When it came to deciding on a ceremony backdrop for our wedding I was pretty much clueless. I knew what I liked (lots of branches and flowers and greenery) but I really didn’t want to spend a lot of money on supplies and setup. I thought about DIY’ing something but…well…the word DIY often terrifies me (for no good reason) and I wasn’t about to start on something as big as a wedding arch.
I’d like to say that I am now some sort of wedding arch expert, but the truth is they still stump me. And when I get like that I find it’s best to just break the situation down and look at the most clear-cut options available and pick one so you don’t spend time overthinking it. After all, you’ll be using a wedding arch for a whopping 30 minutes out of your 5-hour wedding. So, here are your choices as I see them:
1. First and foremost you have to consider your wedding venue. Whether you’re getting married outside or inside, have a GOOD look at your ceremony options and pick the area with the most visual interest already in place. If you’re outside, is there a big beautiful tree you can stand in front of? If you’re inside, does your venue have a picture window or a wall with any interest? For example, the room we had our ceremony in had two large Venetian paintings flanking either side of vintage-y glass door. Bringing in any kind of arch or backdrop would have competed with that area, so we just decided to enhance it by having our florist bring in two Grecian-looking pedestals with flowers draped on top. Boom. DONE.
2. Ok, so if you don’t happen to have an area inside or out that is visually stimulating, you’ve got a blank canvas (which has a lot of benefits). If you’re outside and know you want to use florals, think about buying a garden arch. You can purchase one online for anywhere from $24-$300 and up. The bonus with actually buying one is that you can use it in your own backyard after the wedding, which I think is really sweet. If you don’t have the space at home to put it to good use, consider renting one for around $50 from your florist or a vendor with access to used wedding decor. You can then work with your florist to come up with a look that fits your budget.
3. If you’re looking for a non-traditional wedding arch/ceremony backdrop, consider the type of background you’ll be standing in front of (IE: white wall, window, etc.) and start thinking about what you could easily hang from it or on it. I love the fabric hanging from the loft beams, below, as well as the fun “Best Day Ever” sign that kind of resembles an arch. I also love the idea of using temporary wallpaper in a vibrant pattern on a blank wall for an instant pop. Budget tip: If you create a funky background for your wedding ceremony you can use that same backdrop for a photobooth area.
4. Forget hanging/gluing anything and instead buy two large potted plants (like a ficus or fiddleaf fig) and put them on either side of where you’ll be standing. You can use them in your house after the wedding! You can also buy two rustic ladders and put vases on each step for a unique look (like the photo, above).
After you decide which route you want to go (DIY’ed or not), use the wedding arch/ceremony backdrop photos below to find a bit of inspiration!