Purple Passion

Once a hue so rare and expensive that only the rich and powerful could afford it, this shade still holds court.

Is there any hue as viscerally and historically rich as the shade of purple? Lolling on the color spectrum between essential blue and bold red, purple has long been associated with powerful leaders and royalty.

The first evidence of the hue dates back to 1900 B.C. on the island of Crete. Archeologists discovered an ancient purple dye trade in Phoenicia (which means land of the purple in Ancient Greek). Part of purple's mystique was rooted in the fact that is a very rare color, difficult to produce outside of the natural world. Back in 1600 B.C., it could only be derived from mollusks. It is said that it took more than 12,000 shells to produce just 1.5 grams of dye. In other words, decorating with purple at your wedding sets the tone that you're hosting a majestic affair.

Thankfully, we've come a long way in sourcing textiles, flowers, tabletop and paper goods we can use in the violaceous category. In fact, under the rubric of purple, one can find a plethora of shades that apply. We've collected 13 shining examples that deserve a bow.

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