wedding arch idea for a forest wedding

22 Wedding Arch Ideas for the Dreamiest Ceremony

Jun 19, 2023
By Wedding Spot

The wedding arch is one of the most iconic elements of any wedding ceremony, so making sure it’s as unique and special as you are is a must! It not only sets the scene for your big day, but will also form the backdrop for all those magical wedding photos. Whether you want to go big and bold or simple and subtle, the options are pretty much endless. Here are 22 absolutely stunning wedding arch ideas to inspire you, no matter what theme your wedding will be!

22 wedding arch ideas for any theme or style

There are three ways to get your hands on a wedding arch. You can buy it, DIY it, or partner with a vendor to make it come to life. For this article we interviewed a few different wedding experts to get their hot tips on what makes or breaks a wedding arch.

Jason Anderson, Co-Founder of Life Line Wedding, had this to say about wedding arch ideas in general:

“You can make your own from wood or even PVC pipes if you want something light and easy to assemble. To make sure it looks cohesive with the rest of your decor, you’ll need some decorations, such as tulle or burlap for draping on top, white string lights draped through branches or trees in the background, and any other finishing touches that will tie everything together.”

Not that handy with a glue gun? Anderson says there are plenty of budget-friendly versions at a store near you.

“With modern technology making anything possible nowadays, there are also many ready-to-use wedding arches available at stores like Target or Walmart,” shares Anderson. “Most of these come preassembled so all you have to do is add your preferred decorations! A popular trend right now is having one made out of faux flowers that double up as awesome décor pieces after the ceremony has finished.”

And don’t forget about vendors! Florists, wedding planners, and even your wedding venues may offer some beautiful no-fuss, no-muss wedding arches for you. Just make sure you communicate with everyone.

Wedding photography expert Kelsey Waddell from Wedding Pioneer told Wedding Spot our readers should “ensure that their wedding planner or venue can accommodate the arch setup and takedown—they won’t want to have to manage the arch on their big day!”

And now without further ado: our top wedding arch ideas!

1. Traditional arches

For a timeless classic, you can't go wrong with a traditional, white wedding arch. This classic style is suitable for virtually any wedding theme and can be dressed up or down to suit your personal preferences. Delicate fabrics, fresh white roses, and trailing vines will give your arch a romantic and traditional look, while more modern elements such as bold colors and geometric shapes can add an unexpected twist.

2. Rustic arches

If you are looking for a rustic yet romantic vibe, then a wooden arch is the perfect choice. A wood arch looks great decorated with strings of fairy lights, rustic flowers and foliage, burlap fabric, and more. Alternatively, an old rustic wooden barn door can be repurposed into an arch. Scale up the look with neutral fabric draping and trailing plants or create a subtler, minimalist take with a single arrangement of greenery.

3. Whimsical arches

Create a truly magical entrance for your ceremony with a whimsical arch. Fill it with paper flowers and fairy lights for a wow-factor entrance. For an extra twist, add colorful ribbons, bunting, and flags beneath the arch. Or transform your arch into an enchanted forest with lots of greenery, lush florals, and strands of twinkly lights. For the final finishing touches, opt for glittering butterflies, pendant music notes, or little hanging love notes.

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4. Floral arches

Embrace the beauty of nature with a floral arch. Large statement florals in a selection of colors will give your arch a wow-factor and ensure it stands out on your big day. You can pair your flowers with other decorative elements like chiffon fabrics to help soften the look or strings of twinkling lights for a truly romantic feel.

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5. Industrial arches

If you are looking for something totally unique and totally Instagrammable, then an industrial arch could be just the thing. Create a modern entrance with an arch made from metal pipes and beams and dress it up with strings of industrial-inspired bulbs. Or pair your metal frame with reclaimed wood that’s been painted white or even dipped in glitter. To up the wow-factor, add in some oversized industrial globes with foliage and lights.

6. Wooden arches

Wooden arches bring a beautiful charm to your ceremony. It’s easy to create this look with some simple wooden framing, adding in your own decorations such as fabric draping, blooms, and trailing vines. You could even use reclaimed wood to make your arch extra special. Embellish your arch with a garland of strings of twinkling lights or dangling crystals for an extra special touch.

7. Vintage arches

Bring some flair to your ceremony with a vintage-inspired arch. A white wooden arbor can be dressed up with pieces such, as chandeliers, beautiful antique altar pieces, and handkerchief lace. If you’re after something more detailed, try adding some delicate vintage fabric along with feathered elements and old-fashioned mason jars filled with wildflowers.

8. Fabric or paper garland arches

Add character to your arch with strings of fabric or paper garlands. Whether you opt for solid colors or bold patterns, fabric garlands will make your arch look fun and whimsical. Or you can use strings of paper garlands in all different colors to brighten up your ceremony entrance.

9. Balloon arches

Balloon arches are beautiful and surprisingly easy to create for your wedding. Choose from bold colors, bright straws, or mini balloons for a delicate touch. You can also personalize them with special messages or go for a rainbow plume made from multiple different colors.

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10. Organic or natural material arches

Bring nature into your ceremony arch with organic materials like branches, sticks, or logs. Incorporating natural elements will give your space a beautiful outdoorsy feel—perfect for a bohemian or woodland-inspired wedding theme. Dangle some paper lanterns, fairy lights, or hand cut paper stars to lend an even more magical atmosphere.

11. Metal and wire frame arches

Modernize your wedding arch with metal elements—think wire frames, ladders, and staircases topped off with lights and foliage. Or take on a more industrial look by disguising your frame in split wood and metal pieces of all shapes and sizes. Personalize it further by adding signage or even framing pictures of you and your partner in the background.

12. Greenery and plant arches

Add a touch of nature to your arch with an eye-catching display of greenery and trailing plants, such as eucalyptus or ivy. For an even more impactful look, mix in some larger blooms (roses and hydrangeas are great for this). Or go whimsical by opting for lots of wildflowers dotted about in vintage vessels.

13. Light and airy fabric draping arches

Swath your arch in light flowing fabrics to create an elegant and delicate entrance way. Soft fabrics like chiffon or cotton are perfect for achieving this romantic vibe, while tulle will add some sparkle to your arch, especially when paired with pretty fairy lights. To take it to the next level, use ribbons to create beautiful bows attached to the poles of your arch.

14. Venue-specific and seasonal themed arches

Although it takes some extra effort to create these kinds of arches, if you want something totally unique, try designing an arch specifically suited to your venue or theme. You could incorporate ice sculptures in the winter, or warm hued fall foliage into your designs for an autumn wedding.

15. Beach wedding arches

For a beach wedding, keep things light and airy with an organic, natural-looking arch. Try lining bamboo poles with sea grass, shells, and starfish, or use distressed wood and white fabric draping for a breezy seaside feel. If you are looking for something bolder, you could opt for an arch adorned with tall pampas grasses, which will make a dramatic statement while also staying on theme.

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16. DIY wedding arches

If you’re looking for an inexpensive but personalized option for your wedding day, then crafting your own wedding arch is totally doable. You don’t even need any fancy tools to get the job done, which makes it a great project to get friends or family involved in, too! Have a search online for tutorials on how to create a range of different arches from wanton mesh frames to fabric draped geometrics.

17. Colorful paper flower backdrop ideas

Brighten up any space with a colorful backdrop made from paper flowers you can place both on your arch and behind your altar. This technique is great when you want to make the most of the space behind you while also making an artistic statement. Choose brightly colored papers such as yellow, pink, and green to really stand out, then pop them into easy-to-make tissue paper flower templates.

18. Boho chic macrame and vintage lace ideas

Make earthy vibes come alive in your ceremony space with patches of macrame woven into an arbor or vintage lace adorning the frame. This creates texture throughout the space, and looks utterly romantic when combined with florals. Bring this look together by combining natural materials, such as rattan, dried foliage & suede.

19. Unexpected reused materials for an eco-friendly arch design

Be kind to the environment with an eco-friendly wedding arch made from reused materials like wooden boards, old furniture, bed frames, or ladders. Add in a sign made from recycled materials and adorn the arch with plants or herbs from a local nursery rather than fresh flowers. This will make sure that your arch is not only unique, but sustainable too.

20. Floral wall installation for a grand entrance

Make a grand entrance to your ceremony space by creating a floral wall installation behind your altar out of statement florals like dahlias, roses, and ranunculus in various shades of your wedding colors. This will add texture to the walls make you feel like you have stumbled into a magical garden.

21. Fairytale enchanted garden arch ideas

Bring dreams to life with this fairytale enchanted-garden-themed wedding arch! Decorate an arch or A-frame tent-style entrance with floral branches wrapped in twinkling lights and adorned with tinkling bells for maximum magical effect. On either side, light up wishing jars on shelves (mason jars with battery-powered fairy lights work great for this), or tables with themed cards for guests to add their own special wishes.

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22. Mid-century modern aesthetic ideas

Opt for a modern twist on traditional arches with clean lines and muted tones—think navy blues blended with whites and terracotta shades, for example. Mid-century modern designs focus on creating interesting geometric shapes, so try adding pops of geometric shapes into your design, like square boxes draped in fabric with garlands hung across one beam.

For even more pizazz, add statement signage for a personalized touch with any of these wedding arch ideas. Add messages like “Mr & Mrs Smith” or “Our Happily Ever After Begins Here”. These signs can be as simple or as extravagant as you like, and placed on the top or sides of the arch itself.

And don’t forget to customize the sign to your theme as well! Distressed wood signs painted soft pink look beautiful when combined with trailing eucalyptus blooms. More modern signage made from metal would add a contemporary twist.

What to know before you commit to a wedding arch

Anderson also told Wedding Spot that there are a few unexpected factors to consider before you decide to go full steam ahead on a wedding arch for your ceremony or reception.

When considering the set-up process,” says Anderson, “here are some tips couples should know before they commit:

1. Ensure whoever sets it up knows exactly where they're standing and how
much space they'll need so that guests won't be blocked from seeing any
portion of their vows.

We recommend setting up the arch and then viewing it from the doorway, back of the room, middle of the room and both sides of the guest seating area to make sure it looks great from every angle.

2. Consider height when deciding where to place it—most arches stand seven
feet tall so plan accordingly.

3. Make sure whatever material is used for drapery/decoration does not
overlap with materials used elsewhere on décor items, otherwise it might look overwhelming when it’s brought inside the venue and by then it will be too late!

4. Choose fabrics that complement each other's colors and skin undertones so that your wedding arch makes you look your best in every photo!

5. Securely attach all decorative elements either with fabric glue (if
appropriate), or thread them tightly onto hooks around the frame structure, so that if it accidentally gets bumped throughout the ceremony or reception, you won’t have to worry about pieces falling off.

6. Have someone take pictures during setup time in case something changes
later on due to weather conditions (or a clumsy guest). This will make it easier to reset the structure and decor on it after, so that it matches the rest of your wedding photos from the day.

7. Lastly, brainstorm ideas beforehand on what could be done with remaining materials after usage. You will likely have some pieces leftover either because you’ve DIY’d it, or you’ve taken apart a storebought one to give away later. Donate or list any unused materials for future events on your local Buy Nothing group pages.”

Looking for more vibrant and colorful wedding ideas to make your wedding look that much more unique? We’ve got you covered with these creative suggestions for wedding ceiling decor!

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Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.