Red! Paint a Rosey Wedding Color Palette for Autumn!

Red weddings

Talk about personality! If anything, it’s definitely in the color red. Even a tinge of it makes you sit up and take notice. Perhaps that’s why brides and wedding planners have tended to shy away from red as a wedding color in the past. But no longer!

Take a bold step and include red in your color palette. Here, we provide tips and ideas for how to do this with style and flair…and always with impeccable taste. We show how red can evoke different strong emotions: romance, passion, drama, as well as warmth, joy, and a celebration of life no matter what season.

Start by selecting a distinctive color palette that includes red, and work from there…

Red color palette suggestions for weddings

The key is to find the right shade of red and then match it up with other colors. Red’s tints and shades vary widely—from fire engine red, to cherry, all the way to deep burgundy. So use your imagination to create the intended look and feel for your celebration.

Gold vintage place card frame

At a wintertime wedding, it brings in instant holiday cheer when paired with metallics like silver, gold, or even copper. Come spring, it looks lovely matched up with pretty shades of pink at a Valentine-themed event. For summer, it adds instant zing to lighter or cooler blues and greens at a beach- or tropical-themed party. And once autumn comes around, red blends right in with the rich, warm palette of browns, oranges, yellows, and greens that surround a fall wedding.


Flowers—the freshest way to use red!

Fresh flowers are a wonderful way to bring red to your wedding event. And when selecting flowers to use, of course, nothing compares with the romance and drama of deep red roses! But you may also consider other lovely blooms that come in red, such as zinnias, mums, carnations, tulips, geraniums, and hibiscus.

Red roses on wine decanters

With these choices, create striking table centerpieces featuring red flowers intermixed with blooms in complementary colors like orange dahlias, pink gerberas, or tiny white asters. For a truly dramatic effect, you can even match scarlet flowers with black velvet ribbons. Or you can opt for a floral arrangement in all shades of red for an opulent monochromatic look. Hint: Red has even become popular for a striking bridal bouquet—particularly elegant when one kind of flower, such as deep red Charlotte roses, is used.

Red and mustard yellow tablescapes

Red plates for olives

A Cake and Dessert Table in Crisp Red and White

Remember our tip on using red-colored food items as decorative accents, too? Imagine a candy-cane inspired wedding cake decorated in a red and white color combo designed to mimic peppermint swirls. Or consider a three-tiered, white fondant cake—each layer in a chic square shape and embellished with red rose heads. Then as an added bonus for guests, set up a candy buffet station offering all red and white treats, from white marshmallows, white cotton candy, white chocolate truffles, red jelly beans, strawberry lollipops, to red and white bubblegum. Lastly, serve little dishes of vanilla ice cream topped with pretty maraschino cherries!

Take-Home Delights in Pretty Red Favor Packaging

Red fall wedding inspiration from flowers to candles.

Be creative! Color your wedding party scene rosey in different ways. You could glam up the guest chairs with vibrant cabbage rose accents, assemble a lush fruit-and-flower centerpiece using crimson roses, loose petals all around, and candles, or prepare a great alternative to a guest book with a wall mural of red-painted canvases.

Red always gives an exciting and festive vibe to any present. So as you consider these edible guest favors and delightful gift items, do be sure to incorporate this most vibrant of hues:

  1. Heart-shaped chocolates wrapped in glistening red foil
  2. Mini candy jars filled with red and white M&Ms®
  3. Cupcakes topped with red frosting and sprinkled with little white stars
  4. Red roses in organza-wrapped glass vases
  5. Fragrant red rose petals tucked into white tulle purses to be used for the wedding toss. Hint: For a fun touch, attach a tag to each saying, “Roses are red, violets are blue. Please toss these petals after we say our “I do’s!”

A Recap: Wonderful Ways with Red at your Wedding Event!

Red welcome letters on white candles.

  1. Match it up with your choice of color palette for the look and feel you want—red with glittery metallics for some holiday spirit; red with autumn hues for a warm, cozy setting; red with soft neutrals for understated glamour; or red with gold for a rich, exotic ambiance
  2. Use it to establish your theme—touches of red and pretty pinks for a sweet Valentine event; red plus royal blue for a festive 4th of July or nautical-themed party; a splash of red for the Asian element at an East-meets-West occasion; the richness of red with gold at an Italian– or Spanish-inspired celebration
  3. Incorporate it in your table ware—red fabric napkins; red-trimmed condiment dishes, dessert bowls, or appetizer trays; faux ruby napkin rings or stem-glass charms
  4. Create a table centerpiece with red flowers—lush red roses or other fresh blooms, either in an elegant monochromatic all-red arrangement or in combination with complementary hues
  5. Bring it in through food and drinks—a rose-adorned white fondant cake; luscious cherries; crisp, shiny apples; foil-wrapped chocolates and candies; red wine and cocktails
  6. Include it in innovative wedding decorations and accent pieces—a welcome candle display with red letter cutouts, a wall mural of red-painted canvases in place of a guest book, crimson cabbage roses on each guest’s chair
  7. Delight guests with red-themed favors—fun red-colored edibles like M&Ms® or cupcakes; thoughtful gift items like loose rose petals in tulle purses or fresh rose bouquets wrapped in red organza.

Clearly, red is as versatile as it is striking! Whether you’re hosting an Italian theme engagement dinner, a casually elegant tapas party, or even a wine and cheese bridal shower, this hue can definitely bring your wedding party theme to life. How? Through creative table decorations all the way to delightful guest favors!


  1. Matching red and aqua is my favo combination! You can also use it for a pretty yellow and red wedding in the summer. Imagine playful sunflowers as your flowers, a wedding cake finished with lovely red roses, and your bridesmaids in pretty pastel yellow dresses. The key isn’t to go overboard with red, but rather use it as an accent color.

  2. I want to incorporate a red color combination, but I don’t want it to look loud and gaudy. Do you think mauve and red would be nice?

  3. I think mauve and red is a classy color combo! And if it’s a fall wedding, add some shades of brown. Some touches of sparkly ruby or pink is also nice!

  4. Do you thinking matching red with orange is too loud for a fall wedding?

  5. Matching red with orange may be too loud for some people, but given the right shade of both red and orange, it is an elegant combination. I suggest a palette of burnt orange (which has some brownish tint) and a shade of red that has less of a yellow hue!

  6. help guys! do you think matching burgundy with hunter green looks fuddy-duddy? i am so torn because my wedding venue is in a country club that has a reception with scottish-like decor. it’s also a fall wedding, so i was thinking this would match the season.

  7. Not at all. In fact, the decor for a place like that is quite unique so burgundy with hunter green would work fine!

  8. Sandra (Summer 2011 Bride)

    I will be incorporating a rose theme for my wedding next summer. The ceremony and venue will be held in a botanical garden located in suburban Chicago. I’m wondering if you have any special ideas for favors. Thank you.

  9. I want to have a red color palette for my wedding, but it seems like I’m always seeing aqua and red being used. Can you suggest some other color combos using red? Thank you.


  10. That’s a very elegant location for a wedding! I’m thinking of the following as ideas for favors:

    Rose themed favors

    1. Favor baskets – fill them up with pink jelly beans. These would also be perfect for a tea party with a Victorian rose theme.

    2. Mini potted roses in pink – you could save on your flowers by using these rose pots. Plus, they double up conveniently as place card holders.

    3. Limoges-style porcelain boxes – these are decorated with a lovely rose embelishment on the top. You can fill them with a lovely written note that is inspired by roses.

    4. Pomander-style rose sachets – give your guests heart-shaped chocolates wrapped in pink foil. Then, present them in our sachets by placing one at each guest’s place setting.

    5. Embroidered organza bags – thinking of a scrumptious favor? Try iced cookies with a rose motif. Present the cookies in our rose embroidered organza bags as a finishing touch.

    6. Rhinestone card holders in jeweled pink – these are glamorous yet classy enough to display on your tables.

    7. Favor tag with floral borders – these can be attached to the rose favor bags presentedin idea #5

    8. Pink jordan almonds presented in floral sachets – these are pink and periwinkle silk shantung bags that are great for a garden-inspired theme, too.

    9. Heart shaped favor boxes – present rose scented soaps in fuchsia colored sinamay boxes rendered in the lovely shape of hearts. How romantic!

  11. Since red is a very bold and vibrant hue, try matching it with any of the following: silver, olive green, or ivory. When choosing what colors to match, be sure to know what shade of red (first) that you want to use because there are so many shades to choose from.

  12. do you think lime yellow and red is a good combination? what should be my base colour? what shade of red would you suggest?

  13. Hi, I am having a summer wedding at a banquet hall (venetian) that has a lot of gold and square light blue panels sourrnding the room. I was thinking of using a gold chandalabra with a deep red rose ball at the top and a deep red (burgundy) table cloth with gold chair cover. Do you think that is too much red? –or even too dark for a summer wedding? And what colours would my bridesmaids wear? I want to avoid black. ANd thought that gold or red bridesmaids dresses would be too matchy to the hall…..plzzzzz helpppp……another option i thought of was to use lilac table linenes with a silver chandlabra (which would complement the light blue panels in the hall) with red rose ball in the center and this way it would be summery and the bridesmaids could wear a deep purple colour .. …..COnFUSED Brideee =)

  14. Stick with a light set of colors for this one because you have a very prominent color like gold as the color of the venue. And being that it is a summer wedding, perhaps you might consider a color palette like aqua and lilac with light accents of gold and ivory. You can then use the gold candelabras, but how about something else like chic glass vases that would lend a modern look to your decor. Think of light pastel colors which would be perfect for summer. As for chair colors, you may probably be better off with simple white covers that won’t attract so much attention. Your bridesmaids can wear lovely lilac or aqua satin dresses that are also fit for a summer wedding.

  15. I’ve long been a fan of red color palettes!! xo, chrissy.

  16. Thanks, Chrissy! And we’ve long been a fan of your so-stylish wedding palettes…no matter what colors you’re working with!

  17. My fiance wants a red and gold palette. DO you think this will look gaudy?

  18. Hi, Steven — First of all, to keep it from being gaudy, the red should be a deep shade not a bright one. Then, we suggest that a third neutral color be included. This could be ivory, ecru or a very pale latté. It will still give prominence to the red and gold as the principal colors, but will give some “visual relief”!

  19. I want to have a garnet red palette matched with shades of blue. I am using blue because my fiance’s favorite color is navy blue. Does this make my color scheme look too boring?

  20. Hi, Elaine — A lot will depend on how you plan to apply the garnet red and the shades of blue. Our suggestion for the ceremony would be perhaps bridesmaids’ dresses in garnet red with ivory bouquets with navy blue ribbon-wrapped handles. While the groom and groomsmen could be in dark navy blue suits with deep red ties. At the reception, you could have navy blue table cloths with ivory-colored place settings and garnet-red floral centerpieces. And if you add lots of tea lights, the total effect will be far from boring! 🙂

  21. I’m having a winter wedding and would love to use red! I want to have some elements of winter and Christmas but I don’t want the wedding reception to look too much like a holiday party. No wreaths, no pinecones, and definitely no pine tree. Would adding some blue work?

  22. Hi, Laura — How wonderful to have a wintertime wedding! And touches of red would definitely bring in the holiday spirit (blue might confuse the look…unless you decide to go with a sparkly blue treatment instead, which is also lovely!).

    For red accents at the reception that won’t look outright Christmasy, we suggest using red napkins and/or napkin rings, votive candle holders encrusted with red beads, red candies in crystal dishes, table numbers on wine bottles “wearing” red knitted mufflers, glass stem charms made of red crystal “berries”…you get the idea, right? Have a wonderful wedding. 🙂

  23. Black and red for a wedding in the fall? Is this okay-you think? Plus. what kind of flowers besides roses can i use for a bouquet? ROses are expensive!

  24. Christina Guerrero

    I am looking for some good ideas on how to make my tiffany blue, red, and alabaster theme look elegant while not costing an arm and a leg. Any suggestions for table set up?

  25. Hi Christina! That’s a festive color palette you’ve chosen. How to keep the table set-up elegant but still affordable? We’d suggest you coordinate with the reception venue to provide the table linens in basic ivory or cream (to pass for alabaster), so that will take care of the base color. Then, have the pops of tiffany blue and red in items that serve a double purpose (a bit of savings right there!).

    For instance, have tiffany blue favor boxes atop each plate and single red carnations to serve as napkin accents and place name holders at the same time! The centerpieces can also be bunches of red carnations (which are more affordable) in aqua mason jars. I’m sure you get the idea…Happy decorating! 🙂

  26. Hello

    i am looking into having a early fall themed wedding and am looking to use a deep red, marigold, cream and mocha.

    Do you have an idea of how i can incorporate all these colors into my wedding?

  27. Hi Michelle — Can just see that lovely combination of colors being used in very lush bouquets for you and your bridesmaids (although yours could be a very elegant cream and mocha arrangement, to make it stand out from all the rest!). Your bridesmaids could be in pretty mocha dresses — mismatched designs, if you like!

    Then, you reception tables could have deep red table cloths with floral centerpieces echoing the multi-colored bouquets. Hope these ideas help! 🙂

  28. hi guys need agent help, can red, silver and cream/ivory work?? i have been told that it will never work out, is this true, because i would really love to have silver and red and i am willing to add any third color to make it soft

  29. Hello Lihle — Saw your similar question on our other color article. In my response to you there, I suggested that the red (you referred to it as burgundy) and ivory would work best as the main colors. Then, the silver would just be used as an accent.

    Maybe this link will help you visualize how it will look:

    All the best!

  30. Help! Do you think red would be too loud to match with navy blue? Thanks!

  31. I am having a fall wedding and have been so all over with my color choices..but my bride to be is dead set on wearing a white dress with a red buquet. I really refuse a red white n black theme to over done..but i want a bright happy wedding…
    All i do know is im lost lol please help!

  32. Hi Neissi,

    Aside from the white dress and red bouquet for the bride, two other factors you mentioned caught our attention in suggesting a color palette: it’s a FALL wedding and you want it BRIGHT and HAPPY.

    If you’re open to the bridesmaids’ dresses being red as well, that would certainly set the happy look! Then for the feel of fall, you could have the reception tables decorated like the last photo above — with hunter green runners, centerpieces made with red flowers and fresh fruits (apples, pears, grapes), and small touches of gold. Or if you prefer a more rustic look, you can leave out the gold, and highlight wooden decorations and natural materials (burlap, straw, etc.) instead!

    Hope this helps. 🙂

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