How to Use Pantone Living Coral in Your Wedding


As you probably know by now, I’m a big fan of color. Every year I look forward to Pantone’s announcement of their Color of the Year. For 2019 they’ve chosen Living Coral, a delicious peachy-orange shade they describe as an “animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.” Their choices for the last few years have been more in the muted or moody range, so I’m excited to work with a more vibrant color. Living Coral was inspired by our precious coral reefs, so it has a lovely tropical feel to it, but also brings a feeling of optimism and playfulness that is at home in any setting or season.

Of course, as soon as Pantone’s Color of the Year is announced, I find my thoughts turning to how that color can be incorporated into weddings. As it’s a bold shade, Living Coral needs to be used carefully. You definitely don’t want to dress your reception head to toe in it, but rather use it sparingly for maximum effect.

Here are my top tips for how to use Living Coral in your wedding:

Use it in splashes not floods. A pop of Living Coral is a clever, unexpected way to liven up details like stationery or tableware, especially when paired with softer neutrals. The color adds an element of surprise that will delight your guests, but too much can be overwhelming.

Go big and bold with a feature detail. Another approach is to go all-out with just one detail and really let that speak for itself. For example, a bright eye-catching backdrop or floral arch, or even a custom coral dance floor!

Make attire choices with care. In many ways attire can be a perfect way to bring coral into your wedding. It tends to look good on a variety of skin tones and warm up complexions. But be aware that it can look very different in natural versus indoor light. Your bridesmaids will look gorgeous in photographs taken at an outdoor ceremony, for example, but pictures from later in the evening are likely to take on an orange tone. Coral does make a perfect choice for guests though!

Incorporate coral flowers. There are so many gorgeous blooms that will really make this shade come to life in an organic way. Coral peonies, poppies and dahlias are especially beautiful! A coral statement bouquet is a great choice for a 2019 bride.

Avoid dated combinations. Coral was extremely popular in weddings around 2010-2012, so avoiding the most popular combinations then will help your wedding look fresh and up-to-date. For example, instead of coral and navy, try coral and plum. Substitute aqua with teal or Pacific blue. Mint and grey will always be classic coral combination colors, but if you’re leaning in this direction, include additional modern shades to add depth and interest.

I can’t wait to see more of Pantone’s Living Coral in 2019! Not just in weddings, but in fashion and interiors too. What do you think of it?




Header image: Pantone