Pagan Wedding Colors Cheat Sheet

Depiction of an ancient Roman wedding.

In the last couple of years, there’s been a move away from correspondences in the Tumblr pagan community. I mostly think that’s a good thing. Correspondence lists tend to be oversimplifications and to only highlight a single trait of a given plant, crystal, color, or whatever — and yes, you tend to lose a lot of nuance when you do that. I think, in general, encouraging people to engage with their spiritual tools and allies as complex, multi-faceted entities is a good thing.

HOWEVER, correspondence lists can be very useful as starting points for further research. A quick, simple summary of an item’s use in a certain context can give readers an idea of whether that item is worth looking into further. It can also help limit research options to something more manageable for those of us that are easily prone to choice paralysis. (Hello, fellow neurodivergent pagans!)

With all of this in mind, here is my quick and dirty “cheat sheet” for pagan wedding color symbolism, correspondences, and spiritual associations. I hope this will help other pagan brides, grooms, and spouses-to-be as they design their wedding celebrations, and as always I encourage you to use this post as a jumping off point for further research and reflection.

A Quick Note About Meaning

Not everything you include in your wedding needs to have a spiritual meaning attached to it. You can include things purely because you like them or think they’re cool. If you want to get married in a black dress because you think black wedding dresses look badass, that’s all the reason you need — you don’t have to know the associations of the color black in different pagan traditions. Your wedding choices can be exactly as deep and symbolic as you want them to be.

Color Symbolism

White is the traditional color for weddings in Western culture. And if that tradition is meaningful to you, by all means, include white in your wedding clothes and decorations! Most pagan faiths include some form of ancestor worship, and for many of us, the last several generations of our ancestors have had white weddings. Getting married in the same color dress (or tux, or other outfit) as your parents and grandparents can be very meaningful on its own. If you choose to get married in white to honor your ancestors and your culture, that’s a perfectly wonderful option.

White as “the wedding color” goes back at least to the Roman Republic. Historian Karen K. Hersch says that Roman grooms wore all white and that while brides wore a white tunic. We don’t know exactly what symbolism the color white had to Romans, but it may have represented purity or new beginnings.

Outside of Rome, white was actually uncommon as a color for wedding clothes until very recently. In medieval Europe, brides dressed in a variety of colors chosen based on personal preference. White didn’t become popular until 1840, when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in a white dress trimmed with lots of white lace. This wasn’t actually meant as a fashion statement — supposedly, the queen chose the dress she did to help out the English lace industry, which was struggling at the time. Fashionable brides rushed to copy the royal couple, and the rest is history. Associations with virginity didn’t come until after white wedding dresses became popular.

If you want to choose your wedding colors based on modern color associations, white is associated with purity, cleansing, new beginnings, healing, and spiritual growth. In some traditions, it is also associated with the full moon. In Wicca, white is associated with the Goddess.

Black is believed by many modern Westerners to be bad luck at weddings, mainly because it’s the main color we associate with death and funerals. It’s considered rude to wear black to someone else’s wedding. Even so, black wedding dresses have become a trend in the last few years as a bold, slightly edgy fashion statement.

Black wedding clothes date back to the Zhou Dynasty in China, where couples wore black to avoid violating clothing taboos related to gender and social class. In 17th century Spain, Catholic women got married in black silk dresses as a sign that they were committed to their husbands until death. Goth couples have been getting married in black for decades as a way of rejecting traditional values.

Black’s modern associations are protection, truth, night, outer space, banishing, and transition. Wiccan author Scott Cuningham says that black symbolizes “the ultimate source of divine energy,” and in some Feri traditions it is associated with Star Goddess.

Red is the color I chose to get married in, and it’s one of the most popular wedding colors across the globe. Red is the color of choice for wedding clothing in India and China. In China, red is the luckiest color and wearing it brings good fortune, especially when beginning something new.

Red may also have been one of the colors of choice for Roman weddings. Scholars are not sure what color the flammeum (bridal veil) was, but in at least one source it is described as sanguineum (blood red). Statius describes Juno, the goddess of women and marriage, giving a couple “sacred bonds” that were colored white and red. To Romans, red may have symbolized future generations, the mixing of “bloodlines,” and/or the hearth of the couple’s new home.

Red also played a role in some Ancient Hellenic (Greek) weddings. Athenian brides wore veils of yellow (see below) or red, which represented fire. Some sources describe the flame-colored veils scaring away evil spirits that might interfere with the couple’s marriage.

While Norse culture didn’t have a dedicated “wedding color,” we know that red was a popular dye color for Norse women’s clothes. Many Norse brides probably got married in red, and red would be a historically accurate choice for a modern Heathen wedding.

Red’s modern associations are protection, the fire element, sex, romance, power, vitality, fertility, passion, courage, and good health. Scott Cunningham associates both red and orange with the God in his solar aspect.

Yellow may not be as popular with modern brides, but it has a long historic association with weddings. As previously mentioned, ancient Athenian brides wore a yellow or red veil on their wedding day, which represented fire and scared away evil spirits.

Yellow veils also played an important part in weddings in the Roman Republic. The flammeum, the bridal veil, was the single most important article of clothing in a Roman wedding — in fact, the Roman word for weddings, nuptiae, is connected to the act of veiling. While some sources describe the flammeum as blood red (see above), there is actually even more evidence for orange-yellow veils. Pliny the Elder compared the color of a bride’s veil to egg yolk. In cases where brides wore yellow veils, it was probably meant to protect them from evil spirits.

Yellow may also have been a popular color in pre-Christian Irish weddings. Although there doesn’t seem to have been a standard “wedding color” in Ireland, yellow was associated with blessings, good fortune, and protection, which would have made it an obvious choice for weddings. We know that yellow was one of the most popular colors for clothing in medieval Ireland, with sources describing clothes as “saffron.” Yellow clothing was so closely tied to Irish identity that it was actually banned under British occupation!

Yellow’s modern associations are success, inspiration, communication, mental clarity, divination, the element of air, charm, confidence, joy, and harmony. Gold has similar associations to yellow.

Blue is a beautiful color for weddings, and used to be much more common. In medieval Europe, blue was one of the most popular colors for wedding dresses because of its association with the Virgin Mary. By wearing Mary’s color at their weddings, brides emphasized their purity, virginity, and piety.

Blue’s modern associations are healing, stillness, peace, the water element, psychic abilities, truth, patience, understanding, devotion, wisdom, and the ocean. Scott Cunningham associates blue with the Goddess in her watery aspect.

Purple may have been one of the colors of choice for Hellenic weddings. Achilles Tatius describes a bride wearing a purple dress in his romance Leucippe and Clitophon. In the Roman Republic, purple was associated with manhood, and white togas with a purple hem were a sign of a boy coming of age.

In medieval Europe, purple was a color reserved for royalty, and it was actually illegal for people who weren’t royals to wear purple clothing.

Purple’s modern associations are mystery, magic, divine power, spiritual awareness, sentimentality, wisdom, strength, and progress. Scott Cunningham associates purple with a deepening connection to the God and Goddess.

Silver is another color that may have been part of Hellenic weddings. In Hesiod’s Theogony, Pandora is described wearing a silver dress at her wedding.

Silver’s modern associations are refinement, wealth, the moon, nobility, and sophistication. In Wiccan and other neopagan communities, silver is associated with the Goddess in her lunar aspect.

Green is a popular wedding color for modern pagans, especially those who follow a nature-based path. It represents the lush fertility of the earth and is connected to fertility spirits like the Green Man.

It’s important to note that green used to be considered an unlucky color for weddings, especially in Celtic cultures. This is because of the color’s close connection to Fairy. Green was considered the Other Crowd’s color, and wearing it could attract their attention in a negative way.

Green’s modern associations are nature, plants, the earth element, money, wealth, prosperity, good luck, growth, rejuvenation, nurturing, and good health.

Pink may not have been very popular with ancient cultures (although some sources describe the Roman flammeum as a reddish-pink), but it is one of the colors most strongly associated with romantic love in modern popular culture. Pink is a soft, romantic, dreamy color, and is perfect for sweet, intimate weddings.

Pink is associated with romantic love, friendship, self love, compassion, playfulness, sweetness, emotional well-being, unity, honor, and spiritual healing.


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