The bridal or wedding arch draws the focus to your ceremony and can give an indoor feeling to an outdoor wedding. Indeed, the arch and its accompanying ornate canopy, called a chuppah, are traditions of the Jewish faith meant to symbolize the bride's entrance into the groom's house. How you decorate your bridal arch is limited only by your imagination.
Cover a bridal arch in fabric to give it an organic quality that can come alive in the breeze. Loops of linen can drape softly above the bride and groom. Ribbons can be laced through slatted archway sides. And fabric can be accented with decorations by simply sewing, gluing or tying items to it. Doves, wedding rings, hearts, flowers, butterflies or other symbols are all possibilities, including things to match the bridal party's attire or bouquets.
Give some thought to the flowers and plants you select for decorating a bridal arch and you can use them to weave some symbolism into the decor. Alstroemeria stands for devotion, red chrysanthemums for love, daffodils say "you are the only one", forget-me-nots mean faithful love and lavender is for loyalty. Also consider ivy (wedded love and fidelity), lemon leaves (everlasting love) and orange blossoms (marriage and fruitfulness). Pink roses mean perfect happiness; reds mean love and desire.
If you see yourself having a themed wedding -- and they are becoming more popular -- you have the perfect inspiration for your bridal arch. Having a Halloween wedding? Make the arch out of twisting trees hung with autumn leaves. A winter wedding arch could be covered with artificial snow and icicles, or evergreen branches. Hang sea shells, starfish and fish netting from the bridal arch for a beach-themed wedding. Even an arch that reflects the couple's favorite things can be a theme.
This kind of bridal arch decoration will work best for an evening wedding. The lights should complement the couple and wedding party but be subtle enough not to distract from the proceedings. If you incorporate fabric or other flammable decorations, be careful to use LED lights to prevent a fire. White lights are probably the most traditional, but don't be afraid to add some color. Shaped lights are also available.