Wedding decorations: Decorated wedding arch ideas
Decorating ideas for wedding arches, including traditional flower, beach, backyard and other themes.
If you are planning your wedding ceremony at a non-religious site, such as a garden or outdoor deck, or at a religious site that does not have an altar, it is a good idea to provide visual focus to the vow exchange by using a wedding arch. The arch can provide a decorative backdrop to the ceremony, which will enhance your wedding pictures and can be used to set the mood for your reception. While many rental companies will provide a rental arch for anywhere from $20-100, you can make your own decorated wedding arch for a fraction of the cost. As an added bonus, you can save the arch to use in your garden after the ceremony as a romantic keepsake of your special day.
The first step is finding an arch to decorate. Wooden arches can be found at local hardware and home supply stores for as little as $20, or even less during a sale. While it is ideal to find an arch in the color you would like to use as a backdrop (the most common choice is white wood), remember that you can always paint the arch a different color. When choosing an arch, remember that you will need to transport it to the ceremony location, so while a wooden arch might be beautiful, it might be impractical for transporting to and from the ceremony. A more practical choice is a metal garden arch, available through local or online retailers. A metal arch is not only lighter for easier transport, but they also come in a variety of scrollwork designs that add a decorative touch. Look for metal arches with an enamel finish for durability. Also look at how stable the arch is; if it is easily tipped over, you may need to anchor it with stakes and wire for the ceremony to prevent it from tipping over.
The next step is to decide how to decorate the arch. Arch decorations should reflect the mood of your ceremony and reception. The following ideas outline wedding arch decorations for a variety of wedding themes with different levels of formality.
The formal affair
Green ivy is a traditional symbol of loyalty and wedded love, and provides a contrasting dark backdrop to lighter flowers. For a traditional arch, purchase silk ivy vines from your local craft store, and wind the vines through the arch. Next, wind the stalks of silk white roses and baby’s breath around the ivy vine at intervals. Alternatively, purchase roses on green vines (also available at craft stores and online) and wind the vine around the arch. For a bit more color, choose roses in a shade that match the bridal or bridesmaid’s flowers. To achieve a lush look, wrap several vines along the top and sides of the arch, then add a floral swag arrangement in the center of the arch as a focal arrangement. If your wedding is at dusk or in the evening, add a string of white lights into the greenery for a touch of sparkle.
The backyard wedding
For a less formal affair, there are a number of fun alternatives to the traditional rose-decorated arch. For a country-themed wedding, wrap the arch with daisies or sunflowers, in addition to a green vine background. For a truly home affair, use flowers from the garden to decorate the arch.
The romantic wedding
Nothing says romance at a wedding more than tulle. To incorporate tulle, loosely wrap a swath of tulle around the arch, then add a floral swag to the center of the arch. Anchor the tulle with white ribbon tied into decorative bows.
The beach wedding
The wedding arch is a crucial portion of a beach wedding, as it provides a physical focal point for the ceremony. Instead of the traditional roses, decorate the arch with a mix of tropical flowers. Add a set of lit tiki torches around the arch, and you have a colorful, romantic centerpiece for your wedding ceremony. Alternatively, wrap the arch with white tulle and attach seashells at intervals with a hot glue gun.
Rather than use flowers to decorate the arch, an inexpensive alternative is to use ribbons in colors the complement the color theme of the wedding flowers and reception decorations. Choose thin ribbon that can be tied in bows around the arch, and leave the ends to dangle 10-12” below the arch. As a focal point, use wider ribbon to create a larger bow at the center of the arch, with its ties hanging down as well. For a classic romantic look, use all white ribbon. The ends of the ribbon will sway n the breeze, adding a romantic look to your ceremony.
The non-traditional arch
One addition to the traditional wedding arch that is growing in popularity is the use of box planters on each side to anchor the arch. In addition to decorating the arch, you can add decorative plants and/or flowers to the planters to add another level of decoration to your arch.