Illuminate Your Event With Pantone’s Colors of the Year

By Rachael Russell

Illuminate Your Event With Pantone’s Colors of the Year

Pop quiz: What do living coral, marsala and emerald all have in common? They have each been named as past Pantone Colors of the Year. Don’t worry, that’s the most difficult and only question I’ll pose for the day. Pantone, the company responsible for predicting color trends that impact numerous industries across the globe, announces their prediction for “Color of the Year” every December. In 2020, they unexpectedly graced us with not one, but two colors for 2021: Illuminating and Ultimate Gray.

The Color of the Year influences dozens of industries, including home furnishings, product packaging, graphic design, fashion and events. For those of you who are wondering how this pertains to you, look no further than Meryl Streep’s iconic monologue in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada, where she ruthlessly explains how runway fashion trends trickle down and find their way into the closets of even the most unsuspecting shoppers. Very few can dodge the impact of these color trends, even if they try. Event coordinators aren’t immune to them either, particularly because our clients are most often influenced by the trending colors as a key aspect of designed their event decor. We love to see Pantone’s colors incorporated into wedding and event palettes.   

So, if you’re looking to have a fashion-forward event by incorporating Illuminating and Ultimate Gray in your 2021 wedding, there are plenty of ways to do it. These two colors together create a jovial mood, reminiscent of spotting a golden-leafed aspen on a cloudy day. Since Ultimate Gray is a muted tone, it’s perfect for bigger features, like your guest table linens, overlays, chair covers, or the wedding party’s dresses or suits. This is a subtle way to deviate from traditional white and black without overwhelming your color palette. Integrating the hue Illuminating is where things can get exciting. This striking, sunshiny color is best used as an accent to add a splash of color without being too loud. Napkins, high-heeled shoes, ties or pocket squares, cake toppers, nail polish, the confetti for your sendoff, or draped fabric on your ceremony arbor are great options for incorporating this or any other vivid color. If accenting isn’t enough and you want to take a bolder approach, I recommend dressing your standalone tables, such as the sweetheart table or cake table, in your accent color. That’s a sure way to get noticed without drowning out the rest of your color palette or decorations.

I expect to see the Colors of the Year used by my wedding and event clients throughout this year and beyond. As photos circulate via Pinterest boards and magazine articles across the world, couples will incorporate the same colors for years to come. Little do many know, the colors were hand-picked by Pantone’s color experts. If you personally decide to partake in the forecasted trends of 2021, I look forward to seeing how they will influence upcoming events and the industries around us.

Rachael Russell | The Lincoln Center, Conference Services Coordinator

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