. And if you are planning a winter wedding, a subdued shade or metallic gold may be your best option. Considering seasonality in addition to your color pairings will ensure that you pick the best yellow hue for your wedding decor.

Using Yellow at Your Wedding

Whether you want a yellow wedding theme or are looking to incorporate its sunny shades as an accent hue, there are plenty of elegant ideas to use in your design. After you have selected your color palette and the specific shades you would like to use, consider some of these suggestions to create a beautifully colorful day.

Tablescapes: Your place settings and tablescapes offer the perfect opportunity to utilize yellow shades without the color overwhelming your wedding decor. Consider having pops of yellow in your centerpiece floral arrangements and accenting them with your napkins. These elements of your tablescape are central to the appearance and design but keep the color contained, so it does not dominate the viewers’ attention.

Cocktails: A fun and unique way to incorporate yellow into your big day is through your signature cocktail. Work with your caterer or venue to have them craft a drink that will appear yellow in color. Some popular choices could include a lemon drop (a vodka-based cocktail that has a sweet and sour flavor prepared using lemon juice, triple sec, and simple syrup) or a Caribbean-inspired yellow bird cocktail (a rum-based drink with a tropical flavor made with orange juice, pineapple juice, and Galliano liqueur).

Accent Chairs: Whether you choose to have your own sweetheart table or a more traditional head table, having unique accent chairs for you as the couple to sit in is an exciting way to incorporate more color. Having two luxe yellow chairs at your table will draw attention to where you will be sitting and bring a distinct pop of color to your decor when they are unoccupied.

How to Create a Yellow Wedding Theme Photo Credit // Kris Labang Photography

Wedding Cake: Adding yellow flowers, such as yellow roses or calla lilies, to your cake decor or even incorporating yellow coloring into the cake itself is a more subtle way to add some of the bright hues to your day. You might opt for other yellow desserts such as yellow pudding cups and cake pops to give even more color to your sweet display. Though it is not a requirement that your cake, or other desserts, match the rest of your decor, the effect is stunning when used in your design.

Bouquet Ribbons: If having your bridal party dress in yellow seems a bit extreme for your taste, consider adding a pop of yellow to their attire by wrapping your bouquets in yellow ribbon. This is an easy way to incorporate the perfect yellow hue without it overwhelming your color palette. Plus, as many will tell you, yellow can be a difficult color for many to wear and pull off well. Having your wedding party carry the shade instead still gives you that bright pop of color without worrying about it washing anyone out or making them appear sallow.

Bowties & Suspenders: A fun way for the men in your wedding party to incorporate some yellow, besides a boutonniere, is to have them wear bowties and suspenders in the appropriate shade. This style will give your groomsmen a youthful yet classic look that is sure to delight you and your guests.

Bright Shoes: Add a pop of color to your own attire with a pair of bold yellow shoes. Whether you choose a pair of pumps or flats, this is a beautiful and playful way to highlight yellow as you walk down the aisle and party the night away on the dancefloor. Pairing some vibrant shoes with a floor-length gown is a sneaky way to add some color as they will subtlety pop out from under your dress. However, if you are wearing a shorter gown, wearing yellow shoes will make an even bolder statement.

One of the best advantages of using yellow at your wedding is that a little bit goes a long way. Consider a sunflower themed wedding, for example. Due to the bold and bright nature of the color, yellow can make a statement without much effort. If you plan to use yellow as one of your wedding colors, be sure to carefully select the shade you will utilize and use that as a guide to pick your complementing colors. But most importantly, have fun with this vibrant and playful color!