The Color Purple and Weddings

I’ve learned many things in my years as a wedding officiant, and one of the most consistent and recurring facts I encounter is that girls love purple!

Purple is the number one choice of color for the custom handfasting cords I make for my couples. Most of the time the cords are made to match the colors of the bridal party, which is purple. When it isn’t to match the bridal party, as in the case of my pagan and nature based weddings, the purple cords are requested to match the purple gown of the bride. Purple is the most prevalent color for my bride’s gowns after white!

One might think pink or another pastel would be the most prevalent alternate to white, but in my experience, purple is the slam dunk alternate. And I don’t necessarily mean soft pastel lavender, I mean luscious, in your face deep passionate purple!

I’ve also observed that even when a bride isn’t wearing purple, or even when her maids aren’t wearing purple, most of the bridal bouquets I see have purple in them as accents.

Because I am curious about all things human nature, I like to understand the whys. My brain is always trying to figure stuff out. It’s a curse.

In real life, we don’t see a lot of purple in every day fashion. I mean, we don’t see too many purple shoes, except maybe on children, we don’t see many purple handbags, or coats. We don’t all have that staple, the little purple dress in our closets, so why do we love purple at weddings?

According to Color Wheel Pro,

“Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.”

Given that these attributes seem to be shared universally about purple, what does this definition tell us about purple and weddings?

It suggests to me that purple helps elevate the moment from the mundane to the extra ordinary, signaling that the marital event is in the realm of the sacred, even for secular ceremonies. It also tells me that there is a desire to project a bit of extravagance, a positive message; ’We are doing well and want to share it with you.’ The mystery and magic element makes sense in the context of a pagan or nature based ceremony, and it also makes sense in more mainstream, traditional weddings. What woman does not want to evoke an air of mystery about herself?  Isn’t the moment the bride enters the space the climatic and dramatic moment when all eyes are on her and what she’s wearing?

All these reasons tend to bear out why the color purple isn’t typically a mainstay of our daily lives.  It’s regal, and is appropriately reserved for life’s elevated moments.

With This Kiss I Thee Wed 

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