Before I got married I thought the idea of a wedding colour palette or scheme was an absolute joke. There seem to be a billion rules about everything wedding related and I just didn't care to have to follow yet another rule for my own wedding. This never changed throughout the planning process and I just chose colours that I loved and that worked for me. I mean us. (Years ago I studied and loved a subject that was entirely about colour, and yet of course still I purposely chose to rebel against the whole 'you must have a colour scheme for your wedding' idea.)
Of course I was highly conscious in terms of our outfits (and even our five ceremony guests outfits - occupational hazard) and perhaps also inadvertently matched my ring box to the chaise lounge where we signed our marriage certificate - or my nails and lips to my bouquet (and coincidentally our ceremony backdrop.) Having said that I am kicking myself for not keeping with the same colour scheme for our table styling the following night. Colour is perhaps a little more important to me than what I wanted to admit (damn rules though!)
Having a clear idea of your colour palette can definitely make your wedding day that little bit more cohesive and striking. But this doesn't mean every single thing needs to be matchy-matchy either. So as a general rule of thumb keep a palette in mind with your decisions, but don't get too obsessive with it either. Being meaningful will always be far more important than being matching.
Prioritise what is important to you. If you are absolutely set on a certain colour flower for example - work your other choices around that. There are always ways to tie things together. It is also important that you make decisions based on your taste rather than fitting in with the season (i.e. dark tones for a winter wedding, pastels in summer), because quite frankly you may hate pastels.
If you're unsure of how to pick your colour scheme definitely do not google images of 'wedding colour scheme' or to look it up on Pinterest. (unless you want to have a laugh.) The point is still to make decisions based on what you love and what feels like you. Also consider your venue and any predominant colours that feature and work around that (or the other way around if you're all about your colour scheme). It is probably also useful to have a look at a colour wheel (seriously). Neighbours, opposites and various shades and tints in the same hue tend to go well - and are a great starting point if you're not wanting to get too technical. (Or of course it may be worth asking someone visual in the industry for a hand - ie florist, wedding or fashion stylist.)
Keep a mental note of all the decisions you're making and try to have an overall picture in mind. If you're already into the planning process and haven't really put any thought into colours up to this point, it may help to put together a mood board with all the choices you've made so far (ie. stationery, flowers, you and your partners outfits. bridal party, table styling choices etc) - so you can see how everything is working together and to see whether you do have so predominant colours in the mix. Remember, the whole process should be fun and not anxiety inducing - and if it is, then don't spend another second thinking about it!
Cropped image by Matt Godkin