How to Decorate Your Wedding Arches or Ceremony Altar

How to Decorate Your Wedding Arches or Ceremony Altar

How to Decorate Your Wedding Arches or Ceremony Altar

Create a visual statement with a unique wedding arch for your ceremony! Check out these meaningful ways to decorate wedding arches.

So you’re planning a wedding and you want to make it look beautiful on a budget. One of the best ways to get the most bang for your buck is to create focal points in your ceremony and reception. Unique wedding arches have become a big trend among modern weddings and are almost iconic in nature.

The wedding arch serves as a backdrop for the ceremony altar, where couples exchange their vows. The ceremony altar is highly photographed, which means that they are a perfect detail to decorate and make stand out. There are so many unique and customizable ideas for wedding arch decoration, such as wedding flowers, greenery, fabric, and so much more. You can take your decor a step further by choosing an arch or altar that holds symbolic meaning. Read on to check out some of creative ideas and suggestions for putting together affordable, meaningful, and beautiful wedding arches!

Meaningful ways to decorate your wedding arches or altar

The Charlotte Garland from Something Borrowed Blooms

Greenery and Flowers

Decorating your wedding arches with greenery and flowers is a hot trend. Not into DIY and can’t afford a pricey natural flower garland? Check out the done for you designer silk garlands from Something Borrowed Blooms! Whether you choose fresh or faux, floral or greenery, the effect is sure to be natural and lovely. Greenery such as ivory is known as a symbol of perennial life and immortality. It may also represent dependence and attachment, which can be seen in the way it climbs trees and buildings to get sunlight. Using this concept as a backdrop gives a strong metaphor for marriage. It will tell your guests that your wedding day is just the start of your growth together and will continue throughout eternity.

etsy wedding arch
AnniesCreek on Etsy

Natural Wood

Incorporating natural wood elements into your ceremony arch is another lovely idea. The willow tree has a long history of symbolism rooted in spirituality and cultural traditions. There are references to the willow tree in Celtic and Christian traditions, among others. One of the most valuable traits of the willow tree is its flexibility. The willow tree is one of the few trees that are capable of bending in outrageous poses without snapping. This can be a powerful metaphor for demonstrating how flexible you must be in a relationship to make it last. There are many winds of adversity in life and your relationship may weather some storms. But if you are rooted and grounded, you can sway together with the winds.

amazon dream registry

Wooden Doors

Wooden doors with flowers will make a lovely backdrop for a wedding ceremony. Doors and doorways have been symbolic across cultures for as long as history has been recorded. A door is both an entrance and an exit, which is ripe with symbolism at the start of a marriage. Starting your lives together is like entering a new phase that will give you a deeper and more enriching life. You are no longer alone, but two people traveling together.

How to decorate wedding arches - fabric backdrop
Photo by Marissa Kay

Fabric Wedding Altar

Fabric can be an affordable solution for your wedding ceremony arch or altar. You can choose a fabric type that feels meaningful to you and personalize the color to coordinate with your wedding details. Basic white is always a great option, as it is classic and timeless. You can easily rent DIY pipe and drape backdrops from one of our favorite decor rental sites, RentMyWedding!

Decorate wedding backdrop or arches with string lights

String Lights Wedding Backdrop

There’s just something magical about twinkly lights. The warm glow given off by the lights adds feelings of closeness and romance. If you want to create a heavenly scene that will leave your guests feeling the love and magic, something as simple as bistro lights can create an incredible backdrop.

Copper Pipe With Flowers

Perhaps a Copper Minimalist Backdrop with flowers or greenery should be your choice. You can opt for a certain flower depending on the significance or meaning you’d like to be associated with it. Copper, as an element, is rich with symbolism itself. It embodies such characteristics as love, balance, beauty, and artistic creativity, all of which are important in the start of a new relationship.


You may want to consider hanging matching lanterns on your wedding ceremony arches or as a backdrop. Paper lanterns are said to symbolize the wish for a bright future. As such, they make a great detail to include in your wedding decor. In addition, the Chinese believe that while red is a symbol of happiness, gold is a symbol of wealth. This idea is a fanciful way of creating a backdrop that signifies a marriage with a bright future. Lanterns combined with greenery can be a reminder of the real purpose of marriage: joining together to make a wonderful future.

We hope this has given you some inspiration for your own arch decor. Take a thoughtful approach to your wedding ceremony arch or altar to make it extra meaningful! Happy planning!

join our communityDue to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.

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