2021 Pantone colour trends for weddings

by | Jan 13, 2021

Adulting is hard enough right? So when Pantone announced their iconic Pantone colour of the year choice as a lemony and greyish colour I had to smile.  It felt like the two colours often chosen for baby showers or baby rooms when you are not quite sure of the little one’s sex, just graduated.  Yellow and Grey made it to the big time – and as Pantone colours of 2021, it will find its way into décor, interiors, and yes, also weddings.

It’s only the second time that Pantone chooses two official colours – “Illuminating yellow” and “Ultimate Gray” may indicate Pantone’s indecision of where the next year is going. We have learned in 2020 that forecasts are not cast in stone and you better be ready to adjust your planning from one presidential speech to the next.

Perhaps they too are sitting on the fence – will 2021 be a chirpy optimistic, yellowy year with just a touch of lemony acidity? Or are we heading for that uncertain space where white and black meet and morphs into a grey mindset and outlook on life?


Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, explains the colour choices in a press release:

“The selection of two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that it’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one. The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude.”

“Practical and rock-solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted, this is essential to the human spirit.”

Its metaphorical value is not lost on us and Artnews.com explains that during the months of quarantine, we’ve arrived at the “ultimate gray,” a state of mind mush as much as the color of a product. “Grayness means ambiguity and irresolution. Neither black nor white, it doesn’t point toward an ending, just the continuation of an indefinite period.”

“Illuminated,” the bright, highlighter-yellow color, is the light at the end of the tunnel, the sun rising over a dark landscape, the dawning of hope that comes with the possibility of a vaccine.”

Side note: Throughout this month’s blog you will find that the spelling of grey alternates. “Grey” is commonly used as the English version and the American spelling is “Gray”. Since we speak the Queen’s English in South Africa, the colour will be spelled Grey, unless quoted from an American article.

In this month’s blog, we look at ways of incorporating the Pantone Colours of 2021 into weddings.


  1. Suits for the groom.
  2. Wedding dresses and bridesmaids.
  3. Flower girls.
  4. Bridal bouquets.
  5. Accessories.
  6. Décor delights.
  7. Etceteras.


1.Suits for the groom

Manonofmany.com calls the grey suit the Swiss army knife of suits.  In their article, they put together a very handy little guide on how to wear this shade: 18+ Best Ways to Wear a Grey Suit

A light grey suit makes for the perfect smart-casual statement according to Jacob Osborn. He explains that light grey projects a softer and sunnier vibe, delivers approachability and effortless flexibility. His recommendation is to pair it with a dark shirt, chinos, and expensive white trainers and you’re keeping pace with the latest street style trends.

Photo Credit: GENEVIEVE  FUNDARO Photography

“Light grey is best for semi-formal events. Should you be wearing a light grey suit to your next festivity, consider taking the traditional route by throwing on a dark tie and white or muted colour dress shirt, along with some accessories like a pocket square and watch.”


2. Wedding dresses and bridesmaids

The happiest, upbeat colour is back with a bang and popping up everywhere like spring flowers. Rockmywedding mentions A-listers such as Amal Clooney, Megan Markle, Kate Middleton, and Holly Willoughby sporting the shade.


It’s no doubt a wonderful choice for bridesmaids and flower girls, but we have been brainwashed to believe that white is the only colour for a wedding dress. So, if this feels slightly scary to pull off, remember that there are many shades of yellow, and frankly a shade for every skin tone. It’s just a matter of finding the right colour for you.

Rockmywedding explains that “paler skin tones should choose a warm yellow or a very subtle pale yellow. Darker skin tones can pull off most variants of yellow, from barely there to shocking neon. Despite popular myth, yellow doesn’t require a tan, it will actually help you to glow, you just need to find a shade that works for you.”


3.Flower girls

Sugar and spice and all things nice. That’s what flower girls are made of and why we love dressing them in our Pantone colour of the year. Martha Stewart considers yellow for flower girls appropriate for any season: “Consider pastel shades for spring and summer weddings, and darker mustard shades for fall and winter a fun and youthful, a cheery yellow dress might be exactly what you’re looking to outfit your flower girl in.” She advises against shocking yellows which can look too bright in photos.

We love the idea of complementing the flower girl outfit with a wreath or posy of friendly daisies. It’s fun and innocent and brings out a laid-back, natural feel to the wedding celebrations. Want to know the how-to behind it? Click on the image below for step-by-step instructions for the perfect daisy crown.

4.Bridal bouquets

It is so easy to fall in love with delicate peonies, joyful daisies, or romantic, light-yellow roses. Yellow flowers burst with happiness, and according to the BloomNation “They symbolize the bonds of friendship, the taste of success and pride.”

To add a delicate scent to your bridal bouquet, consider adding Freesia, honeysuckle, or the tiny blooms of Sweet Alyssum.



5. Accessories

If the thought of you walking down the aisle in a yellow dress is a huge source of distress, you could still incorporate the yellow you adore in your accessories.

“Ultimate gray” is a wonderfully soothing and elegant colour for a wedding dress and can be zooshed up with yellow shoes, handbags, and other accessories for the bride and bridesmaids. We love these unique clutches posted by theverylastdetail website:


6. Décor delights

Yellow and grey are lovely colours to incorporate into your wedding décor and is especially suited for brunch or daytime weddings. With its close proximity to silver, you would be forgiven for substituting some of the grey elements with silver for a dash of glamour.


Choose lemons for fragrant place settings and mix and match floral arrangements to suit your style and budget:


Often, the very first question asked about your wedding will be “what is your colour scheme?”

With the Pantone colours of 2021 you are allowed to combine frivolous with stately, light-hearted with sober.  We dare you to add fun elements and bring a bit of cheer to your wedding guests and family:


Given the 2020 we had, we are fully embracing the upbeat message of hope and new beginnings we see with “Illuminating yellow” in all its shapes and disguises. We dare you to look for the silver living. It’s always there to find for those who seek. May your ride into 2021 be a smooth one, filled with Blessings:



She knows her Merlot from her Mojito, her hotel from her motel. From craft food to caviar, her innate curiosity about life and wanderlust provide inspiration for her blogs, articles and press releases about the travel, wedding and Spa industry. Over twenty years in the hotel marketing & PR arena with impressive hotel groups, from Dubai to Durbanville, has evolved into the pure enjoyment of freelance projects under the banner of About Branding.

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