17 Wedding Ceremony Altar Alternatives

Put a twist on the traditional ceremony with one of these creative altar ideas.
by The Knot

If you're exchanging vows somewhere other than a church, you might have to craft up an altar space—don't worry, we've got lots of ideas. Draw inspiration from your venue and wedding theme to get a few ideas together, then decide on specifics like a color palette or types of flowers to incorporate. Your wedding planner might have some ideas, as would the manager of the ceremony space. To get started, take a look at some of our favorite alternative altar ideas below. 

  1. 1. Art Canvases

    Custom painted art canvases for a unique ceremony background
    photo by Matthew Moore Photography
  2. 2. Palm Tree Leaves

    Beach wedding altar idea with large palm tree leaves
    photo by Jillian Mitchelle Photography
  3. 3. Fabric Draped Arbors

    Fabric covered arbor with eucalyptus garland
  4. 4. Floral Installation

    Giant floral circle installation for an outdoor wedding ceremony altar
    photo by Valerie Demo/Honest Portraiture
  5. 5. Ribbon Background

    Colorful ribbon background for a fun ceremony idea
    photo by Jana Marie Photography
  6. 6. Window Frames and Tassels

    Tassel-covered industrial wedding ceremony space
  7. 7. Tassel-Covered Arbor

    Alternative ceremony arch idea with tassels
  8. 8. Whimsical Chandelier

    Whimsical outdoor wedding ceremony with a suspended chandelier
    photo by Austin Gros
  9. 9. DIY Backdrop

    DIY blue and white coffee filter ceremony background
    photo by Erin L. Taylor Photography
  10. 10. Natural Scenery

    Rustic outdoor wedding ceremony
  11. 11. Vintage Furniture

    Charming outdoor wedding setup with a vintage ceremony altar
    photo by Wendy Laurel
  12. 12. Mismatched Rugs

    Vintage outdoor ceremony runner and altar idea with mismatched rugs
    photo by JR Magat Photography
  13. 13. Rustic Barn Background

    DIY metallic rope and gardland backdrop for an outdoor wedding ceremony
    photo by Leslie Gilbert Photography
  14. 14. Driftwood Beach Arbor

    Beach wedding arbor idea with driftwood and seashells
    photo by Riverland Studios
  15. 15. Modern Space

    Modern wedding ceremony decor with orange flowers in bud vases
  16. 16. Tissue Paper Pom Background

    Outdoor wedding ceremony decorations
    photo by We Are Diamond Eyes
  17. 17. Lots of Lights

    Industrial wedding ceremony space with chandeliers and candles
    photo by Lucas Botz Photography
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