5 Film-inspired Wedding Colour Schemes

By Maria Yeonhee Ji

There is an exceptional craft to designing the colour palette of a film. Much like great wedding photography, great films use colour to convey atmosphere and story. So, considering the 2017 New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) has now entered full swing, we decided to comb through some of the best cinematography the world has to offer to bring you five, film-inspired wedding colour schemes.

1/ Dusk in Istanbul (Blues & Greys) 

blue, grey, wedding, NZIFF, dusk in istanbul

Images sourced from (clockwise from top): NZIFF, @ludovic_film_photographer, @silkandwillow, and @mark.antonia.ltd (cover image by Kate Little Photography)

This colour scheme is inspired by one of many dazzling shots of Istanbul and its feline citizens in Ceyda Torun’s documentary Kedi. There are so many shades of blue and grey out there (pale lapis, duck egg, slate, and rolling fog are some of our favourites) but this particular palette – based on the waters and skies of Turkey – evokes a real sense of the ethereal. This softer aesthetic is particularly perfect for the outdoor wedding (beach/lakeside or woodland weddings), especially if the venue has a stunning landscape. Keep the decorations simple but striking and let nature do the rest – there’s a reason why people travel to New Zealand from all over the world to scout for wedding venues!

2/ Orphan Courage (Blue & Orange)

blue, orange, wedding, NZIFF, my life as a courgette

Images sourced from (clockwise from top): NZIFF, @ojaibotanika, @onepreciousday, and @runningwildflorals

The main character of the darling yet sophisticated animated feature My Life as a Courgette (directed by Claude Barras) possesses the most adorable blue hair and an orange nose. Though some of us may feel hesitant about using these radically contrasting colours, orange accents actually bring out the vibrancy of blue – van Gogh once wrote to Emile Bernard that “there is no blue without yellow and without orange...”. This colour palette can make autumn or winter weddings really come to life, and should be a strong contender if your venue has wooden features such as tables, floors, or wall panels; orange and blue bring out the warmer tones in wood and enhance the lively ambience.

3/ Wishful Thinking (White & Oxblood/Burgundy) 

oxblood, burgundy, wedding, NZIFF, Pop Aye

Images sourced from (clockwise from top): NZIFF, @caleagunther, @inkberry_calligraphy, and @katelittlephotography

Kirsten Tan’s Pop Aye is a captivating film about the travels of a washed-up architect and the elephant from his childhood village. In this shot, the hues of oxblood and burgundy meld to create a surreal atmosphere. This colour scheme is great if you’re looking for old world elegance (wine and jewels and fire-side dining come to mind…) or something just a bit moodier than a pastel colour scheme. It’s an easy colour palette to incorporate into décor and accessories, but also attire: not only will your bridesmaids look positively regal in burgundy tones, but these shades are sure to make a white wedding dress stand out. 

4/ Greener Pastures (Green & Black & Cream)

green, black, wedding, NZIFF, sami bloog

Images sourced from (clockwise from top): NZIFF, @rose.tinted.flowers, @crimsonweddingflowers, and @alex_emotions

In this poignant coming-of-age film Sami Blood, director Amanda Kernell insightfully frames teenager Elle Marja’s stark experiences of 1930s Sweden within seemingly idyllic landscapes of rolling green hills and forests. The green and black colour scheme, as seen in this particular shot, is interesting to consider. Nature is an iconic aspect of the New Zealand identity, making green a meaningful shade to inspire your wedding aesthetic. As well as being essential for pulling off the rustic look, going green has another unexpected perk: increasing the foliage to flower ratio in your floral arrangements can help keep the wedding costs down. 

5/ Interstellar (Black & White)

black, white, wedding, NZIFF, interstellar

Images sourced from (clockwise from top): NZIFF, @slayandmaker, @brideandstork, and @the_wildflower_perth

There’s nothing quite like outer space to capture the human imagination. Which makes Emer Reynold’s documentary The Farthest about the journey of the Voyager spaceship the perfect visual stimulus to spark your creativity when it comes to executing a black and white colour scheme. The beauty is in the details but also the balance; used artfully, black can add an edgy sensuality to the atmosphere, but over-elaborate décor can make the venue feel cluttered. If in doubt, stick to the design principle of less is more: minimalist table decorations punctuated by a few big bouquets of white anemones are more visually impactful (and easier on the bank account) than a cramped table dominated by a higgledy-piggledy runner composed of ten different blooms.


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