50 Statement-Making Wedding Arch Ideas to Up-Level Your Decor

From altar backdrops to reception installations, wedding arches are a great addition to your decor.
Hannah Nowack The Knot Senior Weddings Editor
Hannah Nowack
Hannah Nowack The Knot Senior Weddings Editor
Hannah Nowack
Senior Editor, Weddings
  • Hannah writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a focus on real wedding coverage.
  • Hannah has a passion for DE&I and plays an integral role in ensuring The Knot content highlights all voices and all love stories.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Hannah was the Social Media Editor at Martha Stewart Weddings.
Updated Mar 18, 2021

Arches are a rarity in the world of wedding decor—they're as timeless as they are trendy. While arches are having a moment in the spotlight, their popularity is nothing new. Wedding arches have long been a go-to decor statement for couples and we're thrilled to say, they're here to stay. From ever-popular flower-clad altar arches and rustic wood ceremony arches to ones creatively used in receptions as backdrops for everything from sweetheart tables to photo booths, there's an arch for every wedding need and every wedding style. To help you sort through the boundless possibilities, we tapped a few of our favorite industry experts to share their best advice. Wedding planner Sarah Crowell of Mavinhouse Events, Kimberly Sisti of Sisti & Co. and Lizzy Liz Chan of Lizzy Liz Events weigh in with valuable tips to ensure your wedding arch perfectly complements the rest of your wedding theme and wedding venue.

While our experts are weighing in specifically on more general wedding arches, there are many cultural and religious variations of generic wedding arches you can also consider adding to your nuptials. From mandaps frequently included in Hindu wedding ceremonies to chuppahs generally seen in Jewish wedding ceremonies, there are many ways that an arch-like structure can add meaning and personalization to your big day. Many of these culturally-minded arch alternatives also often feature four legs, as opposed to two, creating more of an encompassing structure under which you and your partner can say "I do." Check out our favorite chuppah ideas here.

Deciding early on whether you'll want an arch as a focal point of your wedding decorations is important as it'll influence what wedding vendors you need to tap for help. While your floral designer would take the lead with a botanical arch, many specialty rental companies have wood arches you can rent, should you choose to do so. Our best advice is to connect with your wedding planner or event designer (instead of trying to DIY your arch), share with them images you've saved from this story as inspiration and get rolling on an arch that'll wow all your guests as a wedding backdrop.

In this story:

Wedding Arch Top Tips

Get Creative

Arches don't have to be a standard inverted U shape. From triangles to hexagons and complete circles, the shape of your arch can change based on the theme and style of your wedding. As of late, many couples have played around with creating arches that aren't connected at the top and even arches that lay flat on the ground, instead of upright. "I personally love a ground installation to mark the alter space in cases where a ceremony has a beautiful view that you don't want to distract from. When a backdrop is more classic or simple, like in front of lush greenery already, a larger arbor filled with bold flowers in their color palette creates a real wow moment," says Sarah Crowell of Mavinhouse Events.

Consider Multiple Uses

"The best strategy is to create a ceremony arch that can be repurposed for your reception. Say you have a garland piece that can be detached from your arch and used for your cake table or sweetheart table. If it's an arch with wheels, then we can move it on over to your reception for a photo booth backdrop, cake backdrop or sweetheart table backdrop," says Lizzy Liz Chan of Lizzy Liz Events.

Keep Seasonality in Mind

"As clients look more and more at Pinterest, they are going to find lots of beautiful ideas, but some sadly, just won't work in the real world. When florists design for editorials we get to flex our creative muscle, and it doesn't always mean that it's viable for a wedding day. The season can also play a large part in whether or not a flower survives," says Kimberly Sisti of Sisti & Co. "Summer temperatures might be okay for some blooms, but not for others. Think about it—winter and spring flowers naturally can withstand colder temperatures because that is when they're growing. Flowers that are naturally prevalent in the summer and fall can withstand warmer temperatures. With this in mind, finding flowers that are meant to be in your season tend to hold up better against Mother Nature. Roses, hydrangea, carnations, snapdragons and mums are hardy enough to last wherever and are larger flowers. More delicate blooms like astilbe, cosmos, lilac and sweet peas just aren't feasible to cover large amounts of space. They are smaller flowers and the sheer volume needed to cover an area will cost dearly." Along with that, if you're hosting a destination wedding, it's important to keep in mind how the weather and seasonality of your destination may differ from home.

Durability is Important

Similarly, durability is a factor that goes hand-in-hand with seasonality and needs to be kept front-of-mind. Not all blooms, even if they're being used in your centerpieces, are ideal for use in wedding arches. It's a good idea to base your floral design on "any flowers that do well out of water and can survive the weather. Cymbidium orchids, chrysanthemums, anthurium, and king protea are great for the heat. Flowers like hydrangeas, peonies, and astilbe are daintier blooms that may not last very long in the sun," advises Chan.

Focus on Cohesive Event Design

Sisti stresses the importance of thinking about cohesion when creating your ceremony backdrop and overall event design. "I really love arches that fit their environment. In an era where being eco-conscious is gaining momentum, I see nothing better than incorporating that mindset into the structure's design. Nothing looks more out of place than a huge structure on the beach decorated with roses and hydrangea. While beautiful, it wouldn't occur naturally in that setting. Let's work with Mother Nature to provide something that is beautiful and fits together. Something like grasses and wildflowers are more likely to fit in a coastal setting. If couples want their arch to feel unique to them, incorporating your environment is key. Most of the time, a venue is selected because it resonates with the couple. Use it to your advantage," says Sisti.

Modern Wedding Arches

Maybe you're hosting a cosmopolitan New York wedding with a reception filled with chandeliers, acrylic chairs and a minimal color palette. Kick off the big day with a whimsical, modern arch as the focal point of your wedding ceremony.

1. Clear Acrylic Indoor Ceremony Arch with White Flowers

The choice of clear acrylic as a building material ensured the architecture of this wedding venue took center stage.

2. Simple White Square Outdoor Wedding Arch

Like a postcard, this white ceremony backdrop perfectly framed the Texas countryside in the background.

3. Minimal, Yet Boho Square Copper Ceremony Arch

The three concentric copper squares gave this arch a frame-like resemblance.

Wood Arches and Wedding Arbor Ideas

Wood is both durable and versatile, making it a great material to use for a wedding arch. Driftwood could easily be used for a beach wedding while logs could be turned into a focal point for a fall wedding or backyard wedding.

4. Rustic Wood Arch Covered in Greenery

Loose greenery befits the mountain setting of this South Carolina wedding.

5. Wood Arch for Beach Wedding with White Flowers and Draping

This wood arch work in harmony with the wood aisle that was constructed to ensure no one tripped in the sand. Take a peek at this story to get inspired by even more creative beach wedding ideas.

6. Wood Arch Overlooking Pacific Ocean

Keeping the wood frame simple with minimal decorations ensured the sweeping ocean views weren't obstructed at this California wedding.

Metal Ceremony Arch Inspiration

For couples whose wedding theme leans more boho or eclectic, a metal arch is a great addition to your wedding altar and overall event design. If you're worried a simple metal frame will get lost visually, consider adding tulle draping or even macrame accents to make the ceremony arch pop.

7. Gold Hexagon Arch for Tropical Backyard Wedding

A gold hexagon complemented the gold chairs that were part of this couple's tropical backyard wedding ceremony design.

8. Metal and Stone Arch Covered in Purple Wisteria

Purple wisteria softened this hardy arch made of concrete and metal.

9. Mirrored Square Gold Arch

This couple filled the inside of their mirrored gold arch with greenery for an effect that felt like a modern flower wall.

Greenery Arch and Ceremony Backdrop Ideas

"Greenery dominant designs are definitely having a moment and that certainly can apply to a ceremony installation," says Crowell of greenery-centric ceremony arch installations.

10. Wood Arch with Tropical Wedding Flowers and Leaves

Since tropical leaves like palms and monstera leaves are so hardy, they make great additions to greenery-centric wedding arch ideas.

11. Christmas-Inspired Greenery Arch with Red Roses

Evergreen foliage is also a durable addition for wintry event designs.

12. Square Wedding Arch Covered in Tropical Leaves

To ensure the whole ceremony space looked cohesive, aisle arrangements with tropical leaves mirrored those used in the ceremony backdrop. Find more creative wedding ceremony aisle decor ideas in this story.

13. Minimal Arch with White Flowers Against Concrete Wall

Loose greenery and white flowers added softness to this concrete-centric wedding venue.

14. Arch with White Flowers and Tropical Greenery on the Beach

While beige chairs matched this beach setting, the dark green arch contrasted dramatically, creating a powerful visual effect.

15. Indoor Seattle Loft Wedding with Loose Greenery Arch

This Seattle couple went with a less-is-more approach for their wedding altar.

16. New York Loft Ceremony with Greenery Wedding Altar

This all-white New York wedding venue provided a great blank slate for a vibrant greenery-clad altar arch.

Rustic Wedding Ceremony Arch Inspiration

A rustic outdoor ceremony lends itself well to designing a backdrop that matches the wedding venue's feel. Consider layering in eucalyptus or pampas grass to further enhance the floral design of your wedding arbor. For even more rustic wedding decoration ideas, check out this story.

17. Stone Arch with Rustic Chandeliers

This couple got creative by decking their outdoor stone arch with romantic chandeliers and roses.

18. Wood Wedding Arbor with Boho Pampas Grass Accents and Draping

Pampas grass is having a major moment and it's easy to see why the dried grass is so popular with to-be-weds.

19. Wood Log Ceremony Arch with Draping

Since the logs used in this arch were so skinny, draping added fullness to the wedding arbor.

20. Rustic Wedding Arch with Greenery and Draping

Rustic foliage and dried grasses fit seamlessly with this wedding's rural Texas wedding venue.

Triangle Wedding Altar Arch Ideas

While the most common wedding arch ideas are curvilinear, many couples are choosing to break with tradition by using a triangular structure for their ceremony backdrop.

21. Modern Triangle Arch for Destination Wedding in Hawaii

A triangle arch at this beachfront ceremony visually mirrored the beach umbrellas scattered along the sand.

22. Triangle Arch for DIY Backyard Wedding

A simple wood triangle without any floral accents fit the down-to-earth nature of this backyard DIY wedding.

23. Wood Triangle Arch for DIY Indoor Elopement

Arches aren't only for outdoor weddings, as this indoor elopement evidenced.

24. Triangle Wedding Arch for Urban Ceremony

A triangle arch on an open-air terrace nicely framed this ceremony's urban views.

25. Triangle Ceremony Backdrop with Pampas Grass

Pampas grass was used along the aisle at this outdoor ceremony and then again as part of the wood triangle ceremony backdrop.

Floral Wedding Ceremony Arches

Most wedding arch ideas are floral in nature and it's easy to see why. Floral ceremony arches are truly stunning. As for what type of bloom to work into your wedding flower design, botanicals with "a larger presence as well as those that can withstand being either out of water or with a limited water source are best for floral arches. Especially in those scorching summer months! As a rule, it's always best to trust your florist to choose specific flowers to execute your vision. They are the experts on what will provide the right texture, color and what will hold up well," says Crowell. Get inspired by more wedding flower ideas here.

26. Garden-Inspired Ceremony Arch Covered in Purple Roses

This rose-clad arch was dripping in romance.

27. Romantic Floral Arch with Hydrangeas and Pink Roses

While certain wedding venues might be obstructed with an arch, the tree grove at this California venue was the perfect setting to frame a hydrangea-filled arch.

28. Vibrant Floral Arch with Hot Pink Color Palette

Instead of blending into the natural surroundings, this floral arch used hot pink blooms to dramatically juxtapose the locale's greenery.

29. Arch Made of Colorful Rainbow Wedding Flowers

If you're a fan of color, this ombre-inspired rainbow arch is for you.

30. Elegant Arch with White Flowers

A floral arch doesn't have to be over-the-top. A few expertly placed blooms wowed on this pared-down ceremony backdrop.

31. Oceanview Pink-and-White Floral Arch

Flowers were used in every part of this ceremony, from the arch and aisle arrangements to flower petals scattered down the aisle.

32. Boho Arch with Dahlia Blooms and Lunaria

Dried lunaria not only added a boho feel to this floral design, but the hardy botanical also made sure the installation was durable.

33. Lakefront Arch with White Hydrangea Blooms

Romantic and lush blooms creatively juxtaposed the rustic logs used at this lakefront ceremony.

Deconstructed Wedding Arch Inspiration

"Couples need to speak up about their personalities and don't feel pressured to do something trending. This is your unique wedding, make it look like it's yours and not someone else's," says Chan. In that spirit, many modern couples are finding creative ways to design ceremony backdrops that are inspired by traditional arches, yet break the norm, quite literally! Arch-like structures with a broken or open top are a nice way to create a focal point for your ceremony, especially at an outdoor wedding, without obstructing guests' view of the landscape.

34. Deconstructed Jewel-Tone Arch

The top of this arch may have been nonexistent, but the bold colors of the bottom still packed a punch.

35. Pastel-Hued Open Top Arch

The reason deconstructed arches are so successful is because they make use of negative space. Here, your eye follows the curve of the pastel floral design even though there's a break at the top of the design.

36. Ombre Deconstructed Arch

Although the wood frame of this arch was continuous, the break in the ombre floral design gave the whole backdrop a fresh and unexpected vibe.

37. Open Top Arch with Loose Greenery

Trailing pieces of greenery reached out across the opening in this deconstructed arch, visually connecting the whole installation.

38. Arch with Asymmetrical Pampas Grass Accents

Since pampas grass is so fluffy and visually commanding, the decision to use it sparingly here was wise. In the end, the pared-down look packed more of a punch.

39. Asymmetrical Red Rose Arch

A break in this red rose arch creatively let wedding guests see the red brick structure behind the couple's floral arch.

Full-Circle Wedding Ceremony Arches

On the opposite end of the spectrum from deconstructed arches are full-circle arches that have no beginning or end.

40. Green Circle Arch in Rustic White Barn

This green circle really popped, thanks to the barn wedding venue's all-white backdrop.

41. Circle Altar Backdrop with White Flowers

Simple and romantic—that's the vibe this couple chose for their white-and-green floral circle arch.

42. Rustic Circle Wedding Ceremony Backdrop

Loose greenery and rustic shades of green and brown complement this oceanfront locale beautifully.

43. Circle Arch Idea with Classic White Flowers

You don't need color to make a strong visual impact. This ceremony design, in addition to these all-white wedding ideas, is proof that white weddings are classic, timeless and absolutely stunning.

44. Tunnel of Concentric Circle Arches with White Flowers

Instead of placing their floral circle arches at the altar, this couple created an arch tunnel to be used during their recessional.

45. Circle Arch Idea with Dyed Blue Flowers

To add a little more personality to their circle arch, this couple's floral designer dyed some of the blooms a vibrant shade of blue.

Wedding Reception Arch Decoration Ideas

While most arch ideas are ceremonial in nature, the reception is full of opportunities to include an arch backdrop. "If you are hosting a tented wedding, the entrance of the tent is always a great place for a wow moment. You can attach to the tent itself using greenery and blooms or even create a structure that comes away from the tent and have your florist adorn that to make things feel even more grand," says Sarah Crowell.

46. Chuppah Repurposed as Sweetheart Table Arch Backdrop

Following their Jewish wedding ceremony, this couple repurposed their ceremony chuppah as an industrial copper arch to frame the reception sweetheart table.

47. Chuppah Repurposed as Lounge Area Arch Installation

Similarly, this chuppah was later repurposed as an arch to encompass the lounge seating area at this wedding reception.

48. Greenery Tent Entrance Wedding Arch Idea

Guests were ushered into this tented reception through a greenery arch at the tent's entrance.

49. Lounge Area Arch Backdrop with Pink Roses

Bright flowers in this arch complemented the velvet furniture used in this couple's lounge seating area.

50. Gold Hexagon Sweetheart Table Arch Backdrop with Blush Flowers

After tying the knot in front of this gold hexagon design, this couple repurposed their arch as a sweetheart table backdrop for their ballroom wedding reception.

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