Kristen Leigh Conklin


A Color Adventure

Emily Donegan used to love wearing shades of gray and black. Then last year she won our contest, featuring a pre-wedding color and style consultation for her and her mom with Wendy Jacobs’s House of Colour in Vineyard Haven. After realizing which colors look best on her, the bride-to-be from Michigan made some key color changes for her fall wedding to Nathan Williams at West Tisbury’s Lambert’s Cove Inn.

“I was having a very difficult time choosing my color scheme,” Emily says. “I had originally considered going with charcoal as part of my main color scheme and also for the color of my bridesmaid dresses, but learned from Wendy that it would actually drown me out.”

Emily discovered she looks best in warm, bright spring colors. The first step in Wendy’s service as a consultant with House of Colour, a company based in England, is a color analysis. She holds up fabric swatches in shades categorized by season – spring, summer, autumn, and winter – to see which look the most flattering, based on skin tone.

“The best colors for me are actually warm tones such as golden hues rather than cool colors like charcoal and other grays,” Emily says. “I decided to go with gold/champagne, blush pink, for our wedding colors.”

Emily’s mother, Kathy, found out her colors come from the autumn palette. Since spring and fall are yellow-based colors (summer and winter are blue-based), Emily and Kathy have some common ground on the color wheel, so Kathy chose a gold dress for the wedding.

The second part of the consultation (a $1,200 value for the mother-daughter full bridal experience) addressed style. Through a combination of factors such as body type and personality, Wendy determines an archetypal style for clients – they relate to iconic character types such as queen, cowgirl, and sprite. Wendy peppers the daylong session with tips (your clothing neckline should mimic your jawline), and once she knows a client’s season and style, she makes specific recommendations for just about everything that influences how to dress, from fabrics and shoes to jewelry and makeup.

Both Emily and Kathy are a combination of two styles: Emily is a “natural ingénue” and Kathy is a “natural romantic.” Wendy explains the ingénue is the princess (think feminine, delicate, pretty) and the romantic is the fairy godmother (glamorous, soft, flirty). The “natural” they share can be expressed with more textured fabrics or a free-flowing hairstyle.
In addition to influencing color choices at the wedding, what Emily and Kathy learned can impact the rest of their lives. Wendy says of Emily: “I’m releasing her inner princess.”

“The session was such a wonderful, eye-opening experience and really gave me the confidence to try out new styles and colors,” says Emily. “Taking Wendy’s advice, I immediately began to wear bright spring colors and clothes that best suited my body’s natural lines – I received a ton of compliments at work right away!”