Wedding planning involves lots of big decisions, and one of the most grueling ones (besides the myriad DIY wedding ideas to sift through on Pinterest and beyond) can be your wedding colors. Your wedding palette can totally affect the overall style and vibe of your celebration, so choosing carefully is key. There are tons of color combos to choose from — but there are also a few rules you want to follow to make sure your whole wedding isn’t one major eyesore. When you’re ready to start selecting the perfect hues, consider these guidelines.

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1. Start with your wedding venue. Imagine booking a stunning ballroom that was decorated with deep jewel tones and rich wooden details… after you decided to go with hot pink and green details. Your bridesmaids and centerpieces would stick out in a less-than-gorgeous way. That’s why it’s so important to select your venue BEFORE picking out a color palette. That’s not to say your venue has to perfectly match every detail of your wedding — that might look a little odd. Instead, think about the venue’s overall style and tone. If it’s filled with neutrals or pastels, choose colors that would complement that mood. Dead set on colors already? Keep them in mind while venue shopping, or select a spot that’s basically a blank slate. (Photo by Purple Canvas Photography on South Asian Bride via Lover.ly )

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2. Consider the formality of your wedding. Yellow and turquoise might not fit the bill at a swanky affair, and a sleek black-and-red palette could feel out of place at a rustic barn wedding. The colors you choose can seriously affect the overall tone and mood of your wedding, so think about what kind of celebration you want! And remember that the colors and style you use on your wedding invitations will give guests a clue about your wedding style (and what they should wear). Help them out with appropriate colors. (Photo by Minted via Lover.ly)

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3. Go Pantone. You’ve probably heard of Pantone’s color of the year, but did you know that Pantone has a whole collection of cleverly named colors? These hues are actually universally used by designers, artists and more — and they come in handy for to-be-weds too. Let’s say you have a very specific color in mind — more emerald-ish than kelly green, for example. Your baker might not picture the exact same shade when you say “emerald,” so avoid any incompatible tones by providing him or her the Pantone number of the color you want. There will be no confusion, and you’ll get exactly what you’re looking for. (Photo by Vera in August on Magnolia Rouge via Lover.ly)

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4. Add some neutrals! Colorful weddings can be so fun, but too much color can be overwhelming. No matter how bright you want your wedding to be, adding a neutral into the mix is essential. A little bit of white, gray or taupe here and there will balance the brights and make the whole event easier on the eyes. A good way to work with neutrals is to use them for the biggest details, like tablecloths. Then, you can add pops of color that won’t be too garish or overwhelming. (And, hey, an all-white weddingcan be gorgeous too!) (Photo by Theo Milo on Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly)

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5. Don’t forget texture and lighting. Color isn’t the only element that contributes to the overall look and feel of your wedding. Texture plays a big role too. Varying the texture of your linens, for example, can make as much of an impact as varying the colors. Wooden details will give the event a completely different vibe than, say, glass details. Same goes for lighting; colors will look vastly different in soft, romantic lighting than under the blazing afternoon sun. There’s no right or wrong answer here — just something else to consider! (Photo by Samantha Lauren on Rustic Wedding Chic via Lover.ly)

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6. Stick to just a few tones.

A good goal when it comes to wedding colors and style is to make the whole event feel cohesive. That’s hard to do if you’re working with five, six or more colors. Your decor and other colorful elements will feel disjointed. Instead, stick to four colors tops, including that neutral tone. To add a level of intrigue, use shades of the same color. Get creative — just not overly colorful! (Photo by

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Other than these guidelines, the sky is the limit. We can’t wait to see what color schemes you come up with! For more inspiration, browse some

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Are you planning a wedding? Share your gorg color ideas with us below!