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Making Pantone’s 2018 Colour of the Year, Ultra Violet work for you!

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

According to Pantone the 2018 colour of the year is Ultra Violet. I’ve read that various cake makers and others in the wedding industry were gutted when this was released, as being asked for “Cadbury’s” purple is not normally associated with up to date design ideas.

So can a purple wedding be hip, cool and on trend? I’m completely convinced that it can, so long as it’s used well.

I’ve done a good old bit of Pinterest research to show that Ultra Violet can be Ultra Cool. And although shades of violet aren’t my personal go to colour of choice, since doing this research, I’m becoming hooked! There are so many hues in this area of colour which can inspire incredible wedding schemes and it doesn’t need to be lilac or Cadbury’s purple.

I saw these beautiful donuts decorated with fresh edible flowers on Instagram last year and a bit of stalking revealed that their maker; Nectar and Stone has the most incredible edibles, including many featuring ultraviolet hues.

The drinks and ice cream cone are both by Nectar and Stone. Blossom confetti by Shropshire Petals

I love the use of delicate edible flowers on the donuts and drinks. I’m lucky to have a rather brilliant grower of beautiful micro herbs and flowers right here in Norfolk. I’m determined to get some of these edible flowers from Nurtured in Norfolk onto my cakes this year.

Mood Boards

I used to make mood boards when I was art art college, it was always a starting point for gathering visual inspiration, colours, textures and materials. Only recently I’ve started making mood boards to gather resources that inspire me with ideas for new cake designs. It helps to see things together rather than my usual sporadic photos and note books full of ideas. Here are few digital mood boards I put together with Ultra Violet in mind.

I’m totally loving the use of agate slices as place cards here, linking beautifully with the amethyst geode cake.

Combining Colours

With my art and design background combining colours comes naturally to me but throughout my years of teaching and while talking and working with clients, I realise that this is not the case for everyone. If you struggle with putting colours together my advice would always be to look to nature first. Even the most unusual colour pairings which might sound a bit out there, have almost certainly been done before by mother nature! I was once asked to make a cake in a ladies favourite colours; orange and purple. At first I couldn’t think how I could make them work together but just typing ‘orange and purple colour scheme’ into Google Images brings up a whole host of interesting visual resources for inspiration. And top of the list was this stunning crocus.

By Mellie Blossom on Pinterest

On the subject of flowers, Sharon from Flower3o shared images on her blog of a photoshoot in the stunning Norfolk Lavender fields last summer. Check out some of her stunning floral arrangements:

Flowers: Flower30 Venue: Norfolk Lavender Photography: Big Phat photography

Flowers: Flower30 Venue: Norfolk Lavender Photography: Big Phat photography

I adore the little yellow ball flowers that Sharon has used in the gorgeous bouquet above, I can never remember what they are called but I have several bunches of them around my house. Yellow is the complementary colour to purple (opposite to each other on the colour wheel) and when put together this combination really pops!

Awesome Aubergine

I love these deep aubergine hues with a punctuation of acid yellow:

These cakes use dark aubergine in their floral arrangements against a clean contrasting background.  

Pinterest is the perfect place to look if you want to see how to work with different colours. A colour as strong as Ultra Violet can be seen as a bold choice and many may think that it needs to be paired with something more tame like white or silver. However the latest luxe Wedding looks with sumptuous rich colours, fabrics and textures are much more daring in their use of colours like deep purple.

Purple hues work brilliantly with metallics like gold or copper, or the wedding favourite; Rose Gold.

Or you could go for a full on colour explosion like these fabulous images:

Glorious Glaze

Just before I finish, I can’t write a post about ultra violet without putting in a mirror glaze cake.  I’ve been dying to have a go at a mirror glazed cake especially after seeing such extreme perfection in my Instagram feed by the likes of Amaury Guichon and @glanez_cake



These mirror glazed cakes are incredible and really rock the violet vibe.

How about some marbled cookie favours in Ultra Violet with edible gold splatters?

So I’m adding Ultra Violet to my 2018 Want To Do List. If you’re a bold bride or gregarious groom and fancy something a little different to the rustic woodland theme or crisp white ruffles, get in touch so we can embrace the year of Ultra Violet!

*I still love a woodland wedding and I’m all for classy classics so if this your style, then definitely still get in touch 🙂

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