Not About the Dress: Colors

As I’ve mentioned before, these last seven months of wedding planning (only 17 more to go!) have contained quite a bit more zen than I was expecting. Really, I shouldn’t be that surprised; instead of subscribing to the evil Knot, I’ve surrounded myself with wedding resources like A Practical Wedding, where maintaining sanity in the face of a huge life decision is emphasized over stuff like bedazzled chair covers. That’s not to say that I haven’t had my moments; for instance, trying to find a cheap, unconventional reception venue in a small Midwestern college town is proving to be quite frustrating. And I don’t really have faith that I’ll manage to pull off making my own dress, or that if I succeed in making the dress that it’ll look like something I want to wear around people. But nothing, nothing has driven me as crazy as the goddamn colors, and it’s all some bird’s fault.

Since we got engaged, I’ve spent hours poring over the palettes on and wedding sites like 100 Layer Cake, making Word documents of colors plucked randomly from HTML charts, trying desperately to recreate a palette I thought I half-remembered from a picture of a bird I saw on the internet four years ago. The bird was burgundy, with green and light blue wings…or at least those colors were involved somehow. Maybe it was a red bird in a green tree against a blue sky. Maybe it was a green bird holding red and blue paint chips in its beak. I honestly think I may have dreamed this damn bird, but the image stuck with me because when I saw it I thought, “Those would make lovely wedding colors!”

This is not the bird.

And then before we were officially engaged, when I first started reading the internet’s enormous and all-consuming wedding information, I saw a picture from someone’s reception of burgundy flowers with bright green stems in a light blue vase, and it reminded me of the bird. Or maybe they were light blue flowers in a vase with a burgundy ribbon. Or maybe the flowers were actually a bird, and the vase was a tree.

The point is, I’m really bad at bookmarking the right things. I still have a bookmark from 2006 on how to heal an enormous blister on the bottom of your foot really fast, but I will never again find either of those images no matter how hard I Google, and I can’t forget those colors.

This brings me to a few months ago, when I was doing laundry. I was pulling hangers off the rack in the closet and jamming them the wrong way into a broken hamper. Suddenly I looked down at my hand and I saw the fucking bird.

It looked like this:

At long last, my white whale red bird had been caught! I could finally rest easy knowing that my wedding colors had come to me in a pile of plastic hangers.

Somehow, though, I still wasn’t satisfied. I couldn’t shake the feeling that, just maybe, only crazy people find wedding design inspiration in their laundry. It took me a while to embrace the fact that every single thing I’ve done to plan this wedding so far has been exactly that kind of crazy, so why hesitate now?

And there you have it. I made a palette based on my dream-bird-inspired magic hangers. I used the Dessy Group’s new Pantone service, but it seems to be a bit buggy so I had to screencap it instead of embedding it here. Enjoy!

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