Pantone Color of the Year 2021: Wedding Style

Each year Pantone selects a color that will get featured throughout our daily lives from home decor to product development — and even weddings! The Pantone Color of the Year 2021 is unique in that it is actually two colors, and we’re seeing both take the wedding industry by storm!


Let’s talk about what those colors are and how you can expect to see them used in wedding style throughout the year.

What is the Pantone Color of the Year 2021?

The Pantone Colors of the Year are Illuminating Yellow and Ultimate Gray. That’s right, after 2020, this year called for two colors!

“The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock-solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope,” says Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. “We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.”

Much like Eiseman’s explanation showcases, these colors were chosen for their meanings.

Illuminating Yellow

Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, says Pantone. It is a warming shade that exudes solar power.

  • Aspirational
  • Hope-filled
  • Energetic
  • Insight and Intuition

Ultimate Gray

Ultimate Gray represents solid and dependable elements that are long-lasting. This color is a visualization of a firm foundation.

  • Reflects pebbles on the beach, and natural elements that while weathered, stand the test of time.
  • Quietly assures
  • Encourages feelings of composure, steadiness, and resilience

What the Combination of Colors Represents

It’s easy for wedding pros to find inspiration in the meaning and context of these color selections. Here are some of the ideals represented in the combination of Pantone’s color of the year selections —

  • Emboldens the spirit and fortifying the foundation of life.
  • Highlights our innate need to be seen, to be visible, and to be recognized and have our voices heard.
  • Innovation and respect for wisdom.
  • Regeneration and pressing forward toward new ways of thinking.


The inspiration for the Pantone Color of the Year 2021 is perfect for the wedding industry. According to Pantone it is, “a marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.”

(Now, for those of you disappointed with these colors, we have something for you. We’ve got some inspirational images to show you just how warm and beautiful these colors can be!)

Ways We See the Pantone Colors of the Year Influencing Wedding Style

Warm Wedding Color Palettes

Illuminating Yellow and all its iterations are popping up everywhere in wedding color palettes. This includes sunny summer weddings or moody autumn palettes with mustard or ochre yellow. Add to that, a touch of gray or silver metallic to bring some magic!

Some weddings lean more towards the yellow and accent with other shades like this one (and accent with metallics) —

And other weddings blend the two styles together seamlessly like this —

Wedding Dresses, Bridesmaid Dresses — And Even Groom’s Suits

Gray wedding dresses are one of the hottest trends for 2021-2022 — from pale gray to gray-blue.

And gray isn’t the only color getting its moment in the spotlight. That’s right — yellow wedding dresses are rising in popularity too!

Some brides are choosing the illuminating yellow as an accent color to their non-traditional gown.

Other brides are choosing to use the Pantone Color of the Year in more subtle ways like choosing slate gray shoes to match their bouquet ribbon like the one below. Either way, it pairs perfectly with those buttery yellow blooms.

These cheerful tones of yellow are so enticing, even the grooms are getting in on the fun!

The most common way couples are incorporating these colors are through bridesmaid dresses.

Invitation Suites

The Pantone Color of the Year 2021 is inspiring a myriad of different invitation suite styles.

Cheerful Cakes and Cocktails

Probably the most delicious version of this color of the year can be found in the sunny cakes in all manner of styles.

For some couples, this sunny shade of yellow is making an appearance within their drink options.

Table Settings

Table settings are one way that wedding pros continue to expertly showcase these shades, whether that is all yellow, all gray, or a blend of the two.

Wedding Flowers — Bouquets to Floral Arches

The real show-stoppers of the Pantone Color of the Year 2021 are the floral designs!

From wildflower floral arches to buttery roses in charming bridal bouquets, there’s nothing not to love about these blooms.


In addition to the color of the year, Pantone has also shared Autumn/Winter 2021-22 color palettes to keep in mind. These palettes incorporate the yellow and gray with a myriad of seasonal shades that will compliment their tones.

Images Courtesy of Pantone

According to Eiseman, we can expect to see “a color range of heartening hues reflective of the natural environment in our local surroundings.” This is aimed to inspire creativity and awaken a desire for a new perspective of things.

Written by Corrie McGee
Photo Courtesy of New York Times