The wedding ceremony is the most important part of your wedding day. It is where you publicly proclaim your commitment to each other – it is why we have weddings.

Such a significant moment needs to have a focal point and in an outdoor wedding there is nothing that will anchor the space more than a wedding arch.

It frames the two of you as you are saying your vows and is the backdrop for when you first face your guests as husband and wife. It is also probably the most photographed decoration on the day so a little bit of thought needs to go into what you are going to have and how it will be decorated.

This simple draping and flowers and foliage from the garden

Wedding arches can be simple and elegant or as elaborate as you like and should reflect who you are as a couple and set the decoration theme for the entire event.

This does not have to cost the earth. With a little planning you can create the arbour you want within your budget.

Here are a few tips to help you decide what you are going to have and how you will bring it together. 

  • Do some research look at different styles of arches and how they are decorated- Then decide on the look you want, listing all the elements of the design.
  • Decide if you or a trusted friend or family member could do DIY installation or are you going to engage a florist/stylist to complete the project.

If you are engaging a florist discuss with them what you want and let them do their magic.

Don’t be daunted by the DIY. Simple arch decorations can be quite easy to do yourself or if you have a capable friend or family member.

 I have seen a couple where the bride purchased the fabric for draping and made up the flower arrangements the day before the wedding. The groom made a simple timber arbour and then he and bride’s father put it together the morning of the wedding – there were lots of phone pictures going back and forth to make sure they got it right and it looked stunning.

If you want to go down the DIY road then a few decisions need to be made:

  • What type of arch/arbour?
  • Where will you get the arch from? Do you buy it, make it or hire it? Maybe your venue has one that they will allow you to use – we do at The Secret Garden!
  • Are you including draping? Does the venue supply this? If not you will need to purchase it. To determine the length to buy you will need to know the dimension of the arch and allow extra for sways and spills at the bottom if needed. 
  • Do you want any other adornments?
  • Do you want foliage and/ or flowers?
  • Are you using fresh foliage and flowers or fake? Fake are easy, you can purchase them weeks in advance, do the styling on the arch the day before and they can be attached to the arbour simply with wire or cable ties.

If you are working with real flowers and foliage, then this can be little trickier.

Here are some things you need to think about with regards to fresh foliage and flowers:

  • Where are you getting your flowers from – wholesaler, florist, local flower farm or can you access foliage and flowers from friends and family’s gardens.
  • All flowers and foliage will need to be purchased/ gathered at least the day before the wedding and conditioned well before arranging.
  • Are you using floral foam or a free form arrangement? Again, this is often dependant on weather.
  • Using floral foam will allow the flowers to last longer meaning the arch can be decorated earlier in the day.
  • A free form arrangement needs well-conditioned foliage and flowers and will need to be completed as late as possible before the ceremony to keep everything looking fresh.
  • If the weather is predicted to be very hot and/ or windy then doing the arch as late as possible would always be a good idea.

So, once you have decided on the arch you want and what you need to decorate it with and where you are getting everything, then all you then need to do is decide who will be putting it all together and when.

Allowing extra draping to flow across the ground adds a romantic touch

Here at The Secret Garden we have a simple wooden arbour and white draping that couples can use as part as their package and we encourage couples to use foliage and flowers from the garden in the decorating. If you’re interested in learning more about what packages we offer couples in the garden, then please get in touch here.

Next on the blog – a step by step on how to decorate your wedding arch!