Ideas for Decorating a Wedding Arch

Crystal Schwanke
Palm frond arch for a beach wedding

If you need ideas on decorating a wedding arch, you're not alone. It can be intimidating to look at the bare arch straight from the store and try to envision the perfect frame for your impending union. It will be in pictures and within your guests' view for the extent of the ceremony, so you want it to look its best and tie in delightfully with the rest of your decorations and your tastes as a couple.

Find the Arch

Before you have to worry too much about finding ideas on decorating a wedding arch, you'll have to find the bare arch itself. But where to look? Try the following places:

  • Michael's
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Other major craft stores

Those will offer the traditional metal arches. Other options include:

  • Get a family member to build one for you out of wood
  • Check rental shop for a wood arch.
  • Rent one if you're planning a destination wedding-they can be made of bamboo, for example. Keep in mind the charge may be extravagant, so if you can do it yourself or have someone make one for you, you should probably go that route.
  • There are a few different arch styles and chuppahs. You can choose from:
    • The Square Tube Arch, which is a no-frills, practical design
    • The Sweetheart Panel Arch, a more romantic, but still simple type
    • The Classic Arch, which, as the name suggests, is a classic style
    • The Multiple Arches, which, as the name implies, is a group of three arches connected together

    Some Ideas on Decorating a Wedding Arch


    Balloons may sound gaudy, but we're not talking about big, brightly colored balloons. These balloons can be white or pastel in color to blend with the tulle (if you choose to have it) on the arch and look like pearls. It's classy but not floral. If you go for an unusual approach-a surprise wedding under the guise of your birthday party-you may want to use big colored balloons to stick with the theme.

    Flowers and Foliage

    Wedding arch decorated with ivy garlands and tulle
    Flowers and foliage are best left to the professionals. This is more of a traditional arch look than an unusual one, but it's still a goody. If you cover the whole thing, it'll look especially magical. The flowers will just appear to float in midair.
  • For a fall wedding, use urns (to "plant" the arch in), then decorate with cattails, apples, chrysanthemums, and fake leaves. If your bridesmaid's dresses are rust, burgundy, or rich green, it will all blend nicely.
  • For a woodsy wedding, get down to earth with branches on the sides and ferns at the bottom. This is a way to introduce nature without going too flowery.
  • For a Christmas wedding use pine and fir branches, white lights, and poinsettias. Attach the branches first, string up the lights around the length of the arch, and slip in the poinsettias. You may even want to introduce a few other Christmas ornaments.
  • For a beach wedding, hang organza from the top so it floats freely in the breeze. Add starfish and seashells. An alternative is using palm tree fronds across the top and along the sides. This makes a slightly angular silhouette.
  • Leave it bare and dark, gothic-style. In this case, the arch is dark and angular, plus it's barely adorned. This style is the anti-traditional one.


Wedding arches are not mandatory, of course, but they can add a flair of beauty to your wedding location. Don't stress about doing it yourself if you don't know how to design one on your own. Enlist the help of family members, friends, or professionals. Don't be afraid to go for non-traditional materials, either. If you've only heard of using metal arches but none of them seem to fit your ideal, have one constructed - of wood, of bamboo, or of some other material you choose. Finding just the right ideas on decorating a wedding arch can help you find the perfect way to frame your I do's.

Was this page useful?
Ideas for Decorating a Wedding Arch