Hello Productions Raleigh

Killer Events. Unique Style. Unforgettable.

Our Top 5 Favorite Wedding Dress Trends of 2016

1. Halter Necklines

We’re seeing this trend everywhere! If you’re looking for a dress that makes a statement, a halter neckline may be for you.

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2. Plunge Necklines

If the halter isn’t your style, try going the opposite direction with a plunging neckline! This neckline is another great way to stand out in the crowd with a sexy, yet elegant look.

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3. Details, details, details!

Every aspect of the wedding planning process requires attention to detail, why stop at the dress? Whether it’s lace, florals, pearls, or jewels, wedding dresses with some extra detail will keep all eyes on you!

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4. Casual Elegance

Simplicity is often the key to elegance. A non-traditional, casual wedding dress is perfect for a garden, beach, or even backyard wedding and will keep you feeling beautiful and comfortable.

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5. Touch of Color

For a bride who is looking to stray from tradition in a bold and tasteful way, wedding dresses with hints of color are a huge trend on the rise.

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Celia Photo

Hello Celia Millard!

Spring Intern 2016

 

Celia Millard is a student in her junior year at the University of Pittsburgh working towards a degree in Communication & Rhetoric with a certificate in Public & Professional Writing. In hopes of pursuing a career in public relations or event planning, Celia is excited to join the Hello Productions team as the Spring 2016 intern under Natasha Brody.

 

In her free time, Celia explores new passions in photography and filmmaking. She enjoys capturing the beauty Pittsburgh has to offer with photos of landscapes and everyday life, and also creates candid videography of her friends and family. On the weekends, Celia likes to eat, shop, and see movies with her friends or visit her home in Harrisburg, PA to spend time with her parents, her sister Olivia, and her dogs Charlie and Annabelle.

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5 Trendy DIY Projects for Your 2016 Wedding

For the Classic: Wine Bottle Candles

Saving your wine bottles for centerpieces and décor is the trendiest DIY project of this year. The most popular use of empty wine bottles is for floral arrangements, a beautiful combination of a woman’s favorite things: wine and flowers. For 2016, we’re looking at a new trick that will add some originality and romantic ambiance to your classic wedding. Before the wedding, try to save as many wine bottles as you can (If you’re planning the wedding yourself, we’re sure you’ll have plenty!). Make sure you rinse out each bottle thoroughly, and run the label under warm water for quick and easy removal. Now all you need is some candlesticks, which you may need to cut in half, and superglue to keep the candles from falling out of the bottle. Keep the love burning!

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For the Casual: Rustic Ceremony Signs

Rustic weddings are seriously trending in 2016. Having a rustic-themed wedding is a great way to inspire romance and whimsy on a low budget. There are many easy DIY projects that will add rustic detail to your wedding. Take advantage of inexpensive materials such as wood, chalkboard, and Mason jar accents. Some of our favorite rustic accents are DIY signs. All you need are a few pieces of wood, a hammer and nails, paint, and an artistic friend with good penmanship! These signs are a great way to welcome your guests and even direct them to the venue with arrows, delicate fonts, and cute phrases. Using white paint on the signs will really make the words pop!

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For the Creative: Drop Top Guest Book

The best parts about the wedding are the memories that stay with you forever. There are many different methods to make sure you hold onto each memory from the special day for the rest of your life. The traditional guestbook is a great way to document your special guests, but if you want to get creative with your guestbook, try making a Drop Top. Each guest writes their name and message on a wooden heart and drops it in a slot at the top of the frame. This project is for the dedicated DIYers out there, the Pinterest-savvy. The best way to create the Drop Top is with a shadow frame. You’ll need to drill holes into the top of the frame to create the slot, and use a file to smooth the sides of the slot. The background of the frame can be decorated anyway you would like! You can paint it with your wedding colors, or even glue on larger hearts with the bride and groom’s names and date of the wedding. The wooden hearts can be found at your local craft store. They are available here for $3.99 per 28 pieces.

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For the Colorful: Outdoor Backdrops

For those of us who dream of a charming outdoor Spring or Summer wedding, it may be difficult to find the perfect arrangement to create your altar. What better way to embrace the (hopefully) gorgeous weather than with a hint of color behind the bride and groom as they say their vows? For those who wish to incorporate their wedding colors in a simple and tasteful way, hang some thick colored ribbon over fishing line. For more vibrancy, hang different colored flowers on fishing line to create the appearance of flowers floating in the air, or attach an array of colorful flowers to a sturdy rectangular backdrop. A unique and colorful backdrop will help make the ceremony unforgettable!

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For the Children: Alternative Champagne Toasts

Offering a fun alternative to champagne for the toast is a great way to keep the young ones content on an evening typically crafted for adults. Make them feel like one of grown ups with a tasty toast made specifically for the kids! We suggest a party favorite with a twist: an elegant arrangement of milk and cookies. Putting the milk in plastic champagne cups will make the kids feel extra special. For a more traditional wedding, simple chocolate chip cookies are sure to blend in with classic décor. To complement a nontraditional wedding, add M&M’s to the cookies for some tasteful color!

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Celia Photo

Hello Celia Millard!

Spring Intern 2016

 

Celia Millard is a student in her junior year at the University of Pittsburgh working towards a degree in Communication & Rhetoric with a certificate in Public & Professional Writing. In hopes of pursuing a career in public relations or event planning, Celia is excited to join the Hello Productions team as the Spring 2016 intern under Natasha Brody.

 

In her free time, Celia explores new passions in photography and filmmaking. She enjoys capturing the beauty Pittsburgh has to offer with photos of landscapes and everyday life, and also creates candid videography of her friends and family. On the weekends, Celia likes to eat, shop, and see movies with her friends or visit her home in Harrisburg, PA to spend time with her parents, her sister Olivia, and her dogs Charlie and Annabelle.

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Fondue Fun For Valentine’s Day (Or Any Day!)

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Looking for an out-of-the-box valentine’s day party or date idea? We love a fondue night! Start your night off with a cheese fondue.

While there are numerous recipes you can find online and in your parents’ cookbooks, we like this one by Tyler Florence: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/cheese-fondue-recipe.html. You can pair it with pretty much anything from crackers and apples, to a variety of cut up vegetables. Make sure you cut everything into bitesize pieces. You want to make them large enough to stay on the fondue forks but easy to eat in one bite! The Kitchen Aid blog has a fondue post with another recipe and more ideas for dippers: http://blog.kitchenaid.com/do-fondue-recipe/.

If you’re planning fondue for a group of people, divide the cheese fondue into individual ramekins so each person can dip their own or provide a spoon with the fondue pot and let guests drizzle cheese over the vegetables and fruit on their plates.

If you don’t have a fondue pot, don’t fret! A slow cooker works just as well. No fondue forks? Guess what – a regular fork will feed your guests just fine! You can make your fondue night as casual or as fancy as you want.

If you decide you want to do a meat and seafood fondue for the main course, you will need a fondue pot to heat the oil to 350-375 degrees. Here is one take on making a marinade for your meat and then the steps for the oil fondue: http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/filet-mignon-and-shrimp-fondue.

And for dessert, a chocolate fondue is a must! Fruit, marshmallows, pound cake and pretzels make great dippers for this easy dessert. Here is a recipe to make a delicious chocolate for your fondue: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/slow-cooker-chocolate-fondue-recipe.html, but you can also melt semi-sweet chocolate and heavy cream together in a pinch and it will still be tasty!

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Have a lot of fondue left over at the end of the night? Have mason jars ready to give to your guests to share the leftovers! (Photo: http://thedecoratedcookie.com/2014/08/how-to-make-chocolate-coconut-fondue-to-go-in-minutes/)

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Create Your Own: Fall Festival

Christmas may seem around the corner but here at Hello Productions, we’re not yet ready to say goodbye to fall! To finish celebrating all the things we love about fall (and relax a little before the holidays), invite over your adult friends and throw a casual, chic get-together! With delightful fall flavored cocktails, a warm comfort-food menu, and fun activities, you can create a one-of-a-kind adult-only event! Here is some inspiration to get your party planning underway:

 

Start with the right cocktails and a little something extra😉

Clockwise from top left:

1.) Caramel Apple Sangria (via A Night Owl)

2.) Boozy Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate (via Minimalist Baker)

3.) And… Candy Corn Jell-O Shots (via That’s So Michelle)

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Now design the right menu…

And consider having a chili cook-off! Make your signature fall or winter chili and ask guests to bring a pot of their own. Tally the votes and enjoy! Other delicious & warm menu items include (from top to bottom):

1.) Baked Mac-n-Cheese Cups with Pork Shoulder Ragu

2.) Fall Squash and Goat Cheese Dip With Garlic Toasts

3.) Sweet Potato Squares With Lemon-Garlic Mayonnaise

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And for dessert…

A Candy Apple Dessert Bar! Simple, fun and delicious! All you need are a variety of apples, kabob skewers, caramel and any type of toppings you can dream of! (via laurencondrad.com)

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Now Let’s Talk Décor:

1.) I found these adorable pumpkin centerpieces (left) at the Freedom Farms Fall Festival, just outside of Pittsburgh. The combination of the rustic wood base, classic fall pumpkin and chic wild-flowers make for festive yet stylish centerpieces. This can be also be done with traditional orange pumpkins and any in-season flowers you desire.

2.) A great idea for décor and entertainment is to have an outdoor black and white movie (right). It can be a scary movie, or just a classic. Hang a white sheet or use the side of your house and scatter blankets and pillows around for people to get cozy while we are enjoying this mild weather!

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3.) Remember that chili bar we talked about earlier? Style it with a cute chalkboard, mini hay bales and mini pumpkins. Also, writing your menu on a chalkboard is a cute touch and can be reused over and over again! Find your locally made chalkboard mats Here.

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Now bring it all together with some ambiance:

Complete the cozy fall ambiance with candles that vary in size in different size and shape glass vases and use either acorns, or corn kernels.

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And when the sun goes down, let guests snuggle up with adorable blankets to keep the chill away! Blankets, candles, and candy apples, oh my! What a cozy, delicious and fun evening for you and your friends! Celebrate this great season and use this inspiration to have a fabulous fall soiree.

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taylor pic

Hello Taylor Smith!

Fall Intern 2015

Taylor is a Pittsburgh native who recently graduated from High Point University, in High Point, North Carolina, with a B.A. in Strategic Communications and a minor in Event Management.

She discovered her love for event planning while she was the philanthropy chair for her sorority. Her favorite part about event management is watching everyone’s hard work come together to create a magical event. She is, of course, a sucker for a good love story and enjoys traveling, reading and practicing yoga.
We are so excited for Taylor to join the Hello team!

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2015 Bridal Fashion Week Recap

As a gal who loves to chat to anyone I meet, and as someone who finds that words come naturally, I almost (almost) find myself speechless. I’m searching for the right words to describe the endless array of gowns and bridal-wear showcased at this year’s Bridal Fashion Week; the traditional idea of bridal-wear was blown out of the water with three major trends including: stunning jumpsuits, mini dresses and ethereal gowns. After I picked my jaw off the floor, I knew I had to pinpoint my favorites here for you to drool over too. I cannot wait to see the no-doubt gorgeous weddings that will accompany these dresses this coming year!

 

One of my all-time favorites is Pnina Tornai, who does classic designs, but with a twist. Whether it’s a gown dripping with crystals, a plunging neckline or an open back, she always pushes the traditional envelope. Her new collection is called Wind Upon Water, which truly sets the stage for the heavenly gowns. It’s hard to choose which dress takes the cake; each dress is upstaged by the next! Here is a backstage glimpse of a few of the gowns that showcase the amazing bead & lace work. Is it just me, or do I see a little 60’s glam inspiration??

 
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I am a serious fan of black and white (if you saw my last blog post, I included an ahh-mazing black and white bridesmaid dress). Normally I wouldn’t think black belongs on a wedding gown, but Mark Zunino proved me wrong! Every dress in his collection is swoon worthy, but you have to see these black and white numbers, the second one is even hand painted!

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Excuse me while I try to start my heart again, because Lazarro slayed Bridal Fashion Week. While I thought Pnina’s designs and Mark’s black & white gowns were life changing, I was not prepared for Lazarro’s floral numbers. I could choose to include his stunning traditional white and beaded gowns, but what’s the fun in that? Also, this blush drop-waist number is everything I’ve always wanted to see in a gown. I adore his use of color and patterns to make these inspirational gowns.

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Also making the cut are …

 

Monique Lhuillier (Love the high-low drama and beautiful textured fabric)

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Fashion house Marchesa (Perfect to show off stunning shoes, like these)

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This killer jumpsuit number by Angel Sanchez

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And last but not least… this true beauty by Lela Rose

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taylor pic

Hello Taylor Smith!

Fall Intern 2015

Taylor is a Pittsburgh native who recently graduated from High Point University, in High Point, North Carolina, with a B.A. in Strategic Communications and a minor in Event Management.

She discovered her love for event planning while she was the philanthropy chair for her sorority. Her favorite part about event management is watching everyone’s hard work come together to create a magical event. She is, of course, a sucker for a good love story and enjoys traveling, reading and practicing yoga.
We are so excited for Taylor to join the Hello team!

Leave a comment »

What’s in a Name? Some of Our Favorite Escort Card Ideas

After countless hours of consideration and thoughtful discussion, the seating chart has been finalized. All of your guests have been strategically placed in exactly the right spot to see your entrance, avoid “that” cousin, enjoy conversation with a colleague or simply just to enjoy the evening. And now, the decision of how to display their names and table assignment comes into play. There are many ways to display to your guests where they will be seated, from traditional to personal to uber creative. Below, we’ve collected a variety of options that you may want to consider as you decide the best way to display escort cards for your big day. Enjoy!

Traditional

A simple display with flowers and your cards in alphabetical order is always a nice choice. Consider adding a small embellishment, such as a colored rhinestone, ribbon or something personal in a variety of colors to indicate entrée options if serving a sit-down dinner.

Click on the photos to see the details!

Two-for-One

Many couples are now opting to make their name cards part of or even the entire favor for their guests, as opposed to doing both separately. From simple to over-the-top, combining your name card and favor for each guest/couple can be a fun way for the guests to really see and feel what you as a couple are all about.

Click on the photos to see the details!

Just Hanging Around

Why not try a distinctive method of displaying your guests’ cards by hanging, pinning, clipping, writing or standing the cards in, on or from something fun? Take a look at just some of the great ideas we found.

Click on the photos to see the details!

And as always, if you’re getting hitched in or around the Raleigh area and would like to have a consultation for the design of your wedding or to talk about your wedding planning for 2016 and beyond, please contact Hello Productions today!

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Follow These Instagram Accounts For Fabulous Wedding Inspirations

With over 300 million users, Instagram is a fantastic source of inspiration, ideas, links to possible vendors and research for your big day. I compiled a list of the five best Instagram accounts to follow for every detail of your wedding, that will make you double tap all day long.

 

For the dress:

@Kleinefelds is ideal for providing ideas for the wedding dress of your dreams. We all know the New York City based store from the hit TLC show, Say Yes to the Dress, but its Instagram account is full of inspiration. Every photo features exquisite bridal gowns, unique bridesmaid dress ideas (like my favorite unique black and white dresses below) and small but dazzling accessories (such as these stunning bridal heals below). Kleinfelds has a wide selection of modern, trendy dresses as well as the timeless classics, take your pick and “Like” your favorites!

 
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For the rings:

@shanecompany is your go-to daily source of all that sparkles. It provides pictures of gorgeous rings you can buy directly from them, or to help discover your ideal cut and style. From blingy engagement rings to romantic his and hers wedding bands, they post it all. Hint no more, just tag your s/o in the comments section of your favorite sparkler and get the ring you’ve always wanted. Wedding rings are a symbol of your eternal love, so make it a good one! Shop their rings at http://www.shaneco.com.

 
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For photography ideas:

@weddingsparrow is the “original fine art wedding blog.” Not sure what kind of bridal portraits or wedding day photos you want to have? Check out their pictures to help cultivate your photography vision. Their whimsical eye is great to add to your daily Instagram feed and to show your selected photographer what you’re looking for. Every photo is beautiful with unique shots to show off your dress, your bridal party and even your wedding day glam. Check out a few of my favorite Wedding Sparrow posts below.

 
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For luxury invites and paper products:

@rosandruby_com is the account for Rose & Ruby Paper Co., a luxury wedding paper and design studio. Ran by former fashion designer, Rose Murphy, Rose & Ruby makes gorgeous paper products from invites to place cards and even thank you notes. Her work is the perfect mix of luxury and girly and makes for some lovely instagram photos and serious inspiration for your own invites and creative table number cards. Below are a few handpicked photos of my favorite posts of her recent work. You can order from Rose at http://www.roseandruby.com.

 
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For all the details, small and big:

@smpweddings, the instagram account for the popular site, Style Me Pretty, is the ultimate source for everything from photo ideas to makeup and hair inspiration. They feature real brides with unique designs and stunning looks. They also created #ShowUsYourShoes, so you can peep at what fabulous footwear other brides are wearing. Their account brings everything together so you can find all the standout details in one charming place. Find countless pages of wedding planning ideas on their website at http://www.stylemepretty.com.

 
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Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are great research tools to add to your typical Pinterest searching. Whether you are planning a wedding this year or not quite yet, follow these fabulous instagram accounts for beautiful and unique wedding insight. Also make sure to follow us @helloproductions to see pictures from our recent events and to be inspired by the possibilities for your next event!

xo, Taylor

 
 
 
taylor pic

Hello Taylor Smith!

Fall Intern 2015

Taylor is a Pittsburgh native who recently graduated from High Point University, in High Point, North Carolina, with a B.A. in Strategic Communications and a minor in Event Management.

She discovered her love for event planning while she was the philanthropy chair for her sorority. Her favorite part about event management is watching everyone’s hard work come together to create a magical event. She is, of course, a sucker for a good love story and enjoys traveling, reading and practicing yoga.
We are so excited for Taylor to join the Hello team!

Leave a comment »

Five Things To Do When You First Get Engaged

Have you or someone you know recently get engaged? First of all, congratulations! It’s such an exciting (and often overwhelming) time. Here are five things to do put on your checklist. You will have plenty of time to figure out all the other details later!
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1. Start a notebook.

From the moment you get engaged, your friends and family (and probably some strangers!) will immediately start sharing their ideas and you will want to write them down (or at least the good ones). It’s also not a bad idea use a binder or a notebook with a pocket to save pictures, clippings and samples.

2. Set the Date.

It may seem early to narrow down the date right away, but you will need the date for almost all aspects of planning. If you both have your hearts set on a certain venue, you may need to be flexible with the date. Popular venues often book events more than a year in advance. If you’ve picked a particular day or weekend, you will want to have several venue options in case your first or second choices aren’t available.

3. Set the Budget.

It’s important to sit down and decide on your budget at the beginning of the planning process. If your parents or other people are contributing to the wedding, make sure to include them in the conversation. Once you have your numbers in mind, you can steer your planning in the appropriate direction and be mindful before things get out of hand (and over budget!).

4. Set the Style.

Even if you’re not sure of the venue or any other details, you and your fiancee should start to discuss the type of event you want to have, such as formal or casual, indoors or outdoors, or perhaps a theme. Knowing the style of wedding you want will help you ask questions when choosing a venue.

5. Celebrate!

It’s so exciting to get engaged. Take time to write down how it happened. You may want to use your story for a wedding website or as part of your ceremony. Tell your family and friends so they can share in the excitement with you.

Bonus Tip: Consider a Consultant.

With so much research and planning, many brides and grooms opt to have help. Consider hiring a wedding planner (like Hello Productions!). Not only can they save you time researching venues, caterers, florists, photographers and bands, but they also offer support and alleviate stress on the actual wedding day. Most wedding planners offer a range of packages, from full wedding planning to day of help. You can request a quote from Hello Productions here!

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Hello’s Favorite Things 6.19.15

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1.) How cute are these printable straw flag place cards? Almost as cute as the ombre meringue parfait deserts! Find both at WeddingChicks.com!

2.) We love this honeycomb wall idea and think it would be a fun pattern to use in your home or to theme your next event!

3.) For all you DIY-ers out there, we love this collection of the 50 Best Fonts for Wedding Invitations from Snippet & Ink!

4.) Looking to add some bling to your wedding dress? Add a shoulder accessory like this one from the Etsy.

5.) We love how pretty this chocolate and vanilla cake looks from Edible Art, a local Raleigh bakery!

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How To Pick Wedding Colors That Are In Harmony

If you’re starting to plan your wedding, colors may be swirling around in your head. While there isn’t a rule you have to pick specific colors for your wedding, it can be useful to select a few as your main theme to help tie everything together, from invitations to decorations.

Here are a few color theories to ensure “color harmony”:

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And here are some of our favorite color harmony combinations for inspiration!

 

Monochromatic Colors

These are all the colors (tints, tones, and shades) of a single hue. This theory is behind the popular ombre trend.

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Pinks: http://asyouwishevents.com
Blues: http://www.insidecolumbia.net
Greens: http://www.bridaltweet.com

 

Analogous Colors

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Orange/Yellow: https://dazzlingnigerianbrides.files.wordpress.com
White/Gold: http://www.fyo.com.au
Pink/Orange: http://www.fyo.com.au

 

Complementary Colors

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Blue/Yellow: https://koothoot.wordpress.com
Teal/Copper: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/512495632566826532/
Purple/Green: http://www.fyo.com.au

 

Triadic Colors

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Purple/Orange/Green: http://wefollowpics.com
Red/Gold/Green: http://www.indianweddingsite.com
Blue/Pink/Green: http://www.lovemelovemywedding.com

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