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Pantone Picked Two Colors for 2021 — & We Picked Our Favorite Coordinating Events

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Yes, sure it’s the holidays, but we’re referring to the release of Pantone’s “Color of the Year.” Each year, the trend-setting brand releases their prediction of “the” hue for the year to come. 

And after the year we’ve had in 2020, we’re ready for a little forward-looking inspiration. Our friends at Pantone obliged with not one but two colors for 2021: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating.

Ultimate Gray is neutral and calming. It’s the color of the sky after the storm has passed as well as the sun-warmed rocks at the edge of the shore. It’s a hue that plays well with others, which makes it the perfect foil for its bright yellow partner in 2021.

Illuminating is all energy and light. It’s the embodiment of happiness in color form. The hue makes us think of bright summer mornings, a perfectly-ripe lemon, the shade of a dress that stands out in a crowded room. 

This isn’t the first time we’ve been wowed by these hues though — we’ve been oohing and aahing over gray and yellow-saturated events for some time. And we’re here to bring you some inspiration in the form of our favorite celebrations. 

Scroll to see 32 weddings, birthday parties, corporate events, baby showers, Bar and Bat Mitzvah parties, and more real celebrations highlighting these chic shades that represent Pantone’s Colors of the Year. Then start planning for a better 2021.

Ultimate Gray Celebrations

Ultimate Gray is neutral and calming.

1. 60 Shades of Gray

Studio 54 Birthday Celebration at The Country Club at Mirasol in Palm Beach Gardens, FL

photographer: Nina Sutherland Photography | event planner: Creative Touch Party Design | design, décor & floral: Richard Grille Events | venue: The Country Club at Mirasol

2. Gray Sets the Scene

photographer: Mariel Hannah Photo | event designer & planner: The Elegant Ninja | venue: Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyards

3. Serve Up Chic with Gray Hues

Gray Accented Invitations and Print

photo courtesy of & invitations & print: Katie & Co | reception venue: Petroleum Club of Houston | ceremony venue: Annunciation Catholic Church

4. A Stunning Wedding Full of Gray Areas

photographer: Justin DeMutiis | event planner: Tracie Domino Events | floral & décor: MMD Events

5. Gorgeous Gray Draped Wedding Arch

Modern Floral Wedding at the Miami Beach Edition in Miami Beach, FL

photographer: Freire Wedding Photo | event planner: Carrie Zack Events | décor & florals: Jose Graterol Designs | venue: Miami Beach Edition

6. Wedding that Married Gray Seating & Linen with Clouds of Pink

photographer: Paula O’Haraband | event planner: Tara Fay Events | design: GK Design Ltd | florals: Appassionata | band: ALR Music | furniture & linen: Total Event Rental | catering: The Yellow Door | reception music: The London Essentials | tent: Eventus Marquees | glassware & crockery: White House Event Crockery | stationery: Appleberry Press | videography: The Story of Eve

7. Sweet Suite in Gray

Sophisticated Tented Wedding in Elkhorn, WI

photographer: Christy Tyler Photography | event planner: LK Events | floral: Madison Wedding Flowers | church: St Patrick’s Church | entertainment: Arlen Music Productions | linen: BBJ Linen | caterer: Saz’s Catering | rentals: Lakes Area Rental | videography: Corey Lillard | bakery: Lakeland Bakery | transportation: Lamers Bus Lines

8. Modern Grayscale

Romantic Gray + Pink Wedding

photographer: Kent Drake Photography | event planner: Shannon Gail Events | décor: Event Creative | venue: Venue SIX10 | caterer: Blue Plate Catering | entertainment: Chicago Catz | room block: The Palmer House Hilton

9. Don’t Forget to Eat Your Grays

photographer: Kistina Lee Photography | event production: The Little Gray Book | florals: AOO Events | entertainment (band): The Replicas Music | entertainment (body painting): Champagne Creative Group | entertainment (dj): Luxury DJs | caterer: Taste Of Pace

Illuminating Celebrations

Illuminating is all energy and light. It’s the embodiment of happiness in color form.

10. Florals & Fun in the Sun

photographer: Gideon Photography | event design & coordination: Amorology | florals: Tint And Timber | tent: Classic Event & Tent Rentals | linens: La Tavola Fine Linen | caterer: Room Forty | table top rentals: The Hostess Haven | rentals: Folklore Rentals | save the dates: Amber Moon Design | cake: Hey There, Cupcake! | graphic design: Peanut Press Creative | calligraphy: Nancy Hopkins Handlettering | dj: Dan Malvanie | backdrops: Back Up Backdrops | videographer: Cloudless Wed

11. Get Mellow in Yellow

Yellow & Pink Summer-Themed Bat Mitzvah

photographer: Melanie Reyes Photography | event planner, entertainment, & activities : Star Trax Events | décor: Mandell Display Design | venue: Orchard Lake Country Club

12. This Launch Was the Zest

photo courtesy of & event production: Harley & Company | venue: Studio 525 NYC

13. Something Yellow

Simplistic White & Yellow Wedding at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia in

photography: One Fine Day Photography | event planner: Sally Arnold Events | venue: Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia

14. Everything is Illuminated

photographer & videographer: Sarah Merians Photography & Video Company | venue: Tribeca 360

15. A Wedding That Had Us at Yellow

Glistening Gold Floral Wedding

photographer: Lauren Nievod Photography | venue: Sagamore Pendry Baltimore

16. When Life Hands You Lemons, Make a Party

photographer: M by Michaela Photography | event planning & design: C’est Belle Events | design, décor & floral: Say Sukii

17. This Corporate Event Stole the Spotlight (Twice)

Sarankco Celebrating a Decade!

photo courtesy of, design, décor & floral: Twenty Three Layers (23 Layers)

18. If You’re Yellow, We’re Yellow

photographer: Jan Birch Photography | planning & design: Pardi Events | venue: Candela La Brea | dj/production: The One Up Group

19. Pucker Up & Party

photography: Phylicia Duncombe Photography | event planning + design: KeAira Chantell Events | floral design: The Simon Design | stationery: Papered Wonders | cake topper + drink stirrers: Ten23 Designs | cake: Deja vu Sweets | catering: Sensory Delights Catering | backdrop: Just By Design

20. Let There Be Light (As Long as We’re Under a Chic Umbrella)

Romantic Beachfront Wedding at Coral Beach & Tennis Club in Hamilton, Bermuda

photographer: Gavin Howarth Photography | event planner: Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli | floral: Susan Stipling | venue: Coral Beach & Tennis Club | entertainment: EastCoast Entertainment | invitations: Chick Invitations & Design | lighting: Great Sound Lighting & Audio Visuals | sound: Sound Concepts | rental: Ambiance Rentals and Class Act Designs | linen: Nuage Designs

21. Around the World in 80 Rays

photography: Jamie Reinhart Photography | florals: Lee Forrest Design | venue: The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes | rentals: Nuage Designs | signage: Chalk Shop

22. A Wedding is a Light of Passage

photographer: Two Birds Photography | floral & décor: Fragrant Design | venue: Galleria Marchetti | linen rental: BBJ Linen

23. A Bright Bar Backdrop

Mid-Century Modern 50th Birthday Celebration

photographer: Cory Ryan Photography | event planner & designer: Brock + Co. Events | catering: Contigo Catering | rentals: Townsley DesignsStrong Events & Premiere Events | dj: DJ Lucy Wrubel

24. Goldenrod Glamour

photographer: Phillip Van Nostrand Photography | event planner: José Rolón Events

25. Brighten Up the Outdoors with Yellow

Ribbit SiFi

photography: Vanessa Tierney Photography | event planner: Twenty Three Layers (23 Layers) | florals: Farmgirl Flowers | venue: Cavallo Point | rentals: Blueprint Studios | rentals: Shelter Co. | gifting: Marigold + Gray

26. Highlight Your Memories

photography: Clane Gessel Photography | planning & production: NYLUX Events | design and florals: Patrick J Clayton Productions | venues: Carnegie Hall & Ramscale| catering: Thomas Preti Events to Savor & Constellation Culinary Group | rentals: Taylor Creative Inc.

27. Sunny Hamptons Gala

photo courtesy of & event planner: Kraft Events | event designer: Ed Libby Events | lighting: Frost Productions | party rentals: Party Rental Ltd. | catering: Laurence Craig Catering | tenting: Alamar Party Rentals

The Magic of Both Ultimate Gray with Illuminating at Celebrations

Our friends at Pantone obliged with not one but two colors for 2021: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating.

28. Branding with a (Citrus) Twist & a Side of Slate

photographer: Ross Daniels Photography | event design, lighting & furniture: Pink Monkey Solutions | venue: Shlomo’s Aspen

29. Here Comes the Sun(flower)

Natalie + Matthew, Gadsen House

photo courtesy of & florals : Tiger Lily Weddings | planner & design: KHSG

30. Sunny Side Up

photographer: Braedon Photography | event planner: Brooke Keegan Special Events | floral: Olive Willow Designs | venue: Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa | timeline: TIMED

31. Gray & Gold Grace

Stunning Summer Wedding at the St.Regis in Atlanta, Georgia

photographer: NJM Photography | event planner, design, décor & floral: Legendary Events | venue: St. Regis Atlanta

32. Arty Dinner Party in Yellow & Gray

photographer: Sun Gold Photography | destination management & event producer: Capers DMC | floral: Wilkinson Rhodes | venue: The Pearl Stables

33. Soak Up the Sunny Lounge

Beautiful B'nai Mitzvah for 2 Sisters at Home

photographer: Mark Kornbluth | event planner: Pink House Productions | dj/entertainment: Gotham Events NYC