Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How to Pick, Decorate, and Find the Perfect Wedding Arch

Thinking of using a wedding arch? You're not alone — for many brides, they serve as an indispensable grace note when it comes to getting married in a garden or park, in a spacious backyard or by the sea.

A beautiful moment of the wedding ceremony is the point in which the bride and groom express their lifetime commitment to each other. Many couples choose to verbalize their expressions of love beneath the traditional wedding arches. However, though traditions favor an arch, do know that there are countless ways to decorate this symbol of the gateway to a couple’s marital bliss.

Types of Wedding Arches
  • Fall Wedding Arch: Decorate with apples, leaves, chrysanthemums, cattails. Colors: Forest green, burgundy, rust, cranberry.
  • Winter Wedding Arch: poinsettias, pinecones, fir branches, white lights (candle-shaped lights if you can find them), ornaments. Colors: Similar to that of the fall shades. Don't go overboard with red and green, but do add in ornaments wherever you can!
  • Square Tube Arch: A very practical design with straight lines.
  • Gothic Wedding Arch: In order to attain the Gothic look, use a very dark arch substructure (ideally dark wood if manageable). Adorn the archway with simple white linens, and no other embellishments. Hang a kissing ball from the center peak.
  • The Hawaiian Arch: Fashion a square-shaped archway out of bamboo poles. Ornament the corners and base with hawaiian blooms such as: anthuriums, heliconias, tropical foliage, and dendrobium orchid sprays.
  • The Human Arch: Perhaps the most moving possibility for a just-married ceremony finale. Have family members and closest friends assemble into two lines, facing each other. As they raise their arms to create a tunnel of arches symbolizing their protection and love, the bride and groom pass underneath. Each guest could bring one small memento to hold in the air as they create the arch of arms, thus enhancing the meaning and beauty of the moment.

Do not overlook the beauty of any arch. It is particularly attractive in photographs as a natural frame for the subjects of any portrait. Wedding arches can be custom-made and tailored to complete the themes of your wedding.

Sometimes you need a focal point, but arches just aren't firing you up. Some great-looking alternatives:
  • A simple chuppah or mandap (Indian)
  • A flat arbor screen, with potted arrangements on each side
  • A large, low-hanging tree
  • A gazebo
  • A grape trellis
Whatever style you choose, your wedding arch will symbolize magic, romance, and all the possibilities of a shared and cherished union.

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