Flower arches frame a wedding like a good hairstyle frames a face—they accentuate the ceremony’s beauty, emphasize your style, and make the couple look even more gorgeous.
But with so many different structures, styles, and flowers to choose from, where do you start when designing your wedding flower arch?
Follow this helpful guide for ideas and tips for choosing a floral wedding arch that’ll be as bright and beautiful as your marriage.
Before you get overwhelmed with the vast array of arch options available, take this advice first: breathe. Planning your wedding should be an enjoyable, creative experience. Let this guide take you along the exciting journey to a floral arch design you’ll never forget.
Here are the primary details you’ll need to consider when designing your arch:
With these four elements nailed down, you can move right along to the next thing on your wedding planning checklist. (Check out our blog if you need more help!)
Choosing fresh flowers for your arch is as essential as it is therapeutic—let each breathtaking color wash over you during your internet search, or breath in the sweet scents of each bloom at your local flower market. Either way, choosing your flowers can be a lovely experience—especially with some guidance.
When it comes to picking the flowers that’ll bring your wedding arch to life, you’ll want to take the following items into consideration:
Whether you’re going all-out Great Gatsby or keeping it nice and nautical at the beach, themes can play a huge role in ceremony decor. And even the simplest of weddings follow some sort of color scheme. No matter what, choosing fresh flowers based on your ceremony’s aesthetic can truly help with the decision-making process. After all, you can’t say yes to every flower.
Check out these suggestions for flower selections based on some iconic wedding themes:
Rustic: Cream-colored roses, orange ranunculuses, and peach peonies mix classic wedding tradition with the earthy charm of the countryside. Complement delicate lily of the valleys and baby’s breath flowers with burgundy dahlias and autumn-orange peonies for a bold, boho spin. Add some pampas grass for volume, and opt to keep your flowers viney and leafy for a whimsical arch perfect for your rustic theme.
Garden: Want to go full-throttle on the romance? Try dreamy selections like spilling pink and white roses overflowing from your arch. Or, opt for a sparse but meandering display of delicate quicksand roses and eucalyptus leaves for a nostalgic aesthetic.
Classic: For a traditional feel with a timeless resonance, fill your classic arch shape with bright green leaves sprinkled with enduring white roses or daffodils.
Modern: Embrace your contemporary tastes with a twist on the typical floral arch—play with sharp lines and angles with dried ferns and palm leaves, or try out unique colors and shapes with the stunning protea flower in pink and white.
For aesthetic inspiration (and easier logistics), choose flowers based on the flora typical of your wedding location and season. Your wedding date can inform both the types of flowers you’ll use and your color scheme.
Choose icy blues and lavenders for a winter wonderland wedding, or bright, rustic orange dahlias and yellow mums for autumn nuptials. For a summer wedding, embrace the warm colors of the season with reds, yellows, and pinks. In the springtime, go for romantic blush, cream, and peach peonies with a hint of cool green leaves to top it all off.
Not only does keeping with the season fit your wedding ceremony to its surroundings, but it’ll also make the search for your beautiful blooms far easier. In-season flowers are easier for your florist to find and cost less—and with so many flowers going into your wedding, these two factors are crucial for keeping your budget down.
For an outdoor wedding or a venue with big windows, the surrounding landscape can be as much a decoration as the ceremony decor itself—that’s why embracing the world outside is the perfect inspiration for your flower selection.
For a composition that feels as at-home as it is eye-catching, here are some location-themed floral design ideas for your own wedding arch:
Desert: Dry doesn’t mean drab. Dive into the arid magic of your desert surroundings with gorgeous multicolored succulents, dried branches, and cacti. Let the cactus flowers bloom for a welcome flash of pink that feels native and organic.
Snowy: Build your entire arch out of twisting silver birch branches and spruce it up with rosemary, pine, and white roses for a romantic, wintery feel.
Tropical: Kick tradition to the curb with vibrant rainforest hues. Pair yellow chrysanthemums, red sweet peas, and passion flowers with big, green banana leaves. You can even go for a fun and funky combination of orange and purple by combining the audacious bird of paradise flower in a bed of fancy-leaf caladiums and fan palms.
When most people think flower arch, they think tall, round, and symmetrical. However, not all wedding floral arches are actually, well, arches. You can break away from strict architectural terms and create an endless array of forms and figures with your floral backdrop.
Here are some ideas for creative frame designs to switch up your wedding arch:
Who says an arch has to be hollow? Go full-fledged flower power with a whole wall of blooms—arrange them in a specific message or design, or just let the dazzling colors and petals do the talking.
Go “3D” by constructing a cabana-esque frame. Embrace the intricacies and glamour of an Indian mandap, or go for a stripped-down, Scandinavian-inspired outdoor chapel shape draped in leafy garlands.
Play with shapes. With a small pinch, you can shape your arch into an endlessly elegant cathedral window shape, or get super creative with it—make it a heart, a square, or even an asymmetrical polygon. For a dash of sweet symbolism, use a circle shape to represent your never ending love.
To see or not to see (the frame)? While many flower arches are completely covered in flowers, you might prefer to have an exposed frame in either classic wood or contemporary metal to add balance and flair to your design.
A always, remember to adjust the arch height according to your heights—proportion is everything.
Choosing your flowers is just one step of the botanical design process—the next important step is arranging them to your liking.
Here are some ways to think about your flower arrangement:
Balance vs. Symmetry: Do you want there to be an even amount of flower bunches on each side of the arch? Or is balanced asymmetry more suited to your theme and style?
Sparse vs. Full: Depending on your aesthetic tastes, you can choose to fill your arch with flowers or invest in a snazzy frame that peeks through a sparser floral arrangement.
Color Blocking vs. Organic: When deciding on your flower color scheme, you can color block against a specific floral design, go for a more organic composition, or keep it simple with a single color.
Even though there may seem to be infinite options to choose from when it comes to flower composition, remind yourself that the most important factor is whether you and your partner love it when you walk down the aisle.
Sometimes you want to spruce up your arch with more than just flowers. Whether it’s added foliage or inorganic accessories, here are some fun additions to make your arch even more memorable:
Boho: Every boho chic connoisseur knows that macramé makes any piece of traditional wedding decor more intricate and eye-catching. Whether you integrate it with blooming roses and leaves or let the woven patterns speak for themselves, this detail will elevate your arch with spellbinding, bucolic magic.
Romantic: If you’re feeling extra whimsical, add in a few bouncy ribbons to your rose assortment for Let Them Eat Cake vibes. For an evening wedding ceremony, wrap or hang twinkling fairy lights from the arch for a dreamy way to illuminate you and your partner as you exchange your vows.
Modern: Hang geometric wire sculptures on your contemporary arch frame for a twist on the floral tradition. Pair these with more organic birch branches for elemental interplay that’ll be as avant-garde as it is romantic.
Planning for your floral wedding arch doesn’t have to be a hassle—and neither does planning the rest of the wedding, for that matter. To simplify the process and keep you smiling from “yes” to “I do,” use Zola’s bountiful, easy-to-use registry for painless—and fun—wedding planning.
While your entire ceremony can’t be free, Zola does offer free wedding websites and affordable invitation suites for high-end design in a less expensive package.
For registry and wedding planning made easy, register at Zola today!