Your Guide to Wedding Arches and Arbors

Your wedding arch or arbor is a beautiful addition to your ceremony.  As the focal point of the ceremony setup and the background of many of your wedding ceremony pictures, it’s important to choose the right one to complement your wedding style. Here’s a guide to help you select the perfect Wedding Arch or Arbor for your big day. In the following article, we’ll review the following:

What Are Wedding Arbors (and arches)?

wedding arbor classic florals

The terms wedding arch and wedding arbor can be used interchangeably, though wedding arbors are not necessarily in an “arch” shape. Wedding Arbors are decorative structures that are often used as focal points in weddings and other outdoor events. Arbors can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, or even PVC pipe, and they can be decorated with flowers, greenery, and other accents. Wedding Arbors are typically used as ceremony backdrops or as entryways into reception areas.

Do you need a Wedding Arch?

Wedding arches are not an absolute must-have for every wedding.  In fact, many elopement photography locations make them difficult or impossible to have. Like all other aspects of your wedding, feel free to personalize and customize every aspect.  If you don’t want a wedding arch, then don’t feel like you have to have one.  Below is an example of a wedding ceremony without a wedding arbor.

no wedding arch
Example of a wedding ceremony with no Wedding Arbor

However, if you decide to have a wedding arbor, there are some pros and advantages of having one.  Here are a few of them:

  • Natural Frame – Wedding arbors can provide a natural frame for the wedding couple, giving them an emphasis and focus in the pictures and videos.
  • Design Canvas and Palette – Wedding arches gives the designer and florist a clean palette on which to design on.  Think of it like a canvas for a painter.
  • Shade – Some wedding arbors can provide much needed shade for more flattering lighting in photos and slightly cooler temperatures in hot weather.

Cultural Considerations for wedding arches and arbors

Chuppah Wedding Arbor for Jewish Wedding

Wedding arbors can be decorated to suit the theme or cultural heritage of the couple getting married. For example, a Chinese Wedding Arch is often decorated with red and gold, to represent good luck and happiness. Indian Wedding Arbors, also known as Mandaps, are often very colorful, and may be decorated with flowers, beads, and other accents. Jewish Wedding Arbors are sometimes called “chuppahs” and are often decorated with flowers, greenery, and fabric.

Practical Considerations for Wedding Arches and Arbors

When planning to use a Wedding Arbor or Arch, it is important to consider the following:

  • Size: Will the arch or arbor fit in the desired location?
  • Weight: Is the arbor too heavy to transport to and from the location?  Is it too light to withstand winds?
  • Existing Structures: Does the wedding venue already have a structure to decorate as your wedding arbor?
wedding arbor built in
Example of decorating existing structures as a wedding arbor
  • Weather and Scenery: If the wedding is outdoors, will the arch or arbor be able to withstand wind and weather?  For example, a snowy, winter wedding arch or arbor would likely be very different from a botanical garden winter wedding arch or arbor.
  • Decorations: What type of decorations will be used on the arch or arbor? Are there any restrictions on what can be used?
  • Wedding Arbor Shapes

    Wedding Arbors can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Here are some wedding arbor shape ideas.

    Rectangular (most common)

    square wedding arbor

    A simple and classic shape, a square or rectangle wedding arch can be easily decorated with flowers, greenery, or fabric.  The rectangular arbor is one of the most common wedding arbor shapes.

    Arched Wedding Arbor

    wedding arch

    A more unique shape that can give a grand feel to the entrance of your ceremony. Usually requires more decorations to fill up the space.

    Triangle Wedding Arbor

    A triangle arbor is a unique look often seen in boho weddings.

    blue venado wedding mihoci studios photography
    Image by Mihoci Studios

    Circle Wedding Arbor

    The circle shape has levels of meaning for weddings. The wedding ring is a circle, symbolizing never-ending love. A round arbor can also be used in an intimate setting.

    circular wedding arbor
    Example of a circular wedding arbor

    Hexagon, Pentagon, or Other Polygon Shape

    Other polygon shapes are interesting and unique wedding arbor shapes. See the example below.

    two mann photography arbor arches
    Image by Two Mann

    Wedding Arbor Materials

    When deciding what materials to use for your wedding arbor, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is the overall look you are going for. Do you want something classic and elegant, or more modern and funky? The second is the climate – if you’re getting married in a hot, sunny location, you’ll want to use materials that won’t wilt or fade in the heat. Finally, you’ll need to consider how long you want the arbor to last. If you plan on reusing it for future events or even selling it after the wedding, choose durable materials that can withstand repeated setup and takedown. With these factors in mind, here are a few popular options for wedding arbor materials:


    Metal is a great choice because it is modern and clean.  They’re also very strong and durable, making them ideal for outdoor weddings in windy locations.   Common colors are silver, gold, rose gold, and black.  However, you can get virtually any color you want for your metal wedding arch.

    rectangle wedding arbor
    Example of a Metal Wedding Arbor

    Wooden Arbor

    Wooden wedding arbors are a beautiful and unique addition to any wedding ceremony. Handcrafted from natural materials, they provide a rustic elegance that is perfect for celebrating the beginning of a lifetime of love. Whether you choose a simple design or something more elaborate, a wooden arbor will add charm and personality to your wedding day. Best of all, some wooden arbors can be reused or repurposed after the wedding, making them an eco-friendly choice for couples who want to reduce their impact on the planet. When it comes to planning your dream wedding, don’t forget to consider a wooden arbor as the perfect finishing touch.

    dual wedding arbors
    Example of a wooden Arbor

    Fabric, Florals and Greenery on Wedding Arbors:

    Most wedding arbors include some elements of fabrics, florals, and greenery that matches the color palette of the wedding.  We recommend using neutral tones in your fabrics on your wedding arbor so that there is not a strong or strange color cast on your skin tones.  To clarify, the sun can bounce off of the fabrics on the wedding arbor, and if those fabrics are not neutral, your skin tones will be affected in your photo and video.

    wedding arbor fabrics
    Neutral colored wedding arbor fabrics

    More Ideas and Inspiration

    Wedding arches and arbors are a beautiful way to decorate your ceremony site. As you can see, there are many different types and styles of wedding arches and arbors to choose from so trust your designers/coordinators, have fun in the design process, and make it your own.  For more information, we also recommend this article on wedding arbor tips from  You can also browse the wedding arbor idea and inspiration below.

    grand villa argentina wedding mihoci studios photography
    Image by Mihoci Studios

    [More Images to Come]

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