Are you The Woman in White or a Scarlet O'Hara?

Do you love colour or prefer a more restrained simplicity which comes from using a white or cream palette? There is no right or wrong, both can look absolutely stunning and work harmoniously together.

Unsurprisingly, many of us plump for something between the two, perhaps a focal colour or shade with brighter accents that lift and add a hint of colour running through the event - details such as invites or the outfits often influence the choice, particularly weddings.

White can look chic, minimal and über stylish, it works particularly well in venues where the décor is both imposing and dark; illuminating a poorly lit room adding light to the dark. Large stately homes come to mind where the lighting may not show off subtle shades as well as a well lit, airy room would. It can be said white looks equally amazing in a more minimal boutique hotel or restaurant. White flowers in stylish vases atop crisp table linen makes a statement without any additional colour. Pair white with black -vases or other accesssories, for a really monochrome bold look.

Bright colours come into their own in venues with muted or mininmal décor - off white walls, light wood or pale stone floors and lots of light. Warm vibrant colours work particularly well in rooms where there are brick exposed walls such as barns. They make quite a statement depending on the colours used, a single block of colour or a combintion of several. I particularly love warm orange and deep purple in barns with red brick.

Colour can be included without dominating an overall look, brights work particularly well when paired with white, cream, or even a lighter shade of pink, for example. Adding a touch or "accent" for a hint of a bold colour can add impact without over powering and dominating a look; it can give a depth and interest to the overall colour scheme.

 

There are some colours I excercise caution over, in particular blue. With a huge range of blues, it can be a tricky player when it comes to incorperating flowers. A popular choice for bridesmaids, I'm often asked to match shades of blue with a specific flower. As there are no more than a handful of "true blues" in nature, it's unlikely there will be an exact match, I prefer to contrast with an accent colours, often at the opposite end of the colour spectrum. Better still, I may suggest a shade which will not make too much of a statement such as cream or white. Yellow works well with blue as do accent metalics such as silver or gold. Teal is a particularly difficult shade to match, I usually suggest pairing it with a seasonal contrast such as yellow in spring, or orange in autumn. If this is entirely unsuitable (which is often the case), I'll suggest playing it safe with cream, or ivory.

Seasonal influences often help when choosing colour. For example, in spring pastel yellows (primrose), soft delicate pink (cherry blossom) and light 'spring' greens (viburnum) come to mind. Later on in the year, to add (autumnal) warmth consider burnt oranges, russets and ochre. In winter, a splash of black from berries or rosehip reds and oranges with deep contrasting mossy greens.

White on the other hand, works in any season, I would be inclinded to let the flowers express the season and the crisp or mellow white shade create the mood.

The extroverts of the spectrum, bright colours are both uplifting and invigorating, from cheerful yellow sunflowers to lime green mollucella. Quite a contrast to the (not to be underestimated) complexity of white, bright colour really does pack a punch, grabbing the headlines, shouting "LOOK AT ME"! Add exotic flowers into the mix and you will undoubtedly create both emotion and atnosphere. 

By and large most of us combine our colours, we add white to dilute, define or balance a stronger colour. So, how bold are you and what would you be inclined to choose, given your taste or the occasion? The possibilites, I am delighted to say, are endless. As for the title? I am more of a Brighton Rock type - lots of white, a colourful shell and a dazzling array of colours shot through the centre.