Decorating in shades of ombré

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Ombré, the gradual change of color shades from light to dark, has become one of the most popular design elements of weddings in recent years, making a mark not only in ceremony décor but fashion and beauty trends, too. A French word meaning “shaded,” ombré has long been a technique for home décor and interior design. It was only a matter of time before it made its way down the aisle.

And, brides can integrate the stunning effect in their weddings whether they’re using the talents of a professional wedding planner or taking the do-it-yourself approach.

“The whole idea of ombré is to be very subtle with it,” says Candice Coppola, owner and creative director of Jubilee Events, based in Cheshire, Connecticut.

Coppola warns against the temptation to use the effect everywhere. “You need to pick and choose what’s going to make the most sense,” she says.

The key element in a subtle ombré design is the gentleness of the gradation. When done right, the color seems to float into the space with a very natural progression. Here are some popular ways the effect has been trending on the wedding scene.


Coppola has infused the popular scale of pale pink to deep red into stunning wedding design. Floral arrangements, including the bouquets and petals that aligned the center aisle, featured the effect.

The bridesmaid dresses, the centerpieces at the reception, and what Coppola described as “unexpected areas” – linens and paper in the table settings – all featured gradation as accents to the overall color scheme.


“One of the most popular cakes we have done in ombré is the ombré ruffled cake,” says Amy Beck, a professional Chicago-based cake designer. Each shade blends almost seamlessly into the next in her cake designs, and the ruffled effect adds sheer elegance.

Beck says the ombréd cake has become so popular in recent years because it’s a way of bringing in color, letting the color stand out but not overwhelm the cake, especially for dark colors.


Ombréd hair took off in Hollywood a few years ago, draping down the shoulders of stars such as actress Drew Barrymore. But the effect has been around for ages because hair strands naturally become lighter at the ends with sun exposure.

Today’s techniques create more dramatic effects for a perfect touch of glamour for wedding ’dos.

“Because of the ombré, you’ll see the texture better in your updo and even your typical style versus if it was just one solid dark color,” says Holly Kasprisin, hair stylist and makeup artist at Chicago Bridal Hair and Makeup. “It would be flat, and you wouldn’t see the definition or texture as much as you do with ombré.”

There’s one caveat for women who covet the trend: it’s better for people with solid, dark hair. Kasprisin also has seen the ombré trend grow in popularity for nail designs.

Tags: Brides365, ombre, decor, light, dark, colors, colorful