Here’s why you should consider them …
One of the outstanding decorative features of the recent Royal Wedding were the stunning wedding arches at Windsor outside the chapel. Boughs of white roses climbed upwards and cascaded downwards. It really was breathtaking. Talk about a wow factor.
Thanks to Meghan’s taste and style, we predict that wedding arches are going to become increasingly popular as a result, with more and more brides discussing options with florists and stylists. The new Duchess has really shown how this style of decor can beautify a location.
Flowers decorate what would otherwise be an uninspiring doorway
Good locations for wedding arches
First off – they don’t have to be over an exact archway. You can create an arch effect just about anywhere.
If your venue is perfect but you want to pretty up some of the entrances and windows, then a garland placed around is just the job, as you can see from the image above.
The effect is up to you. Maybe you want to go for shades of white (like Meghan) or maybe you want to choose all blue flowers, dramatic reds or a mixture of shades. In autumn you could have sheaves of corn, sprays of berries, and branches of colourful leaves.
It’s also a good idea to throw some scented blooms into the mix, to give off a heady scent as your guests waft past. Talk to your florist about what would work best.
Put a wedding arch behind the top table and you have an instant photo frame, as well as creating a special area for the bride and groom
Look how beautifully the bride is framed by greenery. She’s continued the theme in her bouquet. (Photograph by Eriin Browne)
Reasons to have a wedding arch
- They give you a perfect backdrop for photographs
- If you’re having a top table, they highlight the area behind the bride and groom
- If your venue is short on features, a decorated arch gives an instant focus
- They can disguise less than beautiful doorways
- They can guide guests through areas – along a pathway perhaps
- They provide an entrance way where one is lacking
- If your wedding venue is a bit austere – say in a grey stone – a wedding arch can ‘soften’ the look
Here a stylist has created a bower for the bride, groom and guests – a beautiful setting for a photograph. Tie swathes of drape with greenery and add lanterns. Credit: Buckinghamshire Joely Floral Backdrop Draping
Different arches for different moods
In a country church or at a rustic style wedding your archway could be created from an organic base – like wicker – with blooms overlaid on top.
However, plenty of weddings have featured classic wrought iron trellis style arches. These are good because they can be decorated in so many ways – and can be easily moved around from ceremony to reception to do double decorative duty!
Your arch doesn’t have to be made entirely from greenery. Use a trellis as the base structure or drape fabric around a frame
Arches can also be styled with gauzy drapery and a few roses. Drapery is one of a bride’s secret weapons for transforming an interior and can be used to great effect around a doorway. Tuck a bloom in here and there for floral highlights.
Credit: Ambience Cumbria. Here greenery in a church creates a mood of intimacy. Ivy has been woven over willow branches
Use lighting. If you’re having a winter wedding or your wedding goes on from late afternoon until evening, you can style archways from fairylights which look super pretty and are also practical as they will light up doorways, pathways and darker areas.
You don’t need a full arch. You can always ask your florist to decorate a half doorway. Let the flowers taper off towards the centre. Sometimes this look works better with heavier blooms – which might otherwise be a little overpowering.
Credit Ambience York, at the Parsonage Hotel. A welcome at the end of the aisle and a lovely detail – the centrepiece for the bride and groom saying their vows
Some other things to remember
- No matter how beautiful your floral bower – you can’t get married under it in England. You can only marry under a fixed structure – not a temporary one. So a gazebo is fine – but not a pergola. However, an open gazebo is the perfect structure for covering with blooms and drapery!
- If the weather is hot, your florist will need to be on hand to spray the flowers on an arch regularly, particularly if they’re in full sun. Otherwise they will wilt.
- Fronds of greenery are available year round. In winter, an archway decorated with lights would look very welcoming in the dusk.
- Arches combined with evening lanterns create a romantic mood – and isn’t that just what you want?
- Our stylists have created many different archway styles for wedding couples and have plenty of ideas for you to be thinking about. If you want to take a closer look at wicker or iron trellis archways then get in touch with your local stylist for an informal chat.
You can get married out of doors, but it has to be in a fixed structure – like a gazebo.