Charlotte Balbier

style sheet: the dark ages

July 12th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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When thinking of wedding colour schemes thoughts often instantly turn to sweet, sugary tones of lilac, peach and mint, or to soft and romantic hues of blush, taupe and cream. But what if these kinds of colours just ‘aint your jam? What if you crave something darker, richer and more enchanting? Then ladies, we give you the ‘dark ages’.

Anything but old-fashioned, this type of styling is proving popular in interiors right now and centres around bold, deep colours that give a look of luxury and opulence while still remaining grounded. It’s not blingy, nor is it particularly vibrant, but it still packs a serious styling punch. It also lends itself particularly well to outdoor and rustic celebrations, both of which are currently top of the wedding trend charts.

So, to help get the inspiration flowing, we’ve pieced together three mood boards featuring our very favourite colour combinations that are sure to captivate your wedding planning (and possibly home-décor) thoughts!

mustard & navy

The Dark Ages - Navy & Mustard

Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Mustard Seed Photography| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by RS Brown Photography| image source, photography by Lucy Spartalis| image source, photography by Hot Metal Studio| image source| image source, photography by Lauren Balingit| image source

The richness of mustard – a beautiful goldie, yellow, orange hue – is a perfect choice for this look and can dominate as much or as little of your wedding palette as you wish. We suggest mixing it with tones of dark blue and lots of foliage, enabling the hue to pop-out from its surroundings.

A gorgeous choice for bridesmaids, mustard surprisingly suits most complexions and offers something a little out of the norm for your #girlsquad. Attire wise, the hue can be incorporated into the men’s outfits through ties, pocket squares and socks, while the bride, if keen, can add her own touch of mustard through her footwear.

Flower-wise there are lots of beautiful yellow-toned blooms that can feature in the button holes, bouquet and décor, including Billy Buttons, also known as Craspedia, and Daisies, that when mixed in with earthy additions, such as succulents, poppy seed heads and dainty berries, will achieve the desired effect.

forest green

The Dark Ages - Forest Green

Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Erin Jean Photography| image source| image source, photography by Fabrice Tanzer| image source, photography by Hazelwood Photography| image source , photography Danfredo Photos + Films| image source, photography Phil Chester| image source| image source, photography by Alissa Saylor Photography| image source| image source, photography by Sergey Lapkovsky

Another spin-off from Pantone’s colour of the year, ‘Greenery’, forest themed weddings featuring an abundance of natural décor score highly on our lust list.

The look is all about texture and depth so use large amounts of varying foliage layered up for an element of drama, whether suspended overhead, strewn down table centres or spilling over vessels. Though planned to detail, the trick is to make sure that nothing looks overdone, instead try to build up your own forest floor.

For added interest mix dark fern tones with lighter green shades of emerald and grass, and combine raw materials such as timber and cones with luxurious elements like cut glass and metallic finishes.

Fashion-forward grooms can flirt with the option a super-stunning bottle green suit, while brides can easily become an ethereal princess with the addition of a fresh foliage crown.

slate & plum

The Dark Ages - Slate & Plum

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Laura Calderwood Photography| image source, photography by Ruth Eileen| image source| image source, photography by This Modern Romance| image source, photography by Lelia Scarfiotti| image source, photography by The Official Photographers| image source| image source

Note the plum, not purple, we’re looking for opulent jewel tones here so it’s strict no-Cadbury-zone! Softer shades of lavender, and even the odd peek of pink, are welcome, but nothing flat or dreary.

The simplest way to nail the look is to use a gorgeous and timeless shade of grey as your base colour and then build up the plum on top. So, attire-wise the groom can have a grey suit and add a plum shade or two into his accessories, while the bride can add fashionable grey heels or even don a dip-dye dress for a real style statement. The bridesmaids can then bring in more of the purple tones in the likes of violet and amethyst. Mix and match maids would work particularly well here to extend the palette.

Elsewhere pretty petals can dress tables, and for rustic weddings, fruit and berry accents and details can be added too. For a pretty spin on the look, go for light textures and dainty blooms, while for a more dramatic look pick bold blooms, such as Ranunculi and Thistles, and mix in with large-leafed greens.

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about the author

Rachel Parry
Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as Features Editor in February 2015. Rachel draws on her news reporting background, experience in features, bridal & lifestyle editing for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...

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