Non-naked arches, gazebos, and chuppahs — an archway bling roundup

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bird and squirrel wedding 9.13.08
I'm having a hard time finding anything unique for my arch.

It's just a plain white, normal arch and I thought I would try to look up some cool arches and DIY it, but I haven't found anything but flower-decorated arches.

Any ideas?


Oh boy, we have seen some awesome arches, gazebo decorations, and chuppahs. Folks are spiffing up their ceremony space with all kinds of things like paper pom-poms, signs, fans, lightsabers, ribbons, and some are even making their own arches. Check out some of our faves and put some bling on that naked arch.

Traditional arches, souped-up

Tribe member Beckyc crafted these amazing accordion pinwheel fans in all kinds of sizes, patterns, and colors to spruce up her arch.

Paula and Nicholas' used twisted willow branches on wrought iron screens to give their arch a lovely, organic feel.

Michelle and Jacob's dads helped build the leafy arch that stood at the end of their Spanish moss-bordered aisle. Taking your cue from the surroundings is always a safe bet, and in this case, makes for a lovely setting.

Annie and Johnny used a bamboo-style arch with white lilies, perfect for their ceremony in a wild animal park.


scissors please
Some couples forgo an actual arch in favor of using various materials to create a backdrop, like in Jolie and Jason's origami crane decor. You could use these cranes on the arch itself or let them fly free as… well, birds!

5216184286 ca33aeca9f alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Jennifer and Bruce built on the existing foliage to create a fusion of garden and Jedi! It also led to some pretty hawt Photoshopping.

Arch3small alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Tribe member Nula showed what a bad-ass, power tool-wielding chick she can be when she crafted this driftwood arch from scratch! Oh yeah, there's a tutorial, if you're up to the challenge.

elephant archywa 082811 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Marina and Adam rocked out a vintage circus theme and had a handmade elephant archway to match. They also made photo cutouts and a kissing booth. After all that work, I'm pretty sure they would be a fixture in the living room.

The kiss
Heather and Ben made the awesome choice to have their wedding in an amazing cactus garden setting, so all they needed were some flowing ribbons and hanging candles to make for a lovely ceremony site. Hang these on your arch for a similar look.

It's Offical! Time to Shindig!
Bunting makes for a quaint addition to an archway, as seen in Stacy and Bob's wedding. And boy do we have a fair few tutorials for bunting to get you started.

Gazebo embellishments

The gazebo where we were married
A lot of weddings end up using a gazebo as the archway, as in Laura and Jim's ceremony. They used fairy lights and tissue paper pom-poms to give it a festive look.

Elle and Ben had a white gazebo in their cave ceremony and were worried it wouldn't fit the theme. Ben's mother went attic digging for supplies and covered the gazebo in hellebore, forget-me-nots, green foliage, and silver butterflies.

Sheryl and Eric's beach ceremony had a decorated gazebo included, so they lucked out. But we can take inspiration from it with its gorgeous, sheer fabric. So beach-y!


Before the chuppah
We've seen some amazing chuppahs, as so many couples customize them to match their themes. Juno and Noah used a pop of purple and bamboo in theirs.

Alissa recruited her knitter friends to make their chuppah and she sewed the squares together, while Eric built the frame himself. Here is a detail shot. Community effort rocks.

chuppa shots
And then there is the big daddy of alternatives — this futuristic, Jetsons-style chuppah. Chris is an architect and experience designer, so he channeled his talents into an amazing backdrop for his and Tracy's wedding.

Peruse these tutorials for more DIY ideas for that bare arch:

Meet our fave wedding vendors

Comments on Non-naked arches, gazebos, and chuppahs — an archway bling roundup

  1. Ahhh! So much love! The accordion pinwheels are fantastic and funky, and the fabric curls in front of the brick looks so intriguing! My “gazebo” will be my mom’s back porch and I just got some awesome ideas to decorate it!! Helloooo, hanging candles!

  2. I’m using the Cranes for my arch, stringing them up on a PVC frame and then moving them to the reception hall for photos. I’ve spent so much time making them, I want them to earn there keep!

  3. We are using cinder blocks that come with holes in them, and rebar, to build all our venue decorating. Lights, paper flowers, flags… it’s all going up there. This method is so inexpensive from the hardware store too.

  4. Some friends of mine got married and did something simular to the one made out of branches. They used white aspen branches as they were doing an outdoor wedding in the mountains. It looked classy, yet kind of like it just grew out of the ground in the field especially for their wedding.

  5. We’re having a Christmukkah wedding (Dec 23rd), so we’re decorating our chuppah with christmas lights + paper chains made out of wrapping paper. Whee!

  6. Anyone know where to buy an arch for cheap that will hold up to some decorating? This post made me all dreamy…

    • I got my ARCH FOR $15 from HOBBY LOBBY, they were having a 50% off sale and i jumped on it.

  7. A wedding I captured once used christmas lights that almost formed Angel wings by the time night-time came with reds/blacks and sheer fabric! These are such FUN ideas and SO PRETTY!!!!! 🙂 GREAT montage!

  8. AWE! Thanks for answering 😀 sooooo much help! I loved the first one that’s bright blue. I never thought leaving it plain like that would look so gorgeous!

  9. My son got married last September outdoors, under a white arch, decorated with prayer flags. It was beautiful!

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